Rainbow Garden Cultivates Healthy Eating Habits
Pediatrician Sandra Musial, MD, had the seed of an idea five years ago. But it took until this summer to bear fruit — and cucumbers, eggplant, and squash, too.
Healthy Eating Active Living Through Hasbro
HEALTH is a clinic within the Primary Care Division of Hasbro Children’s Hospital that seeks to improve the significant problem of childhood obesity and to prevent the comorbidities that ensue in later adolescence and young adulthood. This clinic is one of two options for childhood obesity. Hasbro Children’s Hospital also offers the CHANGES program.
One in every three children and adolescents in the United States today is either overweight or obese, with significant increases seen since the 1970s. If you are an adolescent struggling with excess weight, you are not alone.
Patients are referred to the HEALTH program by the pediatric residency team and primary care attending physicians. Residents then consult about patients they are treating, and patients are introduced to HEALTH, while at the same time participating in appointments with their primary care providers. Volunteers from Brown University serve as family and patient coaches during treatment.
What to Expect at the Health Clinic
Initial clinic visits begin with a motivational interview of the patient and family. This serves as the basis of the evaluation and treatment. Patients, families, and physicians work together to identify goals. Physicians take an individualized approach to every child, identify the specific needs, and develop a curriculum for each patient. Each child receives a customized action plan complete with activities and educational content for healthy eating and recommendations for staying active. This take-home material, including the goal sheets and activities, are reinforced by incentives and in-clinic educational activities.
Change can be difficult, resources for families can be limited, and compliance with follow-up appointments can be tough. We recognize that obstacles exist for each family. The HEALTH clinic team provides follow-up care to patients and families who go through the program. Physicians will perform follow-up phone calls, send reminders of appointments, and contact you if appointments are missed.