What is HEALTHY HEARTS?
HEALTHY HEARTS is a multi-disciplinary program that is designed to prevent and treat childhood obesity and related illnesses, such as diabetes, heart disease and high blood pressure. Patients referred to HEALTHY HEARTS receive care and counseling over the course of six visits, about two – four weeks apart, with follow-up visits at three and six months after completion of the program. Each visit lasts one hour.
During the visit, the child and parent/guardian will meet a physician, as well as one of the team specialists: a dietitian, exercise specialist or psychologist.
Who is eligible for HEALTHY HEARTS?
The program is open to youth between the ages of 2 and 18 who are obese or overweight. Youth who are normal weight but have a family risk factors for hyperlipidemia, hypertension or diabetes are also eligible
Patients are considered medically obese when their body mass index, commonly referred to as BMI, is greater than 95% of their peer in the same age group. Children who fall between the BMI-for-age in the 85th to 94th percentile are considered overweight.
What insurance does HEALTHY HEARTS accept?
HEALTHY HEARTS is part of the Pediatric Cardiology Medical Group – East Bay, Inc, which participates in MediCal, CCS, several Managed MediCal plans and most commercial insurance plans and medical groups. An authorization is sometimes required before services can be provided and we will work with you and your child’s pediatrician to secure the necessary authorization.
What happens during the eight office visits?
Visit 1: Initial Evaluation and Assessment A healthcare professional builds a relationship with the patient and family. The visit includes a thorough physical exam and establishes program goals.
Visit 2: Nutrition A registered dietitian discusses healthy eating choices, including current food options and offers an individualized nutrition plan.
Visit 3: Physical Activity An exercise specialist discusses active living habits and offers exercise prescriptions.
Visit 4: Feelings and Families A mental health specialist discusses body image and self-esteem, as well as parenting, family dynamics and cultural issues.
Visit 5: Healthy Lifestyle Families discuss with the dietitian or exercise specialist their progress in self-managing their goals or how to modify them as needed.
Visit 6: Summary Visit The team and family assess accomplishments and progress toward goals, and develop a plan for sustaining healthy eating and active living habits.
Visits 7 & 8: Follow up Three and six months to assess healthy lifestyle changes. Patients may be scheduled for additional follow up visits, depending on their progress, insurance/authorization(s) and commitment to the program.
How can my child access HEALTHY HEARTS?
A referral from your child’s pediatrician along with some recent records and lab work is required for us to schedule your child in HEALTHY HEARTS. Your pediatrician may not have recent lab results on file so it may not be necessary for your child to have new lab work done prior to starting HEALTHY HEARTS.