Treatment Programs

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Raising Healthy Hearts

Staying ahead of heart disease: Our goal is to help children and families who are facing challenges and health conditions related to weight or abnormal cholesterol levels or who have a family history of heart disease. In addition to cardiologists, our multidisciplinary team includes a metabolic expert, a nutritionist, a behavioral psychologist, a health coach and other health care professionals. They take a comprehensive approach to prevent and slow the progression of cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors in high risk patients.

  • 617-726-3826

Meet the Team

Clinic Director

Clinic Co-Director

  • Oscar Benavidez, MD, MPP
      Pediatric Cardiology
  • Kateri McGuinness, NP
      Pediatric Cardiology
  • Meaghan Alexander, MS, RD, LDN, CNSC
      Clinical Nutrition Specialist
  • Katia Canenguez, EdM,MA
      Pediatric Behavioral Psychologist
  • Katie Garneau, MS, MA, CHES
       Health Coach
  • Sonia Vivas
       Clinic Medical Assistant
  • Preventive Cardiology and Metabolic Clinic

    Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of disease and death in adults. The risk factors that lead to these diseases start in childhood and include abnormal cholesterol, increased weight, hypertension, poor sleep habits, and high-risk lifestyles like lack of exercise, tobacco smoking etc.

    It is therefore extremely important to encourage a healthy lifestyle in our children. The goal of Raising Healthy Hearts Program is to help children and families who are facing challenges and health conditions related to weight or abnormal cholesterol levels or have a family history of heart disease.  Our multidisciplinary team includes cardiologists, metabolic expert, nutritionist, behavioral psychologist, health coach and other health care professionals. They take a comprehensive approach to prevent and slow the progression of cardiovascular and metabolic risk factors in high risk patients.

    Our team will work with you to improve the diets and lifestyles of the children and to create individualized programs for each child to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.  It is our responsibility to give them the best start for a healthy future.

    Criteria for Referral

    • All patients ≤ 18 years of age with any of the following conditions. 
    • BMI > 85th percentile for age.
    • Dyslipidemia
      • Non fasting non-HDL> 145 mg/dl
      • Fasting Total cholesterol > 200 mg/dl
      • Fasting LDL-C >130 mg/dl
      • Fasting Triglycerides > 150 mg/dk
      • HDL < 40 mg/dl
    • Genetic Dyslipidemias such as:
      • Heterozygous/Homozygous familial hyperlipidemia
      • Severe polygenic hypercholesterolemia
      • Familial combined hyperlipidemia.
    • Hypertension
      • Blood pressure > 90th percentile for age, gender and height.
    • Family history of early onset cardiovascular disease in first degree relatives.
    • Sleep related issues like obstructive sleep apnea.

    Initial consultation will include the following:

    • Detailed clinical history and focused physical examination.
    • Thorough individual risk factor evaluation.
    • Detailed assessment of family history of cardiovascular/metabolic disease and lipid abnormalities.
    • Paper work for initial lab work will be mailed to the family prior to the visit so that results are available at the time of evaluation.
    • Imaging studies, if indicated.
    • Nutritional assessment
    • Meeting with the cardiologist, metabolic expert and heath coach.
    • Psychological assessment if indicated.

    Treatment Plan

    • Lifestyle changes
    • Non-pharmacological approach to dyslipidemia
    • Initiation of lipid-lowering medications if indicated.
    • Nutritional prescription.
    • Exercise prescription
    • Close follow-up plan with the Health coach.
    • Behavioral psychological evaluation if indicated.

    Follow-up Plan

    • Close and regular follow-up with physician.
    • Close and regular follow-up with nutritionist.
    • Both out-patient clinic and community follow-up with the Health Coach to ensure steady progress towards exercise goals and best use of available resources in the community.
    • Close and regular follow-up with the behavioral psychologist, if indicated.

    To refer patients, please call 617-726-6384

    Dyslipidemia: abnormal cholesterol levels.

    Hypertension: elevated blood pressure.

    Obesity

    Obesity increases the risk for many diseases, especially heart disease, stroke, cancer, and diabetes.

    Raising Healthy Hearts

    Yawkey Center for Outpatient Care
    32 Fruit Street
    6th floor, Suite D
    Boston, MA 02421

    Phone: 617-726-3826
    Fax: 617-643-9643

    Public Transportation Access: yes
    Disabled Access: yes

    Next Steps:

    • 617-726-3826
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