About This Program
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 the 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
- 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.
- 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
What to Expect
Your 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.
Your treatment plan will include:
- 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
Your follow-up plan will include:
- 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
Meet the Team
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.
- Lorraine Marasco Schratz, MD
Director, Raising Healthy Hearts Program
- Elsie Taveras, MD, MPH
Co-Director, Raising Healthy Hearts Program
Pediatric Obesity Specialist
- Oscar Benavidez, MD, MPP
Chief, Division of Pediatric-Congenital Cardiology
- Kateri McGuinness, NP
Pediatric Cardiac Nurse Practitioner
- Nancy Hagberg, FNP
Pediatric Cardiac Nurse Practitioner
- Katia Canenguez, PhD, EdM
Pediatric Behavioral Psychologist
- Kaitlin Shruhan, MAS, RD, LDN, CNSC
Welcome to Raising Healthy Hearts!
Learn more about our lifestyle medicine program and meet our care team, which includes a doctor for children, nurse practitioners, registered dieticians and a behavioral psychologist.