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Pediatrics Wellness Program receives $47,000 grant from the Oklahoma City Community Foundation

Wednesday, July 29, 2015 - Campus News -

Oklahoma City – The Oklahoma City Community Foundation’s Wellness Initiative Program has presented a $47,000 grant to the University of Oklahoma Department of Pediatrics, Section of General and Community Pediatrics, to offer community-based initiatives to address childhood obesity.  

The grant will be used to assist in funding a family-based obesity intervention pilot program between three partners: the OU Medicine Oklahoma Pediatrics Wellness Program, the Edward L. Gaylord Downtown YMCA and the Children’s Hospital Foundation.

The intervention program will provide children ages six to 12 years and their families, weekly group lessons on age-appropriate and evidence-based nutrition and activity recommendations over a period of 12 weeks. Eligible children will have a BMI ≥ 95th percentile for their age and gender, classifying them in the obese range, and must have at least one parent or legal caregiver who can participate in the program with their child for the duration of the program. 

Participants will be recruited from the network of Oklahoma City metro area primary care providers who refer to OU Children’s Physicians Healthy Futures, a weight management clinic. Four to six intervention groups will run from September 2015 to June 2016. 

The effectiveness of the program will be assessed on changes in health indicators including weight, body mass index, blood pressure and laboratory measures as well as quality of life. The goal of the pilot program is to test the feasibility and outcomes of a community-based behavioral intervention program for pediatric obesity.  

The OU Medicine Oklahoma Pediatric Wellness Program and OU Children’s Physicians Healthy Futures Weight Management Clinic are outreach and clinical initiatives to address pediatric obesity within the OU College of Medicine Department of Pediatrics. The Healthy Futures Clinic, founded in 2012, is a specialty referral clinic that provides multidisciplinary care for obese children and their families to assist them in achieving a healthier lifestyle.  Ashley Weedn, M.D., M.P.H., pediatrician, and Stephen Gillaspy, Ph.D., pediatric psychologist, co-direct the Pediatric Wellness Program and the Healthy Futures Clinic.  

“We are so pleased to have received this grant,” Gillaspy said. “This program will allow us to reach twice as many families to provide them with resources and support to improve their child’s health. We appreciate the support of the Oklahoma City Community Foundation.”

The program will be based on the “Healthy Hawks” curriculum, which was developed by Ann Davis, Ph.D., M.P.H., at the University of Kansas Medical Center (KUMC). Healthy Hawks is a 12-week family-based group program that provides education on nutrition, activity, and behavioral principles to assist in achieving a healthier lifestyle.  The program will be directed under Marilyn Sampilo, Ph.D., a pediatric psychology fellow, who has extensive experience with the curriculum and group-based program from her previous training with Davis at KUMC. 

Sampilo, Gillaspy and Weedn will partner with the Edward L. Gaylord Downtown YMCA to provide the pilot program for metro families with the long-term goal of implementing this program throughout the metro. 

“The Oklahoma City Community Foundation funding will provide an opportunity for clinical and community organizations to work together by increasing access to obesity intervention programs for children and families in Oklahoma,” Weedn said.

OU Medicine combines the research, education and health care expertise of OU Medical Center, The Children’s Hospital, OU Physicians and the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine to establish Oklahoma’s largest and most comprehensive health care system. With more than 600 doctors, OU Physicians/OU Children’s Physicians is the state’s largest physician group, encompassing almost every adult and child specialty. OU Physicians serve as faculty at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine and train the region’s future physicians. 

Founded in 1969, the Oklahoma City Community Foundation is a 501(c)(3) public charity that works with donors to create charitable funds that will benefit our community both now and in the future. For more information about the Oklahoma City Community Foundation, visit

The Y is one of the nation’s leading nonprofits strengthening communities through youth development, healthy living and social responsibility. Across the Oklahoma City Metro, 13 Ys engage more than 160,000 men, women and children – regardless of age, income or background – to nurture the potential of children and teens, improve the nation’s health and well-being, and provide opportunities to give back and support neighbors. Anchored in more than 10,000 communities across the country, the Y has the long-standing relationships and physical presence not just to promise, but to deliver, lasting personal and social change.

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