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Nemours Granted First Accredited Pediatric Obesity Fellowship in U.S.
Program Underway at Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children
George Datto, MD
The Nemours Pediatric Obesity Fellowship has received a two-year provisional accreditation by the Academic Pediatric Association (APA). As such, the Nemours program is the first and only accredited pediatric obesity fellowship in the country. Division Chief of Weight Management George Datto, MD, is Fellowship Director; the first obesity fellow is Thao-Ly Phan MD.
Accredited obesity fellowship programs for adults exist at institutions such as Harvard and Duke, but Nemours is the first to receive accreditation status in pediatric obesity.
Thao-Ly Phan MD
Dr. Datto says the accreditation highlights the fact that childhood obesity is a complicated disease, not a failure of will power, and that it deserves to be studied and treated in an academic medical center. “Obesity is a condition that affects every organ system and overall mood and health. It needs to be examined and treated from that perspective.”
Nemours/Alfred I. duPont Hospital for Children Chairman of Pediatrics Jay Greenspan noted: “With our track record in prevention, treatment, advocacy, primary care and community health, Nemours was in the perfect position to establish this fellowship program and earn first-ever accreditation. Children who are obese or at risk need more than a weigh-in or an exercise plan. They need a medical home that coordinates services and offers the highest level of care.”
While Dr. Phan’s primary interest is in obesity treatment in the clinical setting, the program provides a well-rounded experience. As she serves her fellowship, Dr. Phan is concurrently earning a master of public health degree at Thomas Jefferson University and working with public health professionals at Nemours Health and Prevention Services. Future fellows may choose a career path focused on prevention and community health.
Dr. Datto added: “Nemours has a 25-year track record in pediatric weight management. We know that kids who stay in a medically supervised weight management program for a year or more are successful in lowering their BMI and that the sooner they engage in treatment, the better they do. Health systems need qualified, well trained people to meet the needs of an overweight population. Nemours is uniquely equipped to help train and launch those providers.”