September 30, 2016 | Patient Stories
Mountain Park wants all patients—especially our youngest ones—to live long and healthy lives.
Childhood obesity is something parents often underestimate, but we know it can be a reality for many of our youngest patients. In the last 30 years, childhood obesity has more than doubled in children and quadrupled in adolescents*. Healthcare providers worry because they know that both short and long-term effects, such as an increased risk of cardiovascular disease, pre-diabetes, sleep apnea, and social and psychological problems go hand-in-hand with obesity.
At Mountain Park, we turn that worry into action. With our integrated services under one roof, we are able to give our children all-inclusive care while adapting to their individual needs.
Thanks to our many initiatives to keep our children healthy, such as our All Kids Can Club, on-site Farmer’s Markets and individual time with our Registered Dietitians and Behavioral Health Consultants, we are able to serve Arizona’s children at a rate that is 42 percent higher than the current state average*.
Providing Accessible Options for Healthy Families
Our All Kids Can Camp is a series of weekly classes for patients four to 13-years old which focuses on important health topics such as limiting sugar and learning about different types of fat.
Each hour-long session starts with a 20 minute family nutrition lecture where both children and parents participate and learn about the topic of the day.
Baseline patient Eva Ramirez brings her two children, Sofia and Jose to our Maryvale Clinic for the camp and has seen a huge improvement in her children. Watch the kids in action!
“The class was recommended to us because my daughter Sophia was starting to develop diabetes and neither her doctor nor I wanted that,” Eva told us. “The class has helped us a lot. She doesn’t want to eat sweet cereals anymore… she’ll say ‘mom, this one because it doesn’t have a lot of sugar and it won’t harm me and I won’t get sick.’ What she’s learned from All Kids Can has influenced her brother and the rest of us at home, too.”
Eva has gained a lot of knowledge about portion control and choosing healthy options for her whole family.
“The nutritionist always gives us ideas on how to choose healthier foods, like giving them whole grains and fruit,” she explained. “We’ve seen lots of benefits because they are learning to eat healthier. Now that we are taking these classes and coming to this clinic I’m noticing a change, especially in my daughter.”
After the family- focused lecture with our Registered Dietitian, the parents talk with a Behavioral Health Consultant about the importance of incorporating a healthy routine at home. During that time, the children stay with our Registered Dietitians and take part in a 20-minute exercise program that includes running, jumping jacks, sit ups, squats and more.
Sofia loves pushups while her brother prefers jumping jacks.
On-site Registered Dietitians and Behavioral Health Consultants
Because of our on-site Integrated Health team that consists of Registered Dietitians, we are able to provide our three to 17-year old patients like Sophia nutrition counseling at a rate seven times higher than the state’s average*. Our doctors and nurses frequently depend on our Registered Dietitians to give our patients proper nutrition information and our Behavioral Health Consultants to suggest behavioral changes that should be made at home in order to keep the child healthy, both physically and mentally.
A Lifetime of Health
We start educating our patients about health early by bringing young children in for well child visits to encourage a lifetime of healthy eating and good habits at a rate that is much higher than the state average*.
“At Mountain Park we take care of over 25,000 children. That’s a big responsibility and we take that responsibility very seriously. We do a lot of things to try to help kids stay healthy,” said Mountain Park CEO, Dr. John Swagert. “Many of us are parents ourselves and we know how important it is to make the best healthcare decisions for our children. We have all sorts of programs where we work with the whole family to keep kids healthy. We’d rather spend the extra effort and time keeping kids healthy than wait for them to get sick and fix all the problems that come along with an illness.”