Pediatric Metabolic Health Program

Nationwide, there is a tremendous rise in children being affected by a disease known as Metabolic Syndrome (abbreviated MetS). MetS is defined as having any/all of the following 4 problems:

  1. Increased waist circumference
  2. Abnormal blood lipid levels (i.e., elevated triglycerides in comparison to HDL in blood)
  3. Abnormal blood sugar response
  4. High blood pressure

Once practically unheard-of affecting children, MetS now afflicts at least 1 out of every 4 teenagers in the U.S.  It is primarily driven by their bodies' gradually becoming resistant to the effects of various life-sustaining hormones like insulin. Having MetS increases the risk of several chronic problems including cardiovascular, kidney, gastrointestinal and liver disease, Type 2 diabetes, arthritis, mental health illness, stroke, and cancer. MetS is one of the leading reasons that today's children are expected to have a shortened life expectancy, compared to their parents. MetS unfortunately, disproportionately affects the children of specific ethnic groups and those from disadvantaged socioeconomic environments, especially Indigenous populations.

Witnessing the dangers associated with the growing epidemic of MetS amongst children in our community, a group of pediatric healthcare providers at Swedish decided to build a team-based, multidisciplinary approach to help children and families. The Resilience™ program, offered exclusively at Swedish Pediatric Specialty Care was specifically created to reverse the epidemic of MetS in our region and beyond.

Our team of specialized pediatric physicians, nurses, dietitians, health coaches, and feeding specialists is determined and dedicated to strategically deliver a comprehensive care plan to children. The hope is to inspire and engage families through preventative care, specialty referrals, and community resources. This extremely motivated, and inspired team knows from their combined decades of experience, how MetS can be best treated through early identification. Their experience has also shown them that in childhood, MetS is not only reversible, but preventable, especially with early, integrative, targeted interventions focused on diet and lifestyle.

If your child has been referred to the Resilience™ program offered at Swedish Pediatric Specialty Care, we look forward to helping you and your pediatrician by doing a carefully guided, full assessment, followed by innovative and specific recommendations for treatment with diet and lifestyle changes.

Meet the Team

  • Alicia Essers, SLP:  feeding therapist
  • Allison Laroche, MD, MPH, FAAP: pediatric endocrinologist
  • Leslie Lee, MS, RD: pediatric dietitian
  • Kathleen McIntosh, RN, BSN: nurse
  • Uma Pisharody, MD, FAAP: pediatric gastroenterologist
  • Kristen Shane, RN, BSN, FMCHC: nurse and functional medicine-certified health coach