Countdown to a Healthy ME

About Pediatric Weight and Wellness Program

Carrying extra weight can put a child at risk for developing specific health problems. Many children in America are carrying more weight than is healthy and if your child is too, you are not alone.

At the Countdown to a Healthy ME Program, our goal is to protect the health of children as they grow. We guide families one step at a time as they develop healthy habits that we hope will last a lifetime. We strive to be positive and encouraging, and we want all of our patients to feel great about the progress they make!

Who Countdown is For

We welcome any family who is concerned about their child’s weight and health, from infancy through the teenage years. We focus on children who have a body mass index (BMI), a marker that relates weight to height, greater than the 85th percentile. This calculation is how the American Academy of Pediatrics defines “overweight”. Many of the children we work with have a BMI greater than the 95th percentile. Our program is also designed for children who may already have medical problems because of their weight.

We feel that families do best when they work together. For this reason, we invite all members of the family to our visits.

Our Countdown Team

Our team includes pediatricians with experience in primary care, hormone problems, high blood pressure and sleep disturbance, as well as social workers and dietitians.

Carrie Gordon, MD – Pediatric Nephrology
Pamela Dietz, MD - Pediatrics
Michael Dedekian, MD – Pediatric Endocrinology

What to Expect

At the first visit you will meet with a doctor or a dietitian. At follow-up visits, over time, you will meet with at least three different team members, including a doctor, dietitian, and a social worker. You will continue to work with whichever team members have the expertise to best help you meet your needs. Most families come monthly, others less often.

Follow Up Visits

Specialist Follow-up: Our providers have special expertise in caring for children and adolescents with extra weight and the health problems that may result including diabetes, problems with puberty, high cholesterol and liver disease.

Nutrition Follow-up: We help families learn which foods are best to avoid and which are best to enjoy. Families set realistic goals for healthy food choices, portion size and healthy eating habits.

Behavioral Guidance: Our philosophy is that emotions and behaviors have a lot to do with what we eat. Our social workers help families improve behaviors, set limits, give positive encouragement and improve self-esteem.

Exercise Prescriptions: One-on-one visits with our community partners in physical therapy or at the YMCA are encouraged. We work with many YMCA's in Southern and Central Maine.