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Ashley Weedn, MD
Clinical Assistant Professor
University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center

Ashley Weedn, MD, MPH, FAAP, a board-certified pediatrician, is an Assistant Professor in the Section of General and Community Pediatrics at OUHSC.  She earned her medical degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine in 2005 and completed a pediatrics residency at Arkansas Children’s Hospital in 2009.  She joined the Department of Pediatrics in January 2010 as the first General Academic Pediatrics Fellow.  During her fellowship, she obtained a Masters in Public Health at OU College of Public Health in 2012.

Her clinical and research interests are in childhood obesity.  She is the lead investigator for several pediatric obesity projects and recently received the Academic Pediatric Association Young Investigator Award for her research on disparities in childhood obesity in Oklahoma. In addition to her research activities, Dr. Weedn also serves as the Medical Director of the OU pediatric multidisciplinary weight management clinic.  She co-chairs the national obesity committee of the Academic Pediatric Association. She also founded and chairs the Obesity Committee through the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Through this committee, she works with pediatricians across the state to address childhood obesity, including developing and distributing a toolkit for primary care providers on childhood obesity assessment and management.

An interview with Dr. Ashley Weedn reveals the importance of primary care providers as the “front” line” of the obesity epidemic. A new tool *hyperlink to the flip chart will help physicians start a conversation with young patients to reduce the risk of developing preventable chronic disease.

Why do you feel the flip chart is important for physicians and patients?

With over one-third of Oklahoma children who are overweight or obese, primary care providers are on the “front lines” of the obesity epidemic.  Studies indicate that the majority of children do not “outgrow” obesity, and obese children are more likely to develop chronic disease; therefore, early prevention and management of obesity by primary care physicians are crucial.  The flip chart serves as a guide for clinicians by providing an overview of the Expert Committee Recommendations on obesity management released in 2007 by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Who is responsible for the creation of the flip chart?

The Obesity Committee of the Oklahoma Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (OKAAP).

What do you envision as being the primary outcome from physicians using the flipchart?

Prior to the development of the flipchart, the OKAAP surveyed their members on attitudes and physician practices related to childhood obesity.  The survey indicated that physicians would like resources to better manage obesity in their practice.  We developed the flipchart to provide a resource to primary care providers, including the AAP’s recommendation for staged management of childhood obesity, patient nutrition information, and coding information.   Our primary goal is to raise awareness of the need for clinical intervention in addressing childhood obesity and to provide education on evidence-based recommended practices by the AAP. 

 Download the Physician's Flip Chart Here!

What continuing education is in place to assist physicians with utilizing the flip chart?

The OKAAP Obesity Committee is working with the Oklahoma Pediatric Wellness Center to develop continuing education opportunities for primary care providers. 

What expectations do you have for physicians who receive the flip chart?

Studies indicate that primary care providers do not consistently screen and address childhood overweight and obesity at well child checks due to lack of time, resources, reimbursement, training, and parent/patient motivation to make lifestyle changes.  The flipchart is a resource that addresses several barriers by providing clinicians with information on how to screen for obesity and conditions associated with obesity, coding information, and motivational interviewing.  The goal is for primary care physicians to screen for overweight and obesity, diagnose co-morbidities, and have a conversation with the parents regarding behavior change utilizing motivational interviewing techniques.