What is the origin of this innovation? Tell us your story.
I was watching the Today Show prior to Christmas a few years ago and they were featuring the DDR games. Meanwhile, I was learning how to do studies in youth with early onset schizophrenia spectrum disorders and as a physician was concerned about the weight gain I observed week by week. Kids were gaining about a pound a week and I wondered if DDR may be able to fight this additionally stigmatizing adverse effect of my prescribed medications. I asked my mentor if she could purchase a set and try it on her kids That worked and we went on to do focus groups and pilot work. From there, with much help in competing for grants, we went on to economically do two pilot studies in NC and one in Maine to test the feasibility of the dance games in various settings. We continue to absorb all we can about what works and does not work in prevention and treatment of pediatric obesity.
I work as a consultant to a teaching hospital clinic for obese youth and watch them struggle to perform basics like sit ups, step testing and baseline activity for our program. This is a very difficult thing to observe, the youth who are in such poor health at such young ages, so confused and scared by their comorbid conditions and diagnoses. We really have to shift to more prevention and more action when weight is climbing quickly, since taking weight off is very difficult.
Please provide a personal bio. Note this may be used in Changemakers marketing material
Ann Maloney, MD is a Clinician Scientist jointly appointed to the Departments of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at Maine Medical Center. As a researcher in the Child and Adolescent Division, she completed NIH funded fellowships in research of neurodevelopmental disorders and treatments. Her psychobiological research experiences uniquely qualify her to run studies of vulenerable youth. Her key interest area is pediatric obesity prevention and treatment and consequences of obese status.
How did you hear about this contest and what is your main incentive to participate? (this is confidential)
1--Chinwe Onyekere, 2, 3,4, 5--Ben Sawyer, RWJ Foundation, 6, CDC this summer and multiple list serves and e mail reminders. I have judged for the last G4H contest and will judge for Ruckus Nation, so I am disqualified from entering them.
Incentives--I need resources to get to the next, much more effective place in my career. Peer reviewed papers and resources to do studies are necessary so that I can launch my Exergaming studies with passion.
With proper mentoring and a patient referral pool, I am confident that I can be a good return on investment for Changemakers and RWJ. I look for guidance in multidisciplinary ways. I am prepared to travel, call parents the night before their child is to have fasting labs at school, talk to the PTA and administrators, press, etc about the obesity epidemic and our chance to make an impact. Mostly, however, I must focus on the academic pursuit of new knowledge and do this is the traditional study designs.