"My mission is to equip families with the tools to sustain a healthy lifestyle by giving them unique step-by-step instructions that can be tailored to different family dynamics."
I am a General Pediatrician who has encountered the obesity epidemic first hand through direct encounters with my patients. I noticed that I was seeing an increasing rate of elevated BMIs in my practice which prompted excessive patient counseling on diet and exercise. I later generated a clinic report on the weight trends in my practice. To my surprise, greater than 75% of my patients were in the overweight and obese range combined! This ignited my Step Up initiative.
Obesity Medicine wasn't something that was a discipline to study at the time of my residency and early years of practice. So, I decided to take the time to learn what was (and wasn't) working for my patient population. Initially, the common trend was me telling the family to eat healthier only for them to return to the clinic with more weight gain! It took years to figure out that I couldn't just tell someone to lose weight or eat healthily and exercise; I had to give them a different set of tools to use and show them how to use it in "small bites" (no pun intended) each step of the way. I finally figured out the type of hand-holding that they needed to allow for consistent behavior change for the entire family (not just the child).
Now that I have mastered what works (and what doesn't), I plan to share these tools with as many families as possible.
Dr. Hardy received her undergraduate degree in Natural Science at Fordham University, New York, N.Y. in 1997. After her undergraduate education, she worked in a molecular genetics research lab on the Human Genome Project at Columbia University. She later decided to pursue a career in medicine and received her medical degree at the Health Science Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. in 2004. After medical school, she moved to Winston Salem, NC to complete her residency at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center in 2007.
When she is not working as a Pediatric Hospitalist in Virginia, she is teaching families, through webinars and educational videos, about how to implement a healthier lifestyle. She also serves as a consultant for start-up practices that are new to the field of Obesity Medicine.
Licensure and Board Certification:
Diplomat of American Board of Pediatrics
Memberships, Offices and Committee Appointments:
Member of the Obesity Medicine Association
Fellow of American Academy of Pediatrics-Section On Obesity