International Coalition to Improve Training in Obesity Care2021-09-27T16:47:38-04:00

International Coalition to improve training in obesity care.

Globally, healthcare providers play a vital role in the prevention and management of obesity, but are inadequately educated on obesity management. Given the high prevalence of obesity and its role in chronic diseases, innovative educational programs are needed throughout the healthcare system to improve knowledge and competencies in preventing and treating patients with obesity. Our international coalition to improve training in obesity prevention and management was formed in an effort to change educational standards and help educators navigate the challenges and roadblocks involved with developing and implementing an obesity curriculum.

Coalition members meet monthly to connect and network with colleagues with similar interests, share about initiatives they are working on, share existing tools and resources, and collaborate on initiatives

Vision: All health professionals are comfortable and well trained in engaging in person-centered obesity prevention and management in a way that is respectful and avoids stigma.

Mission: Our mission is to lead an international coalition of medical educators, clinicians, researchers, policy makers and persons with lived experience, to establish strong partnerships and knowledge dissemination channels for expansion and implementation of effective, tools and resources including advocating for changes in educational accreditation and licensure standards by 2030.

Interested in joining the coalition?

Email Melanie Heatherington, Program Coordinator at mnoakes@ualberta.ca

Denise Campbell-Scherer
Denise Campbell-SchererMD, PhD, CCFP, FCFP
Dr. Campbell-Scherer is a professor in the Department of Family Medicine and a family physician with clinical and research interests in evidence-based clinical practice and implementation science. She completed her residency in family medicine at McMaster University, then worked as a rural family physician prior to spending five years on faculty at the University of Michigan. She joined the Faculty of Medicine & Dentistry at the University of Alberta in 2009 and became the associate dean of the Office of Lifelong Learning and Physician Learning Program in 2017. She also leads an interdisciplinary research team – The 5As Team Program – which focuses on improving primary care for people living with obesity. Dr. Campbell-Scherer served on the Executive Committee for the new Clinical Practice Guidelines for Adult Obesity and co-authored the chapter on Primary Care and Primary healthcare.
Arya Sharma
Arya SharmaMD, DSc (hc), FRCPC
Dr. Sharma was recruited from the Humboldt University, Berlin, Germany in 2002, to a Canada Research Chair (Tier1) in Cardiovascular Obesity and Management at McMaster University. In 2007 he accepted a position as Professor and Chair in Obesity Research and Management at the University of Alberta, where he is also the Medical Co-Director of the Alberta Health Services Provincial Obesity Program. In 2005, he spearheaded the launch of the Canadian Obesity Network (now Obesity Canada), which has remarkably transformed the landscape of obesity research and management in Canada. His research focuses on an evidence-based approach to managing patients living with obesity and includes the development of the Edmonton Obesity Staging System.
Melanie Heatherington
Melanie HeatheringtonMEd
Ms. Heatherington is an Education Specialist with the Office of Lifelong Learning and the Physician Learning Program at the University of Alberta. She also works as a study coordinator for the 5As Team Program with Dr. Denise Campbell-Scherer and helps coordinate the 5As Team training programs for interdisciplinary healthcare providers. She graduated from the University of Alberta with a Master’s degree in Educational Psychology, specializing in psychological assessment. She then turned her attention towards community based research with a focus on improving quality of life and health for vulnerable populations.
Michael Piccinini Vallis
Michael Piccinini VallisPhD, R. Psych
Dr. Vallis is a registered health psychologist based in Halifax, Canada. He is a Health Behaviour Change Consultant and Associate Professor in Family Medicine at Dalhousie University. His main area of expertise is adult health psychology, with an emphasis on obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular risk and gastroenterology. He has worked in the public health system for 35 years, where he developed the Behaviour Change Institute, and is now working as a consultant and doing private practice. He regularly supervises clinical and academic students at Dalhousie and is active in research on motivation, behavioural change and adaptation to chronic disease.

Click below to read more on the initiatives the coalition is working on:

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