Our vision in the Department of Pediatrics of Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin is to be a vital, inclusive health ecosystem that will help make Austin a model healthy city and improve the lives of children throughout Central Texas.
We will achieve our vision by uncompromisingly developing clinical and educational resources for children, by conducting novel research into the causes and treatments for pediatric diseases, and by reaching out throughout the community to serve as expert resources, thought leaders, and advocates for children in need.
When we consider the challenges of health care, we know that we must not only develop new strategies for treating difficult problems such as extreme prematurity, asthma, and epilepsy, but also focus on making all of our children healthier through support of good nutrition, exercise at home and in schools, and on-time, complete vaccination for all children. If we only focus on very ill children then we are not doing all we can to change the face of health and create a department that serves all children and changes the way future generations become and stay healthy.
We must encourage and develop programs to help children who are overweight or obese and face the often severe health consequences of this problem. In addition, we must also focus our efforts on obesity prevention. We know that good nutrition is the cornerstone of strong school performance and long-term health. We must develop and implement evidence-based effective programs to prevent overweight and obesity beginning in early childhood. To do this, we must change the food and physical environment in which our children live, learn, and play.