The professionals at the Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity include experts in medicine, psychology, nutrition and physical fitness from Dell Children's Medical Center, University of Texas Southwestern Austin Programs, University of Texas at Austin, and the Texas Child Study Center. They are dedicated to reversing the childhood obesity epidemic facing Central Texas today.
Stephen J. Pont, MD, MPH, FAAPStephen Pont, MD, MPH, FAAP
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics
Medical Director, Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity
Medical Director, Austin ISD Student Health Services
UT Southwestern, Austin - Department of Pediatrics
UT Austin - Department of Advertising
Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas
Dr. Pont is a general pediatrician and is the medical director for the Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity, Dell Children's Medical Center's tertiary care pediatric weight management center. The Center seeks to empower families to lead healthy, happy lives through addressing four key pillars, clinical, education, advocacy and research (CLEAR), over four levels of impact: individual/family, community/city, state and national. The Center includes a bilingual tertiary care pediatric weight management clinic ACES (Activating Children Empowering Success) , a 10-week family based group program Healthy Living Happy Living, and teen group programs in addition to education, advocacy and research activities. Dr. Pont serves on a team with the UT-School of Public Health/Dell Center for Healthy Living and the USDA/Baylor College of Medicine that has been awarded a $6.3 million CDC grant to fund a demonstration project regarding childhood obesity that will link primary care offices, schools, recreation centers/YMCAs, and community-based interventions focusing on childhood obesity in Houston and Austin.
Dr. Pont also serves as the medical director for Austin Independent School District's Student Health Services, whose Dell Children's employed staff provides student health services for the district's nearly 90,000 students and 110 campuses. Dr. Pont is a member and regular attendee of AISD's School Health Advisory Council and would love to talk with you there on the first Wednesday of the month at the AISD Board Room 6:30-8pm. He is an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics with UT-Southwestern, Austin Programs and received a BA from the University of Texas at Austin, which included a semester of study at the University of Costa Rica, MD from UT-Southwestern, pediatric residency at Arkansas Children's Hospital, and completed an academic general pediatrics/Master of Public Health fellowship at Vanderbilt University. Dr. Pont works at the individual, community, state and national levels to reverse the childhood obesity epidemic, with many organizations including Children's Optimal Health, Marathon Kids, the Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas Department of Agriculture, National Association of Children's Hospitals and Related Institutions' (NACHRI), and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). Dr. Pont currently serves as Chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Provisional Section on Obesity.
Dr. Pont is fluent in Spanish and regularly utilizes print, radio and TV media to spread health messages to English and Spanish speaking families in Austin and across Texas. He enjoys playing basketball and the guitar, travelling, and practicing Bakido karate with his sons. He also enjoys travelling annually with a group from his church for a weeklong mission trip to a children's home and rural school near Guatemala City, Guatemala. Dr. Pont struggled with his weight as a child and so from a personal level also understands the need, importance, and challenge of making healthy choices daily to maintain good health. He looks forward to working to empower you with the tools so that you too may live a healthy happy life.
Caron Farrell, MD, PhD, FAAP
Dr. Farrell is one of the two pediatricians for the ACES clinic. Dr. Farrell received her bachelor's degree in chemical engineering from The University of Texas at Austin. She went on to receive a master's degree and PhD in molecular bioengineering from the University of Illinois, and an MD from Yale University School of Medicine. She completed her residency and fellowship training at Indiana University in pediatrics, adult psychiatry, and child and adolescent psychiatry. She is board certified in both psychiatry and pediatrics. Dr. Farrell became a member of the ACES team in March 2012. As your pediatrician, she will provide a medical evaluation and help to coordinate your care with the ACES clinic team.
Jane Simpson Gray, PhD
Director of Behavioral Health, Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity
Director of Psychology Training, Texas Child Study Center
Clinical Assistant Professor, UT-Austin Department of Educational Psychology
Dr. Jane Simpson Gray is a psychologist, the Director of Psychology Training at the Texas Child Study Center, and a clinical assistant professor in the Educational Psychology department at The University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Gray received her doctorate in school psychology from The University of Texas at Austin. She completed a pre-doctoral internship at the Children's Hospital Boston and postdoctoral fellowship at Judge Baker Children's Center, Harvard Medical School.
Dr. Gray is the Director of Behavioral Health at the Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity, an active member of the Obesity Special Interest Group of the Society for Pediatric Psychology, and along with other TCPTCO providers is active in the Children's Hospital Association's Focus on a Fitter Future group, a national focus group of 25 obesity programs. Dr. Gray has developed and implemented novel behavioral approaches for youth and their families as they work together to achieve a healthier weight and lifestyle, including an adolescent group program called Teens Empowered for Exercise and Nutrition (TEEN) program. Dr. Gray also trains future mental health professionals to work effectively with youth and families struggling with obesity.
Lauren Oliver, MS, RD, LDClinical Dietitian Senior, Activating Children Empowering Success (ACES) Clinic
Registered Dietitian, Healthy Living, Happy Living/Vida Sana, Vida Feliz Program
Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity
Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas
Lauren Oliver is the Registered Dietitian for the Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity. She leads the nutrition sections of Healthy Living, Happy Living / Vida Sana, Vida Feliz program, a 10-week multidisciplinary intervention aimed at helping families achieve healthy lifestyle changes. Lauren also serves as the Clinical Dietitian for the ACES Clinic, a multidisciplinary family-based weight management clinic at Dell Children's Medical Center, and the ACES teen cooking class.
Originally from Texas, Lauren completed undergraduate degrees in nutrition and a liberal arts honors program at the University of Texas at Austin. She earned her master's degree in nutrition at Tufts University's Friedman School of Nutrition Science and Policy, in coordination with a dietetic internship at Tufts-New England Medical Center. At the completion of her internship, she was awarded the Rebecca Roubenoff Award for excellence in clinical dietetics.
Lauren brings her experience from serving as Clinical Dietitian and Program Coordinator for the Nutrition & Fitness for Life Program, a multidisciplinary family-based weight management clinic at Boston Medical Center. As an active member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, Lauren has earned the Pediatric and Adolescent Weight Management Certification and has contributed to multiple nutrition and health-focused publications.
Lauren also brings her expertise and interest in client-centered counseling methods, feeding dynamics, and environmentally and socially responsible food systems. She enjoys planning, cooking, and sharing meals with friends and family, and she hopes to inspire and empower families to also enjoy preparing and sharing nourishing food.
Sandra Lopez, RN, MSN, CDE
Nurse Program Coordinator, ACES Clinic,
Texas Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Childhood Obesity
Sandra Lopez serves as the nurse coordinator for the ACES Clinic. She earned her bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Texas at Austin and a master of science in nursing from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio.
Sandra has 21 years of experience in pediatric nursing, as a general staff nurse, a public health nurse, and as a nurse program coordinator in the Specialty Care Center at Dell Children’s Medical Center. As a Certified Diabetes Educator (CDE), she also provides diabetes education to newly diagnosed patients and their families at Dell Children’s Medical Center.
Originally from Kerrville, Texas, Sandra is bilingual, and with her husband, enjoys keeping her two boys active in swimming, soccer, karate, and basketball.
Michele Pierson, MA, LMSW
Licensed Social Worker, Activating Children and Empowering Success (ACES) Clinic,
Healthy Living, Happy Living/ Vida Sana, Vida Feliz Program
Michele Pierson serves as social worker for the ACES clinic as well as the Healthy Living, Happy Living/ Vida Sana, Vida Feliz Program. Michele graduated from the University of Colorado at Boulder with a bachelor's degree in psychology. She received a master of arts in bilingual education at Columbia University in New York, and then went on to earn her master’s degree in social work in the graduate school of social work at Boston College. From her previous work as an outpatient therapist in both school and community settings, Michele brings her experience providing therapeutic services and case management to youth and families. Her passion is working with youth and getting outdoors on the weekends.
Ashley Delano, PT
Pediatric Physical Therapist, Activating Children Empowering Success (ACES) clinic,
Dell Children's Medical Center of Central Texas, Rehabilitation Department
Ashley Delano is the physical therapist and physical activity expert for the ACES clinic. Ashley received a bachelor's degree in human development and family sciences from The University of Texas at Austin. She went on to receive a master's degree in physical therapy from Angelo State University and is currently pursuing her doctorate degree in physical therapy at Texas Women's University.
Ashley specializes in pediatric physical therapy including orthopedic, sports medicine, developmental and McKenzie Mechanical Diagnosis and Therapy for back pain methods. As a member of the American Physical Therapy Association, she stays current on physical therapy literature and treatments.
Stephanie Sauceda is the Patient Access Representative and Department Assistant for the ACES clinic. Stephanie received her bachelor's degree in Communications from Baylor University in Waco. She has been a member of the ACES team since February 2011. As your Patient Access Representative, Stephanie will assist you with any questions regarding scheduling, registration, insurance coverage and financial responsibility. Stephanie can be reached at (512) 324-9999, ext. 86437 or firstname.lastname@example.org.