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PERC hosts Exercise is Medicine in Child Health Outreach Project

Feb. 1, 2016 — PERC has assembled global leaders in child health exercise medicine, clinical care, research, and education to develop curriculum. The initiative is set to reshape how we train the next generation of child health professionals to prescribe and monitor prescriptive physical activity beginning in early childhood. This transformative program promises to do much to improve health over a lifetime.


ArmstrongNeil Armstrong, PhD

Professor, Pediatric Physiology and Former Provost, University of Exeter

Founder, Exeter Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre and the School of Sport and Health Sciences, Exeter, UK

Professor Armstrong graduated from Loughborough with BEd and MSc degrees and earned his PhD and higher doctorate (DSc) at Exeter. He has received honorary doctorates from Coimbra University in Portugal (ScD) and Brock University in Canada (LLD).  Professor Armstrong’s research won the first (and to date only) Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher Education to be awarded for research in sport and exercise medicine. Professor Armstrong has authored/edited 16 books, contributed over 350 book chapters and peer-reviewed papers and been invited to make keynote presentations to conferences in 44 countries. He is a Fellow of the British, European and American Colleges of Sport Medicine/Science and has served as chair or member of numerous international ‘expert committees’ focused on the promotion of children’s physical activity, sport, health and well-being. An active sportsman in his youth, Neil represented England at U15, U18, and University level and played professional football for 10 years. He remains a sad but optimistic supporter of Premier League Newcastle United despite the fact that they have not won a domestic trophy since 1955 and are currently involved in a relegation battle.


Dan M. Cooper, MDCooper

Professor, Pediatrics and Biomedical Engineering

Associate Vice Chancellor, Clinical and Translational Science

Director, UCI Institute for Clinical and Translational Science

UC Irvine School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Cooper recently completed service as Chair of Pediatrics at UC Irvine. He received his MD from the University of California, San Francisco in 1974 and completed his Pediatrics Training at NYU/Bellevue Medical Center. He went on to a 3-year fellowship in Pediatric Pulmonary Medicine under the mentorship of Dr. Robert Mellins at Babies Hospital, Columbia University. Dr. Cooper is currently the Principal Investigator of the UC Irvine NIH Clinical and Translational Science Award. As a pediatrician, pediatric pulmonologist, and former director of a busy pediatric intensive care unit, his career in research, teaching, and clinical care has been formed by working with children with diseases like asthma, cystic fibrosis, and lung disease of prematurity—all conditions in which chronic inflammation takes a terrible toll. His research has been focused on the mechanisms that link exercise, growth, and health in babies and children. Dr. Cooper founded the Pediatric Exercise Research Center (PERC) at UC Irvine in 2003. PERC is dedicated to uncovering biological mechanisms of exercise that can be used to improve lifelong health of children with chronic disease and disability using exercise-as-medicine.


Bareket Falk, PhDFalk

Professor, Brock University

Editor, Pediatric Exercise Science

Professor Falk is a pediatric exercise physiologist, currently at the Department of Kinesiology at Brock University. She received her PhD from McMaster University (1991) in Canada under the mentorship of Oded Bar-Or. She then worked as the Head of the Physiology unit and the acting director of the Research and Sports Medicine Center at the Wingate Institute in Israel. Her research has spanned various areas in pediatric exercise physiology, including thermoregulation, metabolism during and following exercise and the effects of physical activity and training on growing bone and on muscle function. She has performed her research in clinical and research settings. Her more recent areas of research include the effect of exercise and physical training on bone health and on neuro-muscular function during growth and maturation. She has taught numerous courses in pediatric exercise physiology and sports medicine at the undergraduate and graduate level. She is the current editor of Pediatric Exercise Science and has played an active role in the North American Society of Pediatric Exercise Medicine, as well as in the European Group of Pediatric Work Physiology.


R.L. Felipe Lobelo, MD PhD FAHALobelo

Director, Exercise is Medicine Global Research and Collaboration Center

Dr. Lobelo’s interests are in chronic disease prevention, physical activity, obesity and cardio-metabolic diseases in high and low-to-middle income countries. He has authored more than 60 peer-reviewed scientific publications and is a member of ACSM’s Exercise is Medicine Initiative advisory board, Directing their Global Research and Collaboration Center. Dr. Lobelo has a special interest in global health and health disparities in both non-communicable and infectious diseases. From 2008 to 2010 he served as an Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) officer at CDC and was involved in US and international epidemiological field investigations, having an active role in CDC's H1N1 response; investigating the outbreak abroad and serving as an official CDC media spokesperson for Hispanic/Latino populations. From 2010 to 2014, Dr Lobelo served as a Medical Epidemiologist at CDC’s National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion in their Office of the Director and their Diabetes Translation and Physical Activity groups.Dr. Lobelo believes in “practicing what you preach” and strongly advocates for doctors to become healthy role models for their patients and communities. He is an avid Soccer player, a member of the US Medical Soccer Team, the US representative in the Annual “World Cup for Doctors”. He also enjoys spending time in the outdoors with his wife, their son and their two dogs.


Blaise A. Nemeth, MD, MSNemeth

Liaison for the American Academy of Pediatrics

Dr. Nemeth is a member of the Executive Committee for the Council on Sports Medicine and Fitness.  He currently practices non-operative pediatric orthopedics and pediatric obesity management at American Family Children’s Hospital and is an Associate Professor (CHS) at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health in Madison, WI.  Dr. Nemeth's primary clinical, research and advocacy interests include mobility and physical activity in children and youth with special healthcare needs and the effects of physical activity on obesity.  He also collaborates with local, regional and national organizations on adaptive and Paralympic events for children.


Shlomit Radom-Aizik, PhDAizik

Executive Director, Pediatric Exercise and Genomics Research Center (PERC)

UC Irvine School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics

Dr. Aizik completed her PhD dissertation in the Functional Genomics Unit at Sheba Medical Center, Tel Aviv University and received her PhD degree in Physiology and Pharmacology from Tel Aviv University, Israel. Her research focus on the intersection of functional genomics, exercise physiology, and exercise immunology with the goal to uncover the molecular mechanisms of both acute and long-term health effects of exercise and training during childhood and adolescence on healthy children, and on children with chronic diseases and special needs. Since 2012 she is the director of UC Irvine Health Pediatric Exercise and Genomics Research Center working to advance pediatric exercise medicine through clinical and laboratory research using genomic and epigenetic approaches, and to promote and foster community partnerships to encourage physical activity in children.


Alan D. Rogol, MD, PhDRogol

Professor Rogol obtained his undergraduate degree in chemistry from MIT and then went south to Duke University where he obtained his MD and Ph.D (physiology). After training in pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins Hospital he did his fellowship in endocrinology at the Clinical Endocrinology Branch of the NIDDK at NIH. He began his academic career at the University of Virginia where he rose to the rank of Professor of Pediatrics and chief of the division of pediatric endocrinology. After 24 years full time at the University of Virginia, he became Chief Clinical Scientific Officer at a small pharmaceutical company, Insmed, Inc. Following three years there, he began his own company, ODR Consulting, as well as kept his clinical practice at The University of Virginia. In the part time mode he began a teaching post at Riley Children's Hospital at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis and was elected Secretary of the Lawson Wilkins Pediatric Endocrine Society, the largest group of pediatric endocrinologists in North American. He also was elected as one of the Vice-Presidents of the Endocrine Society. Along the way he has published more than 500 scientific reports in the fields of pediatric endocrinology, especially related to growth and adolescence, co-edited the International Olympic Committee's volume on the endocrinology of sport and training and been involved with the anti-doping (in sport) efforts of the World Anti-Doping Association and the United States Anti-doping Association.


Robert Sallis, MDSallis

Chair, ACSM Exercise is Medicine Global Health initiative 

Dr. Sallis is a family physician practicing at Kaiser Permanente Medical Center in Fontana, California.  He serves as co-director of their sports medicine fellowship and is a Clinical Professor of Family Medicine at the UC Riverside School of Medicine.  He is a Past-President of the American College of Sports Medicine and chairs the Exercise is Medicine Global Health initiative.  Dr. Sallis is the physician spokesperson for the Every Body Walk! Campaign and chaired the healthcare sector for the US Physical Activity Plan. He also serves as the head team physician at Pomona College.  Dr. Sallis received his Bachelor of Science degree from the U.S. Air Force Academy (where he played intercollegiate basketball) and his Medical Degree from Texas A&M University.  He is Board Certified in Family Medicine with a Certificate of Added Qualifications in Sports Medicine.


Bellinda K. Schoof, BSPH, MHA, CPHQSchoof

Director, Health of the Public and Science Division

American Academy of Family Physicians’ (AAFP)

With over 17 years at the AAFP, Ms. Schoof has extensive experience in development of evidence-based clinical practice guidelines, clinical preventive services, immunizations, practice-based research, grant management and public health initiatives. Ms. Schoof also serves as Staff Executive to the AAFP’s Commission on Health of the Public and Science. The Health of the Public and Science Division’s mission is to assume a leadership role in advancing the health of the public and evidence-based medicine. To accomplish this mission, it provides expertise through research, evidence-based clinical guidelines, and public health interventions to improve the health status of patients, families, and communities. Ms. Schoof has a nursing, public health and practice-based/quality improvement background and received a B.S. in Public Health and Masters in Health Administration from Indiana University.  She also is certified as a Professional in Healthcare Quality by the National Association of Healthcare Quality Board.  


Pam Williams, PhD, MSWilliams

Senior Research Scientist, Center for Communication Science, RTI International

Dr. Williams is a senior research scientist in RTI’s Center for Communication Science, with more than 15 years of experience in research and evaluation with expertise in health communications, health behavior change, and program evaluation. She holds a PhD in social psychology from the University of Houston and completed postdoctoral training in health psychology at Yale University. Her research focuses on enhancing the effectiveness of health communication interventions to promote health behavior change; disease prevention and self-management; and informed health care decisions. Much of her work involves designing and/or evaluating interventions addressing common modifiable risk factors for noncommunicable diseases, namely physical inactivity, poor diet, and overweight/obesity. She has led projects for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Veterans Health Administration (VHA), the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), and others. She is skilled in qualitative and quantitative research methods including cognitive interviewing; experimental design; survey development; and development, testing, and evaluation of health communications interventions aimed at motivating individuals to engage in healthy behaviors. She has evaluated obesity-related interventions at the national, regional, health care system, and worksite levels. She has authored over 40 articles.