Theresa Kim is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at The Hospital for Sick Children, Child Health Evaluative Science. As a Research Fellow and Lead Coordinator, she is working alongside Dr. Catherine Birken on the study titled: STOMP Early Years: A pilot randomized controlled trial of an intensive, family-centred home visiting intervention for young children with severe obesity.
How did you become interested in childhood obesity research?
I developed an interest in childhood obesity while working as a research coordinator for the SickKids Team Obesity Management Program (STOMP) for Early Years, a clinical weight management program focusing on healthy living for children under 6 years of age. Working very closely with Team ABC3 investigator Dr. Catherine Birken on this project, I quickly became engrossed in the day-to-day operations of STOMP and developed a wonderful relationship with the multi-disciplinary team, and realized that childhood obesity is a complex condition that albeit its challenges, it certainly can be managed with great team work!
What are your specific research interests?
My specific research interests are related to parenting stress and its association to growth rates in young children under 6 years. In addition, I am very interested in patient or “parent” engagement in research. Little is known about engaging parents as our “patient partners”, specifically where young children are involved in research. My objective is to understand how we can have our young STOMP patient partners’ voices heard through their parents, and understand how we can keep our young patients and parents engaged beyond our research.
Can you describe your role on the research within Team ABC3?
As a research fellow working with Dr. Catherine Birken, I am currently leading and coordinating the study on STOMP Early Years: A pilot randomized controlled trial of an intensive, family-centered, home visiting intervention for young children with severe obesity. I will also be leading and facilitating the STOMP Parent Panel as part of my patient engagement project.
What do you hope to gain from participating with Team ABC3?
I have already learned so much from participating with Team ABC3, and I know that I will continue to learn more from our team! I am proud to be part of Team ABC3, which is comprised of researchers with wide range of expertise from across Canada, all dedicated to an important cause.
To date, what is the biggest challenge you’ve faced in your own research on childhood obesity? Your biggest success?
The biggest challenge to date is with recruitment and engagement for the STOMP early years clinical trial. We are currently working towards increasing the awareness of our STOMP early years program to paediatricians and health care providers in the Greater Toronto Area.
The biggest success is working through and obtaining approval for REB from multiple institutions – which took a bit longer than anticipated. Other successes include my work with the STOMP team and TARGet Kids! team, a primary care based research network in Toronto which focuses on issues in child health including obesity prevention, led by Dr. Catherine Birken. Both projects are integrating patient engagement work by conducting Parent Panels, of which I am excited to be a part of!
What is one (or more!) thing your Team ABC3 colleagues would be surprised to learn about you?
I have been a competitive dragonboater since 2010, and I am competing with our team in the World Championships in Szeged, Hungary this Summer!