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What is Heart Health?

The Heart Health Program is both the pediatric weight management program of the MUSC Children’s Hospital and the preventive cardiology service of the Children's Heart Center. As a family-centered and lifestyle-oriented program, Heart Health is appropriate for any child or adolescent who has abnormal weight gain and/or associated cardiovascular risk factors, such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, or pre-diabetes.

What do I get?

Meet Our Team

Melissa Henshaw, MD
Medical Director:

Dr. Melissa Henshaw, M.D.

Melissa Howard Henshaw, MD, MSCR, DHA, developed and has directed Heart Health since 2004. Dr. Henshaw’s clinical expertise includes pediatric preventive cardiology and weight management. Her research is focused on the pediatric metabolic syndrome and cardiovascular risk factors. Dr. Henshaw is certified by the American Board of Pediatrics and the American Board of Obesity Medicine.

Janet Carter, MS, RD, LD

Program Manager: 
Janet Carter, MS, RD, LD

Janet Carter, MS, RD, LD is Program Manager and one of two dietitians devoted to Heart Health. Janet has been with Heart Health since 2006 and is very passionate about the program and very dedicated to the families she helps every day.  She holds a certificate in Adult and Pediatric Weight Management and conducts individual nutrition counseling sessions with the families on a bi-weekly basis in addition to weekly group sessions.

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News & Announcements:

Are you looking for an additional weight loss resource?
Eligible adolescents and adults may benefit from the MUSC Bariatric Surgery program, which includes experienced mental health professionals, dietitians, nurses and physicians, and is dedicated to helping patients safely realize weight loss success. Visit their website for more information and, if interested, register to attend a free open house to learn more about the program.

Read more about the MUSC Heart Health Program and the MUSC Adolescent Bariatric Surgery Program or view the video below to hear from an adolescent who was an MUSC bariatric and Heart Health patient.

  Heart Health participants can attend Fitness sessions any of the days/times below:

Fitness sessionsMonday-Friday 5:00-6:00PM and 6:00-7:00PM (Deas Hall at the Citadel)
Saturday 9:00-10:00AM and 10:00-11:00AM (Park Circle in North Charleston)

 **Please email to schedule fitness sessions at least a week in advance**

The Lean Team (Heart Health's sister program) walks the bridge the first Saturday of every month at 9:00am. Meet them in the gravel parking lot on the corner of East Bay and Cooper St. on the Charleston side of the bridge. You are welcome (and encouraged) to attend! Please contact them with questions.
Email: or visit: for more information. 

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  Heart Health participants are encouraged to attend clinic visits every two weeks. These can be scheduled at any of our 4 locations:

This Month's Group Session Schedule  

  • August 4th: Label Reading and Portion Control
    Come learn more about these cornerstones of eating right and losing weight.
  • August 11th:  Managing Cravings
    Do you feel the hunger in your stomach, or could it be in your head?  Learn how to battle the "munchies".
  • August 18th: What's Out There?
    Come learn about online, print and community resources for you and your family.
  • August 25th: Mindful Eating
    Often we eat without thinking about it.  This might lead us to make unhealthy choices.  Learn how to eat more mindfully.
     All group sessions are located at Miller Motte Technical College (8085 Rivers Ave.) in North Charleston.

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This Month's Newsletter (PDF)

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Newsletter Archives

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