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Heart Health Program

What Is It? 

The Heart Health Program is both the pediatric weight management program of MUSC Children's Health 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?

  • Regular clinic visits with a Registered Dietitian who has a certificate in training in pediatric and adult weight management
  • Periodic physical examinations with the program’s attending Medical Director board certified in pediatrics and obesity medicine
  • Structured program with nutrition, activity, and behavioral education
  • Personalized coaching and health recommendations
  • Weekly group sessions
  • Weekday and Saturday fitness sessions
  • Monthly newsletters

How Do I Enroll?

Call our office at 843-792-4717 or 800-343-1983 and we will get you started. We will need a doctor’s referral to the program, which can be faxed to 843-792-5878.

Our Care Team 

Melissa Henshaw, M.D., MSCR, DHA | Medical Director
Dr Henshaw 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 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.

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.

Fitness Sessions

Monday through Friday 5 to 6 p.m. and 6 to 7 p.m. (Deas Hall at the Citadel)
Saturday 9 to 10 a.m. and 10 to 11 a.m. (Park Circle in North Charleston)

Email hhexercise@musc.edu 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 9:00 a.m. Meet them in the gravel parking lot on the corner of East Bay and Cooper Street on the Charleston side of the bridge. You are welcome (and encouraged) to attend! Please contact them with questions.

Email leanteam@musc.edu or visit the Lean Team website for more information. 

Clinic Visits

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  

  • December 1st: Dining Out Healthfully
    Dining out is enjoyable but not easy on the waistline. Learn some strategies for staying on track when dining out.
  • December 8th: Exercise Ideas for Indoors
    Get creative with exercise in the colder weather. Learn tips and tricks to stay active indoors and try a few new exercises!
  • December 15th: Trying New Holiday Foods!
    The most popular group with a holiday twist! Try some new healthy foods. You never know, you might end up with a new favorite!
  • December 22nd & December 29th: No Group
    Have a very happy & healthy holiday season! 

All group sessions are 5 to 6 p.m and are located at Miller Motte Technical College (8085 Rivers Avenue) in North Charleston.