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Meet the Brenner FIT® Team

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Pediatricians

Brenner FIT® pediatricians monitor and treat medical co-morbidities of the children referred to the Brenner FIT program.  They coordinate care with other sub-specialties as well as with primary care physicians. They also provide support with family goals and offer weight and height checks for the whole family.  Our pediatricians understand that in order for habits to change, team work and support is key.  


Joseph Skelton 

Joseph Skelton, MD
Director

Dr. Skelton is a Pediatric Gastroenterologist at Brenner Children's Hospital and an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, and of Epidemiology and Prevention, at Wake Forest School of Medicine. He is active in research in obesity and family related research, and he serves on national committees addressing the obesity treatment and prevention. A native of East Tennessee, Dr. Skelton received his undergraduate degree from Furman University in Greenville, South Carolina. He received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee, Memphis, and completed his training in Pediatrics and Pediatric Gastroenterology at the Medical College of Wisconsin. 

Gail Cohen 

Gail Cohen, MD, MS
Pediatrician

Dr. Cohen is a physician with Brenner FIT and a general pediatrician at Brenner Children's Hospital.  She is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Wake Forest School of Medicine. She is a native of Southern California.  Dr. Cohen received her undergraduate degree at University of California, Berkeley and her medical degree at Harvard Medical School. She completed her training in Pediatrics and Fellowship in clinical research at Virginia Commonwealth University. Dr. Cohen enjoys reading and traveling and is the mother of 2 young girls.

 

Registered Dietitians

Brenner FIT's registered dietitians work closely with families to provide sound nutrition information to achieve health related goals.  Our dietitians counsel families on a variety of topics including meal planning, grocery shopping, and eating together as a family.  They help families become more aware of hunger and fullness.  Our dietitians also help families learn the importance of balancing meals and snacks.  In addition to their personal time in family care sessions, our dietitians may be found teaching interactive cooking classes, grocery store tours, as well as general nutrition presentations for the community.

Katie Maxey  

Katie Maxey, MS, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian 

On top of Katie’s role as a Brenner FIT Dietitian, she also serves as our Kitchen Coordinator and Zumba® instructor.   She received her BS degree in Foods and Nutrition from Appalachian State University and a MS degree in Food Science, Nutrition and Health Promotion from Mississippi State University. Katie enjoys cooking, dancing and spending time with her family and friends. 

Melissa Moses 

Melissa Moses, MS, RD, LDN
Registered Dietitian 

Melissa serves as the English Referral Coordinator for newly referred families to the Brenner FIT program in addition to of her role as a Brenner FIT Dietitian.  Melissa received her BS in Foods and Nutrition at Appalachian State University and completed her dietetic internship and MS in Nutrition Sciences at North Carolina Central University.  She enjoys outdoor adventures, cooking/baking and spending time with her family.

Melissa Dellinger Melissa Dellinger, RD, LDN

Registered Dietitian

Melissa is a Registered Dietitian with our Spanish-speaking Brenner FIT program, Mejor Salud-Mejor Vida.  She is fluent in Spanish.  Melissa attended Western Carolina University, where she earned her BS in Nutrition and Dietetics and completed her Dietetic Internship.  Melissa loves hiking with her family and friends, gardening and reading.

 

Social Workers & Counselors

The counselors and social workers on the Brenner FIT team support families in establishing healthy lifestyle habits.  Utilizing Motivational Interviewing, Positive Discipline, community resource connections, cognitive behavioral therapy and mindfulness, the Brenner FIT counselors guide and support the changes families decide to make.  In addition to time with families in family care sessions, our counselors may be found conducting orientations, teaching interactive cooking classes, fitness programs, parenting programs and general education presentations for the community.

Lorri Busby  

Lorri Busby, MSW
Family Support Specialist

Lorri Busby supports families in Brenner FIT even before they set foot in clinic by providing phone coaching. Through the phone coaching process, Lorri provides families with support and continued understanding of the Brenner FIT philosophy.  She also helps families decide which classes to take and identifies community resources that will help them as they make changes. She received her Masters in Social Work from New York University in New York. Lorri is married and has a blended family of seven adult children with four grandchildren.  Lorri loves to travel and getting together with her family.


 

Dara Garner-Edwards 

Dara Garner-Edwards, MSW, LCSW
Associate Director and Family Counselor

Dara received her BS in Psychology and her Masters in Social Work from UNC-Chapel Hill.  Her career has focused on supporting family health and encouraging healthy feeding dynamics.  With 3 children at home, she has daily examples of the challenges of parenting in a hectic world.  For fun, Dara enjoys time with her family, time at the beach or trips to the mountains.

Christine Jordan  

Christine Jordan, EdS, LMFT
Family Counselor

Christine received a B.S. degree from Clemson University and Ed.S. in Marriage and Family Therapy from Converse College. Her special interests include early childhood feeding and parenting support and education. She is a Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator. At home, Christine enjoys spending time with her family and reading.

Angelica Guzman 

Angelica Guzman, BA
Spanish-language Program Manager

Angelica Guzman is the Program Manager for Brenner FIT’s Spanish-speaking program, Mejor Salud-Mejor Vida.  Spanish is her native language which allows her to provide support and education for Spanish-speaking families in the Brenner FIT clinic and the surrounding community.  She is a Certified Positive Discipline Parent Educator.  She was born in Santiago, Chile, where she obtained her degree in Family Therapy. She moved to North Carolina in 2004 with her husband and four children.

 

Activity Specialist and Physical Therapist 

The role of our Activity Specialist is to encourage movement, brainstorm fun ways to be active, explore physical activity options within the community and offer programs for families to be active together.  Our physical therapist provides support to help improve mobility and be active by reducing pain and restoring function. At Brenner FIT, we know that in order to maintain physical activity in our routine it needs to be fun, safe and convenient.

Casey Foster   

Casey Foster, BS, ACSM-CPT
Activity Specialist

Casey supports families through the Brenner FIT clinic and fun activities outside of clinic.  She is a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Play Facilitator. In addition to her role as Activity Specialist, Casey is our Volunteer Coordinator and Intern Coordinator.  She received her BS in Health Promotion from Appalachian State University.  Casey enjoys spending time with her family and volunteering.  Casey and her husband  have six dogs and usually a foster dog or two.

Sherry Frino  

Sherry Frino, PT
Physical Therapist

As our Physical Therapist, Sherry evaluates children’s movement patterns, treats their dysfunction and helps them modify their current activities in order to reduce pain and ensure safety. Sherry received her BA in Physical Education from UNC at Chapel Hill and her BS in Physical Therapy from Winston-Salem State University.  Sherry enjoys spending outdoor time with her family and distance running.

 

Research

Brenner FIT’s research efforts are dedicated to learning, developing, and testing the best approaches for achieving family health. Our research team studies 'what works' in the clinic and in the community to help children and families on the pathway to healthier lifestyles for a lifetime. Together with Brenner FIT’s talented clinicians, our research team produces and publishes papers in academic and medical journals, reports findings from our own clinical and community research studies, and reviews evidence from other programs. 

Megan Irby  

 

Megan Bennett Irby, BS, MS, MS
Exercise Physiologist and Research Program Manager


As the Research Program Manager for Brenner FIT, Megan leads all research endeavors in the clinic and the community, and works with clinic staff and fellow researchers to report research findings in academic publications. Megan is particularly interested in the influence of family on chronic health conditions in children, including the role of parenting on the development of pediatric obesity; the influence of migraine on parenting practices and behaviors; and the role of parenting in the prevention and treatment of pediatric pain disorders. She holds master’s degrees in Exercise Physiology and Clinical Population and Translational Science from Wake Forest University and is completing her PhD in Human Development and Family Studies.

   

 Administrative Staff

Communication between team members, patients, and community partners is vital to the functioning of Brenner FIT. Our administrative staff member, Deborah, provides information and support to all aspects of the Brenner FIT program. 

Deborah Pratt  

Deborah Pratt
Administrative Assistant

Deborah serves as the primary contact for all questions about Brenner FIT in the clinic and community setting. She is here to help families, community members, and physicians with referrals, appointments, registrations, and general questions about Brenner FIT. At home she loves to read, exercise, and spend time with her daughters.