Meet the Team
The CHOC Feeding Program is made up of a multidisciplinary team of experts specially trained to treat children with feeding problems. Here’s a list of all the roles to help you better understand who does what:
Gastroenterologist/GI Nurse Practitioner
The medical team will oversee the care, use of medications and any medical problems during the hospitalization. The gastroenterologist, also called “GI doctor,” who is rounding on the unit will check in with you daily and coordinate care with the program medical director and the GI nurse practitioner. The nurse practitioner updates your primary care team regarding your child’s progress.
Pediatric hospitalists are pediatricians who work primarily in hospital. They will check in daily to monitor your child’s health and collaborate with the team to provide any needed treatment.
The clinical psychologist provides interventions to help you and your child cope with the hospitalization, manage anxiety, and learn behavioral strategies to improve interactions. They may be present during a mealtime observation to provide education, do a review of a videotaped meal, or meet with you or your child outside of mealtimes to provide coaching specific to the challenges you are facing.
Clinical Social Worker
The clinical social worker helps families adjust to the hospital admission and have access to the resources that you need while staying with us. They provide support to help you cope so that you can focus on the program. They also support families with the transition back to home and school following discharge from the program.
Occupational Therapists and Speech/Language Pathologists
The occupational therapists (OT) and speech/language pathologists (SLP) are your child’s feeding therapists who will address your child’s feeding challenges (including sensory, oral motor skills, oral mechanics, etc). You will see your therapists mostly during mealtimes as they work with your child, provide education and feedback to you, and gradually transition you into the role of feeding your child.
The dietitian determines your child’s nutritional goals. They will check in with you frequently regarding your child’s intake and monitor daily weights, making sure that your child’s nutritional needs are met. They will also educate you on age-appropriate portion sizes and meal planning in preparation for feeding your child at home.
The diet technician helps with meal planning and food selection. They also work with the kitchen to make sure the food is prepared correctly, and your child receives what they need to have a successful meal.
Child Life Specialist
The child life specialist offers developmental play-based activities, including food play and art therapy, to help each child adjust to their hospital stay and further their feeding therapy and goals. They oversee the playroom and are aware of all the fun activities happening around the hospital on any given day.
Financial Coordinator and Case Manager
The financial coordinator and case manager communicate with your insurance company throughout your admission. They also help with coordination and authorization for any formula, supplies or therapies you might need when going home.
The research assistant oversees our research projects. They may meet with you during the program to invite you to participate.
The bedside nurses conduct ongoing assessment and provide nursing care. They will record your child’s daily weights, vital signs, urine and stool output. They are available if any concerns arise and collaborate frequently with the hospitalist and our team.