Our team of specialists work in both clinical and community settings to provide families with the tools for developing healthy lifestyles.
Raquel Hernandez, M.D., M.P.H. Pediatric Medicine
Dr. Hernandez is assistant professor of pediatrics at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and medical director of the Johns Hopkins All Children’s Healthy Weight Initiative. She completed her medical school, residency and fellowship training at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She additionally completed a Master in Public Health with an emphasis on nutrition at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health during her fellowship in general academic pediatrics. As medical director of the hospital’s Healthy Weight initiative, Dr. Hernandez has developed and grown innovative and evidence-based approaches to promote healthy lifestyles that target the current pediatric obesity epidemic within our institution and our community. As one of few pediatricians certified in obesity-medicine nationally and regionally, she has led a multidisciplinary weight management clinic, Healthy Steps, based at Johns Hopkins All Children’s since 2012. With the support of her interprofessional team, the Healthy Steps clinic has provided tailored, patient-centered recommendations to children ages 0-21 years of age who have weight-related medical issues, including low self-esteem, anxiety/depression, hypertension, elevated cholesterol, diabetes and other health conditions. She also has been an ongoing advocate for reducing weight-related stigma within the health care setting as well as within schools. By engaging with community partners including our community division and school-based health clinics, exciting new community-based programs including Health Squads, the First Steps/Fit4Allkids Program and Fit4Allteens Program have continued to engage at-risk children in the Tampa Bay region while connecting them to the outstanding specialty care provided by Johns Hopkins All Children’s for those requiring additional medical care.
View Raquel’s Bio
Melanie Newkirk, D.C.N., R.D.N., C.S.P., L.D. Clinical Nutrition Manager
Melanie Newkirk, D.C.N., R.D.N., C.S.P., L.D. is a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist and currently serves as Clinical Nutrition Manager for Nutritional Services and Lactation at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. She earned her Doctor of Clinical Nutrition from Rutgers School of Health Professions and is also a Certified Specialist in Pediatric Nutrition.
Melanie has over 25 years of experience working with families in the clinical and community settings in the field of weight management. She is the lead instructor for the Fit4Allkids programs. Her research interests focus on the early origins of growth influenced by maternal health in pregnancy and nutrition during infancy.
She believes in a family centered approach recognizing that developing healthy habits must be individualized to the needs of the parents and children who attend Healthy Steps Clinic or attend our community programs. The most rewarding part of her job is seeing families who make positive lifestyle changes with the help of our team.
Megan Armstrong, R.D. L.D Registered Dietitian
Megan Armstrong is a registered dietitian currently serving her community through her role as an outpatient weight management dietitian and community health educator at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Texas Christian University and completed their Coordinated Program in Dietetics to become a registered dietitian. Her years of experience come from working in the health and fitness industry and working directly with food insecurity at a local food bank. Her love of working in the community comes from her lifelong passion for helping others. Armstrong is one of the instructors for Fit4Allkids (First Steps) and Fit4Allteens but she’s also often at the local schools offering lunch-and-learns, passing out healthy snacks, and teaching cooking classes. She believes nutritious foods should be available to everyone and loves teaching people new recipes and introducing them to new foods.
Mallory Carteaux, M.S., C.S.C.S Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist
Mallory Carteaux is the exercise physiologist and one of the instructors for our community-based programs including Fit4Allteens and First Steps. She also teaches fitness sessions at the high schools and for our other community programs. She completed her Master of Science degree in exercise science with a concentration in exercise, nutrition and eating behavior from the George Washington University. She also holds a variety of specialty fitness credentials including NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, ACE Group Fitness Instructor and ACE Nutrition Fitness Specialist. Carteaux believes that access to fitness resources is a right that everyone should have, and has therefore dedicated her work to facilities that benefit the community. She also seeks to help families understand interplay between what we eat, how we sleep, what we think and how we move.
Sarah Stromberg, Ph.D. Pediatric Psychologist
Dr. Stromberg is a pediatric psychologist at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital. In her role, Dr. Stromberg sees patients in the Healthy Steps weight management and Eating Disorders clinic to provide weekly therapy for patients with disordered eating, body dissatisfaction, weight management concerns and other psychological conditions. She is actively involved in our community weight management program Fit4Allteens as well as in research efforts related to better understanding the behavioral health needs of these unique populations of children. She earned her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from the University of Florida in Gainesville, Florida. She completed a pediatric psychology internship in the Department of Clinical and Health Psychology at the University of Florida and a clinical postdoctoral fellowship in pediatric psychology at Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital.