Helen Wang, M.D.

hew004@ucsd.edu
858-496-4800

Helen Wang is an associate physician who works with families and children to create healthy lifestyles at the UC San Diego Academic General Pediatrics clinic. She believes that taking care of children is not just about practicing medicine but also creating relationships and collaborations with her families and patients. Helen is also involved in newborn nursery care and neonatal intensive care unit care at the UC San Diego Health Center locations at Hillcrest and Jacobs Medical Center, respectively. Helen’s main interests are in post-NICU care, decreasing hyperbilirubinemia readmission rates, and obesity treatment & prevention. She works closely with residents and medical students at the UC San Diego Academic General Pediatrics clinic to train the next generation of Pediatricians. She also works with UC San Diego’s Community Pediatrics group to do research in obesity prevention and treatment. Helen obtained her medical degree from UC San Diego. She completed her residency at UC San Diego and is a member of the Gold Humanism Society.

Areas of Interest

  • Obesity Prevention and Treatment
  • Hyperbilirubinemia Management in the Newborn Nursery and Outpatient Settings
  • Post-NICU Discharge Care

Ongoing Projects

  • Mother-Infant Feeding Behavior and Eating in the Absence of Hunger in Adolescence
    • This project investigates if late infant/toddler feeding interactions with their mothers (via video recordings) is related to eating in the absence (EAH) in adolescence. With obesity on the rise, there has been more focus on obesity prevention. One of the ways in which obesity develops is via consuming excess calories of what the body needs. Researchers can measure this excess consumption via EAH experiments were participants are fed a meal, then offered snacks. Any foods consumed during the later period is determined and conjectured to be eating in the absence of hunger. We hypothesized that certain feeding behaviors of mother-infant dyads may affect the eating behavior of that child in adolescence.
  • Neonatal Hyperbilirubinemia: When to start phototherapy
    • The AAP had published guidelines in 2004 to guide physicians in initiating phototherapy for neonatal hyperbilirubinemia. Despite the presence of guidelines, there are still a variety of practices in the San Diego area with regard to management of hyperbilirubinemia. This project seeks to establish a protocol for newborn hospitalists and outpatient providers to provide more guidance for hyperbilirubinemia treatment in order to minimize the costs of phototherapy that occur with preventable or unnecessary readmissions.
  • Parent perceptions of benefits, risks and impact of universal cholesterol screening among children aged 9-11 years old.
    • Though the AAP has established guidelines for lipid screening for all children aged 9-11 years old, it still remains controversial to pediatricians and families thus leading to low screening rates. This project’s goal is to obtain parent focus groups where we can better understand the barriers to screening. This will hopefully provide Pediatricians with more tools to obtain compliance from families and patients.

Selected Publications

  • Wang H, Blanco E, Algarin C, Peirano P, Burrows R, Reyes M, et al. Weight Status and Physical Activity: Combined Influence on Cardiometabolic Risk Factors Among Adolescents, Santiago, Chile. Global Pediatric Health. 2016; 3:1-6.

Selected Presentations

  • Effects of Physical Activity on Cardio-metabolic Risk Factors in the Overweight and Obese Adolescent Population in Chile. Pediatric Academic Societies 2016.
  • Mother-Infant Feeding Behavior and Eating in the Absence of Hunger in Adolescence. Pediatric Academic Societies 2017.

Teaching

  • UC San Diego Academic General Pediatrics (Sept 2016 – Present)
  • UC San Diego School of Medicine (Sept 2016- Present)

Service

  • UC San Diego Academic General Pediatrics EPIC IT Committee (Oct 2016- Present)
  • UC San Diego Academic General Pediatrics Education Committee (Oct 2016-Present)