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Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Heather Austin, PhD


        Heather Austin, PhD


Heather Austin, Ph.D. is a Pediatric Psychologist and Program Director of the Children’s Center for Weight Management at the Children’s Hospital of Alabama. She is also an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). Her primary clinical and research interests are weight management, bariatric surgery, pain management, and child and family adjustment to chronic illness.

Dr. Austin received her Ph.D. in Clinical Child Psychology from Auburn University in 2003. She completed her internship at the UAB where she began her focus in the area of pediatric psychology. She continued her clinical and research training in pediatric psychology during her postdoctoral fellowship in the Department of Hematology/Oncology at UAB from 2003 to 2005, and then accepted a full time position as a Pediatric Psychologist and Program Director for the Children’s Hospital of Alabama.

Dr. Austin was the co-recipient of an internal grant from UAB Clinical Nutrition and Research Center under the direction of Dr. David Allison for two years from 2007 to 2008 to support a pilot study titled, “Decision making, problem solving, and impulsivity in obese adolescents.” She has also served as the site PI since 2008 for Dr Meg Zeller’s TeenLABS multicenter ancillary study funded by the NIDDK to examine psychosocial development in adolescents presenting for bariatric surgery.

       At the completion of this session, the participant will be able to:
       1.  Identify three key areas of importance in the assessment of the adolescent bariatric candidate.
2.  Discuss recent scientific literature related to assessment of the bariatric candidate.
3.  Apply and enhance their assessment practices with adolescent bariatric surgery candidates.

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