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Rady Children's Specialists

Ketogenic Clinic

Overview

Rady Children’s Hospital has been providing Ketogenic Therapy to our patients for over 23 years. We are delighted to introduce Dr. Maria Montenegro, a skilled Neurologist and Epileptologist, as the newest member of our Ketogenic Therapy Clinic. In our clinic, patients undergo a thorough, multidisciplinary evaluation with their physician, nurse practitioners, and a dedicated ketogenic dietitian present.

Keto Hub

This Keto Hub allows families and their team to work together cohesively and efficiently to develop the best plan and balance of medication and nutrition therapy for our patients and their lifestyles, from birth to 21+ years. We are proud to offer all diet variations to our patients, from Classic Ketogenic Therapy to Low Glycemic Index Therapy to ensure all patients and lifestyles have access to Ketogenic Therapy as a treatment option.

Team

 Jong Rho, M.D., Division Chief; Professor of Neurosciences and Pediatrics, UC San Diego: Dr. Rho is the division chief of neurology at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego and a professor of Neurosciences and pediatrics at UC San Diego School of Medicine. His clinical expertise is in general pediatric neurology and pediatric epilepsy, with an emphasis on pharmacological therapies and metabolic approaches toward epilepsy treatment, such as the ketogenic diet. His main research interests for patients, including at Rady Children’s Hospital-San Diego, are the mechanisms underlying the anti-seizure and neuroprotective effects of the ketogenic diet and its clinical variants.

Maria Augusta Montenegro, M.D., Clinical Professor of Neurosciences, UC San Diego: Dr. Montenegro is a pediatric neurologist and epileptologist currently working at Rady Children’s Hospital / University of California San Diego School of Medicine. Her clinical expertise is in pediatric epilepsy, with an emphasis on epileptic encephalopathy and EEG. She completed medical school, residency, and PhD at the University of Campinas (Brazil) and a post-doctorate research fellowship at Columbia University (New York) and Herscot Center for Tuberous Sclerosis Complex (Boston). Before her current position, she held an academic faculty appointment at the University of Campinas (Brazil) where she was the head of Pediatric Neurology.

Vanessa Aldaz, MPH, RD, CDCES: Vanessa, a Medical Ketogenic Diet Therapy Dietitian with over 18 years of expertise, specializes in diet therapies for epilepsy and neurological disorders across all age groups. Holding a BS in Biochemistry and Cell Biology from UCSD and an MPH from Loma Linda University (2004), she joined Rady Children’s Hospital, San Diego, in 2005. Actively engaged in research studies, publications, webinars, and global presentations on the medical ketogenic diet, Vanessa is a prominent figure in the ketogenic diet & epilepsy community. Serving as a Keto Ambassador, she provides mentorship to fellow dietitians, healthcare professionals, and parents. Vanessa’s diverse portfolio includes working with patients dealing with diabetes, metabolic disorders, and Prader-Willi syndrome. Grateful for the collaboration with Dr. Jong Rho and the new Keto Team at Rady Children’s Hospital, she looks forward to ongoing learning, knowledge-sharing, expanding research collaboration, and delivering the best patient care.

Shannon Kilty, RD: Shannon Kilty is a Registered Dietitian, who specializes in Ketogenic Therapy and has been a part of the Rady Team since early 2021. She completed her undergraduate degree at San Diego State University and went on to complete her Dietetic Internship at the Medical University of South Carolina with a concentration in Pediatric Nutrition. She provides care to patients both inpatient and outpatient and is the primary research dietitian, looking deeper into the use and effectiveness of Ketogenic Therapy for Epilepsy, as well as its use as a metabolic treatment for a variety of mental health diagnoses.

Michelle Huang, FNP- BC: Michelle Huang is a nationally certified nurse practitioner through the American Association of Nurse Practitioners. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Stony Brook University and her Master of Science in Nursing from Pace University. She started her career in 2015 as a registered nurse on the pediatric floor which included an Epilepsy Monitoring Unit at NYU Langone Health. There she cared for many pediatric epilepsy patients which prompted her interest and transition into the role of a neurology nurse practitioner at the NYU Langone Comprehensive Epilepsy Center. She joined the Rady Children’s Neurology team in 2022 and her focus will be primarily caring for children with epilepsy and headaches.

Events

The 2023 Global Ketogenic Symposium

Presented by Rady Children’s Hospital – San Diego

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