Centre of Excellence in Adolescent Severe Obesity (CEASO)

Understanding Obesity as a Disease

Obesity is recognized as chronic disease that affects over 10% of youth in Canada. As a chronic illness, obesity can affect other systems in the body and eventually lead to death when it is not managed.  Obesity is a complex condition that is influenced by a number of environmental, social, familial, and personal factors.  Therefore ‘quick fix’ approaches often result in only temporary weight loss, and is detrimental to the overall mental and physical health of the individual living with obesity.  A long-term, integrated treatment and management strategy is the best way to promote overall health and well-being.



About the program

Our interdisciplinary program provides comprehensive assessment and follow-up of patients with severe obesity. We offer a variety of treatment options including a pathway towards bariatric surgery.


  • We are a tertiary care program dedicated to improving the lives and well being of adolescents living with the chronic disease of severe obesity.
  • We offer a comprehensive intradisciplinary assessment of severely obese patients including the consequences of this disease in the domains of physical, psychosocial and mental health.
  • We offer a variety of interventions aimed at producing behavioral changes that can lead to improved health.
  • We provide referrals to community partners for ongoing support.
  • We offer a pathway towards bariatric surgery, which is now understood to be an effective intervention for some patients.
  • We facilitate transition to adult care for patients needing on-going follow-up.
  • We strive to enhance knowledge and care for these patients through education and research.
Referring a patient

Any physician can make a referral to CEASO.  The patient must be 13 years or older.

They must also have a BMI of >35 kg/m2 with major co-morbidities (i.e., type 2 diabetes mellitus, moderate to severe sleep apnea [apnea-hypopnea index>15], pseudotumor cerebri, or severe Non Alcoholic fatty liver disease (ALT >25))  OR BMI of > 40 kg/m2 

Should you want to refer a patient for evaluation, please complete the following referral form and fax it to 514-412-4319. For more information contact the Centre of Excellence in Adolescent Severe Obesity at 514-412-4481.

Our services

All new CEASO patients and their families will begin by participating in our online educational sessions that are delivered by the clinical team members.

Once the sessions are completed, families will engage in a comprehensive assessment to best identify the appropriate treatment pathway.  The assessment includes:

  1. Blood work
  2. Mental health and lifestyle questionnaires
  3. Baseline clinic appointment with the CEASO team members

Following this assessment, families and the clinical team will jointly decide on one of the following pathways:

  • Behaviour Lifestyle Intervention Pathway

 1-on-1 appointments with the CEASO team members focusing on improving patient and family capability, motivation, and opportunities to facilitate behavior changes that positively contribute to the health of the patient.

  • Bariatric Surgery Pathway

Combination of 1-on-1 appointments with the CEASO team members, and participation in the Inside Out psychotherapy group to prepare for bariatric surgery.  Regular follow-ups with the CEASO clinic continue until 24-months post-surgery.

If none of the pathways are the right fit, the patient will be returned to their community provider with resources to help them support the family.

Appointment policy

All appointments must be cancelled with at least 24 hour notice.  If a patient misses or cancels an appointment more than twice they will be discharged from the clinic.

Our Team

Our clinical team members include:

  • Dr. Julius Erdstein, Adolescent Medicine Physician
  • Dr. Laurent Legault, Physician
  • Dr. Jessica Monteiro, Physician
  • Dr. Holly Agostino, Physician
  • Julie Fortin, Nurse
  • Ashley O’Reilly, Nurse
  • Peggy Alcindor, Dietitian
  • Tal Brandis, Dietitian
  • Trisha Chloe Baluyot, Kinesiologist
  • Shannon McShane, Physiotherapist
  • Sally Cooke, Art Therapist
  • Emma Kruger, Social Worker

Our specialists are often pursuing research projects and collaborating with faculty members at universitites across Canada. Families may be approached about participation in research aimed at improving our knowledge and treatment of patients living with severe obesity. Participation in research is not required and refusal to be part of a study will not affect treatment in any way. 

*If you are a student looking for research opportunities to volunteer or work with our team, please email Dr. Carla Farnesi: [email protected]

Our research team members include:

Dr. Carla Farnei, CEASO Research Project Manager, MUHC

Dr. Angela Alberga, CEASO Research Lead, Kinesiology & Psychosocial health, Concordia University https://www.concordia.ca/faculty/angela-alberga.html

Dr. Tamara Cohen, CEASO Research Co-Lead & Registered Dietitian, Eating Behaviours & Nutrition, UBC https://www.landfood.ubc.ca/tamara-cohen/ External affiliate member, McGill University

Ms. Trisha Baluyot, CEASO Research Assistant & Registered Kinesiologist, Concordia University & MUHC

Mr. Hector Silva, MSc student, Concordia University


Contact us

For more information please contact us by phone at 514-412-4400 ext 2334 or by email at [email protected]

Refer a patient 

Should you want to refer a patient for evaluation, please complete the following referral form and fax it to 514-412-4319. For more information contact the Centre of Excellence in Adolescent Severe Obesity at 514-412-4400, ext 2334.




Montreal Children's Hospital