Pediatric Heart Care

Pediatric Preventive Cardiology Clinic (PPCC)

Clinic Information


Pediatric Specialty Clinic, American Family Children's Hospital


Contact Information

(608) 263-6420

(800) 323-8942


Our Services

Pediatric Fitness


Adult Services

Preventive Cardiology


In the News

Should Children Have Their Cholesterol Checked?

Nurse Practitioner Ann Dodge sees patients at the Pediatric Preventive Cardiology Clinic.We specialize in the care of children with heart-related conditions. Our team consists of physicians, nurse practitioners and dietitians.

Learn about our referral guidelines

In our Pediatric Preventive Cardiology Clinic, we seek to reduce or eliminate risk factors in children in order to prevent adult cardiovascular disease.

We use nutrition, physical activity, tobacco cessation and medical treatment of abnormal cholesterol if needed.

Preparing For Your Visit 

A nurse or medical assistant from our clinic will contact you prior to your child's appointment. Please call (608) 890-8101 if you have not been contacted.

To make your clinic visit more efficient, please complete and bring the Food Diary (pdf) and Family and Personal History (pdf) forms to your appointment. We request that a fasting lipid panel be performed before your appointment. Your child’s appointment may need to be rescheduled if lab studies are not performed before your appointment.

Your Clinic Visit

  • The Pediatric Specialty Clinic is on the 2nd floor of American Family Children’s Hospital.
  • Patients must first come to the 2nd floor to register in Outpatient Registration located in the specialty clinic. Please plan to arrive 20 minutes before your scheduled appointment. If you arrive more than 15 minutes late for the appointment, you may be asked to reschedule.
  • Your child might have an EKG or electrocardiogram at their visit. This helps us to determine how hard the heart muscle is working and looks at the heart rhythm.
  • A medical assistant will obtain your child’s height, weight, pulse, blood pressure, waist measurement, medication and allergy history before escorting your family to an exam room.
  • A physician and/or nurse practitioner will examine your child and discuss a plan of care. A nutritionist might also meet with you and your child.
  • We might determine that the patient and family might be well served by further evaluation in the Pediatric Fitness Clinic or other clinics.
  • Expect the first visit to last 60 to 90 minutes. Please plan appropriately by bringing books, toys or games for your child.

Our Pediatric Preventive Cardiology Team

The Pediatric Preventive Cardiology team

  • Pediatric Cardiologist: Dr. Amy Peterson
  • Nurse Practitioners: Ann Dodge, APNP and Erin Marriott, APNP. The Nurse Practitioner works as a key member of the child’s healthcare team to identify the child’s medical needs and help develop an appropriate treatment plan. Our pediatric nursing staff brings the special skills and understanding required to care for children of all ages, as well as their parents and other family members.
  • Nutrition: Dietitians Fran Kittell and Rachel Bell. Our Nutrition and Health Education staff includes registered dieticians who provide medical nutrition therapy, consisting of a nutrition assessment, goal setting and development of a nutrition care plan.


The cardiology team strives to provide families with comprehensive education regarding their child’s diagnosis and care. It is important that you feel comfortable with the care of your child before you leave the clinic. Always feel free to call us with any questions or concerns.

Research shows that atherosclerosis begins in youth and is progressive, and cholesterol levels are clearly linked to atherosclerosis. When cholesterol levels are very high in children, normalizing their cholesterol levels reduces the amount of plaque that builds up in arteries and improves the function of blood vessels as they become adults.

New guidelines recommend screening all children at least once between ages 9 and 11 regardless of risk, and again between 17 and 21 years. Children do not need to be fasting for these screening lipid profiles. Children at higher risk should be screened at least every five years with a fasting lipid profile.

For more information on cholesterol, healthy eating and exercise, visit HealthDecision and click on “Handouts."

Screen Time

Too much time spent in front of a screen (phone, computer, video games, TV) is not healthy. No more than two hours of daily screen time is recommended for all children over 2 years of age. Decreasing screen time can allow for more active time in a child's day. More information (pdf)

Eating Behaviors


Fitness strengthens your heart, raises your HDL, lowers your triglycerides and helps with weight control. It can include activities like jogging, walking, biking, aerobic dancing, and swimming. It can also include normal daily activities for children such as playing at the park or playing outside with friends. Experts say to aim for 60 minutes of vigorous play or aerobic activity daily.


Fish Oil

For some types of abnormal cholesterol it may be recommended that your child take fish oil supplements:

Please check with your child's health care provider before starting a supplement.

For Referring Providers

Consider referral for evaluation in the Pediatric Preventive Cardiology Clinic if a child has:

  • Documented dyslipidemia, diagnosed by fasting lipid panel. This includes any of the following:
    • HDL < 45 mg/dL
    • LDL > 110 mg/dL
    • Total cholesterol > 170 mg/dL
    • Triglycerides ≥ 100 mg/dL ages 0-9; ≥ 130 ages 10-19
    • Please see the Lipids and Lipoproteins section of the NHLBI's Pediatric Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Guidelines for more information.
  • Cholesterol Screening for Children (pdf)
  • The child uses tobacco, desires to quit
  • The child has other cardiovascular risk factors that are concerning to parents or health care providers. It might be helpful to call the Pediatric Preventive Cardiology Clinic to discuss concerns prior to referral.
  • Urgent referral guidelines: LDL >190 mg/dL , TG > 500

Referrals and Urgent Referrals

    • To refer a patient, call (608) 263-6420
    • For urgent referrals, contact Pediatric Cardiology at (608) 262-2122.