Dr. Tester is a pediatrician with a clinical and research focus on childhood obesity. She is a co-director of Healthy Hearts, which is a multidisciplinary weight management clinic within the Department of Cardiology at Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland. Her research expertise is on the influence of children’s environments on their ability to be physically active and have a healthy diet.
She is currently conducting a study on playgrounds in Richmond, CA to look at park-based physical activity and neighborhood social capital before and after redesign of two playgrounds by a community non-profit organization. Dr. Tester studies the food environment, and she has researched food availability in corner stores and markets around elementary schools. She is examining the role of mobile food vendors in the after-school environment in a Latino neighborhood of Oakland. Using qualitative interviews with stakeholders and observations of vending to children, she has created interventions using mobile food vending to promote the sale of fruits and other healthy snacks to children after school. Her ultimate goal is to understand how local municipal policies such as a “Healthy Vending Ordinance” could increase access to healthy foods in low-income communities.
Dr. Tester has an interest in how the use of mobile technology can promote physical activity, and is collaborating with engineers and scientists who are developing a system of sensors to monitor time-activity patterns of patients in order to understand health-related aspects of their lifestyle. Previously, she studied how modifiable aspects of the built environment can influence children’s risk for automobile versus pedestrian injury.
Dr. Tester did her undergraduate training in biology at Harvard University and completed medical school at University of California, San Francisco. During medical school, she completed an MPH at UC Berkeley.