Our Doctors


Sylvia Negrete, M.D., FAAP
Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Negrete has been practicing medicine for over 20 years. She graduated from the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine in 1992 and completed a Pediatric Internship, Residency & Chief Residency at Loma Linda University Children’s Hospital in 1996. After several years in private practice she joined the University of New Mexico Children’s Hospital in 1999.

In 2009 Dr. Negrete developed the “UNM Healthy & Fit Children’s Clinic”, a clinic designed to prevent, assess, and treat children and adolescents with overweight and obesity. Dr. Negrete has partnered with community programs that emphasize healthy eating and active living habits for children and adolescents. She speaks English and Spanish and enjoys working with socio-economically disadvantaged families.

  1. Kirk, S, et al. and POWER Work Group Site Leads. UNM Site Lead: Negrete, S. Establishment of the Pediatric Obesity Weight Evaluation Registry: A National Research Collaborative for Identifying the Optimal Assessment and Treatment of Pediatric Obesity. Childhood Obesity. February 2017. Volume 13; (1):9-17.
  2. Kong AS, Dalen J, Negrete S, Sanders SG, Keane PC, Davis SM. Interventions for treating overweight and obesity in adolescents. Adolesc Med State Art Rev. 2012 Dec;23(3):544-70.
  3. Kong AS, Sussman AL, Negrete S, Patterson N, Mittleman R, Hough R. Implementation of a Walking School Bus: Lessons Learned. Journal of School Health 2009;79:319-325.
  4. Kong AS, Skipper B, Vanderblomen L, Negrete S, Sebesta E, Leggott J. Components of Metabolic Syndrome in a Hispanic Population of School-Aged Children. Journal of Investigative Medicine 2007; 55(1): S125.

Alberta S. Kong, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Professor Department of Pediatrics

Education and Honors:
1989, B.S. (Magna Cum Laude), General Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; 1994, M.D., Medicine, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ; 1994-97, Internship and Residency in Pediatrics, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM; 1997-2000, Adolescent Medicine Fellowship, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM; 2002, M.P.H. (with Distinction), Community and Preventive Health, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.

1997, Robert H. Tully, M.D. Resident Teaching Excellence Award; UNM, Department of Pediatrics; 1998, AMA Scholarship for Training of Trainers; 2005, Clinical Research Feasibility Funds Competitive Research Award, UNMHSC; 2006-present, Clinical and Translational Science Center Research Career Development Award, UNMHSC.


Research Interests:
My research addresses the increasing prevalence of metabolic syndrome in adolescents. Working through schools, we have identified a high prevalence of overweight, obesity, acanthosis nigricans (a skin marker for hyperinsulinemia), and clustering of metabolic syndrome components (high blood pressure, high triglyceride levels, low HDL-C levels, and insulin resistance) among its students and an interest from students and parents for prevention and intervention work to address these conditions. As intervention work requires that materials be age, developmentally and culturally appropriate, we have begun work with overweight/obese high school students through the use of school-based health centers. The long-term goal of our research is to work with schools in a participatory manner to create, implement and evaluate sustainable school strategies to support high school students in making healthy lifestyle changes to decrease their risk of metabolic syndrome, a condition that substantially increases risk for future type 2 diabetes and heart disease.

  1. Kong AS, Malcoe LH, and Strasburger VC. Screening Adolescent Females for Chlamydia trachomatis at a Six-month Interval. Journal of Adolescent Health 2003; 32(2):142.
  2. Kong AS, Skipper B, Vanderblomen L, Negrete S, Sebesta E, Leggott J. Components of Metabolic Syndrome in a Hispanic Population of School-Aged Children. Journal of Investigative Medicine 2007; 55(1): S125.
  3. Kong AS, Williams RL, Smith M, Sussman A, Skipper B, Hsi AC, Rhyne RL. Acanthosis Nigricans and Diabetes Risk Factors: Prevalence in Young Persons Seen in Southwestern Primary Care Practices. Annals of Family Medicine. 2007;5(3):202-8.
  4. Kong AS, Leggott J, Hartenberger C, Vanderblomen L, Skipper B, Scott Susan, Burge M. Acanthosis Nigricans Predicts Clustering of Metabolic Syndrome Components in Hispanic Children. Diabetes 2007; 56(1): A473.
  5. Kong AS, Harris A, Skipper B. Comparison of RT3 Triaxial Accelerometer and 7-Day Physical Activity Recall in Adolescents. Journal of Investigative Medicine 2008; 56(1):193.
  6. Conklin C, Burks N, Roldan C, Kong AS. Feasibility of a Walking School Bus Program to Prevent Obesity in Hispanic Elementary School Children. Journal of Investigative Medicine 2009; 57(1): 156.
  7. Kong AS, Sussman AL, Negrete S, Patterson N, Mittleman R, Hough R. Implementation of a Walking School Bus: Lessons Learned. Journal of School Health 2009;79:319-325.
  8. Williams RL, McPherson L, Kong A, Skipper B, Weller N. Internet-based Training in a Practice-based Research Network Consortium: A Report from the Primary Care Multiethnic Network (PRIME Net). Journal of the American Board of Family Medicine. J Am Board Fam Med 2009;22:446-52.

Patricia H. Roldan, MS

Medical Degree, University of San Carlos of Guatemala, 1983
Masters Science Degree – Nutrition, University of New Mexico, 2002
ACE Group Fitness and Personal Training Certification since 2007.

Patricia has been working in the field of corporate and individual wellness for the last 15 years with emphasis in weight management and lifestyle interventions. She is committed to continuing education in nutrition and healthy behaviors for patients and their families and has strong abilities to educate about the long-term benefits of a balance diet and exercise. She contributes to diabetes awareness education in collaboration with physicians and other medical staff members at the Healthy and Fit Children’s Clinic. She speaks both English and Spanish, and has assisted LFCC in the design and development of exercise and wellness programs for children and adults. Patricia is a compassionate Nutritionist with an outstanding record in patient service.

Monique Vallabhan, DNP, FNP-BC, MSN, RN
Assistant Professor of Pediatrics

Dr. Vallabhan has over 30 years’ experience in health care. She graduated from the University of New Mexico as a Family Nurse Practitioner and went on to complete fellowship training in adolescent medicine and research, and doctoral training at New Mexico State University, graduating with academic honors.

Dr. Vallabhan is both a clinician and researcher in adolescent health. As a clinician, she works with adolescent populations at school-based health centers and the UNM Healthy & Fit Children’s Teen Clinic with a focus on implementing evidence based best clinical practice. Her adolescent research interests address participatory sustainable strategies to prevent and treat adolescents with obesity as well as comorbidities frequently associated with obesity.

  1. Vallabhan, MK, Jimenez, EY, Nash, JL, Gonzales-Pacheco, D, Coakley, KE, Noe, SR, DeBlieck, CJ, Summers, LC, Feldstein Ewing, SW, Kong, AS. Motivational Interviewing to Treat Adolescents With Obesity: Meta-Analysis. Pediatrics, published online: 10/22/2018 (doi: 10.1542/peds.2018-0733)
  2. Vallabhan, MK, Kong, AS, Jimenez, EY, Summers, LC, DeBlieck, CJ, & Feldstein-Ewing, SW. (2017). Training primary care providers in the use of motivational interviewing for youth behavior change. Research and Theory for Nursing Practice, 31(3), 219-232.