Skip to main content

Preparing our pediatric patients to be successful in the world of adult health!

Dr. Ferris (middle) with a graduate of the STARx Program (left).



Founded in 2006, the main focus of the STARx Program is to develop and improve self-management skills and disease knowledge among adolescents and young adults with chronic health conditions. We have created self-management and transition readiness assessment tools that identify areas of knowledge and skill deficits among patients ages 12 and older. Based on identified areas of need, education and intervention is then provided in an individualized, culturally, linguistically and age-appropriate fashion.

Interdisciplinary Team Members

STARx (Self-management and Transition to Adulthood with Rx=Treatment) Program Founder and Director: Maria Ferris, MD, MPH, PhD

Senior Investigator: Stephen Hooper, PhD

Collaborators: Miranda van Tilburg, PhD; Nina Jain, MD; Cynthia Fair, DrPH (Elon University); Diane Cejas, MD, MPH: Dr. Guido Filler MD PhD; Wendy Gray, PhD; Mara Medeiros, MD PhD; Ana Catalina Álvarez Elías, MD PhD; Jaime Restrepo, MD; Randall Lou, MD; Cecily Betz, PhD

Research Assistants: Melissa Luna de la Garza, MD; Pierina Parraga

View our full list of STARx Collaborators!


The UNC Children’s Hospital provides funding for the full-time Transition Coordinator position. Part-time graduate, undergraduate and Research Consultant positions are occupied by dedicated researchers and students who contribute their time and expertise on a volunteer basis.