Category Archives: Physicians

Sports physicals – it’s time

Your kids are on the move – literally, and all the time! If they are involved in a fall sport at school, then it’s time for their sports physical. Don’t forget that there is tremendous benefit to getting these physicals at your child’s pediatric office, rather than at a clinic or a school-sponsored physical day. The pediatrician has all your records including vaccinations, allergies, and your individualized and family medical history. He or she can discuss important sports information with you, including nutrition. And, of course, follow-up is always readily available, whether one week or six months from now. We are delighted to be working, with you as our partner, to make a medical home for your family here with us. If your child has a physical at a clinic or the school, that physical is not a part of our records, and we end up with an incomplete picture of his or her development and needs. Read our previous blog post for more reasons on why it’s wise to bring your child to the pediatrician when it’s time for a physical.

© MBS Writing Services, 2015, all rights reserved

Patient-centered Medical Home, Part 2: Your Part

Remember that you will get the most from your PCMH, Georgetown Pediatrics, if you participate with the team.

What your PCMH team should do:

  • Learn about your child.
    • Get to know your family, your child, your life situation, and preferences.  Remember these details about you every time you seek care for your child and suggest treatments that work for YOUR CHILD.
    • Treat you and your child as a full team member in your child’s care.
  • Communicate with you and your child.
    • Give you time to ask questions and answer them in a way you understand.
    • Make sure you know and understand all of your options for your child’s care.
    • Help you decide what care is best for your child.  Sometimes more care is not better care.
    • Ask your feedback about your child’s experience getting care.
  • Support you in caring for your child.
    • Make sure you leave the office with a clear idea of how to care for your child.
    • Help you set goals for your child’s care and help your child meet those goals one step at a time.
    • Give you information about classes, support groups, or other types of services to help you learn more about your child’s condition and keep them healthy.

What you can do.

  • Learn about caring for your child.
    • Know that you are a full team member in your child’s care.
    • Learn about your child’s condition and what you can do to help them stay as healthy as possible.
    • As best you can, follow the plan that you, your child, and your PCMH team have agreed is important for your child’s health.  If you have questions, ask!
  • Communicate with your child’s PCMH care team.
    • Always bring a list of questions to each of your child’s appointments.  Also, bring a list of any medicines, vitamins, or remedies your child uses.
    • Always tell your child’s PCMH team when you don’t understand something they said.  Ask them to explain it in a different way.
    • Always tell your child’s PCMH team if your child gets care from other health care professionals, so they can help coordinate the best care possible.
    • Always talk openly with your child’s PCMH team about you and your child’s experience and getting care from the medical home so they can make care better.

 

Together, you and we will make Georgetown Pediatrics the medical practice that works best for your family.

Georgetown Pediatrics: Your Patient-Centered Medical Home

Georgetown Pediatrics is proud to be your Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH).  Just what is that, you may wonder?  As defined by the National Committee for Quality Assurance, PCMH is a way of organizing primary care that emphasizes care coordination and communication to transform primary care into “what patients want it to be.”

Medical homes can lead to higher quality and lower costs, and can improve your child’s and your physician’s experience of care.

Essentially, with input from your family, a PCMH offers a patient-centered approach with our team of medical professionals and technology to provide the best possible care for your child.

In a PCMH like ours, your care team:

  • Is available 24/7 if you need them.  You can communicate with your team by phone or email, and you can get an appointment quickly, even on the same day if needed.
  • Knows your child and remembers your health history.  They know enough about your child’s personal or family history to suggest treatment options that make sense for your child.
  • Makes sure you understand your child’s condition(s) and how to take care of them.  They help you sort through your options and make decisions about your child’s care.
  • Helps you coordinate your child’s healthcare—even if they are not giving the care themselves.  They will help you find specialists, get appointments, and make sure those specialists have all the information they need.  Your PCMH team will also be sure you know what the specialists say and what it means for your child.

Who is part of the PCMH team?  The PCMH team will work like many athletic sports teams.  There is the primary doctor (Head Coach), nurse (Assistant Coach), as well as other health care professionals who may assist in your child’s care, such as:  pharmacists (Defensive Coordinators) and physical therapists (Offensive Coordinators).  Your family caregivers are also included in your child’s team (fans).  With a team approach and the input from your child’s “coaches” and “fans,” your child will feel like a “Star Player” of the team—with a championship level of care!

ADHD—diagnosis, treatment and your concerns

You hear so much about ADHD these days.  It’s in the news.  You likely know children, teens or adults who’ve been diagnosed with it.  Debates continue about under- and over-diagnosing, and about medicating.

First, just what is ADHD?

ADHD is Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder.  Of course, nearly all children will sometimes be hyperactive and lack focus.  How do you know when it’s a problem worth taking to your pediatrician?

The American Academy of Pediatrics has a great article covering the basics of ADHD in which they say, “Children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have behavior problems that are so frequent and severe that they interfere with their ability to live normal lives.”  We might add that family life is also greatly affected by a child with ADHD.  This same article deals with concerns about medications and why more children are now being diagnosed with ADHD than, say, 10 or 20 years ago.

Another fascinating article about the trend is here, from MacClean’s.

The bottom line is this:  yes, it’s a real problem.  And yes, it may also be over-diagnosed.

Families of children and teens who have ADHD find that the right medication in the right amount can profoundly help.  Specific testing is needed up front, then some time is often required to pinpoint and adjust the proper medication.  In addition, coping mechanisms for studying, chores and social skills can assist parents in dealing with ADHD.

At Georgetown Pediatrics, we are conscientious in making the right diagnosis for your child.  Four of our physicians (Dr. Hambrick, Dr. Hoddy, Dr. Sweigart and Dr. Forster) are specially trained to diagnose and design a treatment plan specific to your child.  With compassion we can help you find your way to a less stressful future with your family.

If you have concerns that your child may have ADHD, contact our office for an appointment.

 

© 2014 MBS Writing Services, all rights reserved

Apps to suit your life and lifestyle

Last week we dealt with websites.  Want to be more mobile?  There are many apps for your smartphone or tablet that can help you keep your family healthy.

Here we’ve listed just a few to get you started, all of them inexpensive or free.

  • From the American Academy of Pediatrics, several great apps are available, all of which you can order here.
    • KidsDoc.  Cost:  $1.99.  This app helps you figure out what to do if your child is sick.  You enter your child’s symptoms and are given advice, including options like:  Call 911, Call Your Child’s Doctor Now, Call Your Child’s Doctor within 24 hours or Manage at Home.  Suggestions for managing at home will tell you how to care for your child’s particular ailment.
    • Car Seat Check.  Cost:  $1.99.  Enter your child’s age, height, and weight.  You’ll get reviews of appropriate car seats, installation help, and safety information.
    • Healthy Children.  Cost:  FREE.  Look up health information by age, find out what first aid is best for particular injuries, see what immunizations are needed for particular ages.
    • ADHD Tracker 1.0.  Cost:  FREE.  If your child, age 4-18, has already been diagnosed with (and treated for) ADHD, this app gives a streamlined way to complete and submit a behavioral assessment.
    • Iron Kids.  Cost:  $3.99.  Keep your child healthy and fit and sport-ready with this workout.
    • Other sources and apps.
      • Ages and Stages.  Cost:  FREE.  This app by Parenting magazine allows you to enter your own stage of pregnancy, or your child’s age, to get information tailored for you.
      • Breastfeeding Management 2.  Cost:  $1.99.  The Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition sponsors this app.  You can get answers to frequently asked questions; enter your child’s age, weight, and frequency of feeding to determine how many ounces each feeding should be (especially helpful if you’re pumping); research medications and breastfeeding.

Technology and health have always gone together.  These apps can keep you up to date and on top of health issues.

Artwork by Kennedy, age 2

Artwork by Kennedy, age 2

 

© 2014 MBS Writing Services, all rights reserved

Preparing for (owie!) shots

No one likes to get a shot, but we all know they are necessary.  Whether getting an annual flu vaccine or immunizations for school, your child will sometimes be coming to our office to receive a shot.  How you prepare your child is important and may make the event go better for all concerned.

While every child is different, some basics are helpful.

  • Tell the truth.  If you tell your child she’s not getting a shot, or that it won’t hurt, she may not want to go to the doctor’s office again, even when she won’t be getting a shot.
  • Tell the truth–again.  Explain that though the shot will hurt a little, it won’t last long and it will keep him healthy for a very long time.
  • Don’t blame the doctor or nurse.  They often hear some version of:  “If you don’t behave, the nurse will give you a shot.”  Vaccinations are not punishment; they are insurance against future illness.  Words spoken against the nurse or doctor, even in jest, can harm your child’s view of medical personnel—the people who are there to help.  Your child should feel positively about our staff; it will make it easier for you to bring him the next time he’s sick.
  • Have a conversation and plan a reward.  Some children can’t keep from crying, but you can help them refrain from dramatic overreaction.  Let them know what is going to happen, and that you expect them to be kind and behave appropriately for their age.  A promised reward can help—a bike ride with you, a favorite dessert, a play date with a friend.

Getting a shot isn’t fun, but with some assistance from you, we’ll make the experience as painless as possible for all concerned!

This week's artwork

This week’s artwork

 

© 2013, MBS Writing Services, all rights reserved.

Should you use a medical clinic in a store?

The key to providing the best possible care for your child is to provide a medical home where there is a continuity of care.  It seems that you can hardly open a newspaper or turn on your radio without hearing about retail-based clinics (RBCs), also called convenient care clinics.  They are often found in supermarkets, pharmacies, and other retail locations.  They pride themselves on getting patients in, making a quick diagnosis, and getting patients out the door with medications in hand.  You should know that the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has some concerns.

 

  • The AAP has taken a strong stand against RBCs, stating that it “opposes retail-based clinics as an appropriate source of medical care for infants, children and adolescents and strongly discourages their use.” *
  • The AAP supports a model of care called the medical home, which provides accessible, family-centered, comprehensive, continuous, coordinated, compassionate, and culturally effective care for which the pediatrician and family share responsibility.**
  •  Retail-based clinics are staffed by nurse practitioners or physician assistants with no physician on site to help these providers.
  •  No one reviews these clinics for compliance and quality issues the way that our office is reviewed.

There is no such thing as a “minor illness” when it comes to children.  We use these “minor illness” visits to identify other, potentially more serious issues.  We also use this time with you to stay current on the events in your family’s and your child’s life.

Getting routine care for your child should be done by your pediatrician who knows you and your family.

Our office is working to ensure that we meet your needs while also being the medical home.  We are open 7 days a week and can accommodate same-day “illness” appointments in most situations.  You can be sure you will get the highest quality care from us, in a way that works for you and your family.

 

REFERENCES

  • *American Academy of Pediatrics, Retail-Based Clinic Policy Work Group.  AAP principles concerning retail-based clinics.  Pediatrics, 2006;118:2561-2562
  • ** American Academy of Pediatrics, Medical Home Initiatives for Children With Special Needs Project Advisory Committee.  The medical home.  Pediatrics. 2002;110:184-186
    Artwork by Molly

    Artwork by Molly

 

© 2013, Georgetown Pediatrics, all rights reserved.

We welcome Dr. Lacey Sweigart to our practice!

For the second time this summer, Georgetown Pediatrics is expanding our staff so that we may better serve our patients.

Dr. Lacey Sweigart comes to us from the University of Colorado Department of Pediatrics, where she completed her three-year residency, culminating in a fourth year as Chief Resident of the program.  Her references were filled with superlatives like “superstar” and “excelled in every aspect,” and her résumé includes a long list of awards and publications, as well as public service.   For our part, we were taken with her well-rounded background that is both deep and broad—necessary qualities in a practice like ours.  Her Spanish-speaking ability will also be a tremendous asset.

Wanting to live closer to family, Dr. Sweigart , her husband Joe (who recently took a position as a physician with the University of Kentucky), and their three-month-old son Nathan will be moving here soon.  They’ll fit right in to Kentucky with their love of hiking, camping, and travel, and are even bringing their horse!  Dr. Sweigart says, “Georgetown specifically attracted us with its small town feel and the fact that everyone we spoke with felt that it was a great place to live and raise a family.”

She also was drawn to Georgetown Pediatrics because “the group has amazing physicians who are very dedicated to their patients and provide a supportive environment both to bring your children to and to work in.”

Dr. Sweigart begins her work with us on September 9.  You may call the office anytime to schedule a checkup with her.

Dr. Lacey Sweigart

Dr. Lacey Sweigart

 

© 2013 MBS Writing Services, all rights reserved

A new physician on board!

Dr. Laura Forster          Georgetown Pediatrics welcomes Dr. Laura A. Forster, MD, to our practice beginning July 8.

Dr. Forster comes to us from the Wake Forest Baptist Community Physicians Group in Mocksville, NC.  This is a Kentucky “homecoming” of sorts for her, since she completed medical school and residency, along with a year as chief resident, at the University of Louisville before moving to North Carolina in 2011.  Her husband has just completed a fellowship in Infectious Diseases, and they are excited to be returning to Kentucky.

A board certified pediatrician, Dr. Forster is also a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.  She’s the recipient of several awards, including the Compassionate Pediatrician Award in 2010.

Exemplifying the compassionate aspects of her character, Dr. Forster says, “I have loved getting to know my patients and their families.  While I also enjoyed the teaching/academic environment during my experience as a chief resident and hospitalist, I have found that nothing can replace the relationship between a general pediatrician and the families he or she takes care of.”

We know that Dr. Forster will be a great addition to our family of pediatricians and staff, and a compassionate physician for our patients and their families.

We are already scheduling checkups with Dr. Forster, beginning July 8.  Call our office at 502-863-6426 to make an appointment.

 

© 2013, MBS Writing Services