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Dear Growing Together Pediatrics Patient,
March of 2020 will never be forgotten! The COVID-19 pandemic has changed our lives, but there is much we have learned from it… especially the importance of preventative care and vaccinations. We want to remind you of the vital need to protect your child against serious, vaccine-preventable diseases. As masks and social distancing requirements are relaxed, your child may be more vulnerable to illness because they are not fully protected with up to date vaccinations.
For those children that are behind in their well care, vaccinations, and/or developmental screenings, we understand this interruption in care may be due to your reluctance to bring your child into our office and possibly expose them to infection. Rest assured, the health of your family and our staff is our top priority, and we have safety measures in place. Every individual over the age of 2 is wearing a mask while in our office. Parents are urged to have a maximum of two adults bring the patient(s) to each visit, therefore decreasing crowding in our office. Families may wait in their cars after check-in and then are brought immediately to their sanitized exam room when their provider is ready. Patients in the waiting room must practice social distancing. We are also taking special precautions to ensure that any individuals with COVID-19 symptoms are being cared for through our virtual visits and drive up testing.
Attention to your child’s wellness visits, immunization schedule, and developmental screenings not only keeps your child healthy but it also allows us to remain a valued provider on your insurance. Your insurance company expects the best medical care for their customers, which is measured, in part, by your following the recommended American Academy of Pediatrics wellness schedule and CDC immunization schedule. At Growing Together Pediatrics we will continue to uphold the high standards put in place by the AAP and CDC, and we ask all our patients to meet and remain current on healthcare benchmarks.
We will support you through this unprecedented time with reminders, essential information, and same-day scheduling to help you meet these measures and receive the best medical care for your family.
Growing Together Pediatrics
Growing Together Pediatrics is excited to announce our partnership with CHADIS (Child Health and Development Interactive System) which allows parents to complete health and developmental screenings from home, BEFORE annual well child visits!
Filling out the age-appropriate CHADIS questionnaires in our patient portal before an annual well child visit usually takes just 5 minutes. The CHADIS website is fully secure and HIPPA compliant.
GTP has always used screening tools to assist in the early diagnosis of behavioral, developmental, emotional and social concerns but we’ve partnered with CHADIS to give parents and caregivers the flexibility and convenience of quickly completing the questionnaires on any computer, tablet or mobile device.
Coming Together: Standing Up to Racism
We watched the CNN/Sesame Street Town Hall before we posted the link and recommended it to our patients and our families. We think it has good information for all age groups and is worth a look!
CNN's Van Jones and Erica Hill host this teleconference-style town hall meeting and are joined throughout the show by Elmo, Big Bird, Abby, and Rosita - Sesame Street characters your kids know and trust - to help explain racism and how we can all come together to fight discrimination.
Part 1 begins with Elmo talking to his father, Louie, about the protests. Elmo asks, “What is a protest?” “What is racism?” and “What can we do?” Louie answers in simple, age-appropriate language and this short segment may be enough for sensitive toddlers and preschoolers. It’s basic, honest information from characters young children love.
Van Jones and Erica Hill are then joined by mother of four, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. With a little help from Big Bird, they answer questions from parents and children from all over the country. Topics range from slavery to Black Lives Matter to prayer to Dr. Martin Luther King. They also have some great advice that we all need to be reminded of sometimes, like the classic “Treat people the way you want to be treated.” They encourage children to use their voice, speak up with love, and lead by example to combat injustice. And, when kids are scared or angry we should allow them to feel and express their emotions while we simply listen.
Also in Part 1, Jones and Hill speak with Dr. Nia Heard-Garris a Pediatrician with Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago and Minority Health, Equity & Inclusion Chair at the American Academy of Pediatrics, plus Jeanette Betancourt Senior VP, U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop. Dr. Heard-Garris fields questions ranging from “Why do people have different skin colors?” to “Can I operate on racist brains to change them?” from a 6-year-old future neurosurgeon! Ms. Betancourt encourages parents to talk honestly about racism with even very young children because they already recognize race and identity. These can be hard conversations but even more importantly we, as parents, must model empathy and inclusion because our actions mean more than our words.
Beverly Daniel Tatum, Ph.D. a psychologist and President Emeritus, Spelman College, and Jennifer Harvey, Ph.D. a Religion Professor at Drake University join Van Jones and Erica Hill to define and discuss empathy, inclusion and white privilege. They remind parents that racism can be based on eye shape or hair texture, not exclusively skin color, so we should “celebrate the rainbow of human diversity.” Some tools for parents are books that identify differences warmly and inclusively, plus families can role-play how to interrupt discriminatory behavior that they may encounter or experience.
Keedron Bryant, a 12-year-old gospel singer from Jacksonville is featured at the end of Part 2. His song, “I Just Want To Live,” was inspired by the last moments of George Floyd’s life. The song has gone viral with praise from former President Barack Obama and LeBron James and led to appearances on “Good Morning America” and “The Ellen DeGeneres Show.”
Don’t think that’s the end! Part 3 is labeled “Viral Video Child Stars Unite!” Charles Ramsey, former Philadelphia Police Commissioner and former Washington DC Police Chief does an amazing job fielding tough questions from kids! “Will a police officer harm me because of my skin color?” “Who do we call when the police are being unsafe?” “Can George Floyd’s death really change the way that people behave when they encounter black men like my dad?” It’s difficult to hear children asking these questions but this is the moment for change!
The show ends with the affirmation “We can do better! We must do better! We will do better!” It’s a powerful ending to an honest analysis of systemic racism in our country.
We know your life has changed dramatically due to COVID-19 but rest assured your children’s health is our top priority and we are doing everything in our power to keep your family and our staff safe!
We are OPEN at both offices!
- We ask that just ONE healthy caregiver escort the patient into the lobby for check in AND to the exam room for the appointment.
- Please allow siblings and other family members to stay at home.
- After checking in you may wait in your car and we will call you when the doctor is ready to see you. If you choose to wait in our lobby, please practice appropriate social distancing.
- Patient visits are being spread out to minimize the number of people in our facility at one time.
- Please to do not fall behind on your well child visits or immunizations! COVID-19 is on your mind right now but remember that immunizations prevent the spread of other contagious, viral diseases like measles, mumps, polio and chickenpox. Plus, during your well-child visit you can speak to us one-on-one about ALL the ways to keep your children safe and healthy.
We are excited to offer VIRTUAL VISITS!
- We are using Healow Telehealth for all virtual visits.
- Healow Telehealth is HIPPA compliant and securely integrated with our existing electronic medical records system.
- Healow Telehealth may be accessed through an app or by an email link.
- Not all visits can be handled virtually, so please contact us to see if you are a candidate!
We are in compliance with all local, state and federal guidelines, and continue to monitor the latest information coming from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the American Association of Pediatrics and other governing agencies.
The COVID-19 situation is constantly evolving and we THANK YOU for your PATIENCE and LOYALTY as we all adapt!
Don’t Panic! Coronoavirus 101
How the new coronavirus spreads:
- Person-to-person contact (within about 6 feet).
- Contact with infected objects or surfaces.
The best ways to prevent this and all viruses are:
- Avoid contact with people who are sick.
- Wash your hands often with soap and running water.
- If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
- Don’t touch your face, eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.
Signs and symptoms:
- Shortness of breath
- Seek medical advice if you develop these symptoms AND have been in close contact with a person know to have the new coronavirus.
If you feel sick:
- Stay home from work or school
- Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when your cough or sneeze, then throw the tissue in the trash and wash/sanitize your hands.
- Clean or disinfect objects and surfaces you touch frequently.
- VACCINES against pneumonia do NOT provide protection against the new coronavirus. The virus is so new and different that it needs its own vaccine. Researchers are trying to develop a vaccine against 2019-nCoV.
- ANTIBIOTICS do NOT work against viruses, only bacteria. The new coronavirus (2019-nCoV) is a virus and, therefore, antibiotics should not be used as a means of prevention or treatment.
- SESAME OIL does NOT kill the new coronavirus. Bleach/chlorine-based disinfectants can kill the 2019-nCoV on surfaces.
- Eating GARLIC can NOT protect people from the new coronavirus
- To date, there is NO specific MEDICINE recommended to prevent or treat the new coronavirus.
- People of all ages can be infected by the new coronavirus (2019-nCoV). Older people, and people with pre-existing medical conditions (such as asthma, diabetes, heart disease) appear to be more vulnerable to becoming severely ill with the virus.
- CHINESE AMERICANS, or those of Asian descent, are NOT more likely to get the new coronavirus than any other American. A disease can make anyone sick, regardless of their race or ethnicity.
- People receiving a PACKAGE from China are NOT at risk of contracting the new coronavirus.
- At present, there is NO evidence that PETS can be infected with the new coronavirus.
- THERMAL SCANNERS ARE effective in detecting people who have developed a fever; however, they can NOT detect people who are infected but are not yet sick with a fever.
- ULTRAVIOLET (UV) LAMPS should NOT be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin because UV radiation can cause skin irritation.
- HAND DRYERS are NOT effective in killing the new coronavirus.
- Spraying ALCOHOL or CHLORINE all over your body will NOT kill viruses that have already entered your body.
- There is NO evidence that regularly RINSING THE NOSE with saline has protected people from infection with the new coronavirus.
Stop the spread of rumors! Check the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO) for the facts!