Health Tool - Child Wellness Visit

I’m wondering if our local families understand and take advantage of the benefits of well-child checks. Well child checks are important tools for you and your doctor to make sure your child is developing right and to screen for common problems that appear at specific ages.

What happens at a well-child visit?  We check your child’s growth and development, looking at their height, weight, and head size as compared to other kids their age and gender.  This can tell us if there are trends that need attention.  We also check age-appropriate milestones, social behaviors and learning.  We make sure your baby is able to do the things he/she should be doing by certain ages.  If we find a problem, we make recommendations:  continue to monitor, send to a specialist to evaluate, or get specialized services or therapy starting at an age young enough to make a difference.  We also talk about nutrition and safety in the home and community.  At well child checks, we discuss immunizations to prevent illness.  At the Perry Memorial Walnut Clinic and our other Perry Clinics, we offer immunizations for children whose insurance cover them.  If your insurance doesn’t cover immunizations, we discuss with you when and which vaccines your child needs to get at the health department – who typically can provide these necessary immunizations for free or at a reduced cost to children without insurance or who are underinsured.

Most insurances cover wellness exams 100%, especially for kids.  Check with your insurance provider to be sure.  Well-child checks are for healthy kids who are growing and seldom go to the doctor, as well as for children who are seeing doctors regularly due to chronic health issues.

In my office, I like to see kids at the following intervals starting from their newborn checkup (2-5 days old), 1 month, 2 months, 4 months, 6 months, 9 months, and 12 months.  Then in the second and year, we would see them at 15 months and then every 6 months (18 months,  24 and 30 months of age) until they are 3.  Starting at age 3, we would then like to see the kids yearly until they are 21.  Their birth month is a good time to remember to schedule these visits, or you could do it in the summer when the children are off school.
 In the summertime (or any time of the year) we can incorporate school and sports physicals with the well-child check.  Keep in mind the well child visit and physical are not interchangeable.  The well-child check is much more comprehensive than the school or sports exams and is intended to catch any health problems early on.  Because of the wide range covered during the exam we can fill out the any required forms pertaining to the physical during this visit to save you time or an additional appointment.
Before you bring your child to the clinic for his/her wellness exam, make a list of topics you want to discuss with us, whether it be about how much sleep your baby should be getting, is a certain behavior normal, what and how much should they be eating, or maybe small health issues like skin lesions that you’ve deemed too minor to make an appointment for.

Regular wellness exams help your provider get to know your child and the family, so that they can know when something is amiss.  This consistency helps develop that medical home, where everyone knows your name.
Remember as you are making plans this summer, think about scheduling well child exams for your kids if they haven’t had one, need to get caught up on them, and especially if they need to get vaccines, or need physicals for camp,  school or sports.


Dr. Hoelle Announces Retirement

July 24, 2019

After 37 years in practice, with 22 of those years in the Princeton community, Gary Hoelle, DPM, is announcing his retirement from his podiatric practice at Perry Memorial Hospital.  Dr. Hoelle has been transitioning his practice to Dr. Amanda McGuire, DPM, since mid-July.  Dr. Hoelle’s last day will be August 15, 2019. 

 “I would like to thank Dr. Hoelle for his service to our communities and his cooperative spirit with processes for the medical staff and for the hospital,” says Annette Schnabel, President and CEO of Perry Memorial Hospital.  “He has been a pleasure to work with as he listens and provides great input into solutions.  He chose to stay an extra year in practice to allow Dr. McGuire to become established.  This was about him caring for the community.”

Dr. Hoelle completed a Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry at Illinois State University, and graduated from the Dr. William M. Scholl College of Podiatric Medicine in 1981.  According to Dr. Hoelle, “Podiatry attracted me because it is multi-faceted, with opportunities in dermatology, sports medicine, surgery, and wound care.”  He set up his first practice in his hometown of LaSalle, and then joined a group practice from Peoria.  It was this group practice that led him to Princeton.  He represented the group with offices in LaSalle, Chillicothe, and Princeton, and became affiliated with the Perry Memorial Hospital medical staff in 1997.  Although he’s been exclusively in Princeton for many years, Dr. Hoelle still has patients who travel from Chillicothe to see him.  Dr. Hoelle estimates that he’s seen somewhere between 150,000 – 200,000 patient visits during his 37 years in practice.

“Having been a patient of Dr. Hoelle, I understand what an excellent podiatrist he is, and how he has provided an outstanding level of podiatry service to Perry Memorial Hospital and our patients,” says Linda Gustafson, Chair of the Board of Directors for Perry Memorial Hospital.  “Dr. Hoelle has made a real difference in the quality of the lives of people who require medical assistance to maximize their lives and reduce their pain.  Perry Memorial Hospital has been very fortunate over the years to have had the expert podiatry skills of Dr. Hoelle to meet the medical needs of our community.”

When he’s not in the clinic, Dr. Hoelle is an active member of the Princeton Community Band, playing trumpet.  He’s also served as a member of the Princeton Elks Lodge.  His hobbies include music, ancestry, and extensive travel.  Dr. Hoelle is also the brand new grandfather of his first grandson, David.  “Unfortunately,” Dr. Hoelle says, “David lives near Denver, so I anticipate seeing a lot of the Denver airport!”

Perry Memorial Hospital is hosting a Retirement Party in honor of Dr. Hoelle on August 8, 2019, from 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m., in the hospital’s “Park Avenue Café” cafeteria.  Patients, friends and colleagues are all invited to wish Dr. Hoelle well.