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. Pamnani is now seeing patients and Dr. John Ibrahim will join the team October 1. Internal Medicine provides an emphasis on disease processes and allows an internist to look further into the cause and solution to a chronic condition. Internal medicine supports patients in preventing and managing chronic diseases. Their addition to the Family Health Clinic team will also be extended as both physicians will provide hospitalist services, treating patients admitted to our Acute Care Unit or Intensive Care Unit.
Dr. Pamnani has a passion for research. "I have always loved learning and researching, which has led me to where I am today," he said. He studied medicine and surgery in India, and continued his study in public health at Northern Illinois University. After graduating, his next step was to pursue a PhD in Epidemiology from the University of Southern Florida, where he participated in a variety of research initiatives. Dr. Pamnani completed his residency supporting patients at Brandon Regional Hospital, a 422-bed acute care facility.
In his personal statement, Dr. Pamnani said, "My goal is to use my experience and access to the latest research to find the root cause of my patients' chronic conditions and diseases, and work together to treat and manage those conditions. I want my patients suffering from long-term diseases to have a fresh start and live a full life."
Dr. Ibrahim comes from a family interested in medicine, including many pharmacists. His interests lead him to go behind the scenes to learn about diseases, their origins and the need for medicine. Dr. Ibrahim was born and raised in Egypt, and his innate compassion motivated him to study how to care for the poor people across his city who had no access to primary care. He volunteered his time, spending hours diagnosing their diseases and educating them on how to manage it. He said, "The experience was satisfying, humbling, and motivating."
"My family taught me by example how to love, give, help, and support any human being in need, regardless of their status, religion, color, sex, or race. My family and the under-served in Egypt taught me the importance of integrity, respect, discipline, responsibility, and hard work. I plan to always carry these qualities forward in my life."
Dr. Ibrahim completed his residency at Mercy Hospital Medical Center, a teaching facility, and worked in a collaborative team culture surrounded by experts using advanced treatment and care to help patients with chronic diseases live longer, healthier lives.
The addition of Dr. Pamnani and Dr. Ibrahim will allow them to provide up to date diagnosis, treatment, and education for their patients, based on the latest research. Teaming up with Deb Nissen, RN, A Better You chronic disease management coordinator, the care team together will help patients who have two or more chronic diseases to manage. Deb provides services including coordinating appointments, sharing data between providers, and educating on how to manage the chronic conditions. Welcome, Dr. S. Das Pamnani and Dr. John Ibrahim!