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.
The Perry Memorial Hospital Foundation announced the 2019 Living Legacy Annual Campaign at a kickoff event Wednesday, September 25. The goal is to raise $500,000 for the Perry Memorial Family Health Clinic building, which is scheduled to open February 2020.
The Perry Memorial Hospital Foundation’s mission is to enhance the quality of life, through philanthropy, for those served by Perry Memorial Hospital. Over the past 100 years, the availability of local healthcare through Perry has helped bring about the strong community we have today. It is imperative to continue to provide and improve primary care for the future generations of families, children and grandchildren.
Sue Spratt, Perry Memorial Hospital Foundation Chair said, “The Foundation’s goal has always been to enhance the quality of life, through philanthropy. We want to make a difference in the life and health of our neighbors providing easy access to healthcare.”
Over the past five years, the Perry Memorial Family Health Clinic has actively recruited physicians and nurse practitioners to meet our communities’ future health needs and increase access to primary care. The team of four providers in 2014 has grown to ten in 2019, including two internists—who are trained to diagnose, treat, and manage long-term conditions—along with family physicians with vast experience diagnosing and treating common illnesses and medical conditions, a part-time pediatrician, and five nurse practitioners offering basic disease prevention and care coordination.
The Georgia Fay Estate has left a generous donation to be the foundation of Perry’s Foundation “Living Legacy” campaign to enhance and offer another 100 years of community care. Georgia’s life journey included her scheduled doctor visits. She was steadfast in receiving care from her Perry care team. She had a special place in her heart for the life connections she made. Georgia valued the importance of local healthcare and the support it provided to the community she loved. Her spirit will live on with her generous donation to the Perry Memorial Hospital Foundation. Her contribution will enhance patient care while promoting health and wellness during every stage of life.
Even though you may not use Perry’s healthcare services every day, Perry is here when you need us. We will be ready to provide the best care for you and your loved ones. Consider supporting Perry Memorial Hospital’s Living Legacy Family Health Clinic Campaign, providing community care for the next 100 years.
Anyone interested in donating to the Living Legacy Campaign or learning more about how to support Perry should visit www.perrymemorial.org/legacy or call 815-876-4481.
Pictured (l to r): Attorney Curtis Ford, Rex Piper (executor of the Georgia Fay estate), and Foundation chairwoman Sue Spratt