The Wellness Roundup With Dr. Jill

Sports Physical form Update

The COVID-19 virus thankfully spared most children from illness, but current data is showing that heart muscle fibers can get damaged causing myocarditis in children who have been infected by SARS-CoV-2. The AAP recommends that all athletes undergo a clearance physical exam prior to returning to sports.

While many of those infected had a positive test, there are many others who have not been formally tested who may also have been positive. Therefore, in an effort to prevent any heart-related problems as our patients return to sports we are requiring a pre-participation physical called a “sports physical” for all of our patient-athletes. If you have an upcoming annual physical you can bring your sports forms then, however, if your last annual physical was greater than 3 months prior to the date of the sports form we are requiring a sports physical visit.

The sports physical visit will include a shortened work up of height, weight, and blood pressure, routine screening questions including specific cardiac screening questions, and a physical exam. This visit is NOT considered a yearly physical and your insurance may require a copay.

Our goal, as always, is to put children first and keep our young student-athletes safe so they can enjoy the sports that many have missed this past year due to the pandemic!
To schedule your appointment call 844-437-5455.

-HKP

Rapid Molecular COVID-19, STREP, and FLU tests now Offered at Healthy Kids Pediatrics

Exciting medical technology update from Healthy Kids Pediatrics!

We are now offering RAPID molecular COVID-19, STREP, and FLU tests to give us reliable same day results, often within 20 minutes!

Please note that we are reserving our COVID tests for symptomatic, exposed, and pre-op patients and as always, there are some insurance plans that will not cover the cost of a rapid COVID 19, STREP, or FLU test. Call us at 844-437-5455 to schedule your appointment.

-HKP

Good Luck, P.J.! and Welcome Dr. Nunzia!

In the spirit of Valentine’s Day, we would like to show some love to two very special people! Our beloved Physician Assistant, P.J., who as many of you know is a devoted advocate and #volunteer for children with diabetes, recently received the opportunity of a lifetime at Morristown Medical Center to join the elite medical staff of their #pediatric outpatient #endocrine department.

Although we will miss him dearly, we are very happy that he will be able to use his amazing intelligence and first-hand knowledge to pursue this well-deserved opportunity. P.J.’s dedication to the patients and families of Healthy Kids Pediatrics has been second to none and his positivity, thoroughness, and desire to provide the best care possible have helped to make our #medicalhome what it is today. We cannot thank him enough for his service! We have all spent the last few months working together to allow for a smooth transition. If you have an appointment booked with P.J. after March 1st, our team will be reaching out to you this week to provide you with the most convenient rescheduling options possible.

Now for some more love…The Universe was Listening when we asked for a veteran pediatrician to join our team who could match the credentials, talent, and level of #compassionate care that Dr. Jill and Dr. Namm currently bring to our award-winning medical home. We are so happy to announce that Healthy Kids Pediatrics will now consist of three rock star #doctors and we are thrilled to introduce our families to Dr. Nunzia Fatica! Dr. Nunzia’s impressive resume includes pediatric fellowships at #HarvardMedicalSchool, Harvard Children’s Hospital, and New York-Presbyterian Weil Cornell Medical Center. Dr. Nunzia’s notable credentials also include being the director of pre/post-operative care for New York’s Hospital for Special Surgeries and the outpatient attending #physician at Smithtown Pediatric Immediate Care Clinic. When she’s not providing #exceptional care to her patients, Dr. Nunzia enjoys visiting her family in Italy and keeping up with the lives of her four grown children.

We are very excited for her to share her #expertise and love with all of our families.

Please join us in wishing P.J. the best of luck and welcoming Dr. Nunzia to the Healthy Kids Team!

-HKP

How to Improve Your Mental Health: 3 Ways to Cope with Sadness, Anxiety, and Depression

Dr. Jill Pedalino, Pediatrician/Owner, Healthy Kids Pediatrics

If there were ever a year that we needed to be aware of mental health challenges such as sadness, anxiety, and depression 2020 would be the winner.

As if it is not hard enough dealing with quarantining, virtual learning, and staying away from family members, the winter weather (especially this past week) makes getting outdoors, enjoying the warm sunshine, and moving our bodies even more difficult.

At our office we use a health screening questionnaire program that helps identify patients who may be facing mental health issues. Without question, thoughts of sadness, depression, worry, and anxiety were clearly the most prevalent areas of concern when we reviewed our patients’ responses. Everyone has sad and nervous thoughts and it is very common, but when those thoughts start to interfere with our lives that’s when it becomes an issue. It’s important that we speak up and express our feelings.

Mental Health article for Pomptonian from Dr. Jill - VisualThere are many factors that play a role in why we think the way we do and if we keep holding these feelings inside it can make matters much worse. So it is important that we share our thoughts with others and not to be ashamed of the way we are feeling. It is also important to be mindful of others who may be suffering in silence so look to give someone a shoulder to lean on if you suspect that they are experiencing mental health issues. Sometimes even more important is to be able to recognize that we, ourselves, may need a shoulder to lean on from time to time.

Anxiety and depression are more common than people may think. When we address mental health issues with families we find that many individuals and families who suffer think they are the only ones, but we remind them that they are not alone and there is help. Sometimes professional help is very hard to find. There are many resources out there, but insurance can be an issue when trying to find a therapist or psychiatrist who is covered in a family’s insurance plan. Pediatric practices are happy to work as a team with families to conquer their fears and nerves.

Things you can do that are not expensive and do not require a referral can be as simple as optimizing our sleep (because sleep is so important for preventing anxiety and depressive thoughts), our nutrition (getting rid of sugars and keeping on point with healthy eating), and exercise/intentional movement every day (taking a walk, getting fresh air, getting in touch with nature). These elements are all so important in combating feelings of sadness, depression, and anxiety. 

As a parent, it is critical to recognize that your own feelings of anxiety and/or depression can have a direct effect on your children. Making time for yourself and practicing self-care on a daily basis has a far greater impact that many people realize. Even just one act of self care lasting no more than ten minutes per day can have an exponentially positive effect on yourself and your family. The following links are great places to start when looking for help for your family.

1) The Center for Disease Control has a page specifically geared to help children cope with mental health challenges.

2) The Anxiety and Depression Association of America has videos and blog posts that focus on managing anxiety around quarantine and social isolation, as well as how to talk to children and teens about the current coronavirus pandemic.

Wishing you a healthy, joyful, and prosperous 2021!

-Dr. Jill

Cheers to a Happier, Healthier, and more Prosperous New Year

Dr. Jill and the HKP Team continue to do everything they can to protect each other and all of the families that come to your medical home.

Vaccinations have begun and we are grateful to help our country have a happier, healthier, and more prosperous New Year!

Let’s try out the mindset of this poster that was on the wall at the vaccination site and …. make it happen!

-HKP

HKP Tips for an Awesome Telemedicine Visit!

While we at Healthy Kids Pediatrics believe the best place for children to receive medical care is at the pediatrician’s office, Telehealth services integrated into a child’s medical home have many benefits.

We want to be sure all of our HKP families know that during this time of social distancing, Dr. Jill, Dr. Namm, and P.J. are available for virtual visits via telemedicine for many concerns you may have regarding your child. While there are many opportunities to have a telemedicine visit with other providers like urgent cares or your health insurance company, we know your child the best and can ensure that your child is given the proper advice tailored to his or her unique medical history.

Check out these helpful tips on how have the best Telemedicine experience possible!

-HKP

Exciting News, A Note of Gratitude, & Important Updates from Healthy Kids Pediatrics!

Check out the latest HKP update video for some very exciting news, a note of gratitude, and some very important modifications to our Covid-related visit guidelines.

Some highlights:

1) Thank you for your patience as we navigate car visits, increased paperwork, PPE, cleaning, using tech while still working to be timely and efficient.

2) A friendly reminder that we are limiting visitors, masks are mandatory, we are continuing to hyper-sanitize the office, and ask that all sick patients call the office upon arrival.

3) We’ve got a new EMR and patient portal coming! It features credit card on file and direct payments.

4) The office will be closed on November 30 for in-office training.

5) We will have a new and improved billing department as of 12/1. There will be some will be paperwork to fill out upon your next visit.

6) Thank you for helping us have such a successful flu clinic!

7) KUDOS and CONGRATS to Dr. Jill on becoming a managing partner at BCD Health Partners! 👍👏 Click here to read about the impressive caliber of entrepreneurs that Dr. Jill has been invited to join.

Have a happy and safe Thanksgiving!

-HKP

Success! The 2020 Healthy Kids Pediatrics Drive-Up Flu Clinic

What do you do when you can’t have 1200 people come inside the office like they do every other year?

You improvise. 🙂

Thank you to everyone who made our 2020 Drive-Up Flu Clinic a success! Your cooperation and expert driving skills really helped make everything run smoothly. 🙏 Kudos to Dr. Jill, P.J., Dr. Namm, and the HKP Team for being so flexible and adapting so well to whatever this year brings.

-HKP 👍

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