Partnership with Lenoir-Rhyne University Physician AssistantProgram
LRU has added a graduate level Physician Assistant degree. The first fifteen months of the program are classroom based, after which the students spend the next year doing clinical rotations for six weeks at a time in various medical specialties to complete their education.
The practitioners at The ChildHealth Center have entered into a partnership with LRU to be one of the practices at which the students can receive their Pediatric training. We will have usually one student, though sometimes two, for the entire practice of eight practitioners. We think this is a great opportunity to teach the next generation of practitioners how to provide the best possible Pediatric care.
We will do our best to let you know if the practitioner you are seeing has a student with them that day. We appreciate your willingness to allow a student to take a history and examine your child since hands on experience is the best way to learn Pediatric care. Be assured, the regular practitioner your child is scheduled with will also see your child. You can certainly decline to have a student examine your child if you wish--just let the nurse or practitioner know your desires, but we hope you will be willing to help us teach our future practitioners!
We do not accept new patients who refuse to immunize their child:
After much consideration, the practitioners and staff at The ChildHealth Center, PA decided to no longer accept new patients whose parents have refused all immunizations for their children.
Although we do strongly encourage and support all the vaccines on the current AAP immunization schedule, we will continue to provide care for families who decline the following vaccines that are considered elective for schools in North Carolina: Rotavirus, Hepatitis A, HPV (Gardisil), Varicella (booster dose), and Influenzae. Because of the life-threatening nature and risk of spread to other patients, however, the pneumoccal (Prevnar) and meningococcal (Menveo) vaccines WILL be required for patients of The ChildHealth Center. This policy also does not apply to those few children with a true medical contraindication to receiving vaccines such as certain underlying medical conditions or allergy to vaccine components.
We care very much about all of our patients and did not make this decision lightly. The fact is that as more people refuse vaccines out of fear based on misinformation circulating in the media, we are seeing a return of deadly infections that had been all but eliminated. When unvaccinated children are sick with febrile illnesses, there is a possibility that they could have one of these vaccine-preventable infections and pass it on to babies at our office who have not yet been fully immunized. Since children are usually contagious with these illnesses before they show actual signs of sickness, it is possible that they could even infect unsuspecting families while here for well visits!
We have a greater responsibility to protect babies and children who are not yet fully immunized from the vaccine-preventable diseases that an un-immunized child may bring into the office, rather than to honor the choice of a family who does not believe in immunizations.
Some people have requests for an "alternative vaccine schedule" which gives only one or two vaccines at a time. We do not agree with this practice, since it is not based on science (but rather only on fear), and leaves a child susceptible to a preventable disease longer than is necessary. Furthermore, giving the vaccines on different days only causes more days of pain for infants and children, and does not provide any advantage. The body's immune system is already under constant bombardment by billions of bacteria and viruses at any given moment, so even several different vaccines given at the same time pose no problem whatsoever for the immune system. The vaccine manufacturers and the FDA have spent years proving the safety and reliability of the current vaccine schedule. The vaccine science is sound and significant vaccine risks are exceedingly rare. We primarily use combination vaccines (wherever possible) in which several individual vaccines are given together, which decreases the number of shots a child must have. Be aware we do not stock many of the individual component vaccines, and those parents who want to separate the vaccines for some reason will need to get those immunizations at the Health Department.
Our sincere hope is that families who have chosen not to vaccinate their children will re-evaluate their position and make a decision based upon sound scientific evidence, and not upon the scary and inaccurate information posted on websites by people who have no scientific background.
If you would like any additional information regarding vaccine safety, click here. If there are any further questions you would like to discuss, we would be happy to address your concerns. We appreciate all of our families and patients at The ChildHealth Center, PA, and will continue to strive to provide the highest quality medical care.
New recommendations on introducing peanut products!
The American Academy of Pediatrics has made a new recommendation about introducing peanuts and other foods. Click HERE for a link to the article.
Immunization Changes! When is the last time your child has been in for a well check-up? If it has been more than a year since your child (older than five years) has had one, the odds are your child may be due an immunization. Everyone over twelve months of age should receive the Hepatitis A series. All children five years and older should receive a booster dose of the Varivax (chickenpox vaccine). North Carolina now requires all children entering sixth grade to receive the new Tdap (Tetanus and Pertussis vaccine). EVEN IF THE HEALTH DEPARTMENT GIVES THIS VACCINE AT YOUR CHILD'S SCHOOL, THERE ARE OTHER VACCINES YOUR CHILD SHOULD RECEIVE THEY WILL NOT GIVE AT SCHOOL! For example, everyone eleven years and older should receive Menveo (meningitis vaccine). Girls AND boys eleven and older should receive the Gardisil series (human papilloma virus vaccine), to prevent cancer of the cervix, genitals, and anus, as well as to prevent genital warts. And there are also the Hepatitis A and Varivax immunizations mentioned above.
Well visits: Even if your child has received vaccines through a health department program in the schools, all children three years of age and older should receive annual well checkups. The health department ONLY gives certain vaccines--not all the ones children SHOULD receive. Furthermore, there are many problems that can show up throughout childhood. Annual well exams are the best way detect medical problems early!
This section of What's New? will keep you abreast of recent changes related to the practice of medicine and general health issues. Since this area is constantly changing, you will want to check here often.