Category: News

Provider of the month!

We are proud of our physicians and nurse practitioners. We want to highlight some fun facts so that you can get to know them better.

Bethany Frank, CFNP is our provider of the month for April!

Bethany Frank, CFNP  earned her undergraduate degree from James Madison University and her MSN Family Nurse Practitioner Degree from George Mason University.  Bethany is certified by the American Academy of Nurse Practitioners.  Bethany practices at our Alexandria and Lorton locations.

 

Some fun facts about Bethany:

I love working in the pediatric healthcare field because I have a passion for caring for children and supporting them as they grow and develop into young adults.  One of my favorite things about kids is their vast imagination, excitement for learning, and exuberant energy, which is contagious and something as adults that we can all learn from and strive to be more like. 

I’ve lived in northern VA almost my whole life outside of college and a few short years living in North Carolina after undergrad. My family and my husband’s family still live in the area so we love being close to them and getting to spend time with them.

My husband and I have known each other since second grade, but didn’t actually start dating until high school.  We recently bought a house in the same neighborhood we grew up in so our kids will go to the same schools, pool etc. we went to which will be neat for them and for us!

 

My dad was a Navy pilot and then became a commercial airline pilot for American Airlines when he retired from the Navy.

I love antique shopping and VA wineries.

My favorite season is Fall. 

I really enjoy cooking (and eating!)- some of my favorite things to make are big salads with lots of different toppings, homemade pizza, and anything Mediterranean! 

My favorite food is creamy peanut butter and the only food I don’t like is mushrooms.

I’m passionate about exercise and fitness. My favorite things to do are running and high intensity interval training.

 

List of 10 things new parents should know

Here are some things I tell new parents:

1.       Some practices are clear-cut, such as having babies sleep on their backs.  In many instances, however, such as swaddling or not, how often to bathe, etc., there are many ways to raise a baby properly (I don’t even know that burping is essential, let alone the ‘right’ way to do it).   Most of the time, if something feels right to do, go for it.

2.       Newborns spend most of their time sleeping, and the remaining third is divided between feeding, watchful wakefulness, and, yes, crying (2- 3 hours per day).

3.       All babies spit up, have gas, give little body jerks when falling asleep, open one eye at a time, sneeze, and hiccough.  These are normal.

4.       You can have visitors over, as long as they promise (and are trustworthy) that they are not ill, and wash their hands very well.  However, if you prefer not to have visitors, tell them no, and say it is doctor’s orders; I will back you up.

5.       The worst place to take a newborn is to work/church/etc.  People often go to work while ill, and they also feel, since they know you, that they should be allowed to hold the baby.

6.       I am a strong proponent of breast feeding.  That having been said, if you cannot/will not breast feed, formula and water supplies in the country are such that you should not feel guilty about this.

7.       For slightly older babies with colic, I will give parents advice, and help them to cope, but I tell them upfront that nothing may work, and they may have to ride it out for a few months. They will remember the colic when older, but the baby will not.

8.       If you have a question, you can go to a reliable source such as our website, or www.healthychildren.org or the app Pediatric SymptomMD.  If you still do not have answers, call me; that’s why I’m here

9.       I have said this before in print, but it is so important I will say it again:  I tell parents to talk and sing to their baby.  If a parent comes home from work and the spouse is too tired to hear how the day went, tell your baby instead.  They love to listen to language; let the words wash over them.

10.   With a new baby, it is impossible to spoil them.  If you create a bad habit, you can always break it when older.  If they want to be held, hold them, if they want to be fed, feed them, etc.  They’re the boss.

 

Written by Dr. Jon Farber

Self Scheduling via the patient portal for sick visits

ALL Pediatrics is pleased to offer self scheduling for minor illnesses. This service is for established patients over 3 months of age.  We are unable to address chronic issues such as long term medical conditions, special health care needs or behavioral/developmental concerns.

Self scheduling is for minor illnesses such as:

·       Fever (72 hours or less)

·       Ear pain

·       Cold symptoms

·       Diarrhea and vomiting

·       Pink eye

·       Minor injuries

·       Rashes

·       Sore throat

Our goal is to provide timely and quality care in your child’s medical home.  If you have a child with special health care needs, a child with a chronic condition or symptoms lasting more than 72 hours, we ask that you call to schedule an appointment so that our staff can schedule the appropriate visit time. 

We currently have 1/3 of our same day sick appointments available for self scheduling.  If you don’t see an available appointment, please call our office.  Our goal is to always see sick children the same day!

If you self schedule an appointment for an illness or concern that does not meet the above criteria, our staff will ask you to reschedule.  If you have questions, please contact our office.

New process for releasing schedule

In our continuous effort to improve the patient experience, we will be implementing a new process for releasing our schedule. When a new month is available for scheduling we will send a message to all portal enabled patients. You will be able to schedule your well child visit on the portal 2 days ahead of the schedule being released to all families.

Top Doctor awards for 2018

ALL Pediatrics is pleased to announce that Dr. Debbie Peng and Dr. Michael Caplan were selected as “Top Doctors” of 2018 by Washingtonian Magazine. We are thankful for the high quality and compassionate care they provide to our families.

View and pay your bill right from the patient portal!

After gathering feedback from patients we learned that many were not happy with how complex it was to view and pay statements.

We are always looking for ways to make things easier for our patients; we are excited to announce that we have integrated our payment processing system into our electronic medical record system. This means you will now be able to view and pay statements right from the patient portal. 

Additionally, you will be able to stream line your check in process by paying your co-pay on the portal prior to arriving for your visit.

We ask that patients that have bookmarked a link to our old payment processor, Navicure, please delete it as it will no longer be active.

You will receive an email from us when a new statement is generated. You may log into the portal, click on the my account tab, and go to billing and payments to view and pay the balance.

You may also check your account balance at any time. After logging into the portal, one of the main call outs on the dash board is titled latest statement. You may click on this to view your account balance with the option to pay.

We want all parents to understand that with the new system, we will no longer have any credit cards on file. A valid payment option must be presented at the time of your visit to cover any associated copays.

Flu clinic information

All of our offices now have flu vaccine! All times below are by appointment only.

Please call 703 436 1200 to schedule an appointment for your child. Space is limited.

Alexandria Office

11/29 8-3pm

Woodbridge Office

11/30 8AM – 5:00 PM

Lorton Office

Mondays from 8:00 AM – 12:00 PM,

Thursday from 12:00 PM – 5:00 PM

Fridays from 1:30 PM – 5:00 PM

Evenings from 5:30 PM – 8:00 PM on  10/22, and 10/24.

Saturdays: 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM on 10/13, 10/27,11/3, and 11/10.

 

Newborns Part II

Here are items 6 – 10 of the top 10 concerns at the newborn visit. Please see part one of this blog post for items 1-5. 

6.       Sleeping:  Sleep is a topic that parents and pediatricians talk about for 18+ years but with regard to newborns, I have a few specific comments.   Newborns can sleep 18-22 hours per day waking to eat every 2-3 hours then going right back to sleep.  They will start to have more awake and alert periods about 2 weeks of age.  They are also nocturnal.   This means mean they will sleep more during the day and be awake more at night similar to when they were in-utero and mother’s daytime activities lulled them to sleep.  The circadian rhythms that help them differentiate between day and night become more active after several weeks and things do get better.  In the meantime, offer lots of environmental cues to the newborn.  During the day, exposure her to increased stimulation such as talking and singing, normal daytime light/sunlight and routine daytime noises.  At nighttime, keep it all business.  The sleeping space should be dark and you should tend to the newborn’s basic needs while being mindful to not over stimulate.  Lastly, the safest place for a newborn to sleep is in the parents’ room in her own separate sleeping space on her back. 

 

7.       Stooling issues:  I very commonly get concerns during this time period about stooling that include questions about frequency, consistency, infant straining and grunting and stool color.  I always tell parents that normal newborn stools (especially an exclusively breastfed infant) are what you and I think are diarrhea.   Breastfed infants can have 8-10 yellowish liquid stools a day.  This is nature’s way of letting you know the infant is getting enough given you cannot quantify what the infant is taking right from the breast.  Rest assured, lots of poop usually means lots of breastmilk ingested.  Formula fed newborns still have loose stools but at a frequency of about 2-3 times per day.  Just to add more confusion to this challenging time, some newborns can have bowel movements once every 7-10 days which can also be normal.  To help reassure, I again revert back to the infant’s comfort level.  If they are content after eating, happy in between bowel movements, eating well, passing gas and not vomiting (spitting up is OK – see below) then there is no need to panic.  I recommend you continue frequent feedings and contact the pediatrician during regular business hours to discuss concerns. 

8.       Spitting up:  Pediatricians have the term “happy spitter”.  This is an infant that effortlessly turns his head to expel a mouthful (or two) or milk without much drama during or afterward.  This can happen with every feed.  During the first few weeks of life, as the infant’s stomach size stretches out (from about the size of a grape to the size of a ping pong ball), spitting up usually lessens.  Be careful about offering too large a volume of milk to a newborn infant given this small size of the stomach.  An adequate volume during the first few days of life is about 15-30 ml per feed.  This can gradually be increased depending on how full the infant seems and amount of spitting up.  As long as there is no perceived discomfort with spitting up and the newborn is content and appears to gaining weight *, continue frequent feedings and monitor closely. (*With adequate weight gain in early life, the newborns tummy appears large and distended.  It is usually a sharp contrast between the tiny hips and often a source of concern for families when they change their newborns diaper.  Use this sign as affirmation that your infant is thriving).

 

9.       Bowed legs:  This is an easy one…..normal in the newborn period due to cramped quarters and being folded in half x 9 months.  The legs will straighten with time. 

 

10.       Finger nails:  The nails are paper thin and almost seem to be connected to the tips of the fingers until they begin to harden at about 2 weeks of life.  Given this, it is difficult to clip them with a nail clipper early on.  I recommend using a file or simply covering the hands with newborns mittens or layette gowns. 

This blog is by no way a comprehensive discussion of all 10 topics but more of a quick reference guide to hopefully help in the stressful first few days home from the hospital or between the first few pediatrician visits.   I encourage families to use their family/friends support systems and trust their guts with regard to their newborns care.  Look at your newborn, he or she will let you know if they are comfortable or not.  And try not to second guess yourself.  After years of practicing pediatrics, I have come to realize that despite often lacking confidence, parents, new and old, can instinctively tell when something is amiss with their child.  Trust yourself and enjoy your baby and this amazing one of a kind experience. 

Free Family Fitness Bootcamp

Please join our dietitian Jennifer Littau for a Facebook Live event on September 26th at 8 PM. Jennifer will be sharing details of an upcoming Free Family Fitness Bootcamp, scheduled for October 24th at 7 PM in the Lorton office. This will be a fun-filled spooky evening as we invite parents and children ages 6-12 to wear their costumes and enjoy learning new, fun ways to stay active!