Most parenting books will tell you to “Trust yourself. You know more than you think you do.” This statement is one that as a mother, I should reread again and again. What the parenting books don’t tell you is that you will often doubt yourself and your choices when it comes to the welfare of your children. The one place, where I know I will be respected as a parent and never made to feel neurotic, is at Sapphire Pediatrics. About six years ago, we moved from a very busy pediatric practice to Sapphire, where we instantly felt at home with their down-to-earth and knowledgeable staff. Recently, we had the chance to sit down with the team and ask them a few questions.

What sets your practice apart from other Pediatric offices? What is your overall health philosophy?

We strive to provide very personalized care to each of our families.  We are a small practice dedicated to knowing our patients and their families.  Especially for patients with any complications, we are very good about communicating those to all the providers in an effort for the family not to have to “reinvent the wheel” at every visit.  We have longer well-visit times to provide our patients plenty of time to ask questions and just to get to know each other.  After all, the best part of being a pediatrician is being a part of a patient’s “family” and watching that family grow.

How do your doctors handle mental health issues? How do you approach your tween and teen patients?

Thank you for asking this very important question.  Mental health has become more and more of an issue for primary care physicians and providers as access to mental health services can be limited.  We are very open to treating depression, anxiety, behavioral problems, ADHD and other concerns and several of the providers have many years’ experience treating these disorders.  In addition, we have secured a grant to get a psychologist in the office part-time starting this summer.  We hope this will expand the access to care we can offer to our patients as well as give them a “safe” place to be seen for these visits.  For teen and tween patients, we strive to make the patient feel “heard” and in most cases, spend at least part of the visit seeing the patient alone with the parent outside the room (with their parent’s permission, of course) in order to give the patient privacy to discuss issues they may not feel comfortable discussing in front of their parent.  We feel that this strengthens the rapport between the patient and the provider and improves the patient’s care.  In addition, when appropriate, we discuss social issues with the patients, including substance abuse, sexual activity, social media, and privacy issues.

Your doctors, PAs and nurses are knowledgeable and patient. As a parent, I’ve never felt uncomfortable asking questions. How do you maintain such a grounded staff? How many of your doctors are parents?

Thank you so much for your comment.  Since we are a smaller practice, we are able to work hard to maintain a “family” environment within our staff.  We have training programs for each position in order to ensure that our staff is giving accurate and consistent information to our patients.  Several of our providers and staff are parents ourselves, and understand the anxieties and concerns that come with even minor issues with our children.  We are always happy to answer your questions, even if they may seem silly.  Trust us, we’ve almost definitely heard it before!  We see it as our job to reassure when appropriate but of course if there are concerns, we are more than happy to see your child soon, and almost always within the same day if need be.

It is said that the Sapphire stone is infused with the power of integrity, strength, and wisdom. Your name is no longer a mystery because these characteristics are exactly how we would describe your team.  Thank you for caring about our kids as much as we do. We hope you don’t mind, but we have you on speed dial for the next 14 years. See you soon!

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