Dear Mindful Pediatrics families:
It is with both excitement and sadness that I am writing this letter. For as long as I can remember, being a Primary Care Doctor has been both my dream and my reality. When I opened the doors of Mindful Pediatrics in 2006, it was a pediatric model that didn’t exist anywhere else. For the last 15 years, I have provided care for so many of your children and families in this way and it has been my extraordinary privilege and honor. I cannot thank you enough for your trust and confidence in both me and my work.
As the demand at Mindful Pediatrics started to grow beyond a single-provider practice, I diligently worked to meet that need by hiring our amazing Physician Assistant, Ara, in 2018. Adding a second practitioner, in conjunction with the increased volume of patients, also brought with it an increased organizational complexity. Then add in a worldwide pandemic, which resulted in a shortage of employees seeking work in the medical field. This made it very difficult for our office to maintain long-term support staff for the first time ever.
While I have felt both humbled and grateful for the increased interest in Mindful Pediatrics, I recently found myself at a crossroads. I realized that I either needed to put my energy into growing the practice and assuming a more managerial role, or to scale back and reconnect to my real passion: being a doctor. For me, the choice was very clear. Being a Holistic Medical Doctor and caring for my patients is my true calling.
The NEW Mindful Pediatrics Model
Each year, my practice has had a growing percentage of patients who come for consultations rather than for primary care. Currently, this now makes up more than 50% of my practice. These families have their own primary care doctor, generally one who accepts their insurance.
They may come to me, either on an as-needed basis or at regularly scheduled intervals, because they are seeking a more comprehensive evaluation, need more support with a complex or chronic condition, a new health issue has emerged, or even for basic pediatric advice. Parents often tell me that while their current doctor fills a specific need, they simply don’t provide the partnership they desire—or the expertise to look at the big picture holistically.
Because offering a combination of primary care and consultative pediatrics has become increasingly difficult, beginning December 1, 2021, Mindful Pediatrics will no longer be offering primary care services and will be moving to a consultation only model. This will allow me to use my unique set of skills to assist the greatest number of patients.
What does this mean for your family?
For the majority of our patients who already have another primary care doctor and who have utilized me for consultations, this change will not affect you at all. You can continue to consult with me on any topic and schedule appointments as you always have.
For those families who have come to Mindful Pediatrics as their sole primary care pediatric practice, you will need to find another primary care provider for the following services, which we will no longer be offering beginning December 1, 2021.
Services Mindful Pediatrics WILL NOT be offering:
- Well-Child exams
- Sports Physicals
- Sick visits that require a physical exam
- School & camp forms
- Medication refill requests (we can continue to manage medications beyond this date for patients who continue to schedule regular consultation appointments)
Continuing our work together
I want to assure you that I will continue to be available for your family and children, but in a different way for some of you. You will still be able to schedule appointments for any concerns you may have about your children’s health and well-being.
Because I will not be performing Well-Child exams, giving immunizations, and providing emergency care, this opens my schedule so that I will be available for longer discussions on the medical and behavioral topics that are most important to you.
I believe that the time we spend together is one of the most important aspects of care. This new model will allow me to have the time and availability to understand the unique physical, emotional, psychological and social needs of each patient and family that I consult with.
Treatment plans will be guided by a thorough and comprehensive history and through the ordering/reviewing of blood, urine, stool, or other testing. As always, my recommendations will include the most appropriate evidence-based conventional and holistic treatment modalities, including dietary and lifestyle suggestions, nutritional supplements, and pharmaceutical medications, as needed.
Services Mindful Pediatrics WILL continue to provide:
- Consultations for new health concerns or conditions (of any severity)
- Guidance on complex or chronic medical conditions
- Providing integrative second opinions
- Creating a comprehensive supplement and natural health plan to support your child in wellness or illness
- Medication management (ADHD, depression, anxiety, thyroid…)
- Ordering and reviewing lab work
- Creating a personalized vaccine plan
- Guidance for sleep issues
- Evaluation of developmental concerns
- Support for parenting and behavioral issues
- Same day consultations for minor medical issues (as my schedule permits)
3 TIME-SENSITIVE & IMPORTANT action steps for Mindful Pediatrics patients
- Records Request: To request records, you will simply need to email me and we will put a copy in your patient portal so that you can share them with whomever you choose. Please do so as soon as possible.
- Cancelling your upcoming Well-Care appointment: We will still be offering Well-Child appointments until December 1, 2021. (Please note: I will be out of the office November 17-30 for a family vacation.) We completely understand that some of you will find your new primary care provider before then and we ask that you give us as much notice as possible so that we can accommodate other patients who need to be seen. Keep in mind that we will still be enforcing our 48-hour cancellation policy and missed appointments or cancellations with less than 48-hours notice will be charged accordingly.
- Changing a Well-Child appointment to a consultation appointment: If you have a Well-Child appointment scheduled after December 1, 2021 and would like to convert that to a consultation appointment, simply email me and I will be happy to do so.
Frequently Asked Questions
While I sincerely wish that I could sit down and have a personal conversation with each of my patients, I want you to know that I am available to discuss any question that you may have.
We know that many of you will have questions and we tried to anticipate some of them in advance. If you have any additional questions, please email me directly and I will either respond to you or we will let you know that we’ve updated the FAQ.
Can you recommend another primary care pediatrician?
Although I do not personally know and have never worked with any other pediatricians in the area, I have heard nice things about the doctors at The Pediatric Center in Boulder and Cornerstone Pediatrics in Louisville from my patients who use them for primary care. They do not practice holistic medicine but may be a good option when combined with the new consultation model at Mindful Pediatrics.
Where will Ara be working?
Because I will be doing all the consultations in this new model personally, Ara, our Physician Assistant, will be moving on. At this time, she is uncertain where that will be but we can update you as she knows more. She has been a blessing to me personally and an amazing addition to the Mindful Pediatrics team. Ara is not only an outstanding provider, but an absolutely admirable, loving, intelligent, compassionate, generous and outstanding woman. Thank you for all that you have done at Mindful Pediatrics, Ara.
Will Mindful Pediatrics provide urgent after-hours medical advice?
Although I will no longer be on call for after-hours urgent medical issues, there are certain circumstances where I may be available to schedule an after-hours appointment.
For example, if you have a sick child and need advice immediately, you would call your new primary care physician.
However, if you need advice about how to treat an acute issue naturally/holistically, need help making a medical decision, or need a second opinion on a treatment plan, I may be able to schedule a short weekend or evening appointment, as my schedule allows.
I will also continue to be available for those patients who are in medical crisis in order to make real time adjustments and provide support by scheduling a short weekend or evening appointment, as my schedule allows.
Will Mindful Pediatrics offer in-person appointments?
Yes, I will be offering a combination of both in-person and telemedicine appointments, as appropriate.
As a patient, will my child still get a physical exam?
In my experience, exams can give a lot of information and are often essential. Because all of my evaluations and treatments plans are individualized to the needs of each patient, I will do a physical exam when it is helpful.
In general, most new patients will need an examination. New or evolving conditions may also require an exam.
We will no longer be doing annual Well-Child exams or sports physicals.
Will I still receive a Super Bill? Can we use our FSA, HSA or HRA account?
Yes, we will provide you with a Super Bill for you to submit to your insurance company for reimbursement based on your out of network coverage. Additionally, your children’s medical care should be eligible for reimbursement with flexible spending accounts (FSA), health savings accounts (HSA), and health reimbursement accounts (HRA).
What if I have a Well-Child appointment scheduled after December 1, 2021?
If we do not hear from you by December 1, 2021 to convert your appointment to a consultation, your appointment will be cancelled. Don’t worry, you will be able to reschedule at your convenience later, and most likely for a sooner date as well.
Will Mindful Pediatrics remain in the same location?
Yes, our office will remain in the same location: 75 Manhattan Drive, Suite #4
How will I purchase our supplements?
Our office will continue to stock supplements. You can also purchase supplements through our Xymogen e-store or Fullscript Online Store.
Congrats on making the difficult decision that seems to move you to the right next phase! Thanks for the thoughtful letter/post.