A teen care center, separate from the little kids and dedicated to those 13 and over is an idea that has been floating around the Pediatric Associates office for more than six years.
Amber Hickert, the Practice Administrator for Pediatric Associates, directs the ship, everything to do with how the practice moves forward. She spoke to the Monitor about the new Teen Care Center.
“We are opening a Teen Care Center for kids 13 and older, beginning March 7. It is in a separate location so they don’t have to come to the pediatric office. A lot of families think of pediatrics as little kids (0 to 12). Kids don’t usually like coming to the office with the babies and little kids.”
The idea for the Teen Center was to give them a place where they could be comfortable and be seen and identify with their own care. Because at that point they’re learning to transition into how to take care of their own health. There’s a philosophy in pediatrics that talks about transitions of care starting as early as 12 where you start talking about more adult things. Anything from sexual activity, nutrition, exercise, mental health—how they’re doing emotionally and mentally. At the age of 12, 13 their hormones are raging, their bodies are developing. They’re learning who they are.
“We have integrated behavioral health in our clinic,” Hickert continued. “They can see a health care provider. We have a therapist on site. We screen our patients for any mental health issue—depression, anxiety.
They can come confidentially. They don’t have to come with a parent. But the clinic always counsel the teens to speak with their parents because it’s very important that parents know what’s going on.
The clinic will be open starting March 7 and each Wednesday thereafter. The option of being open more days is possible depending on demand.
For more information, call 249-2421 or visit www.thepediatricassociates.com