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destressBeing a Dr. Mom, I am always caregiving, fretting about kids, and feeling nearly stretched to my limit. It’s a great life and one I wouldn’t change. But there are times when I feel the need to reset myself. Every mom has her list of ways to relax. Here’s mine: 

10. Walking my dog. Barclay and I are both sun lovers, so these crisp fall days are our favorite.

9. Sipping a coffee with my daughter.

8. Watching a Ducks football game with my son.

7. Snuggling on the couch with my husband and talking about our day without discussing medicine. That’s hard for two pediatricians!

6. Listening to music. I either crank up the country, or spin out the smooth jazz to loosen up. I love to play classical violin, but listening to it winds me up.

5. Cooking a special meal on a weekend, preferably with help from my kids. Just talking and hanging out in our kitchen is a favorite activity.

4. Turning off my iPhone. It’s my pager, my email, my phone, my to-do device. Unplugging helps me refocus.

3. Dressing up and going out for dinner. High heels make me forget my worries (and focus on how much my feet hurt!).

2. Playing my violin. This has always been my outlet for every emotion, high and low, a way to work it out and express myself in a way I deeply love.

1. Praying and counting my blessings. This is my favorite for so many reasons, mostly because I can do it any time, in any situation, and find renewed strength, peace and calm.

Posted by on in News
141008EPA foodallergies-smDoes your child have serious food allergies? Here are some steps to ensure they are safe at school:

  1. Submit an updated, written Food Allergy Action Plan. Take one to school to keep it on file there, and share it with your child’s teacher and front office staff.
  2. Discuss the food allergy with the cook at school. Even if you pack lunches for your child, the chef will appreciate knowing students who have a problem with food allergies.
  3. Take a fresh EpiPen to keep at school. Bring the EpiPen Jr., or EpiPen for bigger kids, and be sure multiple staff members are trained in the proper use.
  4. Have a conversation with your child. Talk to your children about the food(s) they must avoid, and review common symptoms of their allergic reaction. Be sure they are not afraid to tell their teacher if they think they ate a dangerous food, or if they are having symptoms of an allergic attack.
  5. Consider buying your child a Medic Alert bracelet to alert others of their serious food allergy.

Every child should feel safe and comfortable at school. Kids with food allergies need an extra level of protection. If you have questions about food allergies and your child, please contact us at Eugene Pediatric Associates.

Posted by on in News
140919EPA childabuse-smThe cost of abuse to a child lasts a lifetime, for individuals and our country as a whole.

In a study of 17,000 adults, those abused as children were more likely to become suicidal and have heart disease, cancer, chronic lung disease and liver disease; twice as likely to be smokers, severely obese and to become alcoholics; and three times as likely to develop a drug addiction.

Of children abused, 22 percent have learning disorders requiring special education, and 27 percent become delinquents, compared with 17 percent of children in the general population.

In 2007, Stanford University researchers found that children suffering post-traumatic stress disorder and exposure to severe trauma actually have smaller brains. Severe trauma includes parental homicide, sexual assault, sexual abuse, school shootings and ongoing community violence. Researchers found a nearly 9 percent reduction in the size of the hippocampus, a horseshoe-shaped sheet of neurons that controls memory and emotions.

A study conducted in 2009 showed an increased risk of sexually transmitted diseases in childhood abuse or neglect survivors tracked over time. In the same year, another study found, beyond the mental health impacts, childhood maltreatment reduces immune function, an effect that can linger long after the maltreatment has ended.

The cost to our country is approximately $124 billion annually, according to a recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And the estimated average lifetime cost per victim of nonfatal child maltreatment is approximately $210,000, in 2010 dollars.

That includes
  • $32,648 childhood health care
  • $10,530 adult medical care
  • $144,360 productivity losses
  • $7,728 child welfare
  • $6,747 criminal justice
  • $7,999 special education

Prevention of child abuse and neglect requires public education and a commitment from communities to provide emotional, social and financial support systems for families.

Research shows that investing in child abuse prevention programs yields a 19 to 1 savings over the long-term costs to society of child abuse. These programs include parent education classes, safety programs designed to make children less vulnerable targets for abuse and home visitation.

If your child is a victim of child abuse, or you need help as a parent, reach out to the Relief Nursery, a local non-profit committed to strengthening families and keeping our children safe.

Posted by on in News

140716helpinghand smEugene Pediatrics and Thrive Behavioral Health are excited to add a fantastic new member to our integrated team of primary care providers and behavioral specialists — Jordan Burbee, our new case manager. Welcome, Jordan!

But what is a case manager?

  • Someone who steps in when medically fragile children need help coordinating their care.
  • Someone who reaches out when children and families are touched by challenges such as drug addiction, domestic violence, mental health issues, homelessness and legal problems.
  • An advocate who helps families coordinate their care at Eugene Pediatrics, Thrive Behavioral Health, the school system and other community services.
  • A liaison with the Department of Human Services when our patients are being watched over by the state.
  • A professional who can assess the needs of a struggling family by visiting a home or school, and who can become part of the lives of family members as they find their bearings.
  • A friendly voice when parents need extra support.

And who is Jordan Burbee?

Jordan received a degree in Family and Human Services at the University of Oregon. She has subsequently worked for more than a decade with children and families at Jasper Mountain, Safe Center, Lane Education Service District and, most recently, DHS Child Welfare.

Jordan is a mother of two young children, and most importantly, she is a human being with a huge heart for taking care of others. When I met Jordan, I was struck immediately by her passion to help — to be a part of positive change for kids. She spoke of the importance of her work at DHS, and of her desire to become involved in a team of people seeking to prevent children from suffering.


Posted by on in News

140701 EPABlogImageThrive1A traditional pediatric practice helps lots of kids, but I am convinced it barely scratches the surface of what many children need. The physical health of a child is only a portion of wellness. The other key aspect is mental and behavioral/developmental health.

Eugene-Springfield has many wonderful mental and behavioral health caregivers and agencies for kids, but coordinating care with pediatricians is always a challenge. After nearly 15 years in practice here, I became frustrated with the limitations in my traditional practice to meet the needs of the children we serve.

So, one sunny autumn afternoon last year, I asked my favorite child psychologist, Dr. Jenny Mauro, to have coffee and talk about the exciting possibilities of pediatricians working side by side with child psychologists, developmental pediatricians and child psychiatrists.

If that happened, I could step out of my exam room and grab a specialist in child mental health and development to get a “curbside consult.” My families could meet a behavioral health care provider for a momentary “hello” and know whom they would meet during an upcoming visit. And scheduling the behavioral health visit at the same location would be a breeze.

Coordination of care would be so easy and even fun. Brown bag lunches with my doctors sitting around the same table with psychologists and other behavioral specialists would make it easy to discuss children in need of our team approach.