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Thrive new providersThis summer, Thrive Behavioral Health will welcome Erica Meter to our practice, offering our families specialty care for speech and feeding issues.

We will also double our number of therapists, with the addition of Jamie Pleich and Alex Hager. These two outstanding behavioral health specialists have nearly 20 years of combined practice experience. Jamie and Alex will provide family therapy and services for teenage boys, in addition to the full spectrum of mental and behavioral services currently offered to children and young adults.

You don’t need to be a patient of Eugene Pediatric Associates to see a Thrive provider. Thrive welcomes any child or teen, regardless of which pediatrician they see for primary care.

Look for more detailed information about Thrive’s new providers and services, coming soon!
Tagged in: Mental Health Care

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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.

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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.

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roths final
We are preparing for a busy and exciting summer at Eugene Pediatric Associates! Three providers are joining us: Dr. Peter Sidor, Dr. Amelia Roth and certified physician assistant John Roth. You’ll want to read more about these truly wonderful people. (And that's the Roths and their beautiful daughter, Greta, in the photo with me!) 

The to-do list for my management team and me to prepare for their start dates — July 27 for Dr. Sidor and September 1 for the Roths — is pages long, including the mountain of paperwork necessary to credential them with hospitals and insurers. But we want to ensure a smooth start and attend to everything they need, from to the smallest of details — even making sure their leather doctor bags are ordered in their favorite color!

Once they arrive, I will be in the office every day to support them in their transition into our practice — whether it’s steering them to the best local specialists with whom we collaborate, discussing a challenging case or just sharing a smile and a laugh. The physical presence of a senior partner helps a new physician grow and thrive in an established medical practice. Other than taking care of the kids I love, my greatest joy in pediatric practice is mentoring younger physicians so they will join me in the true spirit of caregiving at Eugene Pediatrics.

Speaking of “thrive,” we will also welcome Thrive Behavioral Health to the building. Thrive will consist of the practices of Dr. Jenny Mauro and Dr. Katie Ravitch, child psychologists who have tremendous passion for caring for the behavioral and developmental needs of children and families. They will take care of kids from Eugene Pediatrics and the entire Eugene/Springfield area. We couldn’t be more excited for this opportunity to truly integrate medical and psychological care of children in one convenient location.

And save the date! We’re having our Summer Pool Party on Friday, August 22. Once again, Dr. Grieve and I will be hosting our patients and their friends for an evening of fun, splashing at the Amazon Pool and enjoying pizza and Ben and Jerry’s ice cream. Look for more details closer to the event.

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