A 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.
I thought Dr. Jenny would be the perfect brain to pick, and hoped that she could give me some ideas of where to find professionals to help me. By the end of our two-hour discussion, Jenny looked at me and said, “So when are we starting? I’m in!”
My jaw dropped that such an experienced and wonderful psychologist would be ready to jump into this project with me. Months later, here we are: Today is the official launch of Thrive Behavioral Health.
Located in our building, Thrive is open to all Eugene Pediatric patients and to the rest of the community. Pediatric behavioral health specialists are rare gems in our region, and so I feel strongly that the clinic must allow these specialists to see kids with a primary physician outside of Eugene Pediatrics, as well as our kids.
Dr. Jenny immediately recruited one of her most outstanding protégés from the University of Oregon, Dr. Katie Ravitch. Dr. Katie will be working full time at Thrive Behavioral Health.
We will also have consultations available by Dr. Ronda Roberts, a long-time member of the Eugene medical community, whose specialty is behavioral and developmental pediatrics. Additionally, Dr. Sue Colasurdo is an experienced local child psychiatrist who has voiced an interest in consulting for Thrive.
The goal is simple. To help kids and families cultivate positive growth:
- In their bodies.
- In their minds.
- In their families.
- In their school environment.
- In their friendships.
What a wonderful coffee date that turned out to be!
Please call Thrive Behavioral Health today at 541-246-7263.