What an exciting year 2018 has been at Eugene Pediatrics! As I look back, I give thanks for the many people and events that were part of this great year for us. Most of all, I am deeply thankful to the parents who entrust us with the care of nearly 11,000 kids in our community. It is an honor and privilege to take care of children and watch them grow.

Additionally, I am thankful that in the last 12 months:

  • We added child psychiatrist Dr. Jennifer Olson to our team, making our clinic the only pediatric clinic in the region to have an embedded specialist in the management of complex behavioral health concerns in children. Dr. Olson has added a new, greatly needed skill set to our integrated medical-behavioral health home.
  • We welcomed Dr. Ross Newman and Dr. LoRanée Braun to our group of providers. These physicians have already made huge contributions to the care of children in our community. They also exemplify an important change in our recruiting focus—to tackle doctor turnover, which has been common in the past five years, not only in our practice, but in other medical practices in Eugene-Springfield. To help ensure that our providers stay, we are now hiring doctors who have ties to our local community and/or who have a deep desire to raise their own families in this area. This will help encourage our providers to stay in the community and form long-lasting relationships with our patients and the families we serve.
  • We started Runs with Ross, a one-of-its-kind exercise program where our beloved Dr. Newman runs weekly with kids and families to promote fitness, camaraderie and spending time together having fun.
  • For the fourth year in a row, we have exceeded every quality metric that the Oregon Health Authority has set for pediatric clinics in our state. We rank as the top performing pediatric clinic in the entire region in multiple categories, including vaccination rates and developmental screening of infants and toddlers. Meeting quality metrics means we focus on health care initiatives that improve the health and quality of life for children and our community.
  • We spent much of 2018 focused on depression, the No. 1 health crisis facing teens in Lane County. With 1 in 3 local teens suffering from depression, early detection and management of mood problems in adolescents is critical. We aimed to screen for mood issues in every child 11 years and older who came into our clinic, whether it was for a sore throat or a checkup. The result is that we successfully screened and appropriately referred 98 percent of the teens who walked through our doors this year. That’s an incredible team effort aimed at supporting young adults. Suicide prevention has become a passion of mine, so this statistic is especially meaningful to me.

I am beyond thankful to have the best team of colleagues and the most rewarding job in the world working at Eugene Pediatrics. The year ahead will bring more innovations and good news regarding our efforts to serve kids and families. We welcome 2019 with excitement and great expectations!