What Makes Us Great
Personal statement by Dr James Lee
What makes us great? I like to think we’re more than a medical practice – that we are a medical home with a thoughtful vision and mission. At our core is the importance of providing dedicated, quality care to our patients. Equally important is our desire to offer both support and education to our families. From prenatal sessions and lactation support services through parenting support groups and educational seminars, we feel an informed, knowledgeable and supportive parent is integral to providing and promoting health care to our patients. And, lastly, healthy families help create and foster healthy communities. But healthy communities don’t happen by accident. They require our commitment and dedication to develop them and to keep them strong. Supporting and maintaining healthy kids and families and communities is a big task with many priorities that none of us individually can accomplish. Highlighted below are initiatives that I support, believe in and am passionate about. Some are universal and some are for those that need us to reach out to them.
And what else makes us great? A work environment for all our staff that encourages teamwork, understanding and professionalism. A healthy workplace makes all of us great!
Frederick County Pediatrics Initiatives
FCP & Dr. James Lee want to recognize and promote national and local initiatives that encourage healthy child development – both physically and psychologically.
1) Importance of early childhood reading & literacy
Possibly one of the most important developmental areas that parents can directly impact on is stimulating language and speech development through reading to your child. We now know that even in pre-verbal infants and toddlers, exposure to language plays a key role in learning, speech development and an overall higher IQ. Reading to your child is the gift that keeps on giving – in so many ways!
Central to this mission is our participation in ROR (Reach out and Read) – a nationally recognized organization that promotes early childhood literacy by sponsoring free books for all our patients between six months and five years at their well visits. We have expanded upon this to develop a “reading garden” in our waiting room that includes a lender library for our patients (and their siblings/friends) and posting activities and programs sponsored by Frederick County Public Libraries.
2) Nature Awareness and Increased Outdoor Play Activities
Another key initiative for our practice is promoting nature awareness and outdoor play. Our changing lifestyles have unfortunately made outdoor play and nature activities less common and less a priority in our society. The impact of this is profound and affects us physically/emotionally and undermines our role as protectors and stewards of our planet.
Docs in the Park (DITP) is a small way to get some of that back. DITP is a developing national initiative that encourages doctors and their practices to promote and participate in outdoor activities and nature programs with their patients. DITP in our community has worked closely with our local Parks & Rec. Dept. to develop programs and events that meet the DITP mission of nature awareness, increased outdoor play and exercise plus an emphasis on good nutrition/eating habits and quality family time.
We have posted DITP materials throughout the office and it’s our hope to see you out there! Additionally, FCP is an ongoing sponsor for the nationally recognized Girls on the Run (GOTR) program and also supports annual 5K spring runs at our local elementary schools.
3) School Health & Combating Childhood Obesity
Dr. Lee has maintained an ongoing commitment to the FCPS School Health Council for several years. This association originated with his concern and desire to expand outreach and services for combating childhood obesity. Prevention of childhood obesity is perhaps one of our most important public health challenges. Dr Lee has worked in collaboration with FMH in development of the Healthy Weigh Program – primarily developed to assist in nutrition and weight control counseling. The program is open to all families and patients requesting nutritional counseling (of any type). Additionally, as a member of the Maryland American Academy of Pediatrics obesity prevention task force, Dr. Lee has worked with other pediatricians and the DHMH to initiate another program called the Student Healthy Weight Program – a school based intervention program developed for overweight students that offers supplemental nutrition and exercise interventions.
In many ways, the interventions for combating childhood obesity are universal. The teaching tools and advice are applicable to us all. It involves making healthy choices which we hope is embedded in our anticipatory guidance for all our patients, extending to our families and then into our communities. It’s the foundation of our vision of pediatric care.
4) Early Intervention – Understanding Root Causes
New to our initiatives is Dr Lee’s and Amy T’s involvement with our local IECC – a community based council committed to understanding the multiple and complex medical and social factors that make up early childhood growth and development. The IECC serves as both a networking platform for Frederick’s various early childhood agencies to interact and work more cohesively as well as using its members to enhance community outreach that helps to understand the myriad of factors that impact on small children. Of particular concern is awareness and advocacy in our community for understanding some of the root causes of such things such as poverty that contributes to family dysfunction and sub optimal childhood outcomes. Reaching out and helping those that need us most requires sensitivity, understanding, team work and commitment. We are both daunted and inspired by this. In many ways, this initiative may be our most challenging but also our most important mission. Pediatrics is ultimately helping those who cannot help themselves. We say that humbly but with determination.