A message from West Hartford Pediatrics on the 2019 Coronavirus Pandemic
May 3, 2020
Hello to Our Families of West Hartford Pediatrics:
As all of us here at the office send you our heartfelt wishes that you are all safe and well— we remain here for you; we hope that you will be in touch with us with any questions or concerns.
As preschool and school is back in session, albeit on-line, we face new challenges to ensure that this new learning experience is meaningful and engaging. I came upon two interesting articles in the NY Times about learning at home; the links are here and here And so just as parents who are working from home benefit from a dedicated space conducive to work, children will also benefit from a dedicated space conducive to learning— this along with the establishing of a daily routine which includes exercise and play. I would also encourage our children to get dressed in the morning as if they are really going to school— as if they are going to work— their “classroom” experience may be more fruitful if they are not in their pajamas!
These challenging times can bring with them emotional and behavioral difficulties as well— for our children and for adult family members. There is now an awareness of increased domestic violence and abuse during this time of prolonged staying at home. Please call us if you need guidance or support for any of these concerns; I have also included a link to a helpful article from The NY Times about behavioral challenges.
Currently, our in-office care is limited to well-child care: from newborn and infant preventive care, through preventive health care visits for young adults; ensuring up-to-date vaccinations for your children is especially important. A wide array of medical and behavioral concerns are being cared for through telemedicine: Abdominal pain, allergies, asthma, acne, attention deficit disorder— that’s just a start! Additional select testing for illnesses such as strep throat may be performed in our parking area. Timely diagnoses is critical in the care of many illnesses— please contact us early to prevent an illness from worsening, with the risk of complication.
Our practice continues to observe strict guidelines to keep our office space clean and safe. For all well visits, you will be welcomed into the office from your car, and escorted directly to your exam room. As I am now 64, placing me in a higher-risk COVID-19 category, I have made the decision to care for patients exclusively through telemedicine. And so, for preventive health visits scheduled with me, a physical exam will be performed by one of my more youthful colleagues (I am most grateful for their kind support); then, all appropriate measurements and labs will be obtained, and necessary vaccines will be given; a telemedicine consultation with me will then be arranged—I so look forward to seeing you! I deeply appreciate your understanding— as all of us continue to be grateful for the privilege of caring for your families; especially now, this means the world to us.
So: wash your hands, practice social distancing…then, study and play, color, draw, sing, dance and play your instruments; get outside as much as you can. We send to you our best wishes for continued good health.
Tom Fromson and all of us at West Hartford Pediatrics
March 25, 2020
Good Morning to the Families of West Hartford Pediatrics:
Do know that all of our providers and staff are thinking of you, miss you, and hope that you are safe and healthy at home.
We hope that you will call us with any concerns about your children; we remain here for you during this very challenging time.
As I am sure you will understand, in an effort to continue to minimize spread of the coronavirus, we are, at our office, continuing to offer well child visits— especially for newborns and younger infants who require their vaccines. These visits are scheduled in the mornings; careful hygiene and screening measures are practiced, and will be reviewed with you prior to your visit.
If you have any medical concerns, please do call us: our nurses are here to help you; we can provide telemedicine visits with one of our providers in place of an in-office sick visit; they can provide meaningful and valuable care.
Most importantly, we hope that you will remain safe at home; I cannot stress enough the importance of this. Wash your hands regularly, avoid touching your face, stay hydrated, and eat healthily, and REMAIN COMMITTED TO SOCIAL DISTANCING.
Additionally, we will provide links that promote good health and well being. Exercise at home, or out for a walk— NO PLAYGROUNDS; projects, music, and fun activities for you and your children— we will send our ideas along, and hope that you will share with us your ideas as well!
Meanwhile it is also so beneficial to communicate with each other: anxiousness, stress, concerns, frustrations— we are spending a great deal more time in close quarters— and this can be quite challenging— testing the best relationships!
We encourage you to share your feelings with each other— communication is so helpful in relieving the stress of our current challenges— realizing that each of us may experience this pandemic differently; how important it is for us to be there for each other. Caring, patience, understanding, love and support.
We wish you all continued good health, as we share these challenging days together.
With warmest regards,
March 18, 2020
Dear Families of West Hartford Pediatrics:
I am writing to you to inform you of temporary changes to the care that we are providing at our office in the current climate of the coronavirus pandemic:
Hoping that this letter finds you all safe and well, we remain here for you. In an effort to continue to provide your children with the care they need, while minimizing the risks of spreading the coronavirus, we will be offering telemedicine care for many medical concerns— this instead of an actual office visit. From the standpoint of insurance coverage, these “virtual” visits are recognized as traditional office visits.
A telemedicine visit starts with your calling the office with your concerns. A staff member will guide you to a conversation with one of our nurses, who will either provide triage recommendations or offer you scheduling of a telemedicine visit. It is also possible that, for select concerns and as determined by the provider, a traditional in-office visit, or a visit in the parking area of the office may be arranged.
We will continue to schedule and provide well-child preventive care visits— especially for infants and children requiring their vaccinations; however, as will be the case for any in-office visit, certain criteria MUST be met:
AT THE TIME OF YOUR SCHEDULED IN-OFFICE VISIT, YOUR CHILD MUST BE IN GOOD HEALTH, WITH NO HISTORY OF FEVER, RUNNY NOSE, COUGH OR SORE THROAT FOR THE PREVIOUS TWO WEEKS. ALSO, THERE MUST BE NO HOUSEHOLD ILLNESSES DURING THE PREVIOUS TWO WEEKS.
Lastly, for ALL IN-OFFICE VISITS, we are sincerely requesting that ONLY ONE adult accompany your child to the office— NO OTHER SIBLINGS OR RELATIVES. We will be very grateful for your cooperation in satisfying this policy— all in an effort to minimize spread of the coronavirus, and to keep your child and our staff safe and healthy!
On a more personal note, as I am now 64 years old (who knew!) I find myself in a higher risk category for significant illness from the coronavirus. I will therefore be limiting my care to telemedicine visits for the next month or so. I so appreciate you understanding— as, in the office, my wonderful colleagues will take very good care of your children!
Of course: please keep an appropriate distance with your fellow shoppers; wash your hands frequently, and do your best NOT TO TOUCH YOUR FACE until your hands are thoroughly clean. We are here for you, and share these challenging times with you.
With warm regards,
August 31, 2020
Dear Families of West Hartford Pediatrics:
First: a very belated congratulations to Dr. Kopyt, as several weeks ago she welcomed a baby girl, Claire— so adorable. Second, as many of you know, Dr. Zak Kahn is again seeing patients at our office— welcome back, Dr Kahn!
Hoping that you have enjoyed good health and opportunities for fun and relaxation this summer— we leave August behind, and now look forward to the opening of our schools! The anticipation of our children beginning preschool or kindergarten, or returning to higher grades during the pandemic brings both excitement and concern. Do know that your public school administration has engaged in a comprehensive effort to ensure that procedures are in place to optimize health and safety as our children experience the structured routine for learning and social growth.
Still, the decision to choose in-school or on-line learning is a personal one— one which can certainly involve many considerations, a decision is often not made easily. And it is during this time of change, choice and challenge that we want you to know that we are here to help you in any way that we can. Meanwhile, we encourage you to join us in embracing a few thoughts and recommendations:
When out of your home, always wear a mask; the mask could be a double-layered cloth mask; a disposable surgical mask, or an N95 mask. Bandanas and polyester/spandex gaiters are ineffective; the gaiters may actually be WORSE than no mask at all! Masks should fit well and cloth masks should be washed regularly.
2. Hand washing— frequent and thorough— continues to be SO VERY IMPORTANT! It is the soapy bubbles that dissolve the oil-like coating of the Covid-19 viral particle.
3. We encourage you to continue the practice of social distancing; attending large parties or gatherings, and (for the adults) visiting bars, are especially risky. Being with family and friends is so meaningful and beneficial— and should be enjoyed, responsibly.
4. Whether attending school or learning at home, maintaining a routine for our children is very helpful: showering or bathing before bed or in the morning; having a healthy breakfast to fuel their learning; getting dressed each morning as if our children are going to school (attending class or studying in pajamas may make the learning experience less valuable— taken less seriously). Our daily and weekly routine should also include exercise, social time on line or at a distance outside, and down time for music, art, or (heaven forbid) video games!
5. Responsible decisions also includes staying home when we or our children are not feeling well; ensuring that our children remain up to date on their vaccines; and ALL of us MUST RECEIVE A FLU SHOT this fall.
At our office, we will soon post times and procedures for our FLU CLINICS.
WATCH THIS SPACE: receiving the flu vaccine this year is urgently important.
All of these considerations reflect the potential for stress— ongoing and possibly long-term. I think it helpful for us to approach life one week at a time— balancing our own work, and our children’s schooling with pleasurable activities. Also, we should communicate our feelings to each other, and seek support for emotional well being without delay— be it for you or for your child. Anxiety, depression, domestic abuse— are all happening with greater frequency now; we are here to help you gain access to support during these most challenging times.
At our practice, we will continue to perform well-child appointments and selected visits at the office. Illnesses that include fever or any respiratory symptoms will be cared for via a telemedicine visit; referrals to a respected walk-in center or to the emergency room will be made judiciously. Your school administration will communicate with you how illnesses will be managed: protocols for your child to go home, and for how and when your child may return to school. We will we be there for you at every step to collaborate in this process.
We wish you all continued good health, and all the best as school (and college!) approaches. Please be in touch with any concerns or questions.
With warmest regards,
Tom Fromson, and our entire staff at West Hartford Pediatrics