Collaboration with Strong Children Wellness Allows for New Service
The Child Center of NY is proud to announce that we have joined forces with Strong Children Wellness, a specialized primary care practice network that provides integrated medical, social, and mental health services and virtual care within community-based organizations in New York City. Through this alliance, The Child Center will be able to offer pediatric primary health care to our clients and to all children, ages 0-21, in the communities we serve.
Services will be conducted via video visits while New York is on PAUSE due to COVID-19. When these restrictions have been lifted, Strong Children Wellness (SCW) will augment these tele-health services with in-person office visits at our Jamaica Family Wellness Center, so that clients will be able to choose the method that works best for them.
In addition to our being able to refer our clients to Strong Children Wellness for primary care, SCW will be referring clients to The Child Center when a family needs services that we can provide.
“Part of our intake process will be administering a questionnaire to determine additional needs,” explains SCW Chief Health Officer Nicole Brown, M.D., MPH, MHS. “A parent might come to us because her child has a fever. But the family may have other needs that they wouldn’t necessarily think to bring to the attention of a pediatrician. For example, the family might need child care or food stamps or stable housing — needs that Child Center programs can address. So when a questionnaire reveals these needs, we can easily and warmly connect families to The Child Center, taking time to answer all their questions and making sure they feel comfortable and knowledgeable taking the next step.”
“The Child Center has always taken a holistic approach to children’s care,” says Traci Donnelly, CEO of The Child Center. “We know that for children to thrive, we must address the whole child, addressing their cognitive, social, emotional, and physical health. Unfortunately, we have seen that regular high-quality primary health care is not effectively reaching the communities we serve. This new partnership with Strong Children Wellness is an important step toward filling that gap, and I am so thrilled to be offering our families access to high-quality care for their children in a way that works best for them.”
Families can simply visit the Strong Children Wellness website and schedule a virtual visit from there. Once they schedule the visit, they can download an app that allows them to conduct a video visit with the doctor through a Zoom-like conference. Families can “see” the doctor for sick visits and the evaluation of developmental, learning, or behavioral concerns, as well as for follow-up of chronic conditions such as asthma and obesity.
Not only is regular care important for overall wellness, Dr. Brown points out, but also to avoid costly trips to the emergency room and unnecessary hospital stays.
After a visit is completed, families can text their doctor whenever they have questions.
Strong Children Wellness is staffed by three pediatricians: Chief Executive Officer Omolara Uwemedimo, M.D., MPH; Chief Operating Officer Suzette Brown, M.D., MPH; and Dr. Nicole Brown.
The Child Center first began offering primary care services in November 2017 when we began a collaboration with the prestigious Cohen Children’s Medical Center, Northwell Health. Through this alliance, pediatricians and pediatric residents of Northwell visit Child Center Head Start programs to provide on-site primary medical services, guidance, and workshops at a place that families already know and trust, free of charge. This has been a huge asset in overcoming many of the obstacles that commonly prevent low-income families who live in under-served communities from accessing regular primary care.
Says Donnelly, “We are pleased to offer primary care services to children in under-served communities in this new way, so that even more children receive the regular and high-quality care that all children need and deserve.”
To access tele-health primary care services for your child, please visit the Strong Children Wellness website. Services are available in Spanish and in English, and appointments are available Monday- Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m., and Saturdays, 10 a.m.-12:00 p.m.