Hear From Our Pediatric Experts: COVID-19 Q & A

Megan Gras, wearing a mask with pink storks, holding her newborn son

Clockwise, from bottom left: Ben Lee, MD, Keith Robinson, MD and Lewis First, MD

Posted May 8, 2020 by UVM Health Network

Got questions about your child's health care during COVID-19? We are here for you. Watch our recent Facebook Live with pediatric experts Lewis First, MD, Chief of Pediatrics at UVM Children's Hospital, Keith Robinson, MD, pediatric pulmonologist and Vice Chair of Population Health and Quality Improvement, and pediatric infectious disease physician Ben Lee, MD, as they answer questions about COVID-19 precautions, masking and other concerns from our patients across the network.

Whether it be an illness, injury, or ongoing medical condition that needs attention, please know that our providers across the UVM Health Network are open and ready to provide care.

“We've missed seeing your children across our region. We've missed checking heights and weights to ensure good growth, making sure vaccinations are up-to-date, assessing developmental progress and answering the health issues that you're concerned about,” says Lewis First, MD, Chief of Pediatrics at UVM Children's Hospital. “We want our children in our community to be healthy long after this pandemic has passed, so it is important for families to not be scared to see us as we continue to make sure that the coronavirus does not spread in our region, especially now that we are seeing very low numbers of positive test results compared to weeks ago.”

"Step one is to call us by phone to determine which appointment is right for you—a video or in-person visit. Through video visits, we can still learn a lot about your child's health even if not physically examining them in the office."Lewis First, MD, Chief of Pediatrics
UVM Children's Hospital

While in-person visits are encouraged for those who need to be seen in person, such as a young infant or toddler who needs to be measured, examined in person, and/or vaccinated, the University of Vermont Health Network has significantly expanded video conferencing in Vermont and New York in response to the COVID-19 pandemic to allow families to access their child's health care professional and talk about issues on their mind, including whether an in-person visit to the office is needed for their child.

“Step one is to call us by phone to determine which appointment is right for you—a video or in-person visit. Through video visits, we can still learn a lot about your child's health even if not physically examining them in the office,” says Dr. First.

Providers want their patient families to understand the measures in place to protect them. Physical distancing, universal masking and reduced waiting room capacity are just some of the changes patients and their families will experience. “Now that the coronavirus is calming down in our region, this is an ideal time to call your child's care providers and check back in with them,” says Dr. First.

“Please be reassured we are safe and we are here for you. We're making your child's care as accessible and welcoming as we can, but we need you to be part of the solution by not being afraid to access us,” says Dr. First. Getting the care your child needs carries far less risk than staying away out of fear of exposure. The UVM Children's Hospital is in a great position to provide the normal and necessary care to ensure your child's health.

Here's How It Works

First, talk with your doctor if a video visit is right for you. If so, you'll be scheduled and contacted by our support team to help you prepare, which includes downloading the Zoom Cloud Meetings app either from the app store onto your iPhone or iPad or from Google Play onto your Android.

If you need another option, our support staff will be able to help.

Video conference visits are available at all University of Vermont Health Network sites including the University of Vermont Children's Hospital and its outpatient pediatric primary care and sub-specialty offices.

Even during the COVID-19 pandemic, the network continues to offer safe, high quality care to our communities across Vermont and northern New York. Reach out to your provider and ask if a video visit is right for you.

UPDATE: Recently, you may have heard reports of security and privacy issues with Zoom and we want to reassure you that the Zoom program that UVM Health Network has implemented across our practices is secure and private. To learn more about our security procedures, read more here.

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