EXPANDING THE QUALITY AND ACCESSIBILITY OF PEDIATRIC CARE

SPECIAL FOR THE AJT

WellStar Health System is expanding the quality and accessibility of pediatric care in Northwest Georgia. WellStar Pediatric Center opened its doors in Kennesaw July 7, offering a range of medical services specifically designed for patients ages 0 to 21.

Families in Northwest Georgia often travel long distances to receive pediatric care tailored for young patients. With WellStar Pediatric Center, families can stay close to home and receive a wide range of services. Patients will benefit from low-dose radiation imaging tests, sports injury rehabilitation, pediatrician office visits and afterhours care.

“Our smallest patients require specialized care,” said Avril Beckford, M.D., chief pediatric officer for WellStar Health System. “Parents have been traveling long distances and experiencing long waits to receive pediatric care. WellStar Pediatric Center provides the child-centered care in our community that parents have been asking for. WellStar is able to deliver on our mission to provide world-class care close to home for families in Northwest Georgia.”

Surrounded by comforting aquatic décor and caring team members, pediatric patients will enjoy playing with kid-friendly technology including an interactive fish tank wall in the waiting room. The center’s specially trained pediatric experts include radiologists, pediatricians, subspecialists, physical therapists and supportive child life specialists – professionals who guide and reassure children and their parents during tests and procedures.

Children often do not understand medical tests – something that may cause them to feel anxious or scared. At WellStar Pediatric Center, a child-sized scanner, known as a “kitten scanner,” is paired with an interactive cartoon which allows young kids to scan an alligator, a robot and other toys. They’ll see the scan of the toy on the screen and hear the story of how the toy ended up needing the scan.

“Through play, these little patients will learn what to expect during their own imaging tests,” Beckford said. “We wanted to give them these fun tools to help calm fear of the unknown and turn the experience into something new and fun.”

Once in the imaging suite, children are soothed by a living projection of an environment of their choosing, such as a seascape view from a submarine window or a cartoon jungle scene with monkeys and zebras. Accompanying music and natural lighting further sets the scene to make the patients as comfortable as possible.

The OrthoSport WellStar Rehabilitation area will feature the use of a low-impact Hydro Track, an underwater treadmill that cuts recovery time in half in a safe environment.

Editor’s note: The WellStar Pediatric Center will be open seven days a week to accommodate patients and their parents. The new WellStar Pediatric Center is located at 1180 Barrett Parkway NW in Kennesaw. Visit wellstar.org/forchildren or call 770-956-STAR (7827) for more information.