Timothy DiBona and Robyn Hayes are introducing a new model in pediatric healthcare after working in the industry for many years. They want to change the way traditional pediatric care is delivered from the ground up.
The result is HD Pediatrics, a 5,000-square-foot facility in Stoughton scheduled to open this summer, where children and their families will find appropriate services to treat a child’s medical and mental health needs in one setting. These services include primary medical care, routine well visits, same-day telemedicine visits, same-day sick visits, in-office lab analysis, and mental health counseling.
Too often, DiBona said, clinics that serve children offer only basic medical visits, failing to consider a parent’s busy schedule or, most importantly, the mental aspects of an illness.
“When pediatricians provide medical care to patients, they are typically ill-equipped to pick up on the signs that a child may be a candidate for mental health care,” DiBona said. “Let’s face it, determining whether a 4 year old has anxiety is difficult. And most health care providers don’t notice or can’t figure out what to ask a child.”
Hayes, a pediatric nurse practitioner, added that the past two years of COVID-19 have increased the incidence of childhood anxiety, depression and other trauma-caused illnesses, especially in families that suffered losses and disruption during the pandemic. This increase in incidence has led to an increased need for mental health services.
“Professionally, we’ve been struggling to get kids into mental health services and are encountering long wait lists to see a mental health professional,” Hayes said. “I feel there is a giant need for kids to get these appointments right now.”
Hayes and DiBona are building a team of six providers to offer routine pediatric care, along with three full-time mental health counselors. The entire group will meet every two weeks to discuss case studies so that the counselors can educate the medical providers on mental health symptoms to look for in the different age groups.
“That way we will be able to provide treatment earlier, help patients self-identify, and give them tools to help out in life,” DiBona said.
DiBona will oversee the business side of the operation. He has 30 years of experience as a specialist in health care improvement and consultant to health care providers. Hayes, who has worked nearly 15 years as a pediatric nurse practitioner in the region, will supervise the clinical day-to-day operations.
When DiBona bounced his idea off Hayes for a new approach to pediatric care, she offered to join the venture. They are now co-founders of HD Pediatrics, which will also feature a marketplace of products, including provider-recommended items such as child-friendly bug repellent and sunscreen, and books published by HD Pediatrics clinicians and counselors.
The clinic will provide in-house lab services to lessen wait times and eliminate extra trips for parents. Time-pressed families will also be able to take advantage of telemedicine services during normal work hours.
“We want this to be very focused to provide everything the patient needs,” DiBona said.
Hayes said the venture will showcase the experience she has accumulated throughout her career. “I’ve enjoyed my time working in the settings I have, but I’ve also experienced frustrations that I had no influence to remedy,” she said. “Starting this practice at this point in my career is going to be an exciting adventure. I think our mission to treat both the medical and mental health needs of the children in one place will really benefit them moving forward.”
DiBona said frustrations with treatment that his own children have received started him thinking about a new approach in pediatric medicine. It helped to find the right partner in Hayes.
“Robyn and I have been friends for 15 years and we’ve worked in healthcare all of our lives,” DiBona said. “When we’re making decisions, we have my business acumen and her clinical acumen to move us forward. The foundation is our friendship and a common feeling that we can work together.”
HD Pediatrics is under construction at 1524 Turnpike Street in Stoughton, with plans to serve families in Stoughton, Canton, Brockton, Randolph, Sharon, Easton, and other nearby communities.
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on May 20 2022. Filed under Business.
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