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  • Colleen LaMonte, APRN-FPA, CPNP


As if you haven’t noticed, health ‘care’ has evolved significantly over the last few years. With the rise of a particular illness, we have seen a massive push for protocol following and strict rule adherence beyond face masks.

Is ‘evolved’ even the right word? Evolved at least IMPLIES improvement, but the only improvement that has occurred in our health ‘care’ system today has been a few loud Mama Bears, nurses and doctors objecting to much of this nonsense, otherwise health ‘care’ has become unpleasant? Distressing? Terrible? Unapproachable? Uniform? Unable or unwilling to acknowledge that patients are individuals and need and appreciate individualized care from someone that is not intimidating and wearing a hazmat suit? There, that sounds better!

Our beloved school nurses have even fallen victim to this aggressive protocol tactic, and I have actually had to leave work to pick up one of my children from school for spitting out his turkey sandwich at lunch, “vomiting”, and another son for a “headache’ that literally resolved completely after drinking water on our way home from school. And these experiences are NOTHING compared to what is going on in our pediatric primary care offices every day. These are simply inconveniences for parents and misled school staff.

Where is the CARE in healthcare? (At Happy Sprouts, obviously, but there is more to discuss) Over the last couple of years, we have conditioned our children to be terrified of the effects of their own breath. I am not downplaying the destruction that this particular illness can have on some individual’s lives, but the response within our health ‘care’ system has been unforgivable. Our health ‘care’ response has been to become more cold and LESS CARING.

For example:

  1. Pull up to your pediatric primary care office; park your car.

  2. Call the office to notify them of your arrival.

  3. Wait for someone to let you in and briskly walk you to your cold exam room.

  4. Be “seen” by a provider who might be masked, goggled, and gowned, only to rattle off some very basic developmental recommendations and demand you update your child’s immunizations or else be released from the practice.

  5. Be accused of having anxiety or being an unfit parent if you question or disagree with any of your provider’s recommendations.

That’s it! You leave unsatisfied (so glad your many dollars spent on insurance ‘covered’ that visit without a copay!), perhaps with some questions unanswered, maybe a referral in hand, and disgruntled because the whole experience felt like you were cattle being shuffled around, prodded, then sent straight out as if on a conveyor belt. Because you were.

This provider does not know you and likely has little respect for you. If you do not conform to your primary care provider’s requirements (strict AAP guidelines), you will be discharged from their office. No consideration of your personal beliefs, your parenting capabilities or style, or even some decent human respect. Hardly a mention of true, quality nutrition. Definitely no discussion of natural remedies, homeopathy, or ‘out of the box’ suggestions for any of your concerns. If you didn’t leave with a prescription of Flonase, Zyrtec, Miralax, Tylenol or Ibuprofen, Hydrocortisone, Pepto Bismol or Pedialyte, maybe Methylphenidate, you either missed it or should consider yourself fortunate this time. If your child’s ailment isn’t cured by one of these suggested medications, then you will be referred to a specialist (who will likely just up the dose), because you have now fallen out of their scope of practice.

It’s sad. Maybe you don’t mind or you think it’s necessary. I suppose you’re lucky, then. For the rest of us, we crave more out of healthCARE for our children. Our future shouldn’t be treated so rigidly, but instead with kindness and affection. Our parents should have our attention and be given support. As providers, we should recognize the uniqueness of each family and of each child, and approach their care accordingly.

Drum roll….AND, that is why Happy Sprouts Pediatric Health and Wellness was developed. Well, it's ONE of the reasons. The driving reason behind Happy Sprouts, though, is that I’ve known for a very long time that pediatric primary care was doing a lot wrong. It has been an insurance and pharma driven conveyor belt for decades, just worsened in the last couple of years.

Should there be some protocols for certain concerns? Sure, sometimes we do need more aggressive measures to rule out or treat rare conditions! Is it totally awesome that we have life saving medications, surgeons, and treatments? Yes, absolutely! Do we need rigid protocols in every facet of pediatric care? Absolutely not.

So, what does Happy Sprouts offer? Time and CARE, and a provider that takes your child’s unique needs and presentation into consideration. One size does not fit all.

Do you need to be a ‘granola’ type parent to be a patient at Happy Sprouts? No. There is no snake oil and voodoo magic here either! We provide parents better options and realistic solutions to your child’s heathCARE. You’re given recommendations and treatment to get and keep your child healthy.

Listen, if you like the drive-through medical model, keep doing what you’re doing and enjoy whatever ‘care’ you get. But if you’re looking for something more meaningful, caring and approachable, thorough and considerate, then it’s time for you to give Happy Sprouts a try.

See you soon!


Your Nourishing Nurse

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