Dear Columbia Pediatrics Patient/Family:
Summer is officially here, and we wanted to reach out to you with an update! First things first, the providers and staff of Columbia Pediatrics want to thank you for entrusting us with the care of your family. We have appreciated your patience over the last couple of months as we have experienced some growing pains within our practice. These pains have included Dr. Crawford falling ill, a maternity leave, an incredibly busy flu season and our learning a new computer system as part of joining the Columbia Valley Community Health family.
Happily things are getting back to normal around here and we are thrilled with the team, providers, and staff we have on board. If you tried to make an appointment over the last several months and experienced longer wait times than you were used to, we would like to share in a little more detail just what happened.
January was an exciting month for us as we joined CVCH! We spent 6 months planning for this transition, getting ready to move from paper to computer based health records, and recruiting for a new Pediatrician to care for Dr. Cooks’ patients after his retirement. As part of this merger we were able to take your health care records online, making it possible for you to see lab results as soon as they are available, request a prescription and message your care staff. Unfortunately, despite our planning and added shifts, we couldn’t keep up with the demand for appointments. Dr. Cook even delayed his retirement a couple of months to help see patients.
Often our schedules were filled before they began, and now being a part of CVCH we sometimes recommended CVCH Express Care on Orondo as an option. Many of you were grateful to have that option, we know we are. It is such an asset to be a part of the CVCH family and know that we will be able to take care of you, if not at our location at Red Apple Road, we know we have an extension of our great staff at 600 Orondo.
We feel that we were struck by a “perfect storm.” All our good planning could not have prepared us for the flu season that arrived in the valley early this year. There simply weren’t enough hours in the day to see all of our sick patients. In addition, in January our nurse practitioner, Erin Cudney, and her family, welcomed a new addition with their baby girl. As expected Erin spent several weeks home with her baby returning to Columbia Pediatrics the end of April. In February we welcomed Dr. Tamiko Jordan, a pediatrician with 13 years of experience in California, who is thrilled to have escaped the craziness of L.A. and joined us 3 days a week.
Just when we thought we might be able to get things back on track, Dr. Crawford found himself struggling to breathe, was admitted emergently to the hospital and diagnosed with large blood clots in his lungs. Dr. Crawford is in great health now, however, this took him out of the office unexpectedly for almost a month. His patients were sometimes rescheduled two or three times, as Dr. Crawford had to be careful not to overdo it. We were all very thankful he was healing and by the end of April allowed to work even a couple of hours a day slowly increasing his work load as his condition improved until he was given to go ahead to work his regular schedule beginning June 5th.
In May, Shelley Lisk PA-C, joined Columbia Pediatrics returning home to Wenatchee after working 5 years in Pediatrics in Southern California. Now with two new providers, and Dr. Crawford back to full capacity, we are fully staffed and working hard to see our patients. Our schedules are booked out a little longer than normal because we have been playing catchup from delayed visits, however we are committed to meeting the most urgent needs of our patients.
We wanted to take this opportunity to explain what was going on from our side, as we have worried that you might think our merger with CVCH was the cause of any delays you experienced, and therefore was what you could expect in the future. As explained above, nothing could be further from the truth. We have felt well supported by our new CVCH team during some difficult months, and benefited from access to their Express Care clinics and recruiting team.
We wanted to apologize for any inconvenience this “perfect storm” may have caused you, and most importantly, assure you that we are here to provide the same great care that you have come to know and expect from our team. We value our relationships with our patients and their families and thank you for trusting us.
Many of you have asked how Dr. Cook is doing and he is absolutely loving retirement. However, we know that he misses all of his patients as you became like family to him over the years. It is possible while you are out and about enjoying summer that you will see him with a big smile as he is out walking, hiking, or biking; maybe with his wife or a couple of grandkids!
The Columbia Pediatric Team