Valdosta will get a new pediatric afterhours clinic - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Valdosta will get a new pediatric afterhours clinic

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By Robin Jedlicka - bio | email

VALDOSTA, GA (WALB) - There's been a growing need for pediatricians in the Valdosta area for years, and yet, families have had only one option for afterhours pediatric care--until now.

In September, Smith Northview Hospital will offer a new option.

"We'll be opening September 1st--Youth & Pediatric Afterhours Clinic, 'Y-PAC.' We're really excited about it," says Chuck Roberts, Smith Northview's Assistant Administrator. 

The hospital is converting one wing of the emergency room to serve as the new clinic.  Doctors say having multiple options for afterhours youth care is important to a community.

"It's critical, especially in pediatrics, because a lot of diseases and a lot of illnesses typically occur in kids after 5:00," says Dr. Eric Schuck of South Georgia Pediatric and Allergy Center.  "In fact, there have been studies over the years that have shown that a great deal of the more severe illnesses occur between 5 PM and 2 AM."

Doctors from South Georgia Pediatric and Allergy Center will be coming on board to work the new clinic.  Smith Northview is also hiring new positions to oversee the clinic's service.

"We're hiring a coordinator that is especially familiar with pediatrics, and also recruiting pediatric nurses to come in and help us work with this," says Roberts. 

Administrators at Smith Northview say they will strive to keep wait times short, and to keep the experience positive for children.

"We'll have Play Stations here.  We'll have TV's here. We'll have toys and coloring books and stuff like that," says CEO James Matney.  "It's kind of going to be a medical playground for kids that are sick."

Smith Northview says they are striving to meet the community's ever-growing demand of pediatric care, and to do so in a way that serves both the patient, and their family.

The clinic will operate Monday through Thursday, from 6 PM to 9 PM.  They plan to offer more hours as their staff and patient base grows.

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