On a recent Monday morning, Chelsea Reese, a Registered Dietitian at Every Child Pediatrics, was sitting in the Lakewood medical office when she received a call from the mom of a 10-year-old patient, who has Health First Colorado (Medicaid) insurance. The mom had a nutrition appointment that morning but she was having car trouble and couldn’t drive there.
No problem, Chelsea told the mom. They could do a virtual visit.
Within a few minutes, Chelsea and the mom were able to see and talk to each other through the mom’s phone screen at home on a secure connection. They had a one-hour discussion about the son’s high cholesterol and ways to eat healthier. Chelsea helped the mom set nutrition goals and gave her diet modifications, which included adding fresh produce and whole grains and having the son cook with the mom on the weekends. They made an appointment for a follow up visit and the mom was thrilled with the help and convenience.
Welcome to virtual nutrition visits at Every Child Pediatrics!
“Virtual visits are so convenient for families and it allows me to see more kids,” Chelsea said. “I can’t be in all of our clinics at one time. This enables me to meet with families when they are in one of our clinics and I’m somewhere else and they have time and are motivated. This also helps when families have transportation issues and will improve no-show rates. All they have to do is click into the platform from wherever they are.”
Virtual nutrition visits are one of many exciting innovations underway at Every Child Pediatrics. The Fort Collins School-Based Health Center, known as the Health and Wellness Center at Centennial High School, is piloting a telemedicine model with patients at a nearby middle school. These initiatives are designed to use technology and new approaches to expand access to care, offer more ways for patients to connect with our staff and help us be more responsive to the needs of our families.
Chelsea has been offering virtual visits for the past few months across Every Child Pediatrics’ Denver metro offices and is seeing an increase in interest from providers referring patients to her and the number of follow-up visits with patients. Most of her visits are related to managing and preventing conditions such as high cholesterol, pre-diabetes, picky eating, transitioning infants to solid foods, and high or low body-mass index. About half of her visits are scheduled and the other half are spontaneous referrals from medical providers when they are seeing patients.
Chelsea is enthusiastic about the approach and appreciates the opportunity to help children get on a path toward healthy lifestyles and help reverse the troubling trends of obesity and chronic disease among low-income children.
“I think there’s so much that we can prevent in pediatrics before it becomes an issue with adults. There’s so many chronic diseases that can be improved with nutrition and if we get them started with healthy eating when they are young, we can help them have healthy long lives and prevent the diseases that are nutrition related when they become adults.”
Patients can schedule visits with Chelsea once they are referred by their medical providers. Learn more about Chelsea and our other providers here.