When you enter the lobby of Olympia Pediatrics you know you have come to someplace unique. It’s not just the engaging mural depicting a tropical jungle or the beautiful felt art, hanging from the ceiling, mimicking ocean waves. It’s not just the hollow log, perfect for anxious toddlers to climb through, or the thoughtfully located family restroom right in the lobby. No, it’s a feeling. Something hard to put your finger on, but palpable.
It is evident in the warm smile from the reception desk. It radiates from the waiting parents who, although they might be snuggling a sick child, feel secure knowing they are moments from the competent hands of their doctor. It is heard in the friendly voices of the staff, chatting with each other as they pass through the waiting area.
Olympia Pediatrics has got it right. They have combined the long experience of their veteran physicians and staff with the innovation and fresh perspective brought by new practitioners to create a bit of pediatric perfection.
I don’t speak of their experience, warmth and medical know-how lightly. I’m a mom of two young girls and the Olympia Pediatrics health care providers have been keeping my kids healthy, and me from over-reacting, for years. The care begins at your child’s birth where you are warmly congratulated by your infant’s new pediatrician. And that care continues through their first immunizations (not that fun), their first steps and words (much more fun), their entry into school, and passage into adolescence. Through all these stages, you’ll find people who are family centered, knowing that their care goes beyond annual shots to the lifelong well-being of an entire family.
“As a group, our clinic is very family centered and focused, from our front office staff to medical assistants,” shares Dr. Brad Stephens, a physician with the group since 2008. “I think there is an energy that we have – it’s hard to capture in words, but it’s one of the things that I value about this place.”
And patients value that energy as well. The veteran physicians in the group are now seeing the children of past patients, returning with a new generation. “I really enjoy the continuity of pediatrics,” shares Dr. Dana Petersen. “Seeing a new baby all the way through until they graduate from college, and then having them come back later with their own children. For me, that’s just amazing.”
While Olympia Pediatrics was established in 2001, many of the physicians had been seeing patients in Olympia long before that. “We have a great range of experience,” explains Dr. Amy Belko. “We have newly trained pediatricians as well as pediatricians who trained in different parts of the country. This brings different perspective and energy.”
Despite their varied backgrounds and experiences, they all work toward the common goal to care for their patients first and foremost, nurturing their health as well as the relationships that develop through the years.
“I look at the parent-physician relationship as something really unique to pediatrics and it is a team approach to care that we follow,” explains Dr. Stephens. And that team includes the parents and patients, but also all the doctors at Olympia Pediatrics as they utilize each other’s strengths and experiences to enrich care. If your primary doctor is out on a day when your child really needs to be seen, don’t hesitate to schedule an appointment. We recently saw Mindy Hudson, ARNP, when our doctor was out. My daughter was literally giggling through her rather painful procedure. The care and compassion she showed was at the same time refreshing and exactly what I would expect at Olympia Pediatrics.
There are excellent resources for parents. The clinic has a 24-hour nurse line available to patients needing answers to their questions during non-business hours, potentially saving you the cost of an urgent care visit. For new patients, the doctors encourage a free “meet and greet” style appointment where parents can tour the clinic, meet the doctors and find out if it’s a good fit for their family. And in the coming months, the group will transition to an electronic records system, which will have a patient portal to refill prescriptions and view lab results from home. For busy parents, these services can make all the difference.
When I asked the group of doctors what they liked most about being a pediatrician, they all chimed in immediately with, “The kids, of course.” And they truly do love the kids. It’s the reason they are there. “You develop a tremendous attachment and sense of responsibility for the child through the years,” shares Dr. Petersen. Dr. Karen Fukui echoes Dr. Petersen’s thoughts. “Especially when a child may have had some struggles early on, it’s really gratifying to watch them grow and celebrate their successes.”
Olympia Pediatrics has become a place of comfort, care, and confidence for my family, as I know it has for hundreds of other Thurston County families. Maybe it has, or will be, for your family, too.
Olympia Pediatrics is located at 3434 12th Avenue NE (off Lilly Road) Olympia 98506. Practitioners at the clinic include Dr. Amy Belko, Dr. Karen Fukui, Dr. Maria Huang, Dr. Dana Petersen, Dr. Bridget Sipher,
Dr. Brad Stephens, Dr. Will Woolery, Kathy Berndt, ARNP, and Melinda Hudson, ARNP. Dr. Woolery and Kathy Berndt are Spanish speaking.