The outbreak of COVID-19 is an unprecedented crisis that has disrupted the lives, schedules and daily routines of millions across the globe.
This is a difficult time and we know that our patients and families are going through many transitions simultaneously right now. At Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, our number one goal is keeping you and your family safe. To help during this time, we’ll be offering virtual appointments via video whenever possible and clinically appropriate.
“We are carefully evaluating how to best serve our families during this time,” says Madeleine Gagnon, MD, an Associate Medical Director and pediatric complex care physician at Gillette. “While we’d always prefer to see our patients in-person, there are appointments that can be performed effectively via virtual care. A great deal of thought and care has been taken in making these decisions and we’ve already received positive feedback from our families about our virtual appointments."
An Appointment in the Comfort of Your Own Home
“Initially, I was curious as to how a virtual appointment at Gillette would work,” says Jessica Merchant. Jessica’s son William is 4 years old and has cerebral palsy and epilepsy. “I feel like everyone is seeing each other over video right now, so I was surprised by how natural it felt to have our appointment that way. I know that it will vary and that every appointment is different, but many of Will’s appointments at Gillette turn into long conversations about coordinating the care he needs and it can be difficult to keep him occupied. To be in our home with my husband, his little brother and of course, our dog nearby, was actually a welcome change.”
Other families have had similar responses.
“Our daughter Allie has hydrocephalus, and just had her seventh brain surgery on March 13th. I am a part-time nurse, but once COVID hit, I needed to stay home with Allie and her sister,” says Elizabeth Marsh, Allie’s mother. “Not only am I home because my husband works full-time and schools are closed, but due to Allie’s complex medical situation, she can’t be in a childcare setting right now. I’ve been helping them with school. It’s a lot of work and I keep telling them that I’m not a professional teacher, but we’re getting adjusted to our new version of normal. As a mom, I can’t explain how reassuring it is to be able to do appointments virtually with video. Our doctor was able to check up on Allie’s cecostomy tube while we were in our own home. That wouldn’t have been possible if we were just on the phone. It was much more personable to see her face as she cared for Allie. It’s so wonderful to have this flexibility right now.”
Preparing for Your First Virtual Appointment
Our medical team is currently evaluating appointments that could be done virtually going forward. A discussion with your provider will be a part of this decision process. If you are not contacted prior to your appointment date, we are not suggesting any changes to your upcoming visit. Please come in as scheduled.
If you are contacted about a virtual appointment, please read more about how to prepare for a successful virtual care appointment.
We hope that you are all staying safe during this time.
If you have technical questions about your virtual appointment, please call 651-229-1715.
If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to contact us at 651-229-3890.