Dr. Stephanie DeChurch’s new boutique pediatric practice in Downtown Dadeland is truly a “dream come true,” according to the pediatrician and founder of d. pediatrics. DeChurch has put her heart and soul into the new practice and is beginning to reap the benefits. “The obstetricians have been very receptive to the new concept of our practice and are sending their newborns our way,” she says.
That new concept is based around what DeChurch calls “the old-fashioned meets new technology,” in other words, fusing the personalized care of traditional pediatric practices with newer conveniences such as telemedicine visits and a monthly membership rate.
Their monthly membership options (they range from $50/month to $200/month) include yearly check-ups as well as two sick visits and four telemedicine visits, paperwork and labs. Vaccines are covered either via traditional insurance or out-of-pocket payments, while additional visits outside of the plan can range from a $5 flu test to a $20 sick visit. “You’re paying for the convenience of no wait time, a comfortable office, a small staff that is attentive to each patient…,” says DeChurch, who schedules patients in half-hour increments rather than the 10-15 minute intervals of a larger practice. Though the office is not contracted with any insurance companies, DeChurch does recommend that patients have a traditional insurance plan for coverage of emergencies or hospital visits.
Her personalized approach extends to her staff, which includes DeChurch’s own mother at the front desk as well as her medical assistant, Carolina Zepeda, who has worked with the doctor for 19 years. DeChurch says new parents are especially appreciative of the time and attention she gives to newborns and families. Pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Toba Niazi has embraced the new practice with the birth of her fourth child. Niazi says she appreciates the personal attention and care her children receive. As a busy, working mom, Niazi says she cherishes her free time and doesn’t want it eaten up by long waits in the pediatrician’s office. “I know I can consult with Dr. DeChurch via my ipad or iphone,” she says, noting that it saves her and her physician husband from taking unnecessary time off work.
DeChurch herself is a fan of the telemedicine aspect as well, noting that many times all it takes is a Facetime or phone call to reassure parents and children when an illness such as a cold or flu hits. She says of her HIPPA –protected calls, “Parents can go online or call the office to schedule a time and we will send them a protected link for the appointment.” For in-office visits, DeChurch has paid careful attention to her décor, creating a homey and comfortable vibe rather than a traditional pediatric space. “It’s more Starbucks than doctors office,” she says of the waiting area, which comes complete with a full-service tea station.
Aside from years in the pediatric world, DeChurch also brings her own experience of raising three young children. “I feel right at home with my families and can relate to what they are going through,” she says. “My children and patients have been some of my best teachers in life. They definitely keep me on my toes.”
DeChurch embraces the idea of constant communication and education with her families, keeping her patients up to date on current topics via a blog on her website. Taking on topics ranging from vaccines to nutritional advice, the communication allows DeChurch to form lifelong bonds with her families. “The children and their parents warm our hearts and brighten our days, “says Zepeda. “We know we are making a difference in the lives of our children and families, there’s nothing more rewarding than that.”
d.pediatrics is located in Downtown Dadeland at 9055 SW 72nd Place, Miami, FL 33156. You can reach the office at 305.282.3386 or visit www.dpediatrics.com for more information.