Willows Pediatrics Blog - We Know Kids

We Know Kids

The Willows Pediatrics Blog

Willows Supports the Jon-Alec Fund

Willows Pediatrics would like to share the link to the John Alec Fund in the hope that families might be inspired to learn about this worthy cause.

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Learn more about The Jon-Alec Fund >

More about the fund from the family:

Jon-Alec had only just begun his journey of making the world a better place. His family would like to continue what he started though an organization they founded in his memory, The Jon-Alec Fund. This non-profit public charity is dedicated to educating young people pursuing careers in Emergency Medical Services, Wildland Firefighting and Addiction Counseling. The fund will provide educational scholarships to students seeking certifications in these fields. We aim to fund young people with similar convictions, love and respect for nature and provide them with an opportunity to continue the work Jon-Alec so loved. 

The Jon-Alec Fund started as a place for family and friends to make donations in Jon-Alec’s memory. We plan to begin to organize fundraising events in the near future in his hometown of Fairfield, CT and Boulder, CO. Please consider making a donation annually for Jon-Alec’s birthday, August 2nd. Thank you for your time and consideration. 

With love and appreciation, ​

Lori, Brad and Eliana

Susie Basler – Counseling/Social Work

Susie Basler, new at Willow's PediatricsWe are pleased to announce that Susie Basler, MA, LMSW has joined us in providing in office treatment of psychological and behavioral problems. Susie has over 30 years of experience working with children, adolescents, and families in a variety of settings, including as Director of Project Return in Westport and in an established private practice in Westport.

Susie received her Bachelor of Science at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, before receiving a Master of Social Work degree at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration.

She is experienced in the areas of anxiety reduction, adolescent psychology, and DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy).  She has vast experience understanding the needs of teenagers, and a unique set of skills and knowledge of what works best when counseling adolescents and their parents.  Susie is also passionate about working with and supporting pre-teens, and helping them thrive as they navigate any challenges and stresses.

We believe with Susie on our team, adolescents, pre-teens and their parents will find a warm and compassionate environment here at Willows to seek help and advice.  If necessary, our patients seeing Susie can also work with our psychiatric nurse practitioner, Kirstin Anastasia, if an evaluation for medication is needed.

If you would like to make an appointment and meet Susie, please talk to your doctor, PA or nurse.

Willows and high school athletic trainers: Strengthening our community

On January 28th, 2019 Heather Buccigross, PA-C participated with physical therapists from Select PT in Fairfield to lecture students enrolled in the Athletic Training Program at Sacred Heart University.  Held at Sacred Heart, the lecture included management of post-concussive neck strain and instruction in side-line evaluation and return-to-learn protocols. Through these efforts, Willows Pediatrics continues to strengthen relationships with local high school athletic trainers in an effort to return students to the playing fields safely.

Whether it is focusing on one individual at a time, or the wider community our patients live, study, and play in, the physicians, PAs and staff of Willows Pediatrics appreciate any opportunity to share our knowledge and experience and support the health of children and adolescents.

 Sacred Heart University logo  Heather Buccigross, PA-C

Sport Related Concussion: New Research and Findings

Row of sports icons for Willows Pediatrics

According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) an estimated 1.1 million to 1.9 million children and teens are treated for recreational or sport-related concussion every year in the United States.  As most parents are aware, the management of concussion is important to ensure that their child can return safely to their sport or activity.

Given how common concussions are, a great deal of research has gone in to determine the best ways to evaluate sport concussions, and over the past few years guidance on the treatment of injured players has evolved.  In its first update in eight years, the AAP presents the results of the latest research on the treatment of concussions in the report, “Sport-Related Concussion in Children and Adolescents“. Read More

Giving Back at Willows Pediatrics

Giving back to our community is important to everyone at Willows Pediatrics.  We are grateful to have been able to give back to both our local and wider community the past year.  Teaching the next generation of physicians is vital for the future of medicine.  A number of medical students from the Yale University School of Medicine spent time in our office observing the practice of pediatric primary care and examining patients under the guidance of our physicians.  We would like to thank the many families  who welcomed the Yale students as they worked with us.

Willows Pediatrics gives back - Yale medical students visit

We also had the opportunity to support breast cancer research by joining the Norma Pfriem Breast Cancer Center in the “Pink Pledge” for breast cancer awareness during the month of October.  Together with Miller Nissan and the Aquarian Pink Pledge car, we supported this cause through the sale of bracelets and pink ribbons.

Willows Pediatrics gives back - Breast cancer research and awareness Pink Pledge

Also in October, Willows supported the “Halloween on the Green” event in Fairfield held at the Museum Commons.  The popular family event featured kid friendly activities such as interactive displays in the historic buildings, a bounce house, and surprise trick or treat give always.  Drs. Allison, Sheiman, and Owens enjoyed seeing many of our patients and parents who visited the Willows Pediatrics table at the event.

Willows Pediatrics gives back - Celebrating Halloween on the green

We look forward to more of the same for 2019!

Insurance update for open enrollment period

Here are some insurance updates that may apply to you and your family:

If you have an individual commercial insurance plan through Blue Cross/Anthem, and for other families considering individual commercial plans, please be aware of the following.

As of January 1, 2019, Blue Cross/Anthem is restructuring their insurance plans. They are consolidating all individual commercial insurance plans with their ACA (Affordable Care Act) individual pathway/exchange plans so that there is only one category, which will be an individual pathway/exchange plan.  Unfortunately, we do not participate in these individual pathway/exchange plans.  If you have purchased your family’s insurance individually (i.e. not through a small group plan) or through an insurance broker (also not a small group plan through work) this change means we will not be “in-network providers”.

However, we do and will continue to participate in the “Small Group” pathway/exchange plans.  Unfortunately, Blue Cross continues to make it prohibitive for us to be “in network providers” for the individual pathway/exchange plans.

For many families this is the time for open enrollment.  We want to give you as much notice as possible so you are informed as you make decisions for the upcoming year about your family’s health insurance.  Please see our website for the managed care insurances we do participate in, which does include other individual plan choices.

If your insurance has changed and you do not have individual commercial insurance through Blue Cross you can disregard this, but please contact our billing department at ext. 1109 to update your insurance information.

We look forward to answering any questions you may have; the health of your children is very important to us! Please feel free to contact our billing department or our practice administrator at ext. 1224.

Thank you from all at Willows Pediatrics!

Flu Vaccine Update for 2018-2019: Key Facts for Parents

Child receiving vaccine at Willow's Pediatrics

Flu season is upon us, and now is the time to review how to best protect your child.  The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends that all children ages 6 months and older, including adolescents, receive a flu shot this season with the goal of providing optimal protection against all strains of influenza.  Influenza can be a serious illness, and as many parents are aware, influenza resulted in a record number of pediatric deaths this past year. Read More

“Jump Start” your Child’s Speech and Language Development

Willows is offering a FREE talk for parents of children 6 months through 3 years on ways to stimulate speech and language skills in children not yet talking or just beginning to use words and phrases.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Ways to stimulate and expand children’s early speech and language skills.
  • Ways to elicit early vocalizations, words and phrases.
  • Examples of how feeding and drinking abilities impact speech production.

Baby smiling and laughing at Willow's Pediatrics
This talk is given by Nancy Hastings, MA, CCC, SLP, a Speech and Language Pathologist with many years of experience helping children with speech and language problems.

When: Wednesday January 16, 2018 from 6:30 – 7:30 PM
Where: Our office

Note: Please call our office at 203-319-3939 to register.  Also, please note the talk is for parents only. 



Vote For Willows Pediatrics in the Halloween Pumpkin Decorating Contest

Willows is enjoying the Halloween season by participating in the pumpkin decorating contest sponsored by Commerce Park Dentistry. We need your votes!

1) Log on to the Commerce Park dentistry Facebook page.

2) Look under “photos” and click “see all” or scroll through the photos

3) Find and “like” the Willows Pediatric Group pumpkin called ‘Humpty Pum-ty”

Thanks, and have a safe and enjoyable Halloween!!

The Halloween pumpkin at Willows Pediatrics

Back to Sleep, Tummy to Play

Baby group and sleep safety at Willow's Pediatrics

Our weekly newborn group is a time for new mothers to come together to share their experiences and learn from our group facilitators, Willows physicians, and each other.  We also enjoy having guest speakers who present on subjects that moms have shown an interest in.  One of our regular guest speakers is Tina Botticelli, a pediatric physical therapist from Norwalk Hospital. At a recent meeting Tina joined our newborn group to discuss infant motor development, and demonstrated recommended ways to position and hold babies to support their emerging physical skills.  By encouraging proper head and neck development, parents can also reduce the likelihood that their baby will develop occipital plagiocephaly, or flattening on one side of the back of the head.

As part of teaching about infant development, the physicians, PA’s, and nurses at Willows want to remind parents and all caretakers about the American Academy of Pediatrics recommendations for sleep safety.  While tummy time is important for infants to develop strong muscles, tummy time is only for infants who are awake and being watched. And please remember, healthy babies are safest when sleeping on their backs at nighttime and during naps. Back to sleep, tummy to play!