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YOUR HOME FOR QUALITY PEDIATRIC CARE • WINTER 2017/2018 Welcome to The PediaMag...................... 2

Pediatrics for patients and their families Providing access to information about medical care

PATIENT PORTAL Helpful Tips for Patient Portal Users...... 3 NEW PROVIDERS New Physicians............................... 4 CLASSES Pediatric Alliance offers................... 6 CHILDREN’S HEALTH Does Your Child Have Allergies or Asthma?....................... 7 CHILDREN AND SCHOOL “I Don’t Want To Go To School”........ 8 COMMON COLD Sore Throat, Stuffy Nose – ‘Here We Go!’.................................. 9 COMMMUNITY Halloween 2017 Autism Seminar Canonsburg Hospital Child Safety Day.............................. 10 HEALTHY KIDS Suggestions for packing school lunches Kids Menu....................................... 11 PARENTING The Mother of All Baby Showers Supporting World Breastfeeding Week........................ 12 APPRECIATION DAY Employee Appreciation Day 2017 at Kennywood Park......................... 13 IMMUNIZATIONS Supporting National Immunization Awareness Month...... 13 SENSORY FRIENDLY Music, Dance, and Magic................ 14 PEDIATRIC ALLIANCE Pediatric Alliance Newest Location In Seven Fields Pediatric Alliance Wants You!........... 16 Publication Provided by:

Dr. Deborah Gentile and Erica Butler


Welcome to The PediaMag Welcome to the very first edition of The PediaMag — a semiannual online magazine presented by Pediatric Alliance! Patients and families who receive their pediatric care at one of our 17 locations in and around Pittsburgh are already familiar with The PediaBlog. Now, five years and 2,000+ PediaBlog posts later, online access to information about medical care and those who provide it to your children has become even more important and useful to our familes than ever. And so, The PediaMag was the logical next step in Pediatric Alliance’s effort to stay connected with patients and families in the most relevant, enlightening and entertaining way. Like The PediaBlog which came before it, The PediaMag is definitely a work that will evolve over time. We’d like to make reading The PediaMag as interactive as possible. We look forward to your feedback — comments, constructive criticisms, ideas — as we launch this new endeavor from Pediatric Alliance.

About Us:

We hope you enjoy reading this first-ever edition of The PediaMag!

Pediatric Alliance was formed in 1996, when eight individual pediatric practices joined together to provide quality health care throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. Since then, Pediatric Alliance has grown to be the largest physician-owned group pediatric practice in our area.  Our board-certified pediatricians offer primary care to children and adolescents in 17 different office locations including two specialty care offices for asthma, allergy and immunology and pediatric endocrinology. We are proud to offer personalized, patient-centered care to patients from birth to 21 years of age. We strive to be a Medical Home and to meet your family’s pediatric needs, provide convenient access to care, and build strong relationships with families to maximize your child’s health.

Send feedback to

To learn more about Pediatric Alliance, Click Here.

Pediatric Alliance 1100 Washington Ave Suite 215 Carnegie, PA 15106


The PediaMag is published semiannually, copyright 2018 All rights reserved.

Publisher Pediatric Alliance, P.C.

Associate Editor SMC

Editor Rebecca Scalise

Art Director Brent Cashman

Pediatric Alliance P.C. • January/February 2018 •

Patient Portal

Helpful Tips for Patient Portal Users Patient Portal gives patients a secure way to connect with our office and access their medical information at home and on the road. — Please ensure your email address is current in our system.

NEW! Patient Portal Tips under the Patient Tools section of our website.

• How to Renew Medications • How to Request an Appointment • How to Send Messages via Patient Portal • What to do if you forget your Username/Password In addition to these helpful tip sheets, you can also email or call our portal line if you need assistance. or (412) 278-5102

Your Home for Quality Pediatric Care Pediatric Alliance P.C. • January/February 2018 •


New Providers

New providers join Pediatric Alliance PITTSBURGH Dr. Deborah Gentile. Joined the Pediatric Alliance on January 1, 2017. Dr. Gentile practices at our Division of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunization, which is located at 9000 Perry Highway, Suite 210, Pittsburgh, PA, 15237. She graduated from St. Francis University, where she received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology, Dr. Gentile earned her medical degree at the University of Pittsburgh. She then completed a residency in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh and a Fellowship in Allergy & Immunology at Children’s Hospital. She is a board-certified allergist and a member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology and American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

Janelle Selva, PA-C. Joined Pediatric Alliance, effective January 9, 2017. She will practice at our Chartiers/McMurray Division which has locations at 1370 Washington Pike, Suite 107, Bridgeville, PA 15017 and 3001 Waterdam Plaza, Suite 220, McMurray, PA 15317. A graduate of St. Francis University, she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences. She then earned a Master’s of Science in Physician Assistant Sciences. Dr. Nathan Millard. Joined Pediatric Alliance on January 9, 2017. Dr. Millard practices at our Regional Office Division – Pediatric Alliance Jefferson Hills office, which is located in the Jefferson Medical Arts Building at 1200 Brooks Lane, Suite 270, Jefferson Hills, PA, 15025 He graduated from Loyola University, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Spanish, Dr. Millard earned his Doctor of Medicine at George Washington University. He then completed a residency in pediatrics at Boston Children’s Hospital. He is a board certified pediatrician, and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Jennifer Yoon, Nutritionist. Returned to Pediatric Alliance on January 9, 2017. Ms. Yoon practices at our St. Clair Division, which is located at 1580 McLaughlin Run Road, Suite 208, Upper St. Clair, PA, 15241. A graduate of the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition. A native of Dallas, Texas, she currently lives in Bethel Park, PA.

Dr. Jadranka Popovic. Joined Pediatric Alliance on June 1, 2017. Dr. Popovic practices at our Division of Pediatric Endocrinology, which is located at 1789 South Braddock Ave., Suite 294, Pittsburgh, PA, 15218. Dr. Popovic attended medical school at the University of Zagreb. She completed pediatric residency training at St. Luke’s-Roosevelt Hospital of Columbia University in New York City, and pediatric endocrinology fellowship training at Weill- Cornell Medical College in New York City. Since 2008, Dr. Popovic has served as attending pediatric endocrinologist at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. During that time, she also held the position of Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School Of Medicine. Dr. Popovic has always been active in clinical research. Her recent emphasis is on Turner syndrome, as well as the use of aromatase inhibitors in pediatric endocrinology. She has presented her research at national and international meetings. Most recently, she participated in a work on revised Turner syndrome consensus guidelines. She also is a member of Turner Syndrome Global Alliance Group. Dr. Popovic serves as a member on a number of committees of the European Society of Pediatric Endocrinology and Pediatric Endocrine Society of North America. She also served as a volunteer for Life for A Child and as a tutor for Pediatric Endocrine Training Center for West Africa.


Pediatric Alliance P.C. • January/February 2018 •

New Providers

Chelsea Raffa, CRNP. Joined the Pediatric Alliance on July 31, 2017. Chelsea practices at our Greentree division, which is located at 969 Greentree Road, Suite 100, Pittsburgh, PA, 15220. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing at Penn State University and a Master of Science in Nursing at Carlow University. She is licensed as a Certified Registered Nurse Practitioner (CRNP) and a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP-C), certified by the American Academy offNurse Practitioners.

Michael Talotta, PA-C. Joined Pediatric Alliance on September 11, 2017. Mr.Talotta practices at our Regional Office Division – Allegheny Office, which is located in the Allegheny Medical Professional Building at Allegheny General Hospital. A graduate of Duquesne University, he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences. Mr. Talotta also earned his MPAS at Duquesne University. He is board certified Physician Assistant with experience in Pediatrics, Hematology, Oncology, and Emergency Medicine.

Dana Faulkner, Registered Dietician and Certified Diabetes Educator. Joined Pediatric Alliance on September 29, 2017. Ms. Faulkner practices at our Arcadia Division, which is located at 9795 Perry Highway, Wexford, PA, 15090. A graduate of Penn State University, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Nutrition. Ms. Faulkner also has earned a certification in Diabetes Education.

Salma Haneef, M.D. Joined Pediatric Alliance, effective October 30, 2017. Dr. Haneef is practicing at our Reginal Office Division – Jefferson Hills location which is located in the Jefferson Medical Arts Building, 1200 Brooks Lane, Suite 130, Jefferson Hills, PA 15025. A graduate of Johns Hopkins University, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology. Dr. Haneef earned her Doctor of Medicine at the University of Missouri School of Medicine in Columbia, MO. She then completed a residency in Pediatrics at Inova Children’s Hospital in Fairfax, VA. She is board certified pediatrician, and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Ashley Loboda, M.D. Joined Pediatric Alliance on October 30, 2017. Dr. Loboda practices at our St. Clair Division, which is located in Pinebridge Commons, 1580 McLaughlin Run Road, Suite 208, Upper St. Clair, PA, 15241. A graduate of Xavier University, she received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology with a minor in Spanish. Dr. Loboda earned her MD at the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. She then completed a residency in Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She is a board certified pediatrician and a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Pediatric Alliance P.C. • January/February 2018 •



Pediatric Alliance provides learning opportunities for new and expectant parents. Pediatric Alliance offers classes to new parents and expectant moms and dads. Parents can meet the pediatrician, tour the office, learn basic information about the care of their newborn, and even learn what to expect while mom and baby are in the hospital. We also offer classes in breastfeeding for expectant moms and new moms who are trying to make breastfeeding work. In fact, we have certified lactation consultants at many of our locations. These professionals are waiting to help you.

New & Expectant Parent Classes

Advanced Advancedregistration registrationrequiredrequiredmake makesure sureto toregister registerearly earlyto toreserve reserve your yourspace. space. Increase Increaseyour yourknowledge knowledgeand and confidence confidenceas asyou youprepare preparefor forthe the birth birthof ofyour yourbaby. baby.Receive Receivehelpful helpful tips tipsto tocalm calmaababy, baby,ease easefussiness fussiness and andmuch muchmore! more!

To register for these free classes, go to classes.

Dr. Sarah Kohl


Pediatric Alliance P.C. • January/February 2018 •

By Deborah Gentile, M.D.

Children’s health

Does Your Child Have Allergies or Asthma? Spring allergy season is just around the corner and now is the time to prepare if your child has allergies and/or asthma. Tree pollen season typically occurs in March and April and grass season typically occurs in May and June. Approximately 30% of children have allergies and 10% have asthma. Allergy symptoms include stuffy, itchy, runny nose and post nasal drip. Some children will also have eye itching, redness, watering and swelling. Children with asthma may also have wheezing, coughing and shortness of breath. The best medications for allergies are daily nasal steroid sprays which should be started 2 weeks before the expected start of the allergy season and continued until the end of the season. Antihistamines by mouth, nasal spray and/or eye drops can also be used as needed. Children with asthma should be closely monitored during allergy season and if they are using their rescue medication more than twice a week, they should see their health care provider to discuss starting or changing their daily controller medication. Many asthma controller medications are now available in oncea-day dosing forms. If allergy and/or asthma symptoms are difficult to control, referral to an allergist can help identify the allergy trigger. Allergy skin testing no longer involves scratches on the skin or needles and is not painful. Once the allergists identifiy specific allergies they can advise you on ways to avoid the allergy as well as offer additional treatment options. Ways to avoid tree and grass pollen are to keep house and car windows closed and use air conditioning, avoid hanging clothes outside to dry and taking a shower every night, including shampooing hair, to remove any pollen from the body.

If allergy medications are not working, an allergist can offer allergy immunotherapy. Traditionally, immunotherapy has been given in shot form, but there are new forms of medication available for grass allergies that are given under the tongue once each day starting a few months prior to and continuing to the end of the pollen season. This type of treatment is called sublingual

immunotherapy and has the advantage of not requiring weekly visits to the doctor’s office to get allergy shots. Spring allergy season can be quite a difficult time for children who suffer with allergies and asthma. Choosing the treatment that is right for you and your children will create a happier and healthier child and, by extension, a happier family.

Dr. Deborah Gentile recently joined Dr. Sergei Belenky in the Division of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology of the Pediatric Alliance. She completed a pediatric residency and an allergy/asthma fellowship at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She is a nationally recognized expert in pediatric allergy and asthma and has extensive research experience in sublingual immunotherapy and pediatric asthma. In her current practice, she provides care to both children and adults for environmental allergies, asthma, food allergies, drug allergies, bee sting allergies, hives and eczema and immune problems.

For more information or to make an appointment at Pediatric Alliance Division of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology, call (412) 348-6262 or visit our website at

Pediatric Alliance P.C. • January/February 2018 •


Children and School

By Ned Ketyer, M.D.

‘I Don’t Want To Go To School’ It’s Monday morning. After a busy, action-packed weekend, it’s time to get everyone up and awake to eat a balanced breakfast, brush teeth, go to the bathroom, stuff a lunch into the backpack, and make it to the bus stop or drop-off line on time. Doing that for five days, most weeks of the year, is challenging enough. And then you hear these three words from you tearful child: “My tummy hurts.” What does that mean, exactly? You think back on the weekend when everyone was feeling fine. Maybe it was the combination of pizza, soda, cake and ice cream at a friend’s birthday party yesterday. Or maybe it’s the start of that stomach virus you’ve heard is going around school. Or, it might just be that your child is using the wrong words to express what is really on his mind: “I don’t want to go to school today.”

• School refusal symptoms occur most often on school days, and are usually absent on weekends. When these children are examined by a doctor, no true illnesses are detected or diagnosed. However, since the type of symptoms these children complain of can be caused by a physical illness, a medical examination should usually be part of their evaluation. Triggers of school-related anxiety include: • Fear of leaving you, the parent (separation anxiety). • Fear of failure. This is especially true in children who find learning in school difficult, like those with chronic medical conditions, behavioral problems, social concerns, attentional issues, or specific learning differences. Remember that whenever parents hear the phrase “I don’t like school,” a red flag should go up. • Teasing coming from other children. • Perceived “meanness” or negative attention from a teacher. • Anxiety around using a public toilet. • Threats of physical harm, or actual physical harm from a bully.

It is probably impossible to make the translation the first time it happens. But a physical complaint of not feeling well, described in vague terms (“My tummy hurts,” “I have a headache,” “I’m tired,” “I don’t feel good”) and not accompanied by specific symptoms (vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, fever) should be viewed suspiciously by attentive parents, especially when the complaints are repeated on consecutive days or over consecutive weeks. The most common reason for school avoidance or school refusal (also known as school phobia) is school-related anxiety. Estimated to affect about 5% of schoolchildren, school phobia often leads to many missed school days. And, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is only on those days these vague complaints are heard:


Getting your child to go back to school — and stay there — might be easier said than done. A visit to the pediatrician would be a good first step to hash out the problem, rule out a medical, psychological, or learning-based reason for wanting to avoid school, and generating a plan to manage the anxiety: • While you might try to manage school refusal on your own, if your child’s school avoidance lasts more than one week, you and your child may need professional assistance to deal with it. • First, your child should be examined by your pediatrician. If his or her school refusal persists, or if he or she has chronic or intermittent signs of separation difficulties when going to school – in combination with physical symptoms that are interfering with her functioning – your doctor may recommend a consultation with a child psychiatrist or psychologist. • Even if your child denies having negative experiences at school or with other children, his or her unexplainable physical symptoms should motivate you to schedule a medical evaluation.​

Pediatric Alliance P.C. • January/February 2018 •

By Ned Ketyer, M.D.

Common cold

Sore Throat, Stuffy Nose – ‘Here We Go!’

It starts as a little sniffle when your child’s bus drops them off at school. Increased stuffiness and nose blowing follows. The throat gets scratchy and then a little sore. By the time she comes home, she has started to cough and complains of feeling chilled. Her forehead feels warm. “Here we go,” the girl’s parent says on a cold January evening. “Let’s hope this is just a cold.” How do we know this girl’s upper respiratory illness is just that lth News—You and Your Can Useworse, like the flu? a common cold —Family and not something Most common colds are caused by rhinovirus (literally, “nose” virus). Symptoms are familiar (like the ones mentioned above), mild, and last several days before resolving, usually in 7-10 days. The flu, on the other hand, results from infection by one of several different strains of influenza virus. Symptoms progress much faster than the common cold The more development of shortness or ps them off and are much severe. Heavy congesollows. The breath, chest pain, horrible tion and coughing, sore throat, headaches e time she headache, to the drink high feverinability — basically s of feeling and body aches, amounts fluids, or worst coldadequate you can think of that hitsofhard ry evening. and doesn’t let go for at least 5-7 days repetitive vomiting are all signs that before its grip isimmediate released. Most people who require medical attention. is just that get the flu will take another 5-7 days to he flu? ally, “nose” recover. School and work will be missed, school and work are usually all that are needed to recover ned above), activities will be cancelled, appointments 7-10 days. quickly and completely from colds and flu. with the doctor will likelyofbeshortness made. or breath, chest pain, horrible The development by one of to drink adequate amounts of fluids, or Since bothinability the common cold and the ms progress headache, areantibiotics all signs will thatnot require immediate medical ore severe. flurepetitive are causedvomiting by viruses, s and body attention. Frequent and effective hand washing with soap and be helpful in curing the infection; neither hink of that water by the person who is sick and all her caretakers is typical coldinand cough medicines, order to prevent thewhich spread of these common cold e its grip is willimperative flu viruses others. be effective in cause harm totochildren, er 5-7 days canand “Itthe can’t be the symptoms. flu — she Staying got herhyflu shot back in October!” ies will be easing miserable exclaims the relieved parent. An annual influenza vaccine is by made. drated by drinking plenty of warm and cool by viruses, far the most effective tool we have in preventing a common fluids can be anresults effective infection(sipping that unfortunately in far too many deaths in neither will beverages young infants, the elderly, people who battle chronic illnesses, se harm to cough suppressant), using acetaminophen manyatotherwise healthy people ms. Staying or and ibuprofen recommended doses to re- — our friends and family members, classmates and coworkers, and es (sipping duce fever and aches and pains, and resting nt), using even perfect strangers. An annual flu shot staying home from school work one are as the person who and receives to reduce by protects well as people around them.quickhome from usually all those that are needed to recover ly and completely from colds and flu. The development of shortness or ans at Pediatric Alliance, is the editor of breath, chest pain, horrible headache, inabilt the to drink adequate amounts of fluids, or repetitive vomiting are all signs that require

uffy Nose – ‘Here We Go!’

immediate medical attention. Frequent and effective hand washing with soap and water by the person who is sick and all her caretakers is imperative in order to prevent the spread of these common cold and flu viruses to others. “It can’t be the flu — she got her flu shot back in October!” exclaims the relieved parent. An annual influenza vaccine is by far the most effective tool we have in preventing a common infection that unfortunately results in far too many deaths in young infants, the elderly, people who battle chronic illnesses, and many otherwise healthy people — our friends and family members, classmates and coworkers, and even perfect strangers. An annual flu shot protects the person who receives one as well as those people around them.

The development of shortness or breath, chest pain, horrible headache, inability to drink adequate amounts of fluids, or repetitive vomiting are all signs that require immediate medical attention.

Ned Ketyer, M.D., one of the founding physicians at Pediatric Alliance, is the editor of The PediaBlog (, For more information on Pediatric Alliance, visit the website

Pediatric Alliance P.C. • January/February 2018 •



Halloween This year, our staff embraced their inner child and dressed up for Halloween. Some locations had costume contests and food day (and when is it NOT a good occasion for a food day?), and some offices shared their fun sides and fun costumes with our patients. Spending all of our days with our amazing patients always brings out our inner children!

Community Outreach Autism Seminar

On August 12, parents and caregivers visited the Woodlands in Wexford to join Michael Petrosky, MD, FAAP, in an Autism discussion with a focus on new research, early diagnosis, and socialization, followed by a class on Learning Disabilities and Navigating School-Based Services, presented by Damian Ternullo, MD, FAAP. Attendees also heard from guest speaker Kristen C. Weidus, Esq. from Ruder Law who led a discussion on advocating for the rights of children in public schools.

Eclipse August 21, 2017, at our Fox Chapel Division, Dr. Sahud, Dr. Pokorney, Dr. Romero, and her daughter, took a quick break to watch the eclipse through the safety of their eclipse glasses.

Canonsburg Hospital Child Safety Day

Recently, management and providers from of our Chartiers/McMurray Division participated in Canonsburg Hospital’s first Child Safety Day. The interactive education event focused on bike, fire, and car safety.

Pittsburgh Marathon Thousands of people came together in the city of Pittsburgh to participate in the Pittsburgh Marathon. Among those thousands were staff, pediatricians, and family from Pediatric Alliance, Chartiers/McMurray Division. We are very proud of Dr. Wendy Bacdayan who ran the half marathon, and Susie Ondek, Lesley Fleckenstein, Dr. Kathy Walczek, and Erin Davies (wife of Dr. Brian Davies) who walked the half marathon. Congratulations ladies!


Pediatric Alliance P.C. • January/February 2018 •

Pediatrician Brian Davies, MD, talks to two small visitors and their mother.

Healthy kids

Suggestions for packing school lunches high in protein, including chicken or turkey are healthier choices. In order to raise healthy kids, we need to focus on sending When kids stay after school for practice or other activities, kids them to school with healthy lunches and snacks. Parents of need snacks containing carbohydrates and protein, such as peanut preschool and elementary children are encouraged to send their butter crackers to refuel their energy. Lunch children to school with healthy snacks. portions should vary based on a child’s age Students of all ages walk in the house after and needs. Younger children typically need school and immediately look for snacks. And smaller portions; however portions for kids of parents want to make sure their children are all ages should be controlled. For kids involved eating healthy at lunchtime as well. Pediatric in sports, when they are practicing for longer Alliance suggests a couple of things to keep than an hour and a half, juice and sport drinks in mind while packing your children’s healthy are important to help keep them fueled. Some snacks and lunches. other useful things to keep in mind when it Pediatric Alliance suggests that healthy comes to packing lunches include providing eating starts early and parents can encourage whole grain foods which will provide more a healthy lifestyle by providing their children nutrients, avoiding extra fats such as sauces, with healthy snacks and lunches. Parents What makes a healthy lunch? and choosing foods that do not spoil easily. should send their kids to school with food How much should a parent Pediatric Alliance encourages parents to items such as fruits and vegetables. More send for a snack? include their children in packing lunches so specifically, according to an article originally How much should be that they too can learn how to prepare healthy published by the U.S Department of Agriculpacked in a lunch? meals. By encouraging kids to participate and ture, half of a meal should consist of fruits What’s your opinion on to try new foods, they will be able to maintain and vegetables primarily of the colors red, after-school snacking? a healthy lifestyle and body weight. orange and dark green. Food items that are

Kids menu Swai is a mild, slightly sweet variety of catfish (called shark catfish because of its appearance, but it is NOT a shark and therefore on the safe list for seafood recommendations!). Even with the oil and cheese, this preparation is far healthier than traditional fried fish and chips. Plus, the sweet potatoes are loaded with tons of healthy nutrients. They don’t need butter or sugar because the small amount of coconut oil provides sweetness, and the basil is both sweet and savory. Although you can use a different cooking oil for the fish, don’t be tempted to skip out on the coconut oil for the potatoes! Heat 1 T of oil in medium pan over medium-high heat. Add the sweet potatoes, toss to coat with oil. Sprinkle with basil. Cover, stirring occasionally, until softened – about 15-20 minutes . Crack egg into large,

shallow bowl. Whisk with water. Set aside. In another shallow bowl, thoroughly mix panko, flour, cheese and paprika. Heat the rest of the oil over medium heat in a large, lidded skillet. Briefly dip the fillets into the egg wash, then fully coat with panko mixture (firmly press the fish into the crumbs). Add to hot skillet, being sure not to crowd the fillets (you may need a bit more oil if you have to work in batches). Carefully flip the fish after about 4-5 minutes, as bottoms are golden brown. Return lid to pan. Cook another 5-6 minutes until fish is fully cooked (swai will turn white in the middle when done – if it’s still pink, keep cooking). Please note: If you are using ceramic-lined pan, and/or if the fillets are very thick, it will take longer to cook the fish. Serve alongside a salad, fresh sugar snap peas or vinegar-based broccoli slaw.

Pan-Fried Fish and Sweet Potatoes (Serves 3-4) 2 large swai fillets, cut in two ¾ C panko crumbs 2 T flour (any variety) 2 T grated parmesan cheese 1 egg 1 T water ½ tsp smoked paprika (more if you like) 2-3 small sweet potatoes, scrubbed clean and cut into small cubes (remove the skins if you wish; I don’t) 1 T dried basil 2 T coconut oil

Pediatric Alliance P.C. • January/February 2018 •



The Mother of All Baby Showers Expectant parents, new and experienced parents, and patient and loving support systems gathered at Heinz Field on July 27 where they were given the unique opportunity to get educated by pregnancy and parenting experts and interact with a variety of maternity, juvenile, and family-focused brands. Pediatric Alliance enjoyed and valued the opportunity to participate in this event and to meet and interact with the wonderful parents and families in the Pittsburgh area.

Supporting World Breastfeeding Week The first week of August is World Breastfeeding Week. Katie Rich, CNRP and our newest board certified lactation consultant at Pediatric Alliance, offers insight to new and expecting parents about the secrets to breastfeeding. According to Katie, in the first few weeks, breastfeeding is a full time job as babies need 8-12 feedings a day. After a few weeks, your baby will start to go longer between feedings, making it easier to establish a feeding schedule. Milk supply is a very common worry among mothers, but using breast pumps can be helpful. Katie states that supply is driven by milk removal or emptying of the breasts, which means empty breasts signal the body to produce more milk. Whether or not the baby is getting enough milk is a common concern. There are a few easy ways to tell including adequate weight gain- typically 1/2oz daily, baby seems satisfied after each feed, and good wet diapers as explained by Katie as at least one wet diaper per every day old in the first week. This means if a child is three days old, watch for three wet diapers that day. Newborns are very sleepy especially in the first few days or weeks after birth and may need to be woken up for or during feedings. Katie has several suggestions on how to wake up your tired baby including changing their diaper,


gently rubbing their back or feet, switching breasts when the baby gets drowsy, attempting to burp the baby, and wiping their face with a cool, damp cloth. Breastfeeding mothers often complain about sore nipples. It is usually due to poor positioning. Katie advises mothers to be in a comfortable position while having your baby close to you and your breast supported. Katie even suggests trying a sandwich hold which is done by lining up your thumb with your baby’s nose with your fingers under the breast causing your hand to form a C shape from your viewpoint. Another cause of sore nipples is an improper latch. A good latch should be painless. A baby’s head should be tilted back with their chin resting on your breast. However, your baby’s cheeks should not suck in or make clicking noises. Audible swallows should occur at least once every three sucks. Every woman’s experience with breastfeeding may be different. It is important to see a doctor or a lactation consultant about any questions or concerns you may have Pediatric Alliance is home to many lactation experts and is proud to support World Breastfeeding Week. As time demanding as it may be, Katie’s advice to new mothers is to hang in there as both you and your baby with reap the benefits of breastfeeding.

Pediatric Alliance P.C. • January/February 2018 •

Appreciation Day

Employee Appreciation Day 2017 at Kennywood Park On Sunday, July 9, 2017, employees and families of Pediatric Alliance spent the day at Kennywood in appreciation of all that they do. It was a great day, and the weather was perfect. The success of our company is built on the efforts of our employees and in these past years, we have enjoyed many successes. Pediatric Alliance thanks all of our employees for the dedication that each one demonstrates every day to make this a great place to work.


Supporting National Immunization Awareness Month August is National Immunization Awareness Month. It was established to promote the importance of vaccinations to all and seeks to ensure that everyone has gotten their recommended vaccines. Vaccines are one of the greatest advancements in medical history and have nearly eliminated some of the world’s deadliest diseases. Vaccines help children and adults develop immunity. They create what the CDC calls an “imitation infection” that introduces the body to a disease and helps create antibodies, which will recognize and fight real infections later on. This means when the body comes into contact with the actual disease it will respond much faster and more effectively with the necessary antibodies, thus accelerating the healing process. According to the CDC, vaccines have resulted in a 99% reduction of measles cases since 1963, and the elimination of smallpox. Although some parents worry about the safety of vaccines, according

Children now live healthier lives than they did many decades ago in large part because of vaccines.

to, vaccinations are safer than ever as each vaccine undergoes vigorous safety testing before it is released to the public. It is much more dangerous to go unvaccinated and have an increased risk of developing a deadly disease than it is to be vaccinated. Immunizations are very important especially for children whose immune systems are still developing. Children now live healthier lives than they did many decades ago in large part because of vaccines. encourages pregnant women to get the Tdap vaccine, which protects a baby from tetanus, diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough) by passing on their antibodies to their unborn child. This can be important because newborns are at risk for pertussis, but don’t receive pertussis and other vaccines until 2 months of age. Being vaccinated as a pregnant woman can help ensure that the child is also protected when they are born. Pediatric Alliance supports National Immunization Awareness Month and promotes the importance of protecting children and adults against harmful diseases. Vaccines are one of the most important preventive health measures in pediatric and adult health.

Pediatric Alliance P.C. • January/February 2018 •


Sensory-friendly events

Music, Dance, and Magic Every year, Pediatric Alliance gives families of children with sensory issues the opportunity to take in the rich cultural atmosphere that our beautiful city has to offer. In the winter, Pediatric Alliance raffles tickets to the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre’s sensory-friendly ‘Nutcracker’ performance. In the spring, we conduct a similar raffle for tickets to additional sensory-friendly ballet performances and/or tickets to sensory-friendly performances at the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. These performances have been well received by our patients and families.

Sensory-Friendly ‘Nutcracker’ winners Pediatric Alliance sent 20 happy campers — winners of The PediaBlog’s ticket contest — to experience the sensory-friendly version of The Nutcracker, presented by the Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre. As in years past, the feedback has been phenomenal: Thank you so much for the tickets to The Nutcracker. My daughter absolutely loved the show! She is autistic and has developmental delays so her attention span is very low. But when she goes to the ballet she can sit there for hours! This sensory-friendly performance is quite a gift to her. We’re so glad your daughter (pictured above) enjoyed the show! Pittsburgh Ballet One lucky winner Theatre is known for offering sensory-friendly performances to some of their productions in years past, including performances of Beauty and the Beast and Peter Pan, in

An afternoon at the symphony Last month, Pediatric Alliance held a ticket contest to see the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s sensory-friendly performance of Music of Flight and Fantasy. Writes the mother of one of our lucky winners:  e had so much FUN. I teared up W a few times… reminiscing of my younger years. My son invited his two little cousins, and we all totally enjoyed it!

Lucky winners


It was so enjoyable to listen to the wonderful and talented musicians. It was amazing to see the look on Dante’s face when the conductor would orchestrate the musicians!!

addition to The Nutcracker. PBT also offers matinee performances for many productions, which might make it easier for all families with young children to catch a show. So keep your eyes peeled on PBT’s website! Thanks to the winners and to all who enthusiastically entered our ticket contest. We hope to do it again next holiday season! Pittsburgh Ballet Theatre isn’t the only game in town offering sensory-friendly performances. The world-class Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra also presents these inclusive and exciting performances as part of their “Tiny Tots” series: • Sensory-friendly performances at the Pittsburgh Symphony are inclusive experiences that are open to patrons of all ages and abilities and designed for individuals on the autism spectrum, those with sensory sensitivities, and others who would like to enjoy a concert in a relaxed environment. The symphony works closely with its Accessibility Advisory Committee and others in the Pittsburgh community to plan these experiences, where all patrons are welcome to come with family and friends and respond to the music in their own way! How great is that! More information from the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra’s website can be found here. Another young winner had a wonderful day out on the town with his parents. His mom describes their experience at the symphony: When our son John was in third grade, he went on a field trip to Heinz Hall to enjoy the Symphony Orchestra. He loved it! I wanted to take him once again but the ticket price was really cost-prohibitive. I had researched various performances and the best seats seemed to go to season ticket holders. I was not into spending big money on rafter seats. I felt bad that such cultural enrichment was relatively unattainable for our family. Then, there it was, a chance to win symphony tickets on the PediaBlog. I told my son, “Mom’s gonna try to win these tickets for us.” The offer came out one day and the winner was being picked the next. I had to be crafty and fast because you could only enter once a day. I entered immediately on the first day. Then, in order to submit a second entry, I entered again at 7 a.m. on day two. I figured it was a new day, and who would be picking a winner that early? People would be thinking coffee, not symphony tickets.

Pediatric Alliance P.C. • January/February 2018 •

Sensory friendly

A week or so passed and I didn’t hear anything, but I never lost hope. Then notification came to my email. We won three tickets to the symphony. My son and I were all abuzz and giving high fives, and we called Dad with our good news. We were going to the symphony and couldn’t be any happier. We got our attire together, which meant purchasing new dress clothes for my son, who is like a Saint Bernard puppy with his growth spurts. We picked up our tickets and we were ready. The big day came, and it was nearly 90 degrees outside. My husband and son breathed a collective sigh of relief when I said, “It’s way too hot for suit jackets and ties today.” The mandate was dress nice, but cool. I found a very light pantsuit, and my guys decided upon polo shirts and dressy pants/shorts. I had hoped that we didn’t stick out like a sore thumb in that palace of opulence. The Jazz Festival had taken over the entire cultural district and most of Penn Avenue was blocked off or restricted. After much maneuvering, we were able to get parking right next to Heinz Hall for an $8 flat day rate. We exited the parking garage and there it was, Heinz Hall. We were greeted by a doorman, who was dressed better than we were, and a Pittsburgh Police officer. Both were very friendly and greeted us with a smile. Inside, we were greeted by volunteers, who were handing out soft baseballs with hands, arms, legs and feet. They were donated by the Pirates Charities. My son loved it immediately. I found that we were not alone, everyone was dressing for the weather and not to impress. There were polos, tees, shorts, basic sundresses and the like. No sore thumbs here! We looked around and admired the rich architecture. There was an orchestra member playing the contrabassoon, which sounds like a series of snores, in the lobby. My son was less than impressed with the sound but showed interest in the very large instrument. Think woodwind that approaches the size of a string bass. There were four separate activity rooms available for the children and a quiet room for those needing to reduce stimulation. The Children’s Hospital Music Therapy Department also set up various instruments that the children could play. John spent a long time in this room and loved the drums. I bet Heinz Hall never heard drums played like that before or ever will again. We approximated what door we needed to enter to get to our seats. This very sweet girl led us to our seats and refused my husband’s offer of financial gratitude with a smile. Our seats were better than anything that I could have imagined. We were seated center floor, fourteen rows back from the stage. There was ample space between families, with many empty seats. My son marveled at the ornate ceiling and the orchestra members who were warming up on stage. Slowly each orchestra member took their seat and began to warm up.

I mentioned to my husband that the members were not wearing their typical black and white suits, but, rather, colorful casual dress clothes. He surmised that it was because it was a children’s production. The program began right on time with the conductor earning a rousing applause upon entering the stage. He encouraged everyone to relax, move around if you wish, clap along, direct the music from your seat or exit the auditorium if you need some quiet time. Lawrence Loh, our conductor and graduate from the Yale School of Music and other prestigious endeavors, had a firm understanding of children with sensory issues. The house lights were turned only halfway down, the stage was gently illuminated, and there were zero flashing lights. The program title was “Flight and Fantasy”. It featured popular music from The Wizard of Oz, Harry Potter, ET, Star Wars and Swan Lake. During each song, they

provided something visual on stage, to retain the children’s attention. A person in costume, a singer, an artist drawing on an over-head projector, two ballet dancers, Elliot from ET riding a bicycle. My son sat quietly, totally caught up in the program. I caught my husband smiling at the stage several times. He too was clearly enjoying the program. The singer who sang “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” was so powerful that it brought tears to my eyes. The orchestra played for roughly 90 minutes and was rewarded with an enthusiastic standing ovation at the conclusion. The auditorium cleared quickly but several musicians remained on stage to meet the children and provide photo opportunities. We left Heinz Hall and decided to leave Pittsburgh immediately because it was very, very hot outside amongst all of that concrete. We got in our Jeep and blasted the air conditioning. John was very happy and said he liked the symphony. We decided to have dinner in Washington, PA, at the Long Horn, which is John’s favorite place to eat. It was a great day for our family. We are very appreciative to the doctors and staff at Pediatric Alliance for providing us with such an enriching experience. Thank you a million times over for making this mom’s dream come true. We are so happy that Dante and John and their parents had such a wonderful time at the PSO’s very special performance! And we are grateful to the PSO for having a production that everyone can enjoy, including so many of our deserving and appreciative patients. Pediatric Alliance is thrilled to be able to support these productions and we hope to continue holding ticket contests for them in the future!

Pediatric Alliance P.C. • January/February 2018 •


Pediatric Alliance

Pediatric Alliance Newest Location In Seven Fields Pediatric Alliance has acquired Howard K. Scott, MD, and Associates, expanding the organization’s presence into the Seven Fields area. The office is now part of the Pediatric Alliance Northland Division. “We expect to continue to grow the organization by integrating the new Seven Fields office into Pediatric Alliance’s philosophy as a patient’s medical home,” Jim Troup, Pediatric Alliance CEO said. Pediatric Alliance began the administration of the Seven Fields office in January 1, 2017. The office sees patients for well-baby and well-child care, health maintenance and treatment of acute illnesses for children from birth through age 21, and accepts all major insurances. Dr. AnnMarie Sabovik, who has been part of the

practice for more than 10 years, will continue as the primary pediatrician at the office, with additional administrative and staff support from Pediatric Alliance. Dr. Brian Kilpela, physician shareholder of the Northland Division of Pediatric Alliance said, “A family’s ongoing relationship with their pediatrician from birth through early adulthood is an integral part of the health and growth of their children. As an organization our goal is to provide our pediatricians with comprehensive administrative support in order to ensure they are able to focus their energy on providing their patients with the highest quality of care possible. We’re looking forward to expanding this philosophy to our new Seven Fields office.”

Pediatric Alliance Wants You! Pediatric Alliance has started to explore new ways to meet new people who might become new employees. In May 2017, we held our first ever Job Fair. We posted information about the Job Fair which was held at our Administrative office in Carnegie, and we had an incredible turnout. Due to the success of the first Job Fair, we held another one in October, this time at one of our division offices in the North


Hills. Again, we were pleased with attendance and were able to fill many of the positions that we had available as we continue to grow. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to work for a company that continues, year after year, to be voted one of Pittsburgh’s Best Places to Work by its staff? Look no further than Pediatric Alliance. Pediatric Alliance is always growing. If you are someone with the qualifications necessary, we want to meet you. Go to our website at And when we hold our next Job fair, we will post it on the Employment page on our website and also on Facebook and by email. We look forward to meeting you.

Pediatric Alliance P.C. • January/February 2018 •

Pedalliance jan18  
Pedalliance jan18