Page 1

YOUR HOME FOR QUALITY PEDIATRIC CARE • SUMMER/FALL 2019 Welcome to The PediaMag.............. 2

Welcome to AHN PediatricsPediatric Alliance!

AHN PEDIATRICS AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance..... 3 NEW PROVIDERS New Physicians............................... 4 UPMC HEALTH PLAN Letter from The Physicians of AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance..... 5 CLASSES AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance provides learning opportunities for new and expectant parents........ 6 PATIENT PORTAL Helpful Tips for Patient Portal Users......................... 7 APPOINTMENT HOURS AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance knows that we all live busy lives...... 8 WHO I WANNA BE When I Grow Up.............................. 9 NATIONAL NURSE’S WEEK National Nurse’s Week 2019............ 10 MOM’S NIGHT OUT The Mother of All Baby Showers...... 11 PARENTING TIPS The Strong-Willed Child................... 12 VACCINATIONS Take Vaccine Decisions Seriously.... 14 FOOD DRIVE Easter Food Drive............................ 16

Publication Provided by:


Welcome to The PediaMag Welcome to another edition of The PediaMag! Our first edition, published in January 2018, was a hit, and we owe that to you, our readers, patients, and families. There have been some exciting changes happening here, for both patients and staff! Pediatric Alliance joined with Allegheny Health Network to expand our resources and stay abreast of the technology and advances in health care. No patient is required to look for a new pediatrician. We still accept all insurance companies. See page 5 for clarification. In these hot and humid days of Indian summer, we hope that you are still remembering to take care of your skin and avoid harmful sun damage. In the words of Ned Ketyer, editor of The PediaBlog, “Protecting skin from the Sun’s harmful ultraviolet rays and from indoor tanning beds is the mainstay of prevention according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Follow these easy options: stay in the shade, especially during midday hours, wear clothing that covers your arms and legs, wear sunglasses that block both UVA and UVB rays, Use sunscreen with SPF 15 or higher and both UVA and UVB (broad spectrum) protection, and avoid indoor tanning.” Sunburns don’t happen only in the summer. Enjoy our extended heat wave, but take care of your skin as well. Of course, if you are staying indoors, how better to pass the time than enjoying an issue of The PediaMag ? As always, your feedback and comments are welcome. Simply email us at

About Us: Pediatric Alliance was formed in 1996 when eight individual practices joined together to provide quality health care throughout Southwestern Pennsylvania. Over the years, Pediatric Alliance grew to be the largest physician-owned group pediatric practice in the area. In 2019, Pediatric Alliance joined with Allegheny Health Network to allow expansion of resources in order to stay abreast of the latest technology and advances in health care. Our board-certified pediatricians offer primary care to children and adolescents in 16 different office locations including two specialty care offices for allergy, asthma, 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 meet your family’s pediatric needs, provide convenient access to care, and build strong relationships with families to maximize your child’s health. To learn more about AHN PediatricsPediatric Alliance, visit our website at

AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance 1100 Washington Ave., Suite 219 Carnegie, PA 15106


The PediaMag is published semiannually, copyright 2018. All rights reserved. Publisher AHN PediatricsPediatric Alliance

Editor Rebecca Scalise

AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance • Summer/Fall 2019 •

Associate Editor SMC

Art Director Brent Cashman

AHN Pediatrics

AHN PediatricsPediatric Alliance This spring, Pediatric Alliance had the opportunity to announce that we were joining Allegheny Health Network (AHN). This move is allowing us to expand our resources in order to stay abreast of the latest technology and advances in health care. Our pediatric offices have continued to provide exceptional pediatric care to our community. Pediatric Alliance began as a group of pediatric practices that joined together for administrative efficiency and support. As our practice has grown and health care has undergone many changes, this is the next step in our mission to provide high-quality, comprehensive primary care to infants, children, and adolescents. As AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance, our practice will continue to strive to meet your family’s pediatric needs, provide convenient access to care, and build strong relationships with families to maximize your child’s health. You will continue to have access to your patient portal and extended office hours. If you are expecting and will be delivering at Magee, Mercy, St. Clair, Jefferson, or West Penn Hospital, one of our pediatricians will be able to provide newborn care to your baby at the hospital. In addition to specialty Pediatric Allergy and Pediatric Endocrinology care provided

within our practice, our primary care pediatricians continue to work collaboratively with other specialists, including Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. We will continue to provide care coordination and same-day sick appointments. We are maintaining the highest-level National Committee for Quality Assurance Patient Centered Medical Home Recognition. Patients can call the same telephone numbers to reach the office as you always have. We at AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance look forward to continuing to be a vital part of your children’s lives.

AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance • Summer/Fall 2019 •


New Providers

New providers join AHN Pediatrics Brittany Raburn, MD – Northland Offices Education Undergraduate: Bowling Green State University Medical School: University of Toledo College of Medicine Pediatric Residency: C  incinnati Children’s Hospital

Additional Information Dr. Raburn comes to Pittsburgh from Cleveland, OH. Her husband Todd is a PICU fellow at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and they have a 6-month-old son. In her spare time, Brittany enjoys hiking, biking, skiing, and SCUBA diving.

Karen Kavanagh, CRNP – Northland Offices Education Undergraduate: University of Pittsburgh Graduate School: University of Pittsburgh

Additional Information Karen Came to Pittsburgh from Johnstown, PA. She lives in Cranberry with her husband of 21 years and their 18-year-old daughter. Karen is currently a part-time member of the faculty at Robert Morris University in Moon Township. In her spare time, Karen enjoys “anything active!” She likes to run, bike, swim, kayak, and travel.

Sara Serbin-Cartieri, MD – Fox Chapel Office Education Undergraduate: University of Pittsburgh Medical School: University of Cincinnati Pediatric Training: Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh

Additional Information Dr. Cartieri grew up in Youngstown, Ohio, and is now enjoys living in Pittsburgh. In her free time, she enjoys live music, trying new restaurants, traveling, camping, and reading. She lives in O’Hara Township with her husband and a Golden Pyrenees named Finnick.

Alexa Pappan, CRNP – Bloomfield Office Education Undergraduate: Robert Morris University Graduate School: University of Pittsburgh


Additional Information Alexa Pappan was born in Rochester, New York and is now happy to make her home in Pittsburgh, PA.

AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance • Summer/Fall 2019 •

UPMC Health Plan

When Pediatric Alliance became AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance, we received many questions from our UPMC Health Plan members. We have worked with UPMC Health Plan to get clarification on coverage concerns and are committed to continuing to serve patients with UPMC insurance. All existing patients and families with a current UPMC insurance plan can remain patients of AHN Pediatrics, including new additions to your family. Moving forward, AHN Pediatrics will remain in-network for new patients with UPMC insurance except for very specific narrow network UPMC health plans. The narrow network health plans are: • UPMC Select • UPMC Partner • UPMC MyCare • UPMC HMO R • UPMC Tower If you are planning to change to a UPMC Health Plan and wish to remain a patient of AHN Pediatrics, you will need to

select a plan that is not one of the narrow network plans listed above. There is no need for any patients to transfer from our practice due to insurance issues. UPMC Health Plan has provided a specific process for our patients who have insurance or coverage issues. If you receive a communication from UPMC Health Plan indicating that we are not in network or you receive a bill for covered services, please call our Billing Department at 412-278-3310. AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance continues to strive to provide an exceptional

medical home for pediatric patients in our community and will remain in network for most insurance plans, including most UPMC Health Plans. We also will continue to work collaboratively with specialists, including those affiliated with Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh, and we remain on staff at Children’s Hospital. Moving forward we have been assured by UPMC Health Plan that come July 1st 2019 there will be no changes in your ability to continue, and be covered for, care with AHN Pediatrics. Thank you for your patience during this transition. We look forward to remaining a vital part of your children’s lives. Sincerely, The Physicians of AHN PediatricsPediatric Alliance

AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance • Summer/Fall 2019 •



New & Expectant Parent Classes

AHN Pediatric-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.


AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance • Summer/Fall 2019 •

Increase your knowledge and confidence as you prepare for the birth of your baby. Receive helpful tips to calm a baby, ease fussiness, and much more! Advanced registration is required for these complimentary classes. Make sure to register early to reserve your space. Z 6/19 HC406401

AHN PediatricsPediatric Alliance provides learning opportunities for new and expectant parents.

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 AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance • Summer/Fall 2019 •


Appointment Hours

AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance knows that we all live busy lives. And kids don’t get sick on a schedule. For busy families and unexpected illnesses, AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance has Saturday hours and same-day sick visits available. Many of our offices also have extended evening hours at least once a week. We want you to know that we are always there for your children, no matter when you need us. Visit our website at for hours and contact information for your nearest AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance office.


AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance • Summer/Fall 2019 •

Who I Wanna Be

When I Grow Up This spring, our friend Collin had a Dr. Seuss Career Day where the children dressed up as what they wanted to be when they grow up. When Collin’s mom asked him what he wanted to go to school dressed as, he said he wanted to dress as Dr. Brian Davies from our Chartiers and McMurray offices. According to his mom, Collin loves Dr. Davies and wants to be just like him when he grows up. Allegheny Health Network was so impressed by Collin that they set him up with a bag full of AHN swag and another opportunity to visit with Dr. Davies!

Dr. Brian Davies


AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance • Summer/Fall 2019 •


National Nurse’s Week

National Nurse’s Week 2019 National Nurse’s Week 2019 was honored this year during the week of May 5-11. One grateful new mom recognized and celebrated the nurses at our Fox Chapel office for their hard work and dedication to their careers and patients. Looks like they found their gift delicious!!


AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance • Summer/Fall 2019 •

Adults-Only Night

The Mother of All Baby Showers For the third consecutive year, we were thrilled to partner with the Mother of All Baby Showers on their adults-only night out on July 17th. This event only comes to Pittsburgh once a year and features ALL things pregnancy and parenting, including top national and local products and services, tasty treats, HUGE giveaways, mini spa treatments and hands on q&a featuring fantastic local experts. This year, Dr. Brian W. Donnelly took to the AHN Green Sofa to answer questions for expectant parents regarding their pediatric concerns. Dr. Katie Rich and Dr. Divna Djokic spent time at our table speaking to expectant moms and meeting, for the first time, the ones whose babies they will be caring for in the West Penn Hospital newborn nursery. Visitors also entered to win a gift basket full to overflowing with gifts and goodies to help moms and dads care for their newborns. Congratulations to Alisha Cherry, our big winner.

AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance • Summer/Fall 2019 •


Parenting Tips

By Dr. Ned Ketyer, M.D.

The Strong-Willed Child

If you have a strong-willed child, you’ve probably recognized truth in the statement that “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.” Dr. Nicole Baldwin is a strong-willed mom who knows from personal experience that “parenting a strong-willed child can be exhausting, disheartening, overwhelming and extremely frustrating!” On her excellent blog, Confessions of a “Type” A Dr. Mom, Dr. Baldwin offers “Six Tips For Parenting Your Strong-Willed Child” — advice that most parents could use:

First, let me say that MOST children have “strong-willed” moments. We don’t call 3 year olds “threenagers” for nothing! During the toddler and preschool years, it is natural for children to test boundaries and exert their independence. This is actually a GREAT thing (having a child that is 100% compliant and doesn’t ever seem to have their own opinion can actually lead to lots of trouble in adolescence).


AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance • Summer/Fall 2019 •

Picking your battles — when to engage in parental-child conflict, much of which most parents learn is inevitable, and when to pull back in peace — is a key strategy in balancing the need to develop your child’s sense of autonomy (the “art of the deal”) with the responsibility of teaching them that some things are simply not negotiable (“It’s my way or the highway, kiddo”):

Giving a strong-willed child some sense of control in their life will take you SO FAR and minimize the struggles you are having. If your child decides not to wear her coat out on a cool day and then later gets cold, she will learn a valuable lesson (and WON’T catch pneumonia…I promise). That being said – there are some battles that you need to fight, no matter what: • Issues of safety: seatbelts, helmets, holding hands when crossing the street, etc. These are issues of your child’s safety and well being and you absolutely need to hold firm on these issues. • Backtalk and issues of respect: it’s one thing to allow your child to have an opinion and voice that opinion to you… but it’s important that they learn to do that in a kind and respectful manner. Harsh language and downright rude comments should NOT be tolerated. This ABSOLUTELY goes both ways and we, as parents, must model respectful tone and dialogue with our children. Do as I say, not as I do does NOT work with strong-willed children. • Pre-established routines/ boundaries: if bedtime is at

8pm, then you need to stand by that. SWC are born negotiators and if you continually give in to them, they will learn that all they have to do to get their way is keep up the argument and you will eventually cave. You NEED to be strong in these moments. As stated above, by simply stating that this is the routine and this is how it’s done takes the “bad guy” aspect out of it.

Allowing children to choose from a list of two (and only two) options is usually better than dictating which option you think is best, or worse, starting an open-ended inquiry:

Strong-willed children want to be in control of themselves and their surroundings from a very young age. You will find that you get MUCH farther if you allow your strong-willed child to have CHOICES (just be sure that the

If a strong-willed child senses that one parent will give in to their “demands” more than another, you can BET they will use that to their advantage. Dr. Baldwin advises new parents (while reminding the rest of us — every parent, grandparent, and caretaker who has experienced the pleasure and the pain of raising a child) that consistency is key:

If you ask your child put away their toys before bed one night and you hold fast to that request only to give in to their whining the next night, not only is your child unsure of their boundaries but they are more likely to push back and whine the next time you ask them to do something because they have learned that this is how they can get their way. Furthermore, if your child has more than one parent or caregiver, EVERYONE needs to be on the same page when it comes to discipline. If a strong-willed child senses that one parent will give in to their “demands” more than another, you can BET they will use that to their advantage.

choices you offer are acceptable to you). Some examples of choices: Do you want to wear the red shirt or the blue shirt today? Would you like broccoli or green beans for dinner? Would you like to put your shoes or your coat on first before we leave? Notice that all of these are very specific and not open ended (if you ask “What shirt do you want to wear?” or “What do you want to eat for dinner?” you are VERY LIKELY to get an answer that you’re not happy with).

I might add that asking a simple “Yes/ No” question is taking the road which leads to nowhere and will likely result in a stubborn and less-than-satisfactory answer. But, like everything else that’s true about parenting, YMMV (your mileage may vary). Whether your child is strong-willed or laid back, you will find additional wisdom on Dr. Nicole Baldwin’s blog,

AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance • Summer/Fall 2019 •



By Dr. Ned Ketyer, M.D.

Take Vaccine Decisions Seriously

Family medicine doctor Gretchen LaSalle, M.D. projects the soul of every primary care provider in the modern age of pediatric and adult medicine in her open letter to parents, published recently on her excellent blog

Dear Parents, First, let me say that I care about you and your children deeply. It is my life’s work to help you be happy and healthy and to be able to live your life to its fullest potential. As a family physician, prevention of disease is my passion. I would much rather educate and encourage you to develop lifestyle habits that will support you for a lifetime of health and wellness than treat chronic disease and illness with expensive medications and procedures that carry with them potential risks and side effects. This healthy lifestyle promotion includes encouraging regular cardiovascular exercise, discussing the benefits to body and mind of eating nutritious foods and avoiding chemicals and preservatives in our diets, focusing on the importance of mental health, and, yes, the use of vaccines to decrease suffering and death from preventable diseases.


AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance • Summer/Fall 2019 •

Refusing to take a flu shot or staying updated with tetanus shots every ten years are decisions Dr. LaSalle can agree to disagree on with her adult patients, regarding their health. Adult parents making vaccine decisions for children, however, is another story altogether:

What I have a harder time doing, however, is accepting a parent’s decision not to vaccinate their child. As parents, it is our right and responsibility to make the best decisions we can for our children (and I have no doubt that parents who choose not to

vaccinate are truly well-intentioned and are trying to make wise decisions on their children’s behalf). But what about our children’s rights to grow up without risk and fear of disease?

The good news about our children’s future health is that the vast majority of parents in the United States accept the objective, scientific and medical facts that modern vaccines are highly effective in safely preventing diseases and premature deaths. In fact, when considering the remarkable medical advances over the last century that have positively impacted public health, increased longevity, and mercifully reduced human pain and suffering, vaccines rank right at the top. And while no medical practitioner alive today would ascribe perfection to any medical procedure, the fact is that modern immunizations are extraordinarily safe in preventing diseases that could arise again in our collective consciousness and public health statistics if we lower our guard and take for granted these modern medical miracles. Dr. LaSalle envisions the conversations that might occur if parents decide that vaccinating their children isn’t right for them:

What will our children think of our decisions when they come down with measles and develop severe brain inflammation that, if they survive, leaves them with seizures or deafness? How will we feel when our child who contracted measles and survived then comes down 7-10 years later with a severe neurodegenerative condition called Subacute Sclerosing PanEncephalitis (SSPE)? What will our daughters think of our decisions when they become pregnant with their first child and lose

that child to rubella infection during pregnancy? Or deliver a child with blindness or deafness or intellectual disabilities due to Congenital Rubella Syndrome? What will our sons think when they get mumps orchitis (inflammation of the testicles) that renders them sterile and unable to have children? What will our kids think of our decision to avoid a vaccine that could have prevented their cervical or penile or throat cancer? How will they feel if they give the flu to their elderly grandmother who dies from complications of the infection?

the threshold of “herd” protection. Younger physicians may never in their careers see a child or adult with any of these contagious horrors, so long as parents continue to make immunization decisions with proven benefits, based on facts and expert advice and not on fears and gossip online and on social media, which is where much of uninformed, anti-vaccination propaganda originates and now proliferates. Will the fake experts and social media trolls win the day? Will Americans embrace logical fallacies and conspiracy theories over the evidence-based science that informs our reality? Not on Dr. LaSalle’s watch:

Refusing to take a flu shot or staying updated with tetanus shots every ten years are decisions Dr. LaSalle can agree to disagree on with her adult patients, regarding their health. We don’t hear much about these serious and devastating conditions because, with the exceptions of HPV-associated cervical and throat cancer, and influenza, most Americans are safely immunized and successfully protected against them. Early in my career, disseminated Haemophilus influenzae type B and pneumococcal infections commonly ravaged the bodies and brains and lives of infants and young children. With vaccines against those two pathogens now firmly established in the “gold standard” recommended pediatric immunization schedule, we hardly see their deadly manifestations anymore. Ditto all the other vaccine-preventable childhood diseases like polio, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, chickenpox, hepatitis A and B, measles, mumps and rubella, and more — all rarely seen except in those isolated communities in the U.S. where vaccine refusal is above

In making this choice for our children, we have to think about their future. How will they look back and judge the vaccine decisions that we made for them in their most vulnerable years? When doing research, please examine both sides of the argument […] Keep an open mind. Talk to your trusted healthcare provider. If you trust them with all other aspects of your healthcare, please know that you can trust them on the subject of vaccines as well.

Read the rest of Dr. Gretchen LaSalle’s “An Open Letter to Parents Considering Not Vaccinating Their Children” at

AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance • Summer/Fall 2019 •


Food Drive

Easter Food Drive This Easter holiday season, the staff at AHN Pediatrics – Pediatric Alliance’s Administrative office again participated in a holiday food drive. Food was collected during the month of March, and donations were sent to the Elizabeth Ann Seton Church food bank in Carnegie. Sadly, there is a need for services like this in most communities, and we are proud to continue this tradition of giving back to our community.


AHN Pediatrics-Pediatric Alliance • Summer/Fall 2019 •

Profile for BOC design Inc

Pedia Mag Summer/Fall 2019  

Pedia Mag Summer/Fall 2019