Press Release – Early Childhood Center Open in Douglas!
DOUGLAS, AZ (November 6, 2018) On October 15, the Early Childhood Center of Excellence (ECCE) opened in Douglas, AZ located at 1151 16th Street, in the newly renovated old Early Learning Center building. While the Pediatric Center of Excellence serves the primary care needs of children in the community, this facility will take pediatric care beyond primary care needs. The center will serve as a place for in-depth early childhood visits and for children with special physical, mental and medical needs.
The doctors and nurses at Chiricahua believe they can help families better handle parenting challenges such as the struggle with a picky eater. Medical clinics are traditionally not designed to help families deal with difficult day-to-day issues but are very good at diagnosing ear infections and helping with fevers. Chiricahua hopes change that and to be a resource for parents throughout the daily realities that effect children’s health.
The goal of the ECCE is to work closely with families from a very young age to enable a home environment where parents have the confidence to manage the daily difficulties. Chiricahua’s providers will partner with families to allow children to grow and develop healthy.
Darlene Melk, M.D. medical director for Southern Arizona Children’s Health Project and director of community pediatrics for Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. said, “There is so much potential for a child that needs to be captured in the early years. It is exciting to have a space dedicated to serving the children in the community and specially to ensure robust care is provided early-on in children’s lives.”
The ECCE will have unique features meant to enhance the experience and enrich the time parents spend with their children in the center. Instead of the traditional one on one visit, parents will have the option to be grouped with parents who have children of similar ages for their well visit care throughout the early years of their child’s life. These well visit groups will feature an instruction period with the pediatrician prior to the individual well visit.
Parents will be encouraged to keep their time at the center screen free. Instead of spending the time in the waiting room with their phones out, there are reading corners available throughout the center and parents will be offered a toy box with age specific toys for the child who is there for a visit. The importance of playing with children and filling a baby’s world with language by talking, reading, and singing is emphasized as a cornerstone of the baby’s brain development.
Chiricahua will be partnering with home visitation agencies so that care and instruction can extend beyond the walls for the clinic. Chiricahua will also be offering dental care at the ECCE. It is important to have children’s teeth examined and cleaned at least once every 6 months. By bringing the dental care and medical care into the same facility, the ECCE is a one-stop-shop for the child’s health care needs.
Jeffrey Holzberg, M.D. is pediatrician for Chiricahua Community Health Centers that will be serving the children of Douglas at the ECCE. He said, “Working in Douglas for the past year, I am struck with how much parents love their children. I have also found parents are struggling with how to deal with some of the common daily challenges. The goal of the ECCE is to work directly with parents to help them understand how children think and act at an early age so they can be in control of helping their children to grow up healthy.”
The Early Childhood Center of Excellence of Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. was opened to patients beginning October 15, 2018 and is located at 1151 16th Street Douglas, AZ. The phone number is (520) 364 – 5437. Chiricahua accepts all medical insurance plans and is open to all patients, regardless of insurance status or ability to pay. Chiricahua also has a sliding fee scale for those who qualify. Se habla español.
Chiricahua Community Health Centers, Inc. is a mission-driven Federally Qualified Health Center and is a tax exempt not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. It was founded as a grassroots community effort in 1996 as makeshift clinic in Elfrida’s small community center and has since grown to be the largest primary care organization in southeastern Arizona. Chiricahua Community Health Centers currently has ten locations in Benson, Bisbee, Douglas, Elfrida and Sierra Vista and five mobile clinics serving Cochise County.