Current Environment:

Happy New Year!

We are welcoming a new year in the midst of the biggest COVID surge yet seen in Massachusetts. Daily case counts are the highest they have been since the start of the pandemic, with hospitalizations rising. Hospitals and medical offices in the area are struggling with unprecedented work loads as well as staff shortages.

While we remain fortunate that the majority of illness in children continues to be mild, the abundance of disease in our community necessitates some temporary changes to our office management in order to protect our staff and community. The following changes go into effect on Tuesday, January 4th and will remain until at least Sunday, January 16th.

COVID Exposure/COVID Positive Protocols Posted on Homepage of Website:

Our call volume is the highest it has ever been - our nurses are unable to keep up with the number of calls. Almost all of the calls are about how to manage a COVID exposure or a positive COVID test. To help, we have posted the guidelines for COVID management on our homepage: Before calling, please (please!) check our webpage as all of the information you need is available there. In addition, we will include this information in our outgoing message. Unfortunately, in order to best manage our resources, we have instructed our nurses not to answer these questions but to direct you to this webpage instead.

All Behavioral Health Visits (Including Med Checks) Changed to Virtual Visits:

For the next two weeks (at least), all behavioral health visits will be virtual only. This includes ADHD med checks, depression/anxiety med checks and all meetings with our therapists and substance abuse counselor. Please remember to sign on early to complete any surveys that are required.

All Well Visits for Patients Who Test Positive for COVID (or Who Have Been Exposed to COVID) Changed to Virtual Visits:

If you or your child have tested positive for COVID or have recently been exposed to COVID, any well child check will be changed to a virtual visit. Any immunizations or lab work that is needed will be administered at a different time.

All Sick Visits for Patients Who Have Tested Positive for COVID Will be Virtual Visits:

If you or your is known to currently be in quarantine for having COVID and you feel that your child needs to be seen by a provider, we will accommodate this with a virtual visit. If, in the course of the virtual visit, the provider feels that they need to see your child, this will be arranged.

All COVID Unvaccinated Patients are Strongly Encouraged to Change Their Visits to Virtual Visits (and to GET VACCINATED!):

Fortunately, 75% of Massachusetts residents are now fully vaccinated against COVID. If you and/or your child are in the remaining minority of patients who are not fully vaccinated against COVID, we would like to strongly encourage you to switch your visit to a virtual visit to protect you and our staff. While we are not requiring this switch (for now), we hope you will take it into consideration. If you would like to receive your COVID Vaccine at the time of your visit, you should keep an in-office visit.

Do Not Call for Lab Results - All Lab Results Will Be Reported On MyChart:

All labs (including COVID results, throat cultures and others) will be posted on MyChart. Please check for results there. We will not be calling with results. COVID tests are taking at least 5 days for us to get results - we expect this time to get longer in the coming weeks. Please do not call the office for lab results as this ties up our nurses and makes phone wait times longer - if it is not available on MyChart, it is not available to us!

Do Not Call to Tell Us Your Child Has Tested Positive for COVID:

If your child tests positive for COVID, please send us a MyChart message so we can document this in their record. Please do not call to report this information as this ties up our nurses and increases wait times on the phones.

Rude and Abusive Behavior Will Not Be Tolerated:

The past 2 years have been a time of immense stress and loss for all of us. We are all dealing with intense emotions and frustrations. Sadly, we have seen a significant rise in the mistreatment of staff members. This will not be tolerated. We have instructed our staff that, should they receive any aggressive or abusive behavior, they are to end the interaction and report the patient to our practice manager. Upon review, patients or family members who are found to be inappropriate may be asked to leave our practice. We understand that stress levels are high - please know that we are doing the best we can to help care for you and your children.


Thank you for reading and considering this information. We hope that we are able to return to more in-office visits soon.

We hope that you and your families are safe, healthy, and well.

Karen Halle, Jennifer Hyde, Adam Strauss, Meredith Liebman, and Erin Kish

The Partners of Westwood-Mansfield Pediatric Associates