By Michael Golembesky
21st Space Wing Public Affairs staff writer
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. — Keeping children healthy and happy is what every parent wants. It is also the primary mission of the staff, nurses, and doctors at Peterson’s pediatric clinic, currently the second largest pediatric clinic in the Air Force.
As a part of the maternal-child flight, pediatric care is a highly specialized field that provides medical care to the thousands of children that call Peterson AFB and the surrounding region home.
“I love kids. They are so sweet, even when they are sick,” said Maj. Patti DeMotts, 21st Medical Operations Squadron pediatric nurse practitioner.
As the newest member of the Peterson pediatric team, arriving in June, DeMotts brings more than 10 years of experience as a nurse practitioner specializing in children’s care.
“I love the specialty of pediatrics. One of the big advantages the Air Force has is that you can do so many different things within the nursing field, such as orthopedic, adult medicine, surgery and clinical practice. I just really love children,” said DeMotts.
After graduating from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Science in nursing, DeMotts was unsure which career field she wanted to specialize in but always found herself wanting to help and care for children.
“I wanted to go the next step, close the loop on my training and become a part of the treatment aspect of caring for children,” said DeMotts. “I was selected to go for my master’s degree and attend the nurse practitioner school for pediatrics at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.”
It has been a long journey for DeMotts, with five duty stations from Italy to South Korea to the U.S. Air Force Academy. Her journey has finally landed her at Peterson where she has joined the team of four pediatric doctors and three pediatric nurse practitioners.
“The level of care here at Peterson’s pediatric clinic is top-notch,” said DeMotts. “I have really enjoyed building up my knowledge and experience from my first assignment in pediatrics, through my degree and now being here at Peterson.”
With all of the training and experience in pediatrics, DeMotts credits becoming a mother as the single greatest education she has received.
“It has helped me to understand what other mothers are going through. You know what a sleepless night is like, feeding your baby every hour, being up all night with a sick child that has a fever at 3 o’clock in the morning,” said DeMotts.
The Peterson pediatric clinic provides a full range of children’s healthcare services to keep kids healthy and give parents peace of mind.
“We do everything at the clinic, such as preventive care, acute care and follow-up appointments,” said DeMotts. “One of the highlights here is called ‘Point of Care,’ so we can give immunization shots right here at the pediatric clinic.”
The Peterson clinic offers several advantages versus taking your child to a pediatric center in town or to another military installation in the region.
“We are a one-stop shop. The lab, radiology, and pharmacy are all in-house. Parents have the convenience of having the appointment, labs, X-rays and medication pick-up all at the same place without having to wrestle kids into their car seats for multiple stops,” said DeMotts. “Your health care is already paid for; no co-pay when you check in at the front desk and no co-pay for medications. Several over-the-counter medications are available in our pharmacy that civilian providers can’t order and parents have to buy on their own.”
The clinic is also accepting new patients. The pediatric clinic at building 959, however, is not a walk-in clinic. Appointments can be made by calling 524-CARE (2273) or online through the TRICARE website (https://www.tricareonline.com).
After hours assistance is available by calling 556-CARE (556-2273) where you will be connected with the pediatric provider on call.
“It will be one of us. If your child doesn’t need to be seen we can answer whatever questions or concerns you have,” said Demotts. “We don’t handle emergency care, we send them to the nearest ER depending on the seriousness of the situation, which could be Evans Army hospital at Fort Carson or one of the major hospitals in downtown Colorado Springs.”
Another option to contact your provider is MiCare, a secure messaging service where you can email your non-urgent concerns directly to your provider and their team. Contact your care team to enroll today.
For information on pediatric services available at the Peterson Clinic, go to http://www.peterson.af.mil/library/medicalgroup/.