Pediatrician Jenni Burns has been working with low income parents and their children for 20 years with Every Child Pediatrics. And in all that time and all those patients, there’s one thing she’s …
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Pediatrician Jenni Burns has been working with low income parents and their children for 20 years with Every Child Pediatrics. And in all that time and all those patients, there’s one thing she’s noticed.
“These parents want the same things for their children that any parent would,” she said. “Just because they might be uninsured or transient doesn’t mean they’re any different from the parents you know.”
Now Every Child Pediatrics, a private nonprofit dedicated to providing pediatric services to children, regardless of their ability to pay, will serve Jefferson County following the June 1 opening of a location at 355 Union Blvd., Suite 105 in Lakewood.
Every Child already has a significant presence in downtown Denver, Thornton and Aurora. According to the Lakewood location’s Medical Director, Laura Luzietti, the nonprofit set up a location in Jeffco because of a growing need for these kinds of services.
“We did our own analysis and found that thousands of children in the county would benefit by having access to our services,” Luzietti said. “We go where the need is, and want to grow into locations where we can do the most good.”
Every Child Pediatrics recently changed its name from Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics to better reflect its commitment to equal access to healthcare for Colorado’s underserved children.
The approach taken at Every Child is about “whole health.” The Lakewood facility offers primary care, behavioral health counseling, nutrition programs, healthy lifestyle education and support with other needs, such as housing and transportation.
“Because we have all these services and connections available, we encourage our patients to tell us everything about their situation and what they’re dealing with,” said Burns. “I’m not at a loss as to how to help them, because I’m able to connect them to someone who can.”
The nonprofit stays abreast of changing demographics in the state, and almost all the staff in Lakewood is bilingual. If other translation services are required by a patient, those can be provided.
Every Child’s services are not only open to low income families. Anyone is welcome, though the bulk who do come to the nonprofit’s locations are transient or uninsured. The nonprofit accepts Medicaid, Child Health Plan Plus and commercial insurance plans, and the uninsured are offered a sliding-scale fee.
The relationships formed between doctor and patient is just as strong and important as for higher income families. Since she has been working with the nonprofit for 20 years, Burns has seen many of her patients grow up.
Patients like Astrea Rucobo, who has worked with Burns since her first child was born 16 years ago. She now has four others and was taking them downtown even though she lived in the west Jeffco area. So, she was thrilled that a location was opened just 10 minutes from her home.
“I want that continued care for my kids, because Dr. Burns knows them,” she said. “But all the doctors here are really good.”
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