Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Letter From Dr. Ashton

Dear Parents and Kids,

I wish to make you aware that I will be taking an extended medical leave from my practice.  It has been such an honor and privilege over the years to have cared for your remarkable children, and to be associated with such dedicated parents.  The joy and satisfaction that have come my way through this gift will continue to be a part of my life, particularly valued associations.  This is a hard transition for me.

I want you to know, as many of you do already, that very capable and dedicated physicians and staff at Willow Creek Pediatrics are available to care for your family's health care needs.  There is no finer group of medical professionals anywhere who work vigorously in striving to improve the health and well-being of their patients.

I would particularly like to introduce Dr. Ryan Donnelly, who will be taking my place.  Willow Creek is most fortunate to be able to add a pediatrician of such outstanding caliber and credentials to our staff.  As important as his qualifications are, he is, moreover, a very caring and personable individual.  He is in the process of completing his training at Primary Children's Medical Center, where he has been appointed the Chief Resident.  He has received recognition for his service to children, as well as being acknowledged by his peers as the doctor they would most like to take their children to.  He will soon begin part-time work at the Willow Creek office and will begin working full time in June.  He brings a wealth of information and new ideas, as well as an abundance of energy and enthusiasm.  I highly encourage you to take the opportunity to become acquainted with this very capable physician.

Again, I would like to thank you for allowing me to be involved in the care of your family over the years, and wish you happiness and success always.

With warm regard to all,

Dennis Ashton, M.D.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

RSV and Influenza are HERE!!

We are seeing a very big increase in RSV and Influenza in our office lately. A quick reminder that the best way to avoid RSV and Influenza is to have good hand washing. Also, not be around sick people and if you are sick try to stay in so others don't get sick. RSV and Influenza both have similar symptoms but are very different.
The AAP defines Influenza as :
When your child gets the flu, she will probably develop a fever (temperature greater than 100°F), usually quite rapidly, often accompanied by the chills, headaches, lack of energy, a dry cough, and muscle aches and pain. As the illness progresses, other symptoms such as a sore throat and runny or stuffy nose may develop and worsen. Some children also have abdominal pain, nausea, and vomiting. Particularly in infants, influenza can cause ear infections, croup, bronchiolitis (an infection of the lungs’ small breathing tubes), or pneumonia.
The AAP defines RSV as:
Many children with RSV infections have only mild symptoms, typically similar to the symptoms of a common cold. In children younger than 2 years, the infection may progress to symptoms more commonly found in bronchiolitis.
•Initially, the child will have a runny nose, mild cough, and in some cases, a fever.
•Within 1 to 2 days, the cough will get worse.
•At the same time, the youngster’s breathing will become more rapid and difficult. He may wheeze each time he breathes out.
•Your child will have a hard time drinking because he is using so much energy breathing. Even swallowing becomes very difficult for these youngsters.
•His fingertips and the area around his lips may turn a bluish color, a sign that his strained breathing is not delivering enough oxygen to his bloodstream

If you have any questions please call and talk to one of our nurses or schedule an appointment with your child's doctor. Remember we are open SEVEN days a week and are here to help your children at any time. Remember GOOD HAND WASHING!!....

**info from

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Text4baby is a free mobile information service designed to promote maternal and child health. An educational program of the National Healthy Mothers, Healthy Babies Coalition (HMHB), text4baby provides pregnant women and new moms with information they need to take care of their health and give their babies the best possible start in life. Women who sign up for the service by texting BABY (or BEBE for Spanish) to 511411 will receive free SMS text messages each week, timed to their due date or baby’s date of birth.

Text4baby is made possible through a broad, public-private partnership that includes government, corporations, academic institutions, professional associations, tribal agencies and non-profit organizations. Founding partners include HMHB, Voxiva, CTIA - The Wireless Foundation and WPP. Johnson & Johnson is the founding sponsor, and premier sponsors include WellPoint, Pfizer and CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield. U.S. government partners include the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense Military Health System. The mobile health platform is provided by Voxiva and free messaging services are generously provided by participating wireless service providers. Implementation partners include BabyCenter, Danya International, Syniverse Technologies, Keynote Systems and The George Washington University. MTV Networks is a media sponsor.

For More information click on this link
**also approved by the AAP
-Thanks Dr Jopling for sharing this great resource!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Random Acts of Kindness Week

The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation was developed in an effort to help everyone create a better world by spreading awareness and increasing engagement in kind actions. Media, education, community, social networks, and entertainment the foundation can connect people with inspiration, tools, resources, organizations and a larger support network to help them take action, get involved, harvest and share the benefits of kind actions in their daily lives.

Every year the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation sponsors "Random Acts of Kindness Week", to encourage people to practice random acts of kindness. This week, February 14th-20th is Random Acts of Kindness Week. We strongly encourage you and your family to celebrate this week by committing your own random acts of kindness!

For more information you can visit their website at:

Friday, February 11, 2011

Fact Friday - Insurance Cards and Copays

In case you ever wonder why we ask for your insurance card and copays everytime you come in...

Why Do We Ask For Your Insurance Card?

Our doctors have asked the office staff, in accordance with state law, to verify insurance information at EVERY visit.

We want to be sure we have identified the correct patient when your appointment was scheduled.

We want to be sure we have the correct insurance information in our system so your visit is billed properly. Many times the insurance company will change your patient ID and group number, even though it is still through the same company.

If you do have questions or problems with this policy, feel free to bring them up with your physician.


Changes in Healthcare – Due to health care reform, as of September 23, 2010, you may not owe a co-pay for preventative care services. If you receive immunizations or have any lab work done, your insurance company may still require you to pay a co-payment. As you can tell, this gets very complicated, and there are no defined answers. Your insurance company determines whether or not a so-payment is required based on your plan benefits. To find out if you owe a co-pay, please call the phone number on the back of your insurance card. Because it is impossible for our staff to know your individual insurance coverage, we will collect a co-pay at the front desk unless you have contacted your insurance company and have found that you do not owe one.

Why Do We Collect Co-pays?

Our contracts with the insurance companies say we will collect the appropriate co-pay as outline on the card each time care is rendered in our in our office.

The co-pay is specified as part of your contract with your carrier, and it is written in your benefits manual. As the provider’s office, we are not allowed to adjust the terms of your contractual responsibilities.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Allergies and Asthma: What Every Parent Needs to Know

Allergies and asthma often start in childhood and continue throughout life. Asthma is the most common chronic disorder in childhood, currently affecting about 6.2 million Americans under age 18. And 70 percent to 80 percent of school-aged children with asthma also have allergies. Although neither can be cured, with proper care allergies and asthma can usually be kept under control. The new book Allergies and Asthma: What Every Parent Needs to Know is an invaluable resource for parents and caregivers trying to cope with the challenges of childhood asthma and allergies. First published 10 years ago,(by the AAP) this well-organized guide covers such topics as
•Identifying allergies and asthma
•Preventing attacks
•Minimizing triggers and avoiding allergens
•Choosing medications wisely
•Explaining allergies to young children
•Helping children of all ages manage symptoms
•What to do if a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction or asthma attack occurs

Allergies and Asthma now provides updated information on allergies—including the latest findings on food allergies and treatments—along with new approaches for monitoring asthma control, with expanded recommendations for children. The second edition provides new guidance on medications, new recommendations on patient education in settings beyond the physician’s office, and new advice for controlling environmental factors that can cause asthma symptoms.

Being a mom of two children with asthma and allergies I already have ordered this book and can't wait to read it. We are not sponsoring this book, but wanted to give you some new information and tell you of a new resource available to parents. The doctors at Willow Creek approve recommendations from the AAP.
--Remember to schedule your yearly Asthma exam with your pediatrician and if you have any questions about this please feel free to call our office.
**info by AAP

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Another Infant CPR Class!

We will be offering another Infant CPR class in our office! The class will be held on Saturday, March 12, 2011 at 3:00 pm in our waiting room! The class will last for 1 hour. We have enough room for 15-20 people and the cost is $15 per person. It is on a first come first serve basis, so sign up soon! We will hold additional classes for as long as we have interest. The class is taught by Christine Keddington, who is certified to teach CPR. Remember, this is just training, not for certification. If you have any questions or would like to sign up, please contact our office coordinator, Margie, at, for you can call her in the office!

Friday, February 4, 2011

Fact Friday: AAP Issues 2011 Immunization Schedules

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has issued its recommended childhood and adolescent immunization schedules for 2011. Click on this link for full article and schedules.

Published in the February 2011 issue of Pediatrics (published online Feb. 1), the new schedules include guidance on administering hepatitis B vaccine to children who do not receive the recommended birth dose. They also include new information on the use of 13-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine, which replaced the 7-valent pneumococcal conjugate vaccine.

In response to recent pertussis outbreaks nationally, guidance has been provided for a dose of Tdap in 7- to 10-year-old children who are not adequately immunized against pertussis.

In order to ensure that adolescents are protected throughout the greatest period of risk for meningococcal disease, guidance has been provided for a booster dose of the conjugated meningococcal vaccine.

The schedules have been approved by the AAP, the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the American Academy of Family Physicians

**Info from AAP.ORG

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Safety and Injury Prevention

Did you know that injuries are the number one cause of death for children and adolescents ages 1 to 21?  There are many important steps parents, pediatricians, and communities can take to prevent injuries from happening.  When an injury does happen, it is important to take quick action to reduce the consequences of the injury.  The following is a link for numerous resources about safety and first aid:

The AAP also does "The Injury Prevention Program".  You can visit for handouts and recommendations on injury prevention.  We also have these handouts available in the office!

As always, if you ever have any questions, feel free to contact your physician!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Utah Air Quality

As you may know, the air quality in Utah this time of year tends to be pretty atrocious!  An inversion is when normal conditions are inverted and a layer of warm air traps a layer of cold air in the valley.  The warm air is like a lid and traps polluted air near the valley floor.  This will stick around until wind or a storm come through to clear it out.  The longer the inversion stays, the more polluted the air become.  This usually happens in Utah between December and February.

While there are not laws requiring schools to keep kids inside during air action days, the health department has set up guidelines or recommendations for schools on these days. 

Here is the link that shows the recommendations for schools:

This link will show you the current air quality conditions by county:

There is also a local group called Utah Moms for Clean Air who are advocates for the quality of air for children.  They are hosting a hands-on workshop "How to Grow Clean Air" for both kids and adults.  They will have Dr. Brian Moence (Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment) and Cherise Udell (Utah Moms for Clean Air).  It will be held this Thursday, February 3rd from 5:30 pm to 7:30 pm at Cactus and Tropicals (2735 S 2000 E).  You can get more information on this workshop, as well as other information on air quality:  

As you can see, there are many great resource for you to get information regarding the air quality in Utah!  If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact your physician.