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Reducing the wait and worry

Posted 9/9/2016 by DOUGLAS FLECK, MD
Medical Director, Rainbow Ashtabula Pediatrics
Clinical Assistant Professor, Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine

Pediatric primary care offers compassionate attention, quick results

Douglas Fleck, MD

Douglas Fleck, MD

As parents, Jim and Caron Fenton pay close attention to their children. And they know when something doesn’t seem quite right. So when their 19-month-old son, Connor, began breathing faster than normal, they acted right away. It was a Sunday, so Jim and Caron took Connor to a local walk-in health clinic instead of his regular primary care doctor’s office. “They diagnosed him with an ear infection,” recalls Caron. “But I knew something else was wrong.”

Personal attention

Unable to sleep that night, Caron called the office of their pediatrician, Douglas Fleck, MD, Medical Director of Rainbow Ashtabula Pediatrics. Because it was 3 a.m., the call was received by University Hospitals Rainbow Babies & Children’s 24/7 Rainbow Advice Center. But Caron asked to directly speak to Dr. Fleck.

“Dr. Fleck called us back personally in the middle of the night and spent so much time talking with us. He walked through Connor’s symptoms and helped us feel at ease. We set an appointment to see him first thing the next morning,” says Caron.

Continuity of care

Jim and Caron Fenton with Connor (center), Jackson and Sofia at Lake Farmpark.

At the appointment, Dr. Fleck examined Connor, reviewed his symptoms and medical history, and conducted in-office testing. Dr. Fleck also sat and talked with the family as he gave Connor a breathing treatment.

“Based on my knowledge of Connor’s past medical history, I suspected he had pneumonia,” says Dr. Fleck. “Having that continuity of care makes it easier to understand the problem.”

To confirm his suspicion, Dr. Fleck referred Connor for a chest X-ray with UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s radiology experts. Within one hour, Dr. Fleck had results of the testing, which showed Connor had pneumonia.

“As part of UH Rainbow Babies & Children’s, we share the same electronic medical records. This means I know immediately when test results are ready and can share them with patients,” says Dr. Fleck. “When a child is ill, it is a source of stress for the family. We believe in a quick response to help the child feel better and reassure his or her parents.”

Seamless follow-up

Right away, Dr. Fleck began treatment of Connor’s pneumonia with antibiotics. He called the family later that day to ensure Connor was responding well to the medication. And he set a follow-up appointment with the family for just a few days later.

“I can’t tell you how lucky we are to have this level of pediatric care in our area,” says Jim. “We live and breathe our children, and [Dr. Fleck] takes care of them as his own. It makes a big difference to have a doctor you trust and your kids feel comfortable with.”

Dr. Fleck adds, “As a pediatrician, my job is to listen. I believe in my patients’ parents and their concerns. We ensure each child gets the care and attention he or she needs.”

Need a pediatrician?

To find a Rainbow pediatrician or request an appointment, call 216-UH4-KIDS (216-844-5437) or visit


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