Medical Musings from Kids First Providers

StethoScoop: Medical Musings from Kids First Providers

Kids First Podcast 4: Traveling with Kids

Are you traveling out of the country soon? Guest Pediatric Nurse Practitioner Pat Lawrence discusses the Kids First Travel Health Clinic. On this episode, Pat discusses who should consider making an appointment at the travel clinic and how far in advance the consultation should be scheduled. Pat also reviews basic travel safety tips, routine vaccinations that are important for traveling with young children, obtaining any special travel vaccines for special destinations. Pat talks about travelers diarrhea and basic food and water precautions while visiting foreign countries. We review how to protect your family from Zika virus and Malaria by using insect repellent with DEET. An overview of Pat’s travel clinic can be found at:

Specific destination information can be found at:

Click here to listen on iTunes

Kids First Podcast 3: Sleep Training

sleep training podcast

Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Karen Gentile and Jean Russo discuss newborn sleep patterns, sleep transitions, and how to sleep train your baby through the first year of life. Jean gives real life examples of how she sleep trained her two sons successfully using the methods discussed in the podcast. The two most popular methods: the Weissbluth method and the Ferber method are compared.

Book recommendations:

Baby 411 by Dr. Ari Brown and Denise Fields

Healthy Sleep Habits, Happy Child by Dr. Marc Weissbluth

Solve Your Child’s Sleep Problems by Dr. Richard Ferber

Click here to listen on iTunes

Kids First Podcast Episode 2: Seasonal Allergies

Kids first podcast episode 2

Presenting episode 2 of our Kids First Podcast: Seasonal Allergies. Spring has sprung! Chicago’s seasonal allergy season is in full swing, and our patients are feeling the pollens in the air. Pediatric Nurse Practitioners Karen & Jean discuss allergic rhinitis, the symptoms and how to treat the symptoms.

Click here for a direct download.

Click here to return to the main podcast page

Introducing the Kids First Podcast

Kids first podcast episode 1

Introducing the first episode of our Kids First podcast! We are so excited to share our new podcast, brought to you by hosts Nurse Practitioners Karen Gentile and Jean Russo. In this first episode, Karen and Jean introduce the Kids First Podcast, an evidence-based educational discussion about pediatric health conditions and concerns designed for parents. Karen and Jean will discuss their backgrounds as pediatric healthcare providers and the goals of the podcast.  

Click here for a direct download.

Click here to go to to the main podcast page.

We’re Moving May 4

moving to a new office May 4

We are excited to share that we have confirmed our move date, set for Friday, May 4. On that day we plan to open for morning walk-in as normal from 8:00 – 9:30AM. We will then close the office to move everything downstairs, and we will reopen on Saturday, May 5.

We can’t wait for you to visit our beautiful new office suite on the ninth floor of our current building. Our office will include an expanded waiting room with downtown Chicago views, as well as two dedicated rooms for Behavioral Health and Lactation Services. We are also adding an education space where we are planning to host parent education sessions on topics such as sleep, toilet training and discipline. We’d also like to institute a New Mom’s Coffee – stay tuned for more information!

Thank you for your continuing support of Kids First Pediatric Partners,

Cathy DiVincenzo, MD

Adam Aronson, MD

Kathy Shepherd, MD

Kids First Is Moving

We have some very exciting news to share with you. As some of you know, Kids First Pediatric Partners started in 2004 with Dr. DiVincenzo and two exam rooms. We have expanded over the years, to our current staff of 10 providers, with office hours seven days a week. We have recently added Behavioral Health, which joins the Chicago Breastfeeding Center, Easy Breathers, Nutrition and Travel services for our families. It is our goal to provide the best clinical resources to our families on site, as part of our practice. All of this growth means we have run out of room!

We are building a beautiful new office suite on the ninth floor of our current building. It will include an expanded waiting room with downtown Chicago views, as well as two dedicated rooms for Behavioral Health and Lactation Services. We are also adding an education space where we are planning to host parent education sessions on topics such as sleep, toilet training and discipline. We’d also like to institute a New Mom’s Coffee – stay tuned for more information!

We take tremendous pride in our growing independent practice, and we put a great deal of thought into the direction and growth of Kids First. As our community grows, so too must our capacity to care for all of our established patients, new parents and families moving to the area. To be able to give personalized, one-on-one care to our patients, we have added warm and talented providers who understand our mission – to put kids first.

Thank you for your continuing support of Kids First Pediatric Partners,

Cathy DiVincenzo, MD
Adam Aronson, MD
Kathy Shepherd, MD

Potential Measles Exposure

We want to inform all our families that we were informed by the Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) about a confirmed case of measles. The person with measles was in our office building on January 10. We have called our patients who were potentially exposed to the person at that time in our office, but we do want to inform our entire practice in case individuals may have had contact with the person in other places.

This is the second case of measles reported by the IDPH, but the two cases are unrelated. These two individuals did not become infected while at O’Hare airport but had already contracted measles. There is not a measles outbreak at O’Hare airport.

The newly reported case, who was infectious at the time, was at the locations listed below.

Two hours have been added to the time after the individual left because the measles virus can linger in the air and on surfaces two hours after an infected individual leaves the area.

People who are considered to be close contacts and most at risk, including passengers on the inbound flight to Chicago O’Hare and others in the airport, are being contacted directly by local health departments. Hospitals and healthcare facilities are working to identify all possible areas of exposure and notify susceptible patients, staff, and visitors. IDPH is working with local health departments and hospitals during this investigation and information is subject to change. 
Most individuals are vaccinated routinely in childhood and are not at high risk. Of most concern are exposed people who have not been vaccinated. Individuals who think they have been exposed should check with us about their children’s protection through prior vaccination or the need for vaccination. We will determine the need for vaccination and/or testing. 
If infected, individuals could develop symptoms as late as February 1, 2018. Symptoms of measles include rash, high fever, cough, runny nose, and red, watery eyes. If individuals develop symptoms of measles, please call us before going to a medical office or emergency department. Special arrangements will be made for evaluation while also protecting other patients and medical staff from possible infection.

Welcome, Dr. Mimi Boren

Dr. Mimi Boren joins Kids First this July, after recently completing her residency in pediatrics at University of Chicago. She grew up in Madison, Wisconsin where she is one of five children. Dr. Boren comes from a family of doctors, and from a young age, she says, she felt the “call to medicine” as she saw her father make a positive impact in the lives of patients.

As an undergraduate at University of Notre Dame, she studied pre-medicine and Spanish. She studied abroad during junior year in Toledo, Spain, where she greatly improved her Spanish language skills, and she looks forward to seeing some exclusively Spanish-speaking patients at Kids First. She and her husband, Nate, welcomed their son, Charlie, into their family last December. She says, “He brings us joy every day, and he has given me a whole new perspective on being a pediatrician.” Now before she orders a blood draw or a medication, she says she thinks about if she would want her own son to endure that same routine. She has also done become passionate about breastfeeding through her own experience.

She is excited to join Kids First Pediatric Partners. She says, “When I first met Dr. Cathy DiVincenzo, I felt like I had known her for years. The first time I went to Kids First, I knew I would fit in well there. I truly feel lucky to be joining such a wonderful team, and I know it will be an honor to care for the families who choose us for their pediatric care.”

Dr. Boren says she hopes to see a lot of newborns so she can continue to care for them for years to come. “I’m excited to do what I set out to do when I started in medicine and really establish good relationships with families.”

When she is not working or caring for her baby, she enjoys running and being outside.

9 month visit

I have had lots of parents in recent weeks tell me that they are enjoying reading my posts.  I appreciate the positive feed back and I hope we can keep the momentum going.  Our baby is now 9 months old.  At earlier visits we were monitoring the early stages of development, but at 9 months this becomes a more formal and standardized part of our evaluation.  For Pediatricians, one of our most important roles is to monitor for appropriate developmental milestones – and if a child does begin to exhibit delays, to coordinate them getting the proper evaluation and therapy.  To aid in this process, Developmental Specialists created a series of highly standardized assessment tools called the Ages and Stages Questionnaires.  The ASQ as it is known, allows us to carefully and accurately track a child’s development over time.  It is a series of questions that parents answer regarding what tasks their child is doing – from communication to gross motor, fine motor, problem solving, and personal social interactions. We are able to quickly score the parents responses to give a really good picture of a child’s development in each category and we can then take steps to get that child the appropriate help to catch them up quickly.  As always, feel free to respond with any questions.  At our next check up, our child will be 1 year old –  they do grow up so fast.


1 month visit


We are up to the one month visit – and this is a great time to explain the phrase you often hear us refer to: GROWTH PERCENTILES. From birth through the time they transition to an adult provider, we regularly monitor your child’s growth; height and weight, and during early childhood we also measure and track their head circumference. In order to assess growth patterns over time – these measurements get plotted on growth charts that give us the”percentile” for each measurement. The way I explain the percentile charts to parents is that they are a statistical tool to help us track a child’s growth pattern over months and years. For example, a one month old whose weight is at the 20th percentile would weigh more than 19% -and less than 79% – of other one month olds in the general population. For Pediatricians, we are watching the trend of the percentiles over time to make sure there is not a significant decline, whether over time, or suddenly. We are not expecting everyone to be average or at the 50th percentile, or at the top of the chart for their age; rather we use these values to gauge steady growth. If a 2 year old’s height is at the 15th percentile – are they too short? Well, if their weights have generally been in the 10-20 percentile range (or lower) at prior visits – then they are growing at a steady pace and as the Pediatrician I am happy – especially if their parents have a similar genetic make up. However – if that child previously measured at much higher percentiles, their growth has clearly slowed and we need to consider why there was this change. Interpreting and following these growth charts is not a simple process and it takes training and experience but I hope I was able to explain the basics. We also use percentile charts to assess Body Mass Index (BMI) as kids get older – but we will discuss that in the future. Later this week I will talk more about some of the other findings we assess at the 1 month visit. Have a great day…Dr Aronson