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Parents: Schedule your child’s annual wellness exam

Medicare, Medicaid and most health insurance carriers cover an annual child wellness exam usually with no out-of-pocket expense to the parent, according to board-certified pediatrician Randi Tatum, D.O.

Dr. Tatum, who practices with nurse practitioner Dorothy Agyepong, CPNP, PMHS at Affinity Pediatrics in Moultrie, said parents often ask her if they need to bring their kids in for a check-up every year, even if it appears that they are perfectly healthy. The answer, according to Dr. Tatum, is yes.

“It’s important that they come in at least once-a-year for a check-up, regardless of their age or health,” she said. “The main reasons are preventing medical issues and tracking growth and development.”

There are many illnesses and injuries that don’t have immediate symptoms.

“If your child has an exam every year, it will be easier to identify potential problems,” said Dr. Tatum. “Plus, it gives the pediatrician an opportunity to treat them. Immunizations are also very important when it comes to prevention. Your pediatrician will make sure your child is up-to-date on all immunizations. An annual exam is also a great time to discuss proper nutrition and safety in the home and at school.”

Dr. Tatum added that it’s exciting for parents to see just how much their children have grown in a year’s time. “An annual check-up also serves as an assessment of proper development and milestones,” she stated.

Most health plans cover a set of preventive health services for children without charging a copayment, even if a yearly deductible has not been met. This includes Marketplace and Medicaid coverage.

“Pediatric wellness checks allow parents and providers to create a team approach to healthcare, which promotes the developmental, emotional and physical health of the child, and allows pediatricians to learn more about each individual child,” said Dr. Tatum.

Board-certified in pediatrics, Dr. Tatum earned her medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine (PCOM) and completed residency training at the Palm Beach Consortium for Graduate Medical Education.

“I’m proud to be a PCOM graduate and was thrilled when PCOM opened a campus here in Moultrie in 2019,” Dr. Tatum said.

Dr. Tatum and nurse practitioner Dorothy Agyepong, CPNP, PMHS offer comprehensive pediatric care and adolescent medicine. Services include sick and well visits, annual exams, nutritional advice, management of chronic diseases, child development, and more. Dorothy also has special training and experience in pediatric behavioral health.

“Dorothy is a certified Pediatric Primary Care Mental Health Specialist,” said Dr. Tatum. “She provides advanced assessment, evaluation, diagnosis, treatment, and management of common developmental, behavioral, and mental health care concerns in children.”

Dorothy earned a bachelor of science degree in nursing from Valdosta State University and a nurse practitioner degree from Georgia State University.

To make an appointment with Dr. Tatum or Dorothy, call 229-985-1293. New patients are being accepted. Affinity Pediatrics is located in Moultrie at 3007 2nd Street SE.

Southwell also has pediatric practices in Tifton, Ocilla, and Valdosta. Visit our pediatrics page for more information.