Young girl on a swing

Kids, trust and health care: Why finding the right pediatrician matters

Jessica Alward, of Medora, knows what it is like to be busy. With four kids between six months and nine years of age, Jessica operates on little sleep while navigating through the whirlwind of motherhood. So when she became pregnant with her fourth child, Levi, Jessica started looking for ways to streamline her life.

“I am constantly busy with cooking, cleaning and taking care of somebody. It’s a never ending cycle,” Jessica said. “In the past, we have waited for over an hour at our former pediatrician’s office for a wellness visit. That doesn’t work with four kids.”

“Your whole day will revolve around an appointment – getting ready, getting out the door, getting there and home – it’s an all-day event,” Jessica said. “It’s hard when you throw in an extra hour in a waiting room filled with sick children.”

Looking for the perfect fit

Jessica Alward and her family on a porch swing.

Jessica Alward and her four children.

While choosing any primary provider is a hard decision, finding a pediatrician you trust your kids with makes the choice that much more difficult. Not only does the parent need to trust the pediatrician but the children also need that trust, says Jessica. The parent-pediatrician relationship last a longtime and requires conversations about everything from immunizations to bed-wetting to changes during puberty.

“I talked to a lot of different people and there was one consistent answer,” Jessica said. “The new pediatrician at [OSF] Saint Anthony’s was who everyone recommended, Dr. Ameera Nauman. And I was delivering Levi there, so I met with her.

“Then, after Levi was born, she stopped by my room. We talked for about an hour. My husband thought we were best friends. She wanted to meet the entire family and spend time with the kids.”

Jessica found what she was looking for: a pediatrician with a rapport with her entire family and who is gentle and kind with the kids.

Convenience, access and communication

It did not take long for Jessica to evaluate her decision to switch all of her children to Dr. Nauman. That summer, along with having a newborn, two of the Alward’s daughters had minor accidents that needed additional medical attention.

Dr. Nauman called and spoke with the emergency medical staff while the Alwards were on their way to the hospital. With her office being located on the OSF Saint Anthony’s campus, Dr. Nauman was able to easily do all of their follow-up care.

“It was an eventful summer. There were a few times we had to go for X-rays, and we just walked on over and had it looked at,” Jessica said. “She was great, and I love that she’ll call me. If I have an issue, I’ll call in and talk to the nurses and a lot of the time she’ll call me back personally.”

Understanding how difficult making appointments are, when possible, Dr. Nauman allows parents flexibility of scheduling additional children for one visit, saving parents multiple trips.

But for Jessica, communication is the key. “What really makes her standout is she listens to what I have to say, and what I think is going on. That is important to me because nobody knows your children better than you do.”

If you would like to schedule an interview with Dr. Nauman, call (618) 462-2222.