A Busy Mother's Last Minute Call for Help

Mom plays with her twin babies on the floor

As a busy mother, Heidi Larson knows how overwhelming days can be, especially when her children aren’t feeling well. When her infant daughter, Maggie, experienced diarrhea for about a week without any change in behavior or symptoms, Larson didn’t originally think much of it. But, when Maggie developed a diaper rash that wouldn’t go away, Larson decided it was time to see Megan Beebe, MD, UnityPoint Health, for an appointment.

“When Dr. Beebe saw us, she told us how to treat the rash and also said if Maggie started acting differently, to call right away,” Larson says. “I’m really glad she did because I probably wouldn’t have thought about it otherwise.”

A couple days later, Maggie’s behavior changed, and she became lethargic and had to be woken up to eat.

“Because Dr. Beebe said to call, I did. It was about 5 p.m., so I assumed we’d have to go downtown to the emergency room, but the clinic staff waited for us, getting us in right before the clinic closed. Dr. Beebe met us when we arrived,” Larson says.

Dr. Beebe examined Maggie and listened to the changes Larson described. Dr. Beebe decided to call the pediatric emergency room to have Maggie further evaluated.

“When we arrived at the ER, I expected to wait in the waiting room, but they took us back right away to triage and had a room ready for us. The ER staff told us they received a report from Dr. Beebe, and someone would see us shortly. Everything was just ready,” Larson says.

Dr. Beebe says care coordination works much like an extended support system for parents.

“When I think of care coordination, I think of that saying– it takes a village to raise a child, and I think in medicine, it’s kind of the same way,” Dr. Beebe says. “It takes a village to care for patients, where it’s not just the provider or doctor, it’s the nurses, care coordinators, hospital staff and more who all help with different areas of providing care.” 

Larson appreciated the calm, concerned care her daughter received. After evaluating her, the care team determined Maggie’s change in behavior was caused from dehydration.

“We were just amazed at how smooth the transition was from the clinic, to the hospital and even back. When we had our follow up appointment, Dr. Beebe had all the information right there, the chart had been reviewed, and she had gotten a very good report from the hospital. It was seamless,” Larson says.

Dr. Beebe says she makes it a practice to put herself in the shoes of her patients.

“As a parent myself, if I was in that situation, it would still be worrisome, even though I have the medical background. I could just tell from the day before that she was upset and worried, so I called her the next day to see how both she and Maggie were doing,” Dr. Beebe says.

It’s that personal care that impressed Larson and solidified her confidence in her children’s care teams.

“They just were so reassuring, and they said she’s going to be ok, everything’s going to be fine, and we’ll take good care of you. And, I knew it,” Larson says.

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