January 2019
This Month's Newsletter
We hope you have settled in to the New Year and everything is off to a great start. We'd like to wish our families an early happy Valentine's Day full of boundless love and gratefulness.

In this month's newsletter, we discuss the shortage of blood supply in New Jersey and what you can do to help. We also share information on the American Academy of Pediatric's recommendation for pediatricians to guide teens, and The Pediatric Center's approach. Finally, we give an easy guide on what to look out for when choosing healthy food options. Remember, The Pediatric Center is here for all of your urgent medical needs, even when the office is closed. There is always someone on call from our practice, without having to use a separate facility or doctor that doesn't know you. All you have to do is call.  

Our goal is to further develop our relationship with our patients and create an open forum. We welcome your comments and ideas. If you would like to see something included in this newsletter, please email us at  with ideas only, please no medical requests.

As always, we welcome you to share your experience with our practitioners with an online review. 

The Pediatric Center Staff
You Are Needed
January is National Blood Donation month, and NJ is looking for donors. According to, New Jersey is in critical need of blood and is in an urgent need of donations. At the beginning of the new year, the state was down to only 3 days supply for type O.

It's not unusual for blood donations to decline over the holidays, but this year the drop was significant and left supplies at a very low level. 

When hospitals run out of blood supply, they are forced to prioritize who gets the blood donation based on the severity of need. This could mean delaying surgeries if someone has an immediate need - they will get the supply first.

According to the American Red Cross, general requirements for blood donations include:
  • In good general health and feeling well.
  • At least 17 years old in most states (16 years old with parental consent in NJ).
  • Must have never had hepatitis.
  • Weigh at least 110 lbs. Additional height and weight requirements apply for donors 18 years old and younger and all high school student donors. 
  • Have not donated blood in the last 56 days.
For more details on eligibility, click here.

To donate to the Red Cross, people can visit or  call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or enable the Blood Donor Skill on any Alexa Echo device. You can also contact Vitalant, a nonprofit community blood bank and one of New Jersey's primary blood providers: 877-258-4825 (877-25-VITAL) or visit

The Unique Needs of Adolescents
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) released a new policy on the "Unique Needs of the Adolescent" encouraging pediatricians to follow certain protocols with adolescent patients. 

The policy explains, " During adolescence, teens are less likely to visit their doctor for preventive care and counseling - and yet these are critical years to benefit from a physician's support and guidance."

The APP recognizes adolescence as a time of change - and the physical, mental and emotional challenges children face as they transition from childhood to adulthood. The organization  emphasizes the importance of preventative care and counseling for teens who are exploring the concept of autonomy, and often pushing the boundaries. The policy states, ' "It's really important to have on-going conversations with young patients and become a trusted source for help, especially with health issues that might be sensitive, such as sexuality, substance use or mental health concerns," said Elizabeth M. Alderman, MD, FSAHM, FAAP, co-author of the policy statement and chair of the AAP Committee on Adolescence."

History has shown without treatment for health concerns, teens can experience poor health and lower quality of life in adulthood. " One study found that 71% of adolescents reported at least one potential health risk, yet only 37 % of the teenagers reported discussing any of these risks with their pediatrician or primary care provider."

The Pediatric Center proactively counsels our adolescent patients and supports the AAP recommendations, including screening and counseling behaviors that can lead to injury, harm or death. Our practice also encourages discussions on sexual identity, drugs, alcohol, depression, body image, bullying and much more. Our practitioners offer adolescent
patients a safe place to share any concerns and ask questions. 

The Pediatric Center offers help for teens and families that are facing tough issues that may be difficult to discuss or explain on their own. 

Find out more information about The Pediatric Center's Teen Center and the topics we offer as part of our practice.  

Source: American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP)
Learning How to Read Labels
When it comes to choosing healthy breakfasts, or even snacks, it becomes a little tricky. It's important to learn to read nutrition labels to understand what is truly healthy. Often times, companies will use words like "Healthy", "Whole Grain" and "Natural" to coerce you into buying their products. These claims are not always justified and the food is actually not healthy, and often highly processed. 

One great example is General Mills Honey Nut Cheerios. The box claims, "Low-fat", "Made with Whole Grain", "Heart Healthy." However if you dig deeper, one serving only contains .75 grams of soluble fiber, which is negligible. It also contains sugar as the second ingredient (2nd highest content in the ingredient list). In fact 12 grams per one cup, and all added sugar - not natural.  The ingredients also include corn starch, brown sugar syrup (in addition to the 2nd ingredient of refined sugar), rice bran or canola oil (one of the most processed oils available) and added flavors. The protein version it another whole mecca of processed ingredients including soy, corn syrup, caramelized sugar syrup, rice starch...and more. 

In addition, the  "whole grain" stamp which appears on some food labels is misleading - companies pay fees to belong to the Whole Grains Council, which administers the program.
Qualifying products need only have  eight grams of whole grains  to bear this stamp
Example: A 2 oz  serving of pasta (56 grams),  w ith 8 grams of whole wheat could actually
come with 48 grams of white refined flour. The "whole grain" stamp gives a false sense of what is actually healthy.

On the flip side, let's take a look at oatmeal. After all, it is national oatmeal month. Oats are a true, natural, whole grain source and one of the most nutrient-dense foods you can eat  - and fantastic source of carbs and fiber. Half a cup of dry oats contain: 

Manganese:  191% of the recommended daily intake (RDI),  Phosphorus:  41% of the RDI,  Magnesium:  34% of the RDI,  Copper:  24% of the RDI,  Iron:  20% of the RDI,  Zinc:  20% of the RDI,  Folate:  11% of the RDI,  Vitamin B1 (thiamin):  39% of the RDI,  Vitamin B5:  10% of the RDI and s maller amounts of calcium, potassium, vitamin B6 (pyridoxine) and vitamin B3 (niacin).  

It also includes 8 grams of healthy, soluble fiber,  13 grams of protein, 5 grams of healthy fat and is low in calories. Oats are also rich in antioxidants, can help lower high cholesterol and improve LDL (the good cholesterol).

This is a true example of a healthy breakfast - and anytime snack. 

Overall, it's important to read the ingredient lists and nutrition labels to make smart decisions about food choices. After high processing, many of the foods we eat have been stripped of any beneficial nutrients.

Nutrition information source:
We Are Here For You

On-Site Lactation Support Center
T he Pediatric Center's on-site Lactation Support Center and lactation suite are available to you to support breastfeeding your child.  Our modern and private on-site lactation suite provides a warm and relaxed environment for the mother and infant to enjoy a positive breastfeeding experience.  We offer complimentary lactation consultations in our private space.

We also offer a free prenatal class every month, open to the public. 

To schedule your lactation consultation, attend our free prenatal class or make an appointment please call us at 908-508-0400.

Find More Topics On Our Blog
The Pediatric Center's blog is an invaluable resource for pediatric and parenting topics. The blog is right on our website . It includes topics such as "12 Super Foods for Lactation Aid", "Best Winter Skincare Tips" and so much more. 
Patient Portal
The Pediatric Center's patient portal provides personal access  to your family's  medical records. 

You can access information such as immunization records, visit summaries, request appointments, view dates for upcoming appointments and pay your bill.

Sign up is quick from our website. Click here.
Do You Need A Pediatric Specialist?
The Pediatric Center works with a wi de network of doctors we can refer to a pediatric specialist if you need one. 

As part of our practice, we specialize in developmental & behavioral health and focus on positive parenting practices. We can offer guidance on depression, eating disorders, developmental concerns and many other issues.  You are not alone. 

Please call to make an appointment to meet with one of our physicians:  908-508-0400.
The Pediatric Center Online Bill Pay
Online Bill Payment
The Pediatric Center offers the ease and convenience of online bill payment from our Bill Payment & Insurance page on our website.  

Payments Over The Phone
If you prefer, you can still make a payment over the phone by calling The Pediatric Center's billing department, HealthCare Billing, Inc:  
Toll Free:  877-852-9092   or  Local:  908-237-9092
Vaccine Education Center
Did you know our website includes a Vaccine Education Center where you can find the immunization schedule for your child?
Reminder - we offer all students going to college the Meningococcal B vaccine. This vaccine is covered by insurance.  It is recommended it be administered to all students starting college as part of their pre-college physical. Please also discuss the new Gardasil vaccine with your practitioner.
View all the details here.
We Love Your Feedback!

Your feedback is very important to us! We would love to hear about your positive experience with our doctors and nurse practitioners.  You can  write and post a review right on our website or on our Facebook page.  Thank you for your kind words!

Free Prenatal Class
We offer a free prenatal class on the 3rd Thursday of every month with our own
Dr. McKegney!
Click here to learn more.
It's A Partnership
Resources for breastfeeding, immunization schedules, what to do if your child is sick, online references & much more! Click here.
Read Our Blog!
Check out our blog to read about news and current events. Topics are relevant to our practice and patients. Click here.
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Announcements will also be posted on the home page of our website under "What's New".

The Pediatric Center

556 Central Avenue, New Providence, NJ 07974


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