A Message From Dr. Wolynn About Winter Sick Season & Being Crazy Busy

In a new video,  Dr. Wolynn offers a brief update on the health care realities we’re all facing as we head into winter: lots of sick kids, lots of frazzled parents, overwhelmed pediatrics offices and ERs both locally and nationally, everyone and everything crazy busy and burned out.

He talks briefly about how we’ll need to be flexible, how we’ll communicate with you, and how we’ll keep working as hard as we can to take care of you and your family.

You can watch here, or see below for a full transcript of the video.

A Message From Dr. Wolynn About Winter Sick Season and Being Crazy Busy

Hi, KPP Families. It’s Dr. Todd Wolynn.

As we head through fall and into the winter, I wanted to give you an update on the health care realities we’re all currently facing.

First: things are REALLY busy. Everywhere. There are lots of sick kids, lots of frazzled parents, and lots of phone calls and office visits.

COVID, Flu, and RSV, plus other seasonal “cough and cold” infections are all over the US, including here in Pittsburgh. This combined wave of illnesses is like nothing we’ve seen before, and it has every pediatric health setting — including urgent cares, express cares, emergency rooms, and hospitals — stretched to their limits, with long back ups and steadily increasing wait times.

If you’ve been to Kids Plus lately, you know we’re not immune to this either. Our offices are packed, and our phones have been ringing off the hook. It’s taking us longer than we’d like to return your calls, to get you in for walk-ins, and to see you in the exam room. We’re working as hard as we can to help you as quickly as we can — while still giving you all the time and attention you need.

A few weeks ago, we posted a new Doctor’s Note and mini-podcast episode from Dr. Springer, who gave some great tips on how to handle this crazy new reality.

And let me tell you, it is crazy.

In over 30 years in pediatrics, I’ve never seen anything like this. Nor has anyone else I’ve talked to. Not even Dr. Pai — and he’s seen everything!

Medical practices shutting off phone access or closing during regular hours. Urgent Cares with 6 hour waits. ERs with 6-12+ hour waits.

These waves of illnesses, combined with staff stretched and stretched some more… is exceeding our U.S. Health Care capacity and ability to function.

At Kids Plus, we’re always adapting. Over the next few months, as the winter “sick season” ramps up even more, we’ll be adapting even more, to provide the best possible care without breaking our system.

We’re already crazy busy. And we’re going to be even busier. So we may need to make some temporary changes to how or when we do things.

We’ll need to be flexible. And we’ll need to ask you to be flexible too.

But I promise you, one thing always stays the same: you can count on Kids Plus to do everything we can to help you and your family.

We’ll continue to keep you updated on everything, just as we always do — communicating our way through these ever-changing circumstances that impact both your family’s health and the care we provide. Keep an eye on our web site, on our social media pages, and on our podcast. Whatever you need to know, you’ll see and hear from us.

We know that two and a half years of Pandemic stress have taken their toll on everyone. We’re all worn down. Even the most happy-go-lucky of us have bad days, or just let our frustration boil over sometimes. We’ve seen that a lot in our offices lately, with some people yelling or swearing at, or just generally being mean to our Kids Plus Team.

So we ask that when you’re feeling frustrated, please take a moment — maybe a deep breath, or even a good stomp on the floor…

…Just please, don’t be a jagoff.

You want outstanding and compassionate care for your children. That’s what we want too.

And we’re working as hard as we can, every day, to deliver it.

Thank you.