Alexandra Clark, MD, always wanted to be a doctor. As the daughter of an immigrant who was very grateful for the opportunities found in the United States, Clark says she was encouraged to follow her dreams of her. Medical school only confirmed her love for pediatric medicine.
More than 20 years later, Clark is the division chief of general pediatrics, medicine-pediatrics, and pediatric hospital medicine for Loma Linda University Children’s Health. She helms a team of more than 90 providers serving children in four hospitals, 15 clinics, and multiple other healthcare settings across the Inland Empire.
She and her teams strongly believe that partnership with parents and guardians is critical to the health and well-being of their children. “We know the health and well-being of your child is critically important to you,” Clark says. “It is critically important to us too.”
Alongside the numerous ways pediatricians guide and assist families, pediatricians monitor and celebrate kids’ developmental milestones. Clark says the importance of monitoring development milestones lies in identifying delays early, acting on them with therapy and other interventions, and ultimately helping children achieve their maximum potential.
The American Academy of Pediatrics and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent updates to the developmental milestone checklist for infants and toddlers reflect the importance of early identification. The new revisions identify behaviors that 75% or more of children can be expected to exhibit at a certain age versus the 50% previously listed. “The old milestones were not incorrect, but the AAP and CDC felt the lower percentile mark delayed evaluation or intervention,” Clark says.
Clark encourages families to make an appointment with their pediatrician if they are concerned their child is not progressing in milestone achievement or has a loss of milestones. Don’t wait until the next regular well visit to address your concern.
“Pediatricians are deeply invested and interested in helping each child reach their potential in all areas — medical health, emotional health, spiritual well-being, and academic success,” Clark says. “It truly does take a village to raise healthy and happy children.”
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