HealthySteps Breaks the Mold

HealthySteps Breaks the Mold

Anand still comes into the sterilized clinic but no longer sees families in person. He misses the warm handoffs and welcoming families into a physical space and introducing himself. Now, he’s in their homes, chatting to them through video. While he misses connecting in the clinic, he’s still in their lives and has access he didn’t have before. When visiting with a family, he models for mom how to encourage her picky eating 3-year-old to try new foods and offers her strategies to manage her stress around mealtimes. He would model this in the clinic, but being in the apartment with them, joining mom and her son where they share meals, is an opportunity he’s glad to have. 

When families don’t have internet, he provides the same support over the phone. “I remember a desperate mother who had twin babies and a 3-year-old. She lost her husband to COVID-19. I remember this very well because she was going through the unimaginable. He was the breadwinner, so she had no financial support and needed help to support her children materially and emotionally. I call every week and we talk about how she is doing, how her babies are. It created hope for her and me.”

Anand knows this is nothing like what he’s experienced before, but despite the cascade of hardships COVID-19 brought, he’s optimistic: “We can think outside the box and be creative and realize that the role of the HealthySteps Specialist is not confined to just what we were doing before the pandemic.” 

Hear how Anand’s approach to his work has been impacted by the pandemic.

Anand Patel, PsyD, is a HealthySteps Specialist at Montefiore Medical Group in Bronx, New York.

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