Tonawanda News

Local News

June 1, 2008

NORTH TONAWANDA: Putting kids first

When Michelle Tabone’s 8-year-old son Nicholas needed stitches for a serious cut around his eye, the doctor’s office was closed.

It was 5 p.m. on the Friday before Memorial Day when he slipped and fell, striking the corner of the family’s kitchen table, opening a gash on his face.

Before heading to the emergency room, however, Tabone remembered seeing signs for a pediatric center on Niagara Falls Boulevard, near her home called Kidz Xpress.

Susan Stead, owner of Kidz Xpress, a new after hours care center in North Tonawanda, said when children are sick or injured, parents should first call their doctor. But depending on the nature of the ailment, parents now have the option to forgo often crowded and costly emergency room visits.

“It’s such a convenience and such a service to the community — emergency rooms should be reserved for true emergencies,” Stead said.

Two licensed nurse practitioners including Stead are on hand seven days a week and on holidays.

She said the average wait time is about 10 minutes.

“I guess the thing that impressed me was that you could tell she was a pediatric specialist,” Tabone said. “She really took the time to calm him down and explain the entire process to him.”

As is required by law, the staff has enlisted a consulting physician, Dr. Doug Schultz from Wheatfield Pediatrics on Niagara Falls Boulevard.

Schultz, who worked in the emergency room at Women and Children’s Hospital in Buffalo from 1999 to 2002, said nurse practitioners are “very qualified.” He said while there are other aftercare centers in the region, he is pleased that pediatrics is the sole focus at Kidz Xpress.

“It’s what we call a mid-level care provider,” Schultz said. “Nurse practitioners do their masters in the specific field (pediatrics). They are very qualified to do almost all things.”

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