Dr. Richard Uluski of Pediatric and Medical Associates says patients in their New Haven and Cheshire offices are coming back after a year with hardly any common illnesses like strep throat or the flu.
“And now that vaccines are starting up and more people are doing more activities, now we’re actually starting to see sick kids again,” Uluski said.
In the last year he says masks and social distance cut down on those germs. Now, he says there are frequent illnesses from day cares and schools that children haven't had in a year. He says many of those illnesses are normal.
But they’re also seeing things like eating disorders, obesity and mental health issues.
“Mental health for anybody during the pandemic was high. And we are starting to see more cases or people come out to talk to us about it,” Uluski said.
The healthcare industry had to adjust quickly during the pandemic. Last April we spoke with Dr. Leslie Sude who showed NBC Connecticut how Yale University’s Community Health Care Van was repurposed.
“One of the things they did was step up to expand their services to provide a safe way to see newborn babies and postpartum mothers in their communities,” said Sude, who sees patients in the van. She’s also an assistant professor of pediatrics at Yale University.
A year later, the van has traveled across the city and door to door to see 540 mothers and newborns, offering a COVID-safe place to get much-needed checkups between visits to their doctors.
"The mothers will have their blood pressure checked, they will be screened for any other complications or concerns they might be having, any symptoms that might be related to preeclampsia or hypertension,” Sude said.
The organization says of those 540 visits, 20 mothers were identified to have postpartum hypertension and referred for follow up care. One mother was immediately hospitalized for pre-eclampsia 12 days after giving birth.
The van is funded in part by groups including March of Dimes and New Haven Healthy Start. It now also offers flu vaccines, childcare supplies, and breastfeeding support.
“What we do is requested by the community, it’s highly accepted by the community, but financially it’s not the most efficient way to deliver care. And we rely on their support,” said Sude.
They’re finding ways to extend that postpartum help after the pandemic.
Dr. Uluski says as Connecticut comes back, it’s still important for parents to stay vigilant.
“I know parties are starting up, birthday parties, get togethers, and we are still seeing the spread go through kids,” Uluski said. He says they’re looking forward to when the office is able to offer the vaccine to their pediatric patients.