Last August, The Children’s Hospital opened a pediatric specialty care clinic in Winchester. Kevin Kollins, MD, a fellowship-trained pediatric cardiologist, provides heart care for newborns, adolescents, and adults at the clinic. He is the first full-time pediatric subspecialist serving the community of Winchester. Dr. Kollins discusses clinic success, future plans, and his favorite part of his work:
Q: How is the clinic doing since opening in August?
A: The clinic is doing really well – we are growing and seeing a lot more patients. It’s nice to have one place for all pediatric subspecialties to see patients in Winchester, which is a great service to the community here. In addition to full-time pediatric cardiology, when we opened, we had monthly to quarterly clinics in pediatric endocrinology, genetics, and nephrology. Since opening in August we’ve been fortunate to add pediatric urology and plastic surgery to the clinics being held here.
I also have consulting privileges at Winchester Medical Center, the local hospital here. They have a pediatric inpatient floor and I’m also part of the local pediatrics department. I attend monthly meetings and everyone is thrilled that UVA is here providing pediatric subspecialty care. We are meeting the needs of the community more and more and hopefully that will just continue to grow.
Q: How has the number of patients changed?
A: Before, we had one full of day of pediatric cardiology clinic. Now, we have three full days plus spillover. We’ve tripled the volume for UVA. Our ultimate goal is to continue to grow and to hire another full-time pediatric cardiologist to also live in this area. We hope to grow into other areas of Virginia, as well.
Q: Is there one story that really stands out for you?
A: I received a call from the inpatient floor a few weeks ago while I was in clinic. A 5 month old had been admitted for respiratory issues. I found time to go to the hospital during clinic and found that the child had a dilated heart with very poor ventricular function. We sent her to The Pediatric Intensive Care Unit at UVA. She was diagnosed with a rare disease called Anomalous Left Coronary from the Pulmonary Artery (ALCPA) and had surgery that week. She is now doing much better!
Here’s another story that stands out: I got a text about a 3 month old that had a heart rate of 240 and had Supraventricular Tachycardia (SVT). Before, he would have been immediately sent to Charlottesville, but with me here, we started medicine and treated him locally. The family didn’t have to scramble to make travel plans.
We’ve sent numerous patients to surgery in Charlottesville but now, they get to follow up with me here in Winchester instead of having to commute. That has made a huge difference and the families are grateful for that.
Q: Overall, what is your favorite part of your work?
A: I love the diversity. I wanted to have a job where I wasn’t in clinic all day, every day. Now, I get to work with neonatologists and pediatricians and I am often in the hospital setting for consultations. I value the close relationships I’ve developed with the pediatricians. I’ve gotten to know them really well and it’s nice to know everyone by name. On Wednesdays, I drive to Charlottesville for the weekly UVA Heart Center surgical case management conference. I see all my colleagues and I get to be in an academic setting. The mix of clinic, academic work, and inpatient care is the right balance for me.
When I entered medical school, I initially wanted to go into rural family medicine and serve a smaller community. After falling in love with pediatric cardiology, I didn’t think that would be possible, but living in Winchester and being part of UVA has created a perfect mix. I now feel like I’m part of a great local community while being a part of a larger academic center.
Q: What excites you about the future?
A: I am excited to get involved in the community. There is a Mended Little Hearts chapter in the area and we work closely with them. They recently held a “Roar ‘N Run” fundraising event and we hosted a party for those kids here in the clinic. So far, the reception in the community has been great.
I’m also excited about adding more and more subspecialty clinics as we grow to continue to serve the children in this area that before needed to travel to Charlottesville or Northern Virginia to receive care. Hopefully we’ll eventually have some other full-time subspecialists from UVA that move into the area!
The Pediatric Specialty Care Clinic is located at 1829 Plaza Drive in Winchester off U.S. 50 near Interstate 81, and is open 8am-5pm Monday-Friday. For more information, please contact the clinic at 540-678-3950.
Here are a few photos from the clinic and from the “Roar ‘N Run” party:
Filed Under: Features