Mental Health Updates 09/2023:
We welcomed Stephanie Pomales, LCSW to our mental health department this month. She joins Caitlin Carlson, LCSW in providing solution focused therapy (short term therapy of 6-8 sessions) to our patients at PAA. Please call into the office or speak with your medical provider when in office if you would like for your child to be placed on the waiting list for therapy.
PAA is participating in VA-YSBIRT: Virginia Youth Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment. This is a federally funded program designed to screen youth for substance abuse and provide resources for treatment. We are excited to be part of this program as it will enable us to expand our services to our patients and families.
As pediatric providers, it is our job to make sure children and young people grow up healthy: to eat healthy so bodies grow healthy, to make sure school is healthy so brains are learning healthy, and to make sure minds are healthy so feelings are healthy. We continue to offer initial ADHD evaluations, initial Behavioral evaluations and initial Adolescent evaluations to our PAA patients in our efforts to help them grow up healthy.
Update from Dr. Kernan regarding ADHD follow-ups with Dr. Shropshire:
Dr. Lowry Shropshire, our developmental pediatrician at PAA, has been providing outstanding care to patients for many years. As our society works to understand how a child’s brain grows and develops, especially as faced with the challenges of COVID, the need for developmental pediatric services has grown. In an effort to improve access to Developmental Pediatric consultation with Dr. Shropshire, effective June 15, 2023, Dr. Shropshire will no longer be seeing patients for ADHD medication management follow up appointments.
ADHD care and medical management for Dr. Shropshire’s existing patients may be transferred to another one of our providers who has experience and training in managing ADHD. Many of our providers have done extra training in the diagnosis and management of ADHD.
The following providers are available to manage ADHD care:
Dr. Anne Kernan
Dr. Michael Hopper
Dr. Samantha Ahdoot
Dr. Andreas Sideridis
Dr. Marie Dierks
Dr. Mary Jane Bryant
Frank Tardo, CFNP
Please call the office or send a portal message to schedule your child’s next ADHD follow up visit.
Anne Kernan, MD, PAA Managing Partner Behavioral/Mental Health Services
Mental Health Counseling Services at PAA
In an effort to expand access to mental health counseling services, the following changes are being made at Pediatric Associates of Alexandria.
Counseling format will shift to solution focused therapy. This is short-term therapy that will focus on one to two treatment goals that are achievable in a few months’ time, typically 6-8 sessions completed over a 3 month time period. Our therapists may advise patients to connect to other external resource providers or longer-term care if more appropriate based on the patient's mental health concerns.
Anxiety, depression, and behavioral assessments may be scheduled at PAA. We use clinical interviews and written assessment tools to make a diagnosis. Then individual treatment plans are developed which utilize resources in the community and at PAA. There are various programs available within the community as well.
Mental Health Programs:
Inpatient: crisis stabilization for patients with suicidal or homicidal ideation.
Residential: long term inpatient treatment (usually weeks long) for medically stabile patients not in crisis. These facilities have psychiatrists and therapists. Often used as a step down from crisis hospitalization, can also be accessed by families after evaluation through the facility determining the appropriate level of care.
Partial Hospitalization Programs (PHP): Day programs where patient is at the facility typically during school hours. Sometimes schoolwork that has been coordinated by patient’s home school is done during some of time patient is at program. Care by psychiatrists and therapists. Step down care or accessed by families after evaluation through the facility determining the appropriate level of care.
Intensive Outpatient Programs (IOP): 3-4 hour sessions 3-4 days per week. Usually after school. Care by therapists. Step down care or accessed by families after evaluation through the facility determining the appropriate level of care.
Below is a listing of some of the programs in our area. The telephone number is the general number to contact for information and to schedule an evaluation for patients. Families may contact them directly.
Dominion: 703-538-2872: Have all of the above programs for all ages, have only program in NoVa for children 5-12 years old.
Inova Kellar Center: 703-218-8500: Have PHP and IOP, adolescent programs.
North Springs: 703-554-6300: Have all of the above programs for patients under 18 years old. Located in Leesburg, do have busing to Fairfax area.
Discover Mood and Anxiety Program: 844-952-4201: Have Residential, PHP and IOP, adolescent and adult programs. Multiple locations in Fairfax County.
Youth for Tomorrow: 703-368-7995: Have Residential, PHP, in home counseling for adolescents. Multiple locations in Northern VA.
Embark: 703-382-7749: Have Residential and IOP for adolescents. Located in Tyson’s Corner.
Please see the following links for additional resources:
Bridge to Resources VA A no-cost searchable social resources platform available for anyone in need. Outlines local providers/mental health resources in your area