noviembre 15, 2013
Get to know our Chief of Pediatrics: Jaime Ruiz, MD
As a young adult, Dr. Jaime Ruiz loved working with children and dreamed of becoming an elementary school teacher. Today, as chief of pediatrics and associate medical director at Mission Neighborhood Health Center, he enjoys many teaching moments. After attending Harvard University, and the University of Illinois School of Medicine in Chicago, Dr. Ruiz returned to the Bay Area to complete a residency in pediatrics at California Pacific Medical Center and earn his board-certification in pediatrics. As part of his residency training, he spent half a day a week at Mission Neighborhood Health Center Pediatric Clinic. That was 20 years ago; he never left.
Dr. Ruiz chose pediatrics as his focus because it gives him the opportunity to watch infants evolve into young adults, to share with and teach parents about how to raise happy and healthy children and to develop relationships with families. Something he finds exceedingly gratifying. “I really enjoy seeing these children grow and watching them develop into teenagers and young adults who become advocates for their own healthcare,” said Dr. Ruiz. “We involve the whole family in the child’s care, so we really get to know them, and often help parents and teens communicate and understand concerns. I even find it bittersweet when they move on to the Teen Clinic or Adult Medicine.”
Mission Neighborhood Health Center Pediatrics serves a critical role in the lives of the children and their families in the community. With three sites in the Mission and Excelsior – Shotwell Clinic, Excelsior Clinic and Valencia Clinic – MNHC serves as the medical home for thousands of children and their families coordinating specialty care and follow-through for those who require additional services elsewhere. In addition to general pediatric care, Dr. Ruiz oversees adolescent health services at the Teen Clinic at Shotwell Clinic, another key component of the comprehensive pediatrics program at MNHC, where teens can receive confidential care and services that address their unique needs.
Dr. Ruiz operates under the tenet that a healthy child thrives at home and at school and he and his team are committed to ensuring that MNHC delivers services and care that contribute to each child’s well-being. He prides himself on working with staff that address medical, social and behavioral health issues and have a unique understanding of the social situations patients experience, treating them non-judgmentally with dignity and respect.
In addition to offering school and sports physicals, MNHC is part of Mission Promise – a program dedicated to creating a comprehensive, integrated framework of evidence-based services that responds to urgent needs and builds on the foundation of student, family, community, and school strengths and assets. “It’s a natural partnership given our common goals,” explains Dr. Ruiz. “Collaborating with the schools and community organizations makes a lot of sense to us. It’s important to coordinate care so that for those kids who may have school issues we can act as a liaison to help the schools and organizations (such as daycare, Head Start, and after school programs) better understand what’s going on with student , and avoid duplicating services.”
Dr. Ruiz looks forward to partnering with community organizations and continuing to provide the quality care and service that the community has come to know and expect, contributing to a community of happy and healthy children. And, if you get lucky enough to catch him in action, don’t’ be surprised to see a smile on his face!
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