Families in southeastern North Carolina who need pediatric specialty care can now see a doctor far faster. Novant Health and its physicians have been rolling out a strategy to expand pediatric specialty care to include access points in Onslow and Brunswick counties. Novant Health has worked to build existing services, and a partnership with UNC Health and UNC School of Medicine in 2021 accelerated expansion with additional resources and specialists.

Dr. Jaskolka wears a black sport coat and tie and smiles at the camera.
Dr. Michael Jaskolka

"Bringing your child to a specialty pediatric appointment already requires a time commitment for the family," said Dr. Michael Jaskolka, clinical physician executive for the Novant Health Women’s & Children’s Institute within the coastal region. “We're very pleased to offer expanded appointment times closer to home to support the many children and families we serve who live farther away from our Wilmington locations."

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Do you live in New Hanover, Brunswick or Onslow county? Here’s what your family needs to know.

Wait times to see specialty care doctors are rapidly decreasing.

In past years, the limited number of pediatric specialists practicing in the region left many families driving hours to get timely care. Now, pediatric appointments in Jacksonville alone save families roughly 10,000 miles of travel every month.

Dr. Paris wears a pink turtleneck and smiles at the camera.
Dr. Yvonne Paris

“It’s now only a two-week wait to see a pediatric cardiologist,” said Dr. Yvonne Paris, medical director and pediatric cardiologist at Novant Health Nunnelee Pediatric Multispecialty Care - Autumn Hall. “Earlier access is important.”

Patients and their families can stay closer to home, and the reduced travel time makes it easier to follow up with important appointments and treatment.

What pediatric specialty care services are currently available?

By building up existing services and establishing more locations for care, Novant Health has expanded the following core medical specialties:

  • Pediatric cardiology.
  • Pediatric neurology.
  • Pediatric pulmonology.
  • Pediatric gastroenterology, with endocrinology underway.

Pediatric patients can also now receive care for hematology, rheumatology, urology, neurology and nephrology conditions, as well as for feeding disorders.

Where is this specialty care being offered?

At Novant Health Jacksonville Medical Plaza, specialty services now include pediatric neurology, endocrinology, surgery/urology and hematology, in addition to existing pediatric gastroenterology and cardiology services.

In Brunswick County, gastroenterology and cardiology appointments are now available monthly at Novant Health Pediatrics Brunswick in Supply.

Children also see specialty physicians and receive treatment at Novant Health Nunnelee Pediatric Multispecialty Care - Autumn Hall and Novant Health Betty H. Cameron Women’s & Children’s Hospital, both located in Wilmington.

Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center is now a central location for pediatric care and referrals.

Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center is equipped with a Level III NICU (Level IV is the highest), pediatric intensive care, 24/7 full-time pediatric hospitalist providers, pediatric and thoracic surgeries as core services, and a cleft and craniofacial program. The program is supported with dedicated pediatric anesthesiology and radiology, a child-focused MRI suite, and child life specialists to help children adjust to hospitalization.

“Pediatric service expansion has been a recognized need for a long time in the area,” Jaskolka said. “It’s part of the transformation of Novant Health New Hanover Regional Medical Center into a regional referral center.”

Pediatric specialty care offerings and appointment times will continue to grow and expand in Coastal North Carolina.

"These expansions are so meaningful because we hear from families who are grateful their child can access this advanced care closer to home," Paris said. "We are excited about our future efforts to continue to grow Novant Health UNC Children's care options."