It has been nearly 12 years since Jackson County had a dedicated pediatrician, but now that spot has been filled by Dr. Ana Maria Gonzalez CaDavid.

CaDavid spoke at the Ripley Rotary meeting on Wednesday regarding her practice through the outpatient clinic at Jackson General Hospital’s Morad Hughes Health Center.

Originally from Columbia, South America, CaDavid received her medical degree and moved to the United States six years ago with her husband to pursue her dream of becoming a pediatrician.

CaDavid received an e-mail regarding an opening for a pediatrician in Jackson County and decided to apply. Upon arriving for the interview, she fell in love with the area and was excited to receive the job offer.

CaDavid has been working in Jackson County for several months in the outpatient clinic at the MHHC. Her practice is thriving and she currently sees around 20 regular patients.

Her office hours are Monday through Thursday 8 a.m. to 6:30 p.m., taking her last appointment between 5-5:30 p.m. She is accepting new patients ranging in ages newborn to 21-years-old.

Services offered are well-child exams, immunizations; such as, rapid strep tests, flu swabs, hearing and vision screenings, pregnancy tests, and glucose testing just to name a few.

CaDavid encourages parents to vaccinate their children, but realizes it is ultimately up to the parents to decide and respects their decisions. She also works with children who have behavioral issues, but will not prescribe medication without a thorough health check to see what the best course of treatment would be.

Although she does not take walk-ins, same-day sick appointments are available when made in advance by phone.

“I want to be able to give the best quality of care I can to my patients,” CaDavid said. “That is why I wanted to come to the United States once I got my medical degree. There is more opportunity here for starting a practice and the resources and technology are far better here than in Columbia.”

JGH staff members are excited to have CaDavid.

“We want to get the word out that parents do not have to travel to find quality care for their children, we want them to know that it is available right here in Jackson County,” Dee Scritchfield, MHHC practices administrator, said.

For more information or to make an appointment with Dr. CaDavid, call the office at 304-373-1578.

Other business discussed:

• Denise Toler stated that the JGH Clinic in Wal-Mart is open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., Monday through Saturday and the Jackson General Care Clinic in Fruth Pharmacy is open 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 11 am to 7 p.m. on Sundays for all walk-in visits. She also noted the clinic in Fruth Pharmacy served 27 patients on their opening day in January, which was on a Sunday.

• March 30 will be the Main Street Ripley Dinner. Visit Main Street Ripley’s Facebook page or call 304-372-1637 for more information.

• JGH has a car seat program. This program provides parents with information on what types of car seats to use for each age and weight of a child. Special Note – 13 years of age is the required age for a child to be able to sit in the front seat of a car.

• JGH will be offering free six-week classes on learning to control diabetes. They will take place in the hospital’s learning center from 6-8 p.m. beginning Tuesday, April 9. Register by contacting Susan at 304-346-9864 ext. 3221

• JGH is sponsoring a fundraiser for Shelly Routon from 11 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on Friday, March 1, at the JGH Learning Center. Routon is an LPN at Primary Family Care who was diagnosed with colon cancer. She is currently undergoing chemotherapy following her surgery and has been off work since October 2018. The hospital will be selling a $5 meal consisting of two hotdogs, chips, dessert, and a drink. To-go orders will be taken until 4 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 28 by calling 304-372-2731. 100% of the proceeds will benefit Routon and her family as they face this battle.