MOUNTAIN TOP — Pediatric Associates of Kingston (PAK), established in 1967, hasn’t had an office in Mountain Top since 1982.
Forty years later, PAK Pediatrics is once again serving the community with its new office at 239 S. Mountain Blvd. (Suite 600) in the Commonwealth Health building.
Jillian McLaughlin, DO, serves as a pediatrician at the new office and took some time to speak with a reporter in late March about the importance of the new clinic.
“It’s much needed in this area,” McLaughlin said. “I mean, when your kid is sick, you don’t want to be driving 20, 30 minutes (to other PAK offices in Kingston or Pittson). It’s nice to have access right here in your community.”
McLaughlin is from New Jersey originally where she attended The Academy of Allied Health and Science High School, beginning her medical career early. She then did her undergraduate and medical school training at Florida at Nova Southeastern University College of Medicine before completing her pediatric residency at Connecticut Children’s Medical Center.
“When we moved here in July, I was looking for a position, but I wanted something unique, like something a little more innovative than the traditional practice,” McLaughlin said of moving back to the area with her family.
Her husband was raised in the area and was a patient at PAK throughout his youth. McLaughlin explained that her mother-in-law, who had taken all of her children to PAK, told her about the practice.
From there, McLaughlin took a phone call with Dr. Kile (Jeffrey R. Kile, MD, MHA), who she said is, “the owner, one of the partners.” They spoke for an hour. “It was just so down to earth and made me excited about practicing again,” McLaughlin said. She then met everyone and “loved what they’re all about,” and joined the team at PAK.
McLaughlin spoke highly of the first month in the new location. “It’s been very well received by parents and families. People are excited about it,” she said, though she did admit things have been a bit busier than she expected.
“It isn’t an unusual season right now. Lots of very strong viruses going around, masks are coming off. So, we’re seeing a pretty diverse mixture of things,” McLaughlin remarked, unwavering by the busy days and instead staying diligent, helpful and flexible in scheduling. “It’s nice because I’m taking new patients and I’m also helping transition families and patients who want to be primarily in Mountain Top.”
McLaughlin said that she and the staff at PAK Mountain Top have really enjoyed getting to know the families and patients, as well being accessible to area residents in search of primary care for their children.
“It’s a privilege, for sure,” McLaughlin said of being able to provide care to the children. “I get very sappy, but kids are really the brighter part of our futures,” she reflected.
And as for PAK’s new office? Well, McLaughlin offered, “I am very optimistic about the growth of this practice. PAK is very innovative. They’re just different from other practices and other pediatric models,” she said, highlighting PAK’s community outreach programs, pleasant workers and ability to make kids feel comfortable.
On a personal level, McLaughlin said of the area, “It’s amazing that I’m not even from here, and it was my dream to come back here. Once I got to know the area and the people, I’m like ‘This is where I wanna raise my kids.’ I never committed to a single practice. I wanted to wait until it was the right match.”
And it seems as though the right match has been made.
For more information on PAK and its offices or scheduling, including Mountain Top, visit the website at www.pakpeds.com. The phone number for the Mountain Top office is 570-715-7020.