Essentia Health emphasizes importance of preventive well-child visits


Preventive medical care remains critically important even during a global pandemic, so Essentia Health is reminding parents to schedule well-child visits.

Well-child visits cover topics like children’s growth and development, nutrition, safety, and emotional and physical well-being.

Scheduled vaccines, which prevent viral infections like measles, mumps, polio and hepatitis, also are administered during these visits.

“We get to know your family, encourage healthy lifestyles and ensure that your children are growing appropriately - mentally, socially and physically,” said Dr. Jonathan KenKnight, a pediatrician at Essentia. “As long as we are able to provide this service safely, seeing our families face-to-face in the office is vitally important to continue to carefully monitor your child’s health, from infancy to young adulthood.”

Other benefits include:


  • Prevention: The child gets scheduled immunizations to prevent illness. Parents also can ask their pediatrician about nutrition and safety in the home and at school.

  • Tracking growth and development: See how much a child has grown in the time since the last visit, and talk with the doctor about the child’s development. Parents can discuss their child’s milestones, social behaviors and learning.

  • Raising concerns: Make a list of topics to talk about with the pediatrician, such as development, behavior, sleep, eating or getting along with other family members.

  • Team approach: Regular visits create strong, trustworthy relationships among the pediatrician, the parents and the child. This team approach helps children develop optimal physical, mental and social health.

Nancy Vogt is editor of the Pineandlakes Echo Journal, a weekly newspaper that covers eight communities in the Pequot Lakes-Pine River areas - from Nisswa to Hackensack and Pequot Lakes to Crosslake.

She started as editor of the Lake Country Echo in July 2006, and continued in that role when the Lake Country Echo and the Pine River Journal combined in September 2013 to become the Pineandlakes Echo Journal. She worked for the Brainerd Dispatch from 1992-2006 in various roles.

She covers Nisswa, Pequot Lakes, Lake Shore and Crosslake city councils, as well as writes feature stories, news stories and personal columns (Vogt's Notes). She also takes photos at community events.

Contact her at or 218-855-5877 with story ideas or questions. Be sure to leave a voicemail message!
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