San Francisco General Hospital delivers care to vast numbers of the city’s most underserved patients, and the Children’s Health Center is the primary and urgent care center of the city’s public pediatric services. Having worked in the community with low-income Spanish speaking children and families and on access to care issues for much of her career, the Center was a perfect match for Karen Duderstadt, RN, PhD, CPNP, PCNS. She joined the Center in 2005, and over the last five years, she has been instrumental in providing opportunities for pediatric and family nurse practitioner students and graduates in the Center. Karen provides pediatric primary care two days week and precepts nine to eleven students annually at the Center. Patients are assigned equally to primary care providers in the Center- PNPs, Residents, and Staff Physicians. PNPs have their own panel of patients and are responsible for all aspects of care for the child and family-including initial and follow up care for two to three newborns per week.
Shannon Thyne, MD, Medical Director of the Children’s Health Center, has worked closely with the faculty and administration of the Department of Family Health Care Nursing and has fostered PNP practice in the Center. In her position as Director, Dr. Thyne realized more nurse practitioners meant increased capacity and better continuity of care, and this became part of her vision for expansion and quality of care for the patients and families served by the clinic. Since 2005, Karen Duderstadt has worked with Dr. Thyne to hire five additional PNPs in the Center- all past grads of the UCSF APPN program. Practicing at the Children’s Health Center is particularly rewarding, as PNPs are valued and practice to the full extent of their education. Collaboration is fostered in the Center and benefits the population of diverse pediatric patients, as providers understand what’s available and can easily refer patients or call for consultations as needed. This increases patient access to continuous, high quality care and reduces health care costs.