Every August, RVNAhealth hosts a series of well-child clinics offering physicals and immunizations to area children from birth to age 18.

Despite the difficulties this year presents, the clinics will go on — made possible through grants from the Barker Welfare Foundation, the Ridgefield Fresh Air Fund, the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, and through the time and expertise volunteered by local physicians.

The clinics are especially intended for families who do not have health insurance, or whose insurance does not cover annual physicals and immunizations, but are open to all.

This year, the RVNA views the clinics as particularly important since the coronavirus pandemic has caused profound delays in routine screenings and immunizations.

According to the Connecticut Department of Health, state-supplied vaccines were down 13 percent in March and 43 percent in April 2020 versus those same months in 2019. Children not protected by vaccines become more vulnerable to preventable diseases such as measles.

RVNAhealth well-child visits include vision and hearing tests; height and weight measurements; anemia screening; blood pressure; a doctor examination, as well as required vaccines or immunizations that are due.

Clinic schedule

All clinics are held at RVNAhealth at 27 Governor Street in Ridgefield.

Wednesday, Aug. 5 —Jay D’Orso, M.D., Nuvance Health, 6 to 8 p.m.

Wednesday, Aug. 12 - Joseph Cleary, M.D., Nuvance Health. 3 to 6 p.m.

Additional clinics are presently being scheduled and will be added at rvnahealth.org/services/be-well/well-child-clinics/

“2020 has been different in every possible way, and it has been easy to lose track of wellness and prevention,” said Theresa Santoro, RVNAhealth President and CEO. “But, as we know, both are critical to good health - particularly for children. We are very grateful to our donors and our volunteer physicians for partnering with us again to offer the highest quality health care to our local children and families.”

Safety procedures

To ensure a safe and healthy environment for patients and staff, RVNAhealth has implemented several new procedures this year.

  Patients will wait for their appointments in their cars and simply text or call upon arrival to check.

  Paperwork will be sent in advance to avoid waiting room time and congestion.

  All patients and parents will be asked to complete a COVID-19 screening and be temperature-checked prior to entry.

  Face masks are required inside the building.

RVNAhealth staff and Well-Child physicians will follow the same protocols and will be wearing Personal Protective Equipment. RVNAhealth follows strict infection control and hygiene practices and has extensive cleaning measures of all equipment and facilities.

The RVNAhealth building and organization has been operating throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and have been 100 percent successful in maintaining a COVID-free facility.