House Calls for Kids: Why a physician assistant is going all-in on a new venture

Physician assistant launches house calls for kids
Jennifer Boyd, House Calls for Kids
Posted at 6:16 AM, Jun 10, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-10 18:22:47-04

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — In December, in the middle of the pandemic, PA Jennifer Boyd launched House Calls for Kids. A business she wanted to start for several years but couldn't find the time.

ABC Action News reporter Michael Paluska went on a house call with Boyd to see how the process worked. From door to check-up, Boyd was finished in about 30-minutes.

We watched as Boyd did a medical check-up on sisters Abigail and Maggie as they got ready for summer camp.

"They needed their forms filled out, and yeah, I could've taken them to the pediatrician, but that would be a big production, so instead, we called House Calls for Kids," Sarah Albert said. Abigail and Maggie are two of Albert's four kids. "It's just so much easier, so my kids are running around the house instead of running around a waiting room,"

Anyone with kids knows simple tasks can be challenging.

"Getting in and out of the car takes longer than one might think it would it's a big effort, so to be able to have my kids seen by a medical professional at home is a lot easier," Albert said.

Boyd now works two jobs. She makes house calls for her emerging business and still works as a physician assistant.

"I've been a PA for 11 years now, and I've only done trauma and emergency medicine," Boyd said.

So far, Boyd says the house call model is catching on.

"I've been to people's houses six, seven plus times now," Boyd said. "They've just had such a wonderful experience with everything, and it does feel safer you have a little bit more control over the environment. It's limited to people coming in and out. No other children are coming into the situation, so it's really made them more comfortable."

In the 1930s, according to the American Academy of Family Physicians, more than 40% of all doctor-patient visits were in-home.

Boyd says the pandemic shifted the focus on how people receive care, and she wants to fill the void.

"Everything is clean before we come, so there are limited new germs coming into the house, and they are not bringing their kids to a place where there are a bunch of germs already," Boyd said. "Our providers have years and years of pediatric experience and emergency medicine experience. So, we've seen very critically ill patients to just normal cough and colds, which gives us that ability to see if there is something more critical that needs to be taken to the emergency center if it's not something we can manage at home."

House Calls for Kids is open seven days a week. Monday through Friday, noon to midnight and weekends 9 a.m. to midnight.

"To be able to stay home and not take time to the pediatrician's office or the hospital especially sounds like a much better option," Albert said.