November 14, 2020 Healthy Living

Top Doctor: Four Seasons Pediatrics

Four Seasons Pediatrics in Clifton Park, New York, has done what many other small businesses would consider impossible: built a successful physician practice on the sole tenet of improving the lives of others. 

“We look at this as our family. We’re a family. The people who work for us are family, and our patients are family.”

That’s according to Dr. Kimberly Elmer, who started the practice 19 years ago with her husband, Dr. Harry Miller. The couple met at Albany Medical Center. He was an attending physician. She was a resident. Today, they run the Capital Region’s top-performing primary care practice, where they focus on building stronger, healthier communities.

We look at this as our family. We’re a family. The people who work for us are family, and our patients are family.

Dr. Kimberly Elmer

“It’s demanding job but we love working together. We recognize it’s not for everybody!” said Dr. Elmer.

Dr. Kimberly Elmer and Dr. Harry Miller

The husband-wife team complement each other well; he focuses on the clinical side of the house, while she keeps her eye on administrative work. Kimberly also serves as a lactation consultant for the practice’s new mothers. In fact, their focus on young families has driven much of their success. 

“We’ve always been very proactive at marketing to young families. We started out by sending postcards to new moms, saying ‘let our family take care of yours.’ Now, social media is a big part of our strategy, and it’s helped us grow in a measured, sustainable way.” said Dr. Elmer.

Four Seasons Pediatrics

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Another unique aspect of Four Seasons Pediatrics is its non-negotiable vaccine policy. In order to protect its entire patient population – including infants who are too young to be vaccinated and those with compromised immune systems – the practice has a mandatory vaccination policy for all communicable diseases for which a vaccine is available.*

“We don’t just shut the door on parents who have concerns. We try to have a conversation because we believe immunizations are the right thing.” said Dr. Miller.

Vaccinations aside, the practice takes a conservative approach to medicine, particularly when it comes to medications, such as antibiotics.

“One of the things we tell our young, new parents is that ‘sometimes, it’s easier to write a prescription than explain to someone why they don’t need it.’ We won’t do that, we will take the time to explain why they don’t need a prescription, and what to look for when they do.

We can’t have a fireside chat with every patient, but we make the time to really listen to our patients, answer their questions, and come up with the best plan.” said Dr. Miller.

*Four Seasons Pediatrics does not mandate flu shots and has yet to formalize its policy when a COVID-19 vaccine is approved.

John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP
About Author

John D. Bennett, MD, FACC, FACP, is president and CEO of Capital District Physicians’ Health Plan, Inc. (CDPHP), an award-winning, physician aligned, not-for-profit health plan based in Albany, NY. Bennett has held the position since 2008 after serving more than 10 years as chair, vice chair, and board member for CDPHP. During his tenure, CDPHP has been ranked among the top-performing health plans in New York and the nation, most recently named #1 in Customer Satisfaction in the J.D. Power Member Health Plan Study 2021. Under his leadership, CDPHP has also become known as a model employer regionally and nationally, and was recently named among the top three Best Companies to Work for in New York by the Society for Human Resource Management, as well as Forbes Best-in-State Employers 2021. Prior to joining CDPHP, Bennett served as founding member and CEO of Prime Care Physicians, PLLC. During his tenure, he co-led a team of 25 cardiologists and helped grow the practice to a 100-physician multi-specialty group. Bennett is board certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners and the American Board of Internal Medicine, with subspecialties in internal medicine and cardiology. He earned his medical degree at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center, Brooklyn, and a Bachelor of Science degree at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. Bennett completed an internship and residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in cardiovascular disease at Albany Medical Center. He is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology and the American College of Physicians. Bennett is currently board chair for the Center for Economic Growth, and vice chair for the Palace Theatre. Bennett also serves on the boards of the Capital Region Chamber, the New York eHealth Collaborative (NYeC), the Alliance of Community Health Plans (ACHP), America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, and Russell Sage Colleges. Bennett is a member of the New York Public Health and Health Planning Council, where he helps shape decisions related to New York State's public health and health care delivery system. Well-known locally and nationally for advancing health care innovation, Bennett was recently named to Crain’s New York Business 2021 Notable in Health Care, as well as the Albany Business Review’s Power 50 list.

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