Pediatrics practice grew from idea born during doctor’s earliest days

From the time she was a little girl, Dr. Julie Peterson has wanted to work with children: “I always knew from the beginning that I would do something with kids—either working in early elementary education or pediatrics.”
Along the way, Peterson decided to focus on pediatrics. After graduating from medical school at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, she moved to the Valley and started practicing in 1998.
After working in a larger pediatric practice for about five years with fellow pediatrician Dr. Courtney Bishop and physician assistant Theresa Lindstrom, Peterson said the three decided they wanted to work in a smaller office that had a more personal atmosphere and that would allow them to spend more time with their own growing families.
Eight years ago this fall, the trio opened Step by Step Pediatrics. Originally located in Ahwatukee, the practice is now in west Chandler.
The all-female staff has grown a bit over the years—Dr. Tanya Horner and certified pediatric nurse practitioners Bev Ricketts and Beth Jaco now work there too. What has not changed, though, is the practice’s commitment to offering its young patients skilled care in a family-friendly environment combined with flexible work schedules for everyone on staff.
“When parents call in, we make sure that their child is seen that day; we make sure our office is staffed at all times to be sure all kids are seen,” Peterson said.
“We are also all moms who want to spend time with our families and our children; we all work flexible hours so this can happen.”
This philosophy, Peterson said, has helped create a staff that is extremely happy and content.
“When people are pleased with their hours and their work, it just makes for a better staff,” she said.
Horner said she has noticed that patients often pick up on the staff’s enthusiasm to work there.
“I think that the kids can sense that,” she said. “We take good care of them, and their parents can see that we are happy to be here.”
Peterson said that the practice, which she owns along with Bishop, Horner and Lindstrom, does a lot of outpatient pediatric care, including an increasing number of patients with asthma, allergies or both.
“We also treat a lot of children with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder),” she said.
“General pediatrics also involves a lot of developmental pediatrics, making sure each child is developing as he or she should.”
For Peterson, who has three children of her own, working at Step by Step Pediatrics gives her “the best of both worlds.”
“I have an active and happy family and I love being with them, and I also love seeing kids and treating them while having the chance to work with people who are my friends,” she said.
Horner, a mother of two, said she appreciates spending her days with people who all genuinely love working with children.
“I also really like the educational aspect of the work that I do. Parents come in and ask questions, and I enjoy helping to guide them on how to take care of their children so that they can grow into healthy adults.”
The practice is at 5680 W. Chandler Blvd., Suite 3, Chandler. 480-775-0440. Information: www.stepbysteppediatrics.com

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