Barrington pediatricians’ care stretches to the Lake Shore
Dr. Riley Minster of Lake Shore Pediatrics examines patient Madelyn Kleemann of Wauconda on Feb. 11 at Lake Shore's Barrington office. | Buzz Orr~Sun-Times Media
Updated: April 8, 2013 6:03AM
BARRINGTON — What began as a small, three-doctor practice in Barrington nearly 30 years ago, is now treating children and teens in the northern suburbs all the way east to Lake Michigan.
Barrington-based Lake Shore Pediatrics now has offices in Libertyville and Lake Forest as well.
The Barrington location is on the grounds of Advocate Good Shepherd Hospital, but Lake Shore remains an independent practice.
“We are on staff there, but we are not employed by them,” Dr. Riley Minster said. “We’re independent and we’re trying to stay that way.”
But the close relationship between Good Shepherd and Lake Shore also works to benefit patients.
Minster explained that Lake Shore is able to quickly refer patients to Good Shepherd in the event of an emergency or the need to see a specialist.
Lake Shore doctors Sheri Ross and Diane Fondriest, who just completed their medical school residencies when they started the practice in 1984, reported that they see roughly 20 to 30 patients a day at the Barrington office. The majority of patients come from the Barrington and Lake Zurich area with others as far as Crystal Lake and the surrounding areas.
“We’ve got a huge geographical area,” Ross said.
The winter, Ross explained, is actually the busiest time of the year for a doctor’s office.
“It’s a seasonal business, and a lot of people don’t realize that,” said Ross, noting that business picks up around flu season.
Doctors typically treat more injuries from camps and sports during the summer, Ross added. Appointments pick up again for physicals when the new school year approaches.
Ross and Fondriest both highlighted several dramatic changes in the medical field since they set out in 1984.
Children and teens today are generally healthier, they said, due to vaccines and preventative care.
“The types of problems we’ve seen over the years have changed,” Fondriest said. “We’ve had a great decrease in infectious diseases.”
Bacterial meningitis, septicemia, and bacterial eye and respiratory diseases are among the diseases doctors see less of today, Fondriest said.
Minster said there also has been a shift toward more detailed concussion evaluations and mental health screenings.
What used to be called check-ups, he added, are now called wellness visits. At-home treatments for conditions like asthma also have changed the dynamics of pediatric medicine.
“There’s a big focus on preventative care,” Minster explained.
In March, the Barrington office is set to start using electronic medical records, which is a shift many physicians are making nationwide.
The business side of medicine has changed dramatically, too.
On Jan. 1, Lake Shore joined with six other practices under Pediatrust, an umbrella organization that allows physicians to remain in control of their practices.
“It’s a changing health care landscape,” said Minster, noting that many hospitals are buying smaller, more specialized practices like cardiac centers. Pediatrust was founded to strengthen the independence of such practices. All seven practices under Pediatrust are in the Chicago area.
While Riley, Ross and Fondriest all set out in different areas of medicine, they all eventually found their home in pediatrics. Much of the reason is the joy they have found working with children.
“Pediatrics seemed like the most fun,” said Minster.
“We all came about it in different ways,” added Ross, who initially debated career paths through art school and medical school.