Posts tagged capitol family
Here’s to a healthy school year with Dr. Jepson

With the new school year underway, we asked Pediatrician Lance Jepson how parents can help keep their kids healthy.

What are some things parents can do to help protect their kids from health risks during the school year?

Dr. Jepson: One of the best things that parents can do is make sure kids are getting their recommended immunizations. Also make sure you’re encouraging good hand hygiene. And when they do get an illness, encourage them to cover a cough appropriately, use tissues, and wash their hands after they do. It’s not just about washing hands, but also washing them well. Have them sing the “Happy Birthday” song two times while they wash to make sure they’ve washed long enough.


Dr. Jepson is a pediatrician at our Topeka clinics.

Dr. Jepson studied at Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences. He loves watching the amazing changes children experience from early infancy through the teenage years. He finds it an honor to serve the residents of Kansas and to share the joy of child development with their parents. In his free time, Dr. Jepson likes spending time with his wife and two sons at museums and parks in the Kansas region.

Required immunizations are different for kids at different ages. Is there an easy way for parents to keep up with the schedules?

Visit the Center for Disease Control’s site. You can even do searches for vaccinations by your child’s age on some parent-specific sites and get the information you need.


Dr J’s ABCs of Classroom Health


Always wash your hands before lunch.


Be sure to get your vaccinations.


Cough into your sleeve, not your hands.


How do parents know when to keep their children home from school or when to contact a doctor?

The biggest thing I’d watch for is fever, anything from 100.4°F or higher. Also if the child is vomiting, you should keep them out and away from other kids. And if they’re having any kind of of breathing difficulty as well. If they’re having any of these kinds of symptoms, you should follow up with your doctor for further evaluation.

It’s not uncommon to have fever in the first two to three days with viral illness. Early on you can usually just make sure they’re keeping fluids down and give them Tylenol® or ibuprofen as needed. If the fever goes beyond that time, or you’re having vomiting or breathing issues, we need to see that child. Many cases are viral, however, and antibiotics are not going to have any benefit. Home care can really be adequate for most viruses. If they are no longer having symptoms and are over their fever for 24 hours, they can generally return to school.

Are there things parents can do to encourage healthier lifestyles during the school year?

Healthy food choices are best, and it’s better to work together as a family on meal plans rather than just single out the kids. And if you establish those choices early on, it sets an example for the kids to follow when they grow up. Having meals together and turning off the tablets during meals is a good idea, too. The interaction with your kids is so important, so you can be aware of what’s happened in their day.

Asthma and allergies are a problem for a lot of kids. Anything parents can do to manage these risks better?

In households where there’s smoking, try to remove exposure. Removing smoke from the environment entirely is best because it gets into clothing and hair which triggers asthma and allergies. Make sure air filters are changed regularly. Also guard against moisture that can develop mold. And now that we’re into fall, we tend to want to open windows. But remember the air outside with elevated ragweed count can be a trigger as well.

Resources to help children cope with school-related stress

Dr. Jepson and Rita Zeller, our Behavioral Health Consultant, have identified the following list of resources that can be helpful to help children cope with the stress that can come with a school year. Some of these resources are free, while others may have a fee associated with them. 

Project Wellspring Meets Mabee Challenge

GraceMed has raised the $3.44 million of its $3.94 million campaign goal for Project Wellspring, which we needed to meet the $500,000 challenge grant from the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation. An additional donation from Stormont-Vail Health helped to ensure GraceMed met the challenge and received the grant funding from the foundation.

“GraceMed is such an important partner in our community,” said Randy Peterson, Stormont Vail Health President & CEO. “Being able to provide additional financial support to help them secure the Mabee funds, along with a number of other community organizations and individuals, better ensures access to quality healthcare for anyone in need.”


The new clinic at 1400 SW Huntoon serves as Topeka’s hub clinic for operations.

The 23,000 square foot Capitol Family Clinic, built on the framework of what was once a grocery store, expands GraceMed’s total capacity for service in Topeka to 10,000 patients per year. It replaces our previous location on the grounds of Stormont Vail Hospital. We continue to see patients at our Highland Park Family Clinic.

The support GraceMed has received from the community has been tremendous. Building this clinic in the heart of Topeka and offering high-quality healthcare ensures we will be able to better meet the needs of the community for years to come.
— Dave Sanford, GraceMed Chief Executive Officer

GraceMed received a $1 million grant from the Health Resources Services Administration, followed by commitments from the Shawnee County Board of County Commissioners, Stormont Vail Health and the St. Francis Foundation/SCL.

In April 2017, the capital campaign officially launched Project Wellspring and the Capitol Federal® Foundation kicked things off with a $500,000 donation, which was followed by substantial gifts from Security Benefit Corporation, the Lewis H. Humphreys Charitable Trust, Sunderland Foundation, AIM 5 Foundation, Kansas Gas Service, as well as numerous individuals.


The clinic opened in mid-August of 2018 while the capital campaign was still pursuing its final goal.

A list of donors is being prepared for release soon. We will also recognize donors on a permanent display, the Hopecare Cross, in the patient waiting area. We will hold an event in appreciation of our Wellspring contributors in the spring.