FORT LEE, Va. (Sept. 5, 2013) -- Perhaps you've noticed the large pictures of horses and zebras that adorn the walls of the Wilkerson Pediatric Clinic, or you may have seen nurses in zebra-print scrubs.

There is a reason for all the hoopla over these four-legged creatures. The Pediatric Clinic now operates under a Patient Centered Medical Home model of care, which offers a more personalized experience for beneficiaries. Families using the clinic will be assigned to a single team that will be responsible for their children's specific health care needs. The medical home team will provide treatment, coordinate referrals, follow-up with specialists, establish care plans for children with chronic illness and more.

The Patient Centered Medical Home approach to health care embraces several successful principles. At the core of these concepts is the idea that each patient has a personal and ongoing relationship with a provider. This provider leads a team of individuals who collectively take responsibility for your child's care. In this approach, care is holistic and focused on each patient's special health concerns. Family dynamics, culture and community are considered an important part of each patient's identity and, thus, play a key role in the delivery of health care.

At this point, you're probably wondering how the zebras and horses play into this process. Well, the clinic uses those animals as a memory guide. If your assigned primary care manager is Dr. Eduardo Sinaguinan, Julia Patsell or Allison Rank, then you are on the Zebra Team. If your PCM is Dr. Janet West-Brown, Dr. Zenen Limbo-Perez or Elke Zschaebitz, then you are on the Horse Team.

For appointments, parents will still call the Kenner Army Health Clinic appointment line, (866) 533-5242, or they can schedule the required medical services through TRICARE Online.

However, when concerns or issues arise, they can call the clinic directly at (804) 734-9125 to speak with the assigned provider team that will address any questions or concerns. Parents can also call the nurse line at 734-9153. Another option is enrollment in Relay Health, a program that allows beneficiaries to communicate with a health care team by secure email.

The Pediatric Clinic also conducts Self Care and Clinic Orientation sessions on the first Thursday of each month, 6-7 p.m. in the Preventive Medicine Classroom on the 2nd floor of KAHC. Attendees receive a card that allows direct access to common over-the-counter medications from the pharmacy without a prescription. To learn more about the Pediatric Clinic or the Self Care Class, call (804) 734-9125.