New Children's Medical Center occupies familiar location

Posted: Tuesday, July 26, 2005


  Pediatrician Dr. Carole Buchholz and her staff, Angela Humphrey & Sheila Oelrich welcomes kids to their new Children's Medical Center in Soldotna.

Pediatrician Dr. Carole Buchholz and her staff, Angela Humphrey & Sheila Oelrich welcomes kids to their new Children's Medical Center in Soldotna.

Those who remember when the Post Office use to be on the Spur Highway in Soldotna will know the location of Dr. Carole Buchholz's Children's Medical Center as where the new Post Office use to be on the Sterling Highway before it moved to Binkley Street. Many others will remember it where Sears use to be across from McDonalds in Soldotna. But for parents and children who have visited pediatrician Carole Buchholz M.D. recently it will from now on be fondly remembered as the Children's Medical Center with all the fun toys and pretty flowers along the entry way.

After Sears closed their store in Soldotna, the building originally designed to be a post office, sat vacant for many years. Renovating the building was the vision of Buchholz's Pathologist husband Curt, "He's very good at seeing old buildings and envisioning the potential in them and when he saw this building he felt that it would make a beautiful children's center and it really has been fun to watch it change and grow into a perfect location and facility with lots of room for the children to play while they're waiting to get into the doctors office. We have enough room so people are not on top of each other and separate areas for the well babies to play as they wait to see the doctor," said Dr. Carole.

From the moment you walk in the new entry way at the Children's Medical Center it is obvious that total well being of children, their happiness, and enjoyment, is the primary concern of Dr. Buchholz. There is a special tree in the waiting room that was Buchholz's daughter Ashley's idea, "It was originally our autumn tree, then the Christmas tree, now it's our spring and 4th of July tree, mayflower tree, and next it'll be our back to school tree. It's just so much fun doing things for children and having activities and areas where they can enjoy the experience of coming to see the doctor instead of a sterile, scary, place," said Buchholz.

Dr. Buchholz grew up in South Dakota where she developed a soft spot for children and their parents, "I remember as a mother going to the doctor with my one year old and feeling like the doctor wasn't listening to me and that he wasn't believing what I was telling him, so I determined that I would become a pediatrician that mothers and fathers would feel comfortable talking with and that I would validate that they know their child better than anyone else in the whole world and that my job was to simply help them rely on their instincts and to let them know that they are the best parent in the world for their child and to help them learn ways to be even a better parent so they can become more secure in what they are doing for their children day to day," said Buchholz.

Buchholz went to medical school in South Dakota, and then did her pediatric residency at the University of Florida in Gainesville. She served four years with the U.S. Air Force before coming to Alaska six years ago. Carole believes strongly in the concept of a medical home, "Many parents have a place where they take their children when they have a sore throat or need a vaccination, but don't have what I call a medical home for their child, a place where they know personally the pediatrician and the doctor knows them and their child and has all their records. I see them for their sore throats as well as their well baby check ups so that we create a medical home environment for the child and build their trust. It's fun to watch the child grow up and the parents grow in confidence with their parenting. So we have built this Children's Medical Center so that the children will feel at home here so they want to come here when they need a shot or back to school physical, as well as wanting to come here when they are sick. We want this to be their medical home," said Buchholz.

Dr. Carole and Dr. Curt Buchholz invite you to stop by anytime you'd just like to smell the flowers, tour the facility, or make an appointment, you may reach the Children's Medical Center by dialing 262-BABY, (262-2229). They are proud to have as part of their medical team and staff Sheila Oelrich, receptionist, and Angela Humphrey, medical assistant.

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