Jessica is a Glencoe resident originally from the East Coast (a few states here and there). She moved to Glencoe in 2010 knowing only one family and today knows 100’s of North Shore families through her niche Pediatric Concierge practice! Jessica offers up sound advice that any mother would appreciate. Read on to see what it is!
Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in town?
My dad went to graduate school at UIC, and I was born in Chicago, but I grew up in Longmeadow, Massachusetts. As an adult, I lived in Connecticut, Philadelphia, NYC and the Boston area until we moved to Glencoe in 2010.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
I have a daughter who is 10 and my son is eight.
Favorite things to do with your children?
Everyone is so busy that our unscheduled down time as a family is my absolute favorite! I love just hanging out doing everyday things with my kids. We enjoy being outside when the weather is nice, walking, biking or going to the park. We also love chatting, snuggling, cooking, reading and watching a movie or show together.
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I grew up skiing in New England. I have not been skiing in nearly 25 years, but I am planning to start again soon when my children learn, hopefully this winter. I mostly skied at Stratton Mountain in Vermont as a kid because my close friend’s family had a house there. My daughter is doing Snowflake Club for the first time to learn to ski and hopefully we will get my son up on skis for a lesson at some point this year, but he plays hockey both days every weekend so it will be challenging.
Anyone special you’d like to thank for helping you through parenthood?
I am thankful for so many people! My husband, parents, sister and friends are of course invaluable supports to me. I was a pediatrician for quite a while prior to becoming a mom and I have learned a lot by listening carefully to many of my patients’ parents over the years. They have been yet another source of wisdom, friendship and support.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world? Please share!
Yes! I am a pediatrician with a solo concierge practice in Winnetka called Rappaport Pediatrics. I opened my practice in 2015 in order to take care of patients in the way that I think everyone would like to be cared for: by giving them direct access to me and spending as much time as they need to address their health care issues or answer their questions. By design, I care for a much smaller number of families in this practice than I did previously, in order to provide a very personalized level of care, attention and support. I feel that the traditional primary care medical system and business model needs to be reinvented as it places an emphasis on patient volume. This always felt wrong to me and was getting worse over the years I have been a pediatrician. In my traditional practice, I had to see a patient every 10-20 minutes which often felt rushed and inadequate. Now, all of my patients have my cell phone number and are welcome to reach out to me anytime. I offer same day appointments with minimal waiting in a warm, inviting and clean office. I also offer house calls! We have several play areas, a private area for moms to feed their babies in comfort and snacks for hungry kids (and parents). Kids often don’t want to leave the office at the end of their visits!
That is such a wonderful Pediatric service, such a great model for care! Can you please offer up a small piece of pediatric advice for our moms out there?
It is SO hard to come up with one piece of pediatric advice–it is such a huge and varied part of my job. Possibly the most important piece of advice I give moms is to give themselves a break! Moms in particular are too hard on themselves! I always tell them they can only do their best and some days we do better than others. Being a parent can be so challenging in this day and age of constant internet “advice”, social media depictions of “perfect families” and pressure from friends and family members to parent a certain way, etc. The bottom line is that each day is different, each child is different and something that worked well for a friend’s child or maybe even one of your own children may not be helpful for your other child or children. I try to let parents know that it is ok to do what is right for their family, even if it isn’t what others would necessarily do. They certainly don’t need my permission for this, but I feel that a very important part of my job is validating parents’ feelings and concerns and letting them know that they are doing a great job.
How has the North Shore community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
I am grateful both personally and professionally. We moved to the area only knowing one family and my husband and I were amazed at how quickly we met people and were welcomed into the community.
I am also incredibly grateful to my patients and their families for giving me the opportunity to get to know them and care for their children. It is a privilege to be a pediatrician and I truly love my patients and their families! I especially want to thank my initial patients for believing in me and this model of medical care and for spreading the word about my practice!
For more information about Rappaport Pediatrics for your family