25 Years of Caring for Children
When 11-year-old Joseph Spence was born he weighed less than 2 pounds and wasn’t even 12 inches long. a host of physicians and the specialists at Flagstaff Medical Center’s Children’s Health Center, Joseph spends life as much as any other kid his age.
Shortly after he was born, Joseph was diagnosed with cerebral palsy – a neurological condition that affects body movement and muscle coordination. Cerebral palsy can’t be cured, but treatmentcan improve a child’s capabilities. The earlier the treatment, the better the chance a child has of overcoming disabilities and learning new ways to accomplish tasks that challenge them – that’s where the Children’s Health Center makes a difference.
For 25 years, Northern Arizona’s chronically ill and disabled children have had access to comprehensive medical care close to home through the Children’s Health Center (CHC) at Flagstaff Medical Center. CHC provides family-centered care in a child-friendly environment.
The caring staff knows that excellent care is more than providing medical care; it means providing personalized care in a compassionate environment where children and their families are treated with dignity and respect. The multidisciplinary team of healthcare professionals consists of physicians, nurse practitioners, nurses, technicians and support staff.
“We are so grateful to the specialists at the Children’s Health Center,” said Tammera Spence, Joseph’s mom. “They have been there for us every step of the way – from the physicians to the therapists to the wheelchair specialist. Without FMC and the Children’s Health Center, Joseph would not be walking or writing or as active as he is now. We are very fortunate to have the Center and these specialists in our community. I can’t imagine our lives without them.”
Dr. William Austin
Generations of children in Northern Arizona have found a friend as well as a doctor in William Austin, M.D. For more than 40 years, Dr. Austin has been taking care of children, grandchildren and even the great-grandchildren of previous patients.
As a board-certified pediatrician and member of the medical staff at Flagstaff Medical Center (FMC), Dr. Austin specializes in providing compassionate medical care to children from birth to adulthood.
It was his love of children and his dedication to the community that persuaded him to work with the Arizona Department of Health Services to help establish a Children’s Rehabilitative Services clinic, part of FMC’s Children’s Health Center, in 1987.
The clinic remains the only CRS clinic north of Phoenix, serving all of Northern Arizona. Since that time, Dr. Austin has offered his expertise serving as the medical director of the clinic while
still caring for patients in his private pediatric practice. Dr. Austin retired from private practice in 2002, but still continues to care for children on a daily basis through Children’s Rehabilitative Services. Additionally, he is a member of FMC’s Board of Directors.
“For 25 years, I have had the privilege of working with the extraordinary team of professionals in Children’s Health Center at FMC," he said. "We have been able to impact the lives of the children and their families because of the many medical specialties that come together for each individual child. We have helped many children mature into successful adults. I am honored to have been part of the lives of so many children, parents, families and caregivers for the last 25 years.”