Dr. Jennifer Burns is returning home to open her own practice, Urbana Pediatrics, on Monday, July 1. Many know her from her 12 years with The Pediatric Center of Frederick, where she was main provider for more than eight years in the Urbana office. Others know her as a mom, friend and neighbor. She has lived in Urbana for 15 years.
“It’s nice to be coming back to the community,” she said.
Dr. Burns recently left Frederick County Pediatrics in New Market, where she practiced for more than two years. She said it was time to offer her own philosophy of care, one rooted in getting to know her patients and the challenges they face.
“I like to know my patients and their history. I prepare for their visit by reading their charts beforehand and then really listen during the visit,” she said. “Visits may take 5 to 10 minutes or up to 45 minutes.”
Dr. Burns grew up in Manhasset on the North Shore of Long Island, and she knew that she wanted to be a pediatrician when she was 10 years old. She didn’t particularly like her own pediatrician, she said, but she has had a lifelong fascination with understanding how things work.
After graduating from Dartmouth College, she received her medical degree from New York Medical College and did her residency in general pediatrics at Children’s National Medical Center-George Washington University. “It was definitely a great education,” she said of Children’s. “You see everything.” After completing her residency, “I stayed an extra year (at Children’s) and worked emergency medicine. I saw a lot of asthma. I didn’t like the ER because I knew I wouldn’t see the person again.”
And seeing patients again to develop strong relationships is the cornerstone of her care. “In primary care, you don’t have to rush,” she said. She takes the time to thoroughly study a patient’s challenge and treat it in a targeted way that often involves following up with a patient one day to the next.
Her new practice at Casa Bella Commons features a partitioned well/sick child waiting room, six exam rooms that include a room dedicated to new moms and babies—“I love seeing the newborns,” she said—and two nurses’ areas. Exam rooms are decorated to look like home with warm wood furniture, a Disney beach theme and maps that children and parents can study while waiting for the doctor. Dr. Burns and her husband created preliminary designs for the office, and her husband, a music teacher, created the “Urbana Pediatrics GROW WITH US!” colorful logo that features a slide.
Dr. Burns chose Casa Bella Commons for her practice because it reminds her of commercial centers on Long Island, she said. And she values the local vibe that it has—with business owners from Urbana and Frederick, as well as its hometown developers Paul Hynes and Robert Bongiorno.
In her free time, Dr. Burns loves to read, both fiction and non-fiction, and enjoys taking her six-year-old son to parks and green space in the community. He especially likes the Community Park—or firetruck park, she said.
Dr. Burns will be joined on opening day, July 1, by Nunzia Sulmonte, practice manager and Urbana resident, who worked with her at The Pediatric Center of Frederick. Dr. Burns is Board Certified in Pediatrics and is a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics. She treats patients from birth through age 21. For more information, visit urbanapediatrics.com.