What Is The Difference Between The Cold And the Flu?


People often throw these terms around without distinction. Especially during this season. These diseases are quite distinct even though they do share or have overlapping symptoms. 

The people from the Khan Academy, put together this great 12 minute video explaining the difference. 

The Khan Academy stresses that this video is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The intent is for informational purposes only. 

If you have any questions pertaining to your child's health, concerning the flu or otherwise, feel free to give us a call. We'd be happy offer our advice. 




Meridian Health Plan Confirmed as In-Network

Hello Friends,

Quick blog post to let you know that we have received confirmation from our Meridian Health Plan rep that our office (Salud Pediatrics and Doctors) is in-network with the plan.

We were also informed that it may take a 2 or 3 days to appear as providers under Meridian's in-network provider list. If you don't see us there today, we advise you to wait and check back at another time.

If you have any questions about the enrollment process or if trouble, we encourage you to call Meridian directly at 1-866-606-3700 for information.


Changes to Illinois Medicaid And How It May Affect You

Many of you have been calling our offices regarding the changes to Illinois Medicaid. We wanted to share with you what we know and what you can do to keep Dr. Joanna Betancourt or Dr. Sandra Graba as your primary care providers.

The State of IL is requiring that all Medicaid insured people in Cook County and nearby counties enroll in one of the "managed" or "coordinated" care Medicaid plans.

If your child is enrolled in Medicaid, you should have receive a letter from the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services (HFS) which included a list of all the plans and instructions on what to do to enroll.

Which Medicaid plans will Dr. Betancourt and Dr. Graba participate in?

In order to answer this questions while remaining compliant with the HFS Manage Care Rollout guidelines, our office mailed a letter to our Medicaid patients stating which Medicaid plans Salud providers will accept.




When will Dr. Betancourt and Dr. Sandra accept the new insurance?

We began the enrollment process with the plans a few weeks back, however, the process takes several weeks. Our plan representatives are doing everything they can to make sure providers will be in-network by Nov1st.

What happens if you enroll in one of the plans the practice accepts, but Dr. Betancourt or Dr Graba are not enrolled by Nov 1st?

If Dr. Betancourt or Dr. Graba do not appear as in-network providers on Nov 1st, check back frequently. It may take a few days before the database gets updated.

Keep in mind that within a plan, you are able to change providers once a month.

What can I do if I was automatically enrolled in a plan that Salud Pediatrics doesn't belong to?

You have 90 days from the time that you enrolled or were automatically enrolled to change your plan. If you do not change plans within the first 90 days, you will have the opportunity to change plans again one year later.

If you have any questions and/or are ready to enroll, you can call Illinois HFS Client Enrollment Services at 877.912.8880.


Does Your Child Suffer From Motion Sickness? 

The answer for me is yes. One of our three children suffers from motion sickness.

We've learned what to do and what not to do by doing things on a trial an error basis. Which isn't the best approach when one is trying to fix a pressing matter. Especially here in Illinois where every where you go is a long distance.

Our friends at Kids Plus Pediatrics wrote a great piece on motion sickness. Dr. Hartung gives very helpful tips on how to avoid motion sickness is children. Although the post was written for summer travel, we thought it would be helpful in preperation for Thanksgiving travel.

Check out the summary below and to read more, click on the link where you will find the rest of the article.



Salud Pediatrics Welcomes Dr. Rebecca Reinke, Clinical Psychologist 

We are thrilled to annouce that we've added a new member to our team, Dr. Rebecca Reinke. Dr. Reinke is a clinical psychologist. She will be working closely with Dr. Betancourt, Dr. Graba and Nurse Practitioner Marciann Bock to offer out-patients services to children, adolescent and even parents who need help coping with psychological distress issues.

While social attitudes towards mental illness has changed in recent years, society continues to be judgmental and unsupportive when it comes to mental illnesses. At Salud, we encounter many patients that don’t seeks treatment because they feel embarrassed, ashamed or fearful. Dr. Reinke is passionate about overcoming the nature of this stigma.

She will be working with parents and their children on constructive strategies to build mental health for a long and successful life.

To learn about Dr. Reinke’s background, academically as well as professional, click on this link or visit our providers page.