Pediatrician Roslyn Oakley, M.D., went into pediatrics because she wants to advocate for children, from the moment they’re born until they’ve grown up. She truly gets to do that in Spearfish, caring for newborns at the hospital, helping stabilize patients in the Emergency Department, providing regular well-child checks, etc.
“Being able to have that well-rounded experience and do all of those things is something I find extraordinarily valuable,” she said. “To me, there’s no greater joy in the world than taking care of young ones,” she said.
That’s quite evident when you see what she’s helped start at Monument Health Spearfish Clinic on North Avenue. Once the COVID-19 pandemic hit our communities, Dr. Oakley and other providers started thinking about all the ways this was going to impact families and how they could be a source of support for their patients.
“There was a lot of concern among the staff about families that might have extra needs,” she said. “We started screening more carefully during appointments, asking questions about food insecurity and about the need for diapers,” she said.
When providers and caregivers noticed an increased need for diapers, they started donating diapers and storing them in Dr. Oakley’s office. Soon after, they realized the problem was more widespread than their clinic, and they decided to involve others in the community.
Sheriann Hudson, Dr. Oakley’s nurse, is working with Bella Pregnancy Resource Center to establish a consistent location where people in Spearfish can pick up diapers and wipes.
“Having a place people can go to receive extra support with diapers will be hugely beneficial, so we’re really excited about it,” Dr. Oakley said.
Sept. 21-27 is Diaper Need Awareness Week, and Monument Health is hosting a diaper drive that will benefit local diaper banks.
The close-knit, welcoming community of Spearfish was one of the reasons Dr. Oakley joined Monument Health.
“I think when you live in a tight-knit community, it’s important to do everything you can to maintain that ‘We’re all in this together’ mentality,” Dr. Oakley said. “The little things we can do that may not even be that big from a financial standpoint, can have a profound impact on someone’s mental health.”