Thompson River Pediatrics has been open for five years in Johnstown, but recently moved down the street from their original location into a new building to expand the practice into the Thompson River Pediatrics Collaborative Care Center. The office is owned and operated by two mothers with their motto being, “caring for children like we would our own.” When they hire staff, it is important to them that all their employees share that vision, because of that the entire staff also happen to be parents, who bring a great deal of empathy for patients and parents alike. Owners, Amber Griffin and Dr. Ashlea Franques became friends after Griffin took her own son to Dr. Franques. Griffin explained that Dr. Franques was the best pediatrician she had ever taken her autistic son to, and the duo bonded over their passion and love towards caring for children who experience the world differently.
Griffin runs the business side of the office as owner and medical practice executive. She graduated from Boise State University and is the mother of three. Dr. Franques is a board certified pediatrician by the American Board of Pediatrics, Fellow of the Academy of Pediatrics and graduated with her medical degree from the University of Missouri-Kansas City. She specializes in developmental pediatrics, and is the mother of one. The office has one other pediatrician, Dr. Antonia Sigl, who graduated at the top of her class from the medical school at the University of Texas Southwestern, and two highly trained nurse practitioners. The new office is also integrating more services such as behavioral health, a psychologist for testing, pediatric physical therapy, and occupational and speech therapy.
Partners and staff have a special place in their hearts for kids who are on the autism spectrum, and they have created an atmosphere in their office that mirrors their considerations. The colors of their office are muted and warm specifically to ensure that children on the spectrum do not get sensory overload. “We do a good job of care management, the environment of the office is friendly towards kids with autism. We wanted to create a space where they feel safe.” Griffin went on to share that, “Everything we did in our office is meant to be not scary to autistic children, we used my son, who is on the spectrum as our model patient.” The new facility also offers a sensory gym, an x-ray machine, and all day walk-in pediatric urgent care.
While caring for children is their mission, they also make sure that every child and parent leaves with a full explanation and comprehension of what is going on with the child. The staff truly goes the extra mile to ensure complete care for their patients, while addressing any concerns. Griffin explains, “Our goal is that the parents and children both understand what’s going on with them, we don’t leave the room until all questions are answered.”
Children are their passion, which you can tell from the moment you step into their office. To ward off any fears a child might have, the office has been designed to not look like a normal doctors office, so that the children don’t associate them with something scary. Everything from the cozy decor to the warm bright colors reflects a positive atmosphere. Instead of numbers, the staff uses colors to differentiate rooms. Everything in the office is child-friendly while still operating as a medical center.
The work that Griffin and Dr. Franques do in the community fully embodies every part of their business. When constructing the new facility they only hired people who were business members of Realities for Children, a Northern Colorado organization dedicated to supporting the needs of children in the community who have been abused, neglected or are at-risk. Everyone from the architect to the landscape designer were all chosen based on their partnerships with Realities for Children. For more information on Thompson River Pediatrics Collaborative Care Center or to book an appointment please visit trpeds.com.