Message from the President

Welcome to the Pediatric Physicians’ Organization at Children’s.

The PPOC commemorated its 20th anniversary with an evening of 'Memories, Membership and Milestones' at the end of October. We celebrated with PPOC members, some of their staffs, PPOC Board members, and close colleagues from Boston Children's Hospital. I'd like to share some of the remarks I made during the event.

I'll start with thanks. It's not possible to thank everyone involved in the success of the PPOC over last two decades, but gratitude has always been part of our culture, so I'll do my best. Firstly, I want to thank the members of the PPOC for the privilege of serving you and your patients for the last twelve years. I have an incredibly rewarding, interesting and inspiring job supporting your hard work to achieve our mission. I want to thank those who helped found the PPOC - Dr. Mike Grady, our first CEO, who couldn't have succeeded without the support of Sandi Fenwick, Jim Mandell, Dr. Gary Fleisher, Paul Hickey and so many other leaders from the Physicians' Organization and the Hospital. Of course, through the years, most of our progress has been due to the talent and the energy contributed by our members. So many members have served on our board, on committees, attending meetings, emailing and calling - all to ensure that we collectively benefit from the incredible talent present in the network. Our colleagues who work at our offices and at Children's have also been critical to our success - managers and administrators, nurses, psychologists, social workers and other clinical professionals--attorneys, technology experts, data scientists and analysts, finance professionals and contracting staff have all made major contributions.

I want to make a few observations about our recent history. I'll follow that with some thoughts about what that story tells us about our future. Shortly after taking the helm, I met with Jim Mandell, the Children's CEO at the time. We began by describing our mission, without which it would have been impossible to create a strategy for success. Fortunately, it didn't take long to bring people together around three central ideas:

  • Enabling better care of children,
  • Enhancing our members' professional satisfaction and,
  • Partnering with Children's and our colleagues in the PO.

That mission has never varied, and I believe that it's even more pertinent than it was a decade ago. It's our north star, and it's shining as brightly as ever!


Spotlight on a PPOC Provider

Julie Balkema, Nurse Practitioner from Post Road Pediatrics and Heather Davidson Pediatrics
Photo by Michael Goderre, Boston Children's Hospital

Julie Balkema
Nurse Practitioner, Post Road Pediatrics and Heather O. Davidson Pediatrics

In addition to physicians, the PPOC offers membership to nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Nurse Practitioner Julie Balkema works within two PPOC practices - both of which are also part of the Boston Children's Primary Care Alliance. The Alliance provides great resources for parents and families, and highlights many providers in Alliance-participating PPOC practices. Check out more of the resources here.

Philosophy of Care: "I love working with kids and their families, and I strive to provide evidence-based, high-quality care for each stage of a child's development. Pediatrics is the ideal place for me to help families keep their children on a healthy path. I love spending my days working with kids and young adults and I am excited to get to know your family."

On Choosing a Pediatrician: "In terms of choosing a pediatrician, for me an important factor is that they are close by. My pediatrician is five minutes away from my house. Especially in the first year when you have multiple appointments--sometimes every couple of days in the beginning, then every few months, it's nice to be able to just zip over [to the office] if your child is sick. If practices have a meet and greet, taking advantage of that is a great idea."

On Being Part of the Alliance: "With Alliance pediatricians, everybody is providing top-care. You really can't go wrong, whether you choose a pediatrician or a nurse practitioner like myself. It's really about the support we get. If you have any questions about complicated conditions, we can always reach out to Boston Children's Hospital. It's great to have that access to specialists."


We serve pediatric physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in practices of varying geographies and demographics across the state of Massachusetts. We are a unique IPA in that we focus solely on pediatrics. Being part of the PPOC means being amongst fellow pediatric practitioners who are truly focused on providing the best care to the children we serve, the PPOC is focused on enabling our providers to do just that.


In a time when healthcare is ever-changing, achieving the No. 1 ranking reminds all of us at Boston Children’s what inspires us: It's about caring for children, digging deeper in research, and finding new ways to make our care even better. It’s also a reflection of the tireless work our team puts in every single day, providing the highest level of care and reassuring our families that we are here to help.

Sandra L. Fenwick, Former President and CEO
Boston Children's Hospital