Finding healthcare you can trust for your child can be daunting. 

“At Sanford Children’s, we have a very close-knit group of primary care pediatricians and specialists,” said Dr. Shannon Carruthers, general pediatrician. “We all work together as a team, and we all feel comfortable calling each other up and asking questions.”

Sanford Children’s offers comprehensive visits, vaccinations, education, parenting support, and care for acute, chronic, and complex conditions. 

“We start seeing them from the day they’re born until they’re 18 or graduate high school, and we really get to know these kids,” said Carruthers. 

As they treat their patients, the providers aim to build a trusting relationship.

“We learn their likes and dislikes and the sports and activities they’re involved in in addition to their medical conditions,” explained Carruthers. “The families learn to really trust us.”

Sanford Pediatric Specialties

Child Abuse And Neglect
Child And Adolescent Psychiatry
Child And Adolescent Psychology
Clinical Pharmacy
Developmental Pediatrics
Ear, Nose And Throat
Emergency Medicine
Hematology And Oncology
Hospital Medicine
Infectious Disease
Intensive Care
Neonatal Intensive Care
Perinatal Medicine
Ophthalmology And Optometry
Orthopedic Surgery
Palliative Medicine
Sleep Medicine

From birth to age 18, a well child check is recommended every year. 

“I take care of preventive medicine with screenings, growth checks, health, and nutrition to try to prevent illnesses,” said Carruthers. “I see the whole gamut of children who are healthy, unhealthy, and everything in between.”

At a well child visit, expect the doctor to check a patient’s eyes, ears, heart, and lungs along with addressing current concerns and monitoring developmental milestones.

“We’re watching for their communication, speech delay, gross motor skills, are they sitting or walking on time, are there issues with their tone or reflexes such that they’d need to go see neurology,” said Carruthers. “If there’s delays, the sooner they’re evaluated, the better off the child is at regaining those milestones and catching up to their peers.”


Across the Sioux Falls area, Sanford Children’s offers five clinics for pediatric patients with another one coming to Harrisburg in September..

“We have our specialists come to our general pediatrics meetings to introduce themselves to give us updates on new recommendations, new procedures, and just to have that meet and greet.”
– Dr. Shannon Carruthers

When the pediatrician’s efforts don’t improve the patient’s condition, it’s time to reach out to someone who has expertise in that area.

Pediatricians provide their top-level care and have access to over 135 specialists across 35 specialties at the Sanford Children’s Castle of Care for referrals when needed.

The Castle has two main functions: a hospital and specialty clinic.

“The hospital is where we admit children who need extra help with medications, IVs, antibiotics, and things that we can’t treat as an outpatient,” explained Carruthers. “The clinic is where our subspecialists see their patients for things like gastroenterology, pulmonology, cardiology, and neurology.”

Some of the conditions that often require referrals are mental health issues, growth delay, early onset puberty, milk intolerance, advanced bone age, and more.

For mental health issues like ADHD, anxiety, depression, or autism, a patient may be referred to the behavior health and development experts for the best care. 

On the other hand, if a child is having an upset stomach that appears to be a digestive issue, the pediatrician may refer them to gastroenterology.

Make sure your child stays happy and healthy with annual well child visits to Sanford Children’s in the Sioux Falls area, where they’ll have access to the specialists they need when they need them.

“If we get any new specialists, we know who they are, and we feel more comfortable calling them up if we have a question that may not require a referral.”
– Dr. Shannon Carruthers

For more information, visit SANFORDHEALTH.ORG.

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