“Pediatrics at Oyster Point, a private, independent practice, branched from Peninsula Pediatrics when it closed in June 2012,” says owner and medical director, Dr. Brian Butcher. “Our focus is providing exemplary care for children and their families in a welcoming and loving environment.”
The practice team of about 20 employees is celebrating a decade of serving local children and their families with the best possible care. Born and raised in Newport News and a Menchville High School alumnus, Butcher attended Washington and Lee University and continued to VCU medical school. Since Newport News was home, Butcher had a passion that he wanted to fulfill in the community.
“My inspiration was Dr. Thomas Payne, an owner and director of Peninsula Pediatrics and my pediatrician. He had an infectious enthusiasm for pediatrics and truly loved his job, which was evident in his interaction with his patients. He treated everyone with kindness and respect. Having him as my pediatrician and then having the opportunity to work with him as a friend and colleague truly helped shape my approach to pediatrics,” Butcher says. “There are not many physicians today who have the same passion for medicine and strong work ethic he had. While I can never be Dr. Payne, I hope my style, demeanor and commitment are reminiscent of his.”
Butcher and his team never lose sight of their work ethic, remaining inspired and humbled daily. “Pediatrics is about relationships with the children, who are our patients, and their families. I genuinely love and care for my patients, and it is my goal to be the best pediatrician for them that I can,” Butcher says. “During a typical workday, we see a combination of well-child visits, sick visits, injuries and behavioral health and mental health issues. The office is busy and growing. We had to innovate a few changes during the pandemic, such as seeing sick visits outside, but slowly things are returning to normal.”
While he welcomes new patients, Butcher has had the pleasure of seeing former patients bring in their own children. “The best part of my job is having the privilege to watch children grow from infancy to adulthood and being part of the process. Also, there is no greater compliment than to have former patients bring their own children to me. I am currently at the stage of having second-generation patients, and it is a blessing to know I have impacted them positively enough they would want me to see their children,” Butcher says.
While some children may have apprehension about going to the doctor’s office, Butcher went above and beyond to ensure that the office was welcoming, decorating with murals. “When the office was constructed, the walls were blank. During a patient visit, I was approached by the sister of our artist Amanda Smith, who offered her artwork services,” Butcher says. “Mandy’s sister brought her portfolio and subsequently, Mandy brought me a cutout of baby Harry Potter, the series of which is one of my personal favorites. Not only did that moment start a wonderful working and friend relationship with Mandy Smith, but it also helped to solidify the office theme, which is based on classic children’s literature or literacy concepts.”
Dr. Butcher’s desire to inspire children to read has gone beyond the office. He recently wrote a children’s book called Little Speck. “For many years, I wanted to be a writer. I attempted and dabbled in different genres, but nothing really clicked. Mandy had always wanted to be an illustrator of children’s books. She had taken a class on authoring and illustrating children’s picture books and had the idea for Little Speck, but she could not find the right words,” Butcher says. “When she asked if I would be willing to write the story, it was just the inspiration I needed. I took her outlines, and the basic story of Little Speck was born in about two days.
Little Speck is a rhyming story featuring Kiko, a little girl who is small in stature and struggles with her size, desiring to grow since she feels inadequate compared with her peers. The character is inspired by Smith’s two daughters. “Kiko is impatient and tries different strategies to make herself grow but discovers her size is beyond her control. She becomes discouraged and begins to focus on only the small, and seemingly insignificant, things around her. After revealing her hurt feelings to her mother, Kiko learns to value herself just as she is,” Butcher explains.
“A good sense of self-worth is a desirable end goal of a child’s emotional development. When too much emphasis is placed on physical size and appearance, it can negatively impact on how children view themselves and others. I want children — and adults — to understand we are who we are for a reason. Regardless of perceived flaws or deficits, we all have value, and differences make us special and unique,” the doctor says.
While Butcher often focuses on children’s physical health in his office, he also wants to ensure his patients understand the importance of reading, learning and mental health. “Reading is fundamental to everything we do. It is virtually impossible to navigate a complex and changing world without the ability to read. It is imperative for proper communication and to meet basic needs. However, reading is not just academic and practical; it is also enjoyable and fun. It helps stimulate our imaginations and helps us to critically think. With reading, possibilities are endless,” Butcher says.
In his free time, Butcher enjoys gardening, traveling and spending time with family and friends.
The team at Pediatrics at Oyster Point always has open arms for new patients and works to help children grow up strong both mentally and physically.
TO THE POINT:
Pediatrics at Oyster Point
Address: 895 City Center Blvd., Ste. 200, Newport News, VA 23606
Facebook: Pediatrics at Oyster Point
Little Speck is available on Amazon, Barnesandnoble.com and on the Dorrance Publishing bookstore website.