Choosing a pediatrician is one of the most important decisions you will make for your child’s health and wellbeing. Their relationship with their doctor is one they’ll have from infancy to young adulthood, so it’s crucial to pick the right one. The professionals at Esse Health Pediatrics understand just how personal and important this decision is. Patients and their families receive the benefit of not only building a connection with a trusted physician but also an independent health care group dedicated to a more personalized approach to medicine.

Esse Health’s team of pediatricians and pediatric nurse practitioners are focused on guiding families through a healthy childhood and providing the best medical care when kids are sick. As one of the largest independent primary care groups in the region, the Esse Health team also includes a variety of specialists. “We put patients in the center of every health care decision,” notes Dr. Peter Putnam, chair of Esse Health’s pediatric department. “The focus is on the connection with the patient as well as mom and dad, so kids can thrive. Those relationships are really what drives our whole company.”

Esse Health puts that dedication to patients into practice from the very start. Putnam notes that all of the group’s pediatricians visit their newborn patients while they are still in the hospital. “That used to be the norm, but for various reasons, other providers have phased the practice out in recent years,” he says. “We find that it’s a valuable part of the care we provide, so we strive to be there for infants and their parents starting on day one. It builds a strong foundation for the long-term relationship we built not just with the kids but also their families.”

While an independent group, Esse Health has connections with larger health care systems in St. Louis, such as SSM Health, BJC HealthCare and Mercy. That allows doctors to make the right decisions when referring patients to specialists outside of the group, according to Putnam. “We aren’t limited by a network that dictates who we can refer patients to, so we can choose what will most benefit them regardless of hospital or provider,” he explains. “Within our own group, we have 19 pediatricians who work together to solve problems and provide the best care possible for each child as they grow and develop.”

Esse Health Pediatrics has six locations in the St. Louis region. “It’s a very wide geography that we cover,” Putnam says. “Wherever you live in St. Louis, you’re likely no more than a 15-to-20 minute drive from an Esse Health office.” To learn more about the different locations, visit the Esse Health Pediatrics’ website. Once there you also can access unique resources, including the podcast Pediatric Housecalls, which Putnam hosts with Dr. Kristen Terrill.

“Our mission is to provide the highest quality care,” Putnam says. “We pay attention to the experiences of all of our patients. We want kids to be comfortable when they visit the office, especially at times when they may be feeling worried or uncertain. That’s the approach you’ll find across both the pediatric department and Esse Health as a whole.”

Esse Health Pediatrics is passionate about providing the best health care for children in the St. Louis region at its six locations. Pictured on the cover: Esse Health Pediatricians. For more information,

Cover design by Julie Streiler
Cover photo by Tim Parker Photography

Pictured at the top: Dr. Peter Putnam works with a patient.
Photo: Tim Parker Photography