Sandwich Generation

Jane Brand considers herself to be a classic member of the “sandwich generation” — baby boomers who simultaneously manage the health care needs of their children and their aging parents.

She directs and manages the health care needs of her husband Tony, their six children and her elderly parents.

“It’s a challenge fitting everything in — from working to helping my kids at home to taking care of my parents’ health necessities,” she says.

For Jane and her family, Via Christi meets all of their health care needs — and has for three generations.

Jane’s parents, Joan and Elmer Sigg of Andale, delivered all of their children at Via Christi Hospital on St. Francis – Jane and her seven siblings. Via Christi has continued to take care of her parents’ health care needs as they’ve grown older.

Jane delivered four of her six children at Via Christi and now one of her daughters, Kathryn, and her husband Matt Eck, are expecting their first child and are planning on delivering at Via Christi Hospital on Harry.

Jane, 49, and her family, who live in Colwich,  have been patients of Via Christi Clinic for more than a quarter century and Patricia

Petrakis, MD, has been their family physician for the past several years.

“Taking care of my family’s health and my parents’ health is top priority,” she says.  “If you don’t have doctors with whom you feel comfortable, then that’s a huge problem.

“I’ve had such good relationships with our family physicians that they have felt like members of the family,” Jane says. “If you have a great relationship with your physician, everything else falls into place.”

Jane recently persuaded her mother, 79, and father, 86, to become patients of Petrakis because of the high quality of the care she provides. This transition has made it easier for Jane to help her parents manage their health care needs.

“Dr. Petrakis is very, very thorough.  It is so convenient to have the whole family under the care of one physician rather than traveling to various facilities,” Jane explains.

Jane and her husband Tony, 49, a part owner of Brand Plumbing and a custom homebuilder as well, have used Via Christi Clinic for a variety of health care needs — from daughter Elizabeth’s torn meniscus tendon in her left knee four years ago to son Chase’s problems with SVT (super-ventricular tachycardia).

Chase was initially treated by Steve W. Allen, MD, a pediatric cardiologist with Via Christi Clinic, who in turn referred the family to Children’s Mercy Hospital in Kansas City for additional treatment.

Chase’s condition is under control, but Jane had to take their son in January to the Emergency Room at Via Christi Hospital on St. Teresa when they thought he had a relapse.

“We couldn’t have received better care anywhere,” she says. “The hospital on St. Teresa is a very beautiful and efficient facility. I was shocked at how fast we got through the ER.  They assessed him very quickly and knew just what to do.”


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