Stethoscopes and thermometers aren’t the only supplies Dr. Leora Mogilner keeps in her office.
There’s also a brand new book, to read to children during their visits.
“The first thing a parent or a child, when they’re old enough to speak, will ask when they come into my office is what book am I getting today," Mogilner said.
Aside from being a pediatrician at Mount Sinai, Mogilner has been a volunteer with the Reach out and Read program for more than 20 years.
It’s a national nonprofit organization that integrates reading aloud into pediatric care, to encourage parents to make reading books a daily activity at home.
“For parent-child bonding, books and reading, talking and singing to your child plays such a crucial role in a child's development," Mogilner said.
She says that it’s important for all kids to have access to literature. Which made her work even more crucial during the height of the pandemic.
She continued to give away free books, while libraries were shut down.
“Families were experiencing such stress and anxiety, people were sick, people were having physical difficulties, emotional difficulties, being able to come to the doctor and talk about normal child growth and development, get a book and talk about how you can improve your child's development at home I think was really important for people," Mogilner said.
Mogilner introduced the program to other health care providers at Mount Sinai. The center gives out at least 15,000 books each year.
“We receive books in Spanish, we receive books about different ethnicities, it fosters reading between my daughter and her younger brother so it does a lot more than just provide a book," said Christina Hacker, a mother.
Mogilner says that as a caregiver for children, she feels it’s her responsibility to make sure they’re not just getting physical check ups, but also the tools needed to advance.
“Being able to support families and give them the advice, encouragement, and amazing books that they need was really important for me," Mogilner said.
So, for keeping children healthy, while making sure they’re on the right track to success, Leora Mogilner is our New Yorker of the Week.