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A new pediatrics practice in Lancaster marks the return of a Heath Springs native turned doctor.
Lancaster Pediatrics opened in July with Dr. Katie Fine. She was joined by Dr. Darniya Powe Belton last month.
Belton, 31, was born in Lancaster County and is a summa cum laude graduate of Johnson C. Smith University.
She obtained her medical degree from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston and completed her pediatric residency training at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston. Since completing residency, Belton has been practicing general pediatrics in northern Alabama.
Belton said she jumped at the chance to move closer to family and practice medicine in her home county.
“It’s a good thing to come home and give back to this community,” Belton said. “I feel privileged to be able to come back. It’s a great honor to me.”
Belton said at a very early age she wanted to become a doctor. She said she’s always liked to help people and had a love of science. She realized she wanted to become a pediatrician while in medical school when she worked with pediatric patients.
“That’s when I felt like I didn’t want to go home,” Belton said. “It’s like the light bulb went off.”
Belton said she likes pediatrics because she enjoys getting to know families and watching children grow by having the opportunity to treat them from birth through their teen years.
“Our slogan is, ‘Come grow with us,’” Belton said. “You get to be there when the babies are first born, and get to know the families and be a support to them. I like being part of that process. Maybe I’ll take care of their kids when they grow up – you never know.”
Belton said she believes she’s part of a dynamic new practice and hopes it will become known as a place where families get special attention.
“I want parents and their children to come away feeling like they’re part of something special,” Belton said.
Fine, 41, has been practicing pediatric medicine for 15 years. She started her medical career as a pediatric emergency medicine physician, switching to private practice two years later.
She obtained her medical degree from Northwestern University and completed her residency at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. She has written two books on pediatric medicine.
Like Belton, Fine loves following her patients as they grow and getting to know their families.
She said she came to Lancaster from Raleigh, N.C., because she wanted to provide top quality care in a smaller area and be able to have more say in how her practice is run.
“I like the people and I like that small-town feel,” Fine said. “Your care should be the same whether you live in downtown Charlotte or Lancaster. I feel the (Springs Memorial) hospital administration is really on board about taking the hospital to the next level. They’re committed to making this practice a good service, a good medical home for the kids in this community.”
Fine said she not only wants to provide high quality medical care, but also good customer service at her practice. She said she doesn’t want parents to have to wait four days for an appointment.
“Everyone here is a parent and been up with their child in the middle of the night,” Fine said. “I want to treat children here the same way as I would my own child. I want families to have a good experience overall, and the whole customer service aspect is important.”
Lancaster Pediatrics is located in Suite A of Medical Arts Building V at 838 W. Meeting St. Office hours are Monday through Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and 1:30 to 5 p.m. To make an appointment, call (803) 285-2700. For details about the practice, visit www.lancasterpeds.com.
Contact senior reporter Jenny Arnold at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (803) 283-1151