Alleghany Health has welcomed a pediatrician, Dr. Richard Rheinbolt, to their Medical Office Building.
“The county is awesome,” Rheinbolt said. “Everyone I’ve met is helpful, friendly, courteous and proactive. My patients are nice and appreciative too.”
Rheinbolt, who has been working at Alleghany Health since Jan. 1, said that his work focuses on diagnosis, curing and prevention, and maintaining wellness across the time that he’s their doctor. The pediatric field covers ages infant up to the teens, with the usual cutoff being age 18.
Rheinbolt said he focuses on curative and preventative care, ensuring health through healthy lifestyles. In other words, he aims to treat acute illnesses to prevent chronic ones. He said he sees his work as comparable to a family doctor or nurse practitioner.
He has observed the negative impact of the pandemic on child health. He said children’s anxiety and fears have been the biggest consequence. These have led to less time outside, more stress-eating of junk foods, more time spent sedentary and less time spent exercising.
“The major thing is that I deal with the whole child,” Rheinbolt said. “It’s not just a broken finger, are they eating right? Are they successful in school? I help them to have a healthy physical, mental and spiritual life.”
Rheinbolt currently lives in Charlotte and commutes to his places of work in Hickory – Unifor Pediatrics – and in Sparta, but he owns a house in Roaring Gap that is in the process of being renovated. Once repairs are complete, he said he plans to move there and work in Alleghany full time.
“I’ve been settling in well,” Rheinbolt said.
Rheinbolt, originally from Ohio, has worked in pediatric medicine since 1968. He started out as a medical missionary living and treating acute children’s diseases in countries like Guatemala, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Venezuela and Colombia. He did this until 1993, when he shifted to medical work in an inner-city practice. In 2006, he began his current line of work as a pediatrician.
“I thank the people for a nice welcome to the community and Ms. (Kathryn) Doby for getting me here,” Rheinbolt said.
Rheinbolt’s current office hours are Monday and Friday, 8 a.m. until 5 p.m. To make an appointment, call the hospital at 336-372-5511.
– By Zachary Weaver, Alleghany News Staff Reporter