Physician Profiles

Advocare The Farm Pediatrics

Advocare The Farm Pediatrics got its unique name from its original location – a working Marlton farm where the horses, cows and pigs delighted young patients. The practice has since outgrown its home on the farm, but has built a reputation for excellence in care backed up by more than four decades of experience. With a second office location in Voorhees, eight doctors and a staff of experienced and knowledgeable RNs and LPNs, The Farm is now able to serve a broader patient population.

“Our practice has 45 years of experience taking care of newborns through college-aged teens,” says David E. Chasen, MD. “Our patients trust us to provide their families with the best possible care, and that trust has been built through accessibility and communication.”

PCMH-LOGODespite busy appointment schedules, Chasen and his physician colleagues make time to provide patients with a remarkable level of individualized attention. The Farm doctors make a point to be accessible to parents who have questions or concerns about their child’s health.

“We pride ourselves on the fact that we take calls ourselves overnight,” Chasen says. “We use an answering service, but we’re returning the calls personally, calling our patients back directly as quickly as we can. That communication is really paramount. For a patient to really feel secure, they need to know they’re always able to reach their physician.”

“At The Farm, we’re unique in that each morning in both offices the doctors have a call hour from 8 to 9 am, where parents can call and speak directly to their doctor. It’s a good opportunity to get medical questions or developmental questions answered or to schedule same-day appointments.”

Eric D. Berman, DO, says the practice is committed to addressing their patients’ needs. In an effort to better accommodate the schedules of patients and their parents, both locations have implemented new hours. Doctors now see patients in both Marlton and Voorhees until after 7 pm Monday through Friday.

“The extended hours were in part the result of in-office surveys,” Berman says. “We had a whole lot of parents complete questionnaires, and we heard what they said loud and clear. By extending our hours, we’re working to accommodate the working parents, student athletes and kids who can’t come in during school or right after school. We also break for lunch later in the day, which allows parents more opportunity to bring their kids in during their own lunch breaks.”

Office hours aren’t the only change that’s come to The Farm in recent months. Chasen and Berman were both thrilled to welcome a new physician to the staff in July. For Michelle L. Russ, DO, it was something of a homecoming. Russ was born in Marlton and joined the staff at The Farm after completing her pediatric residency at Children’s Hospital of Richmond at Virginia Commonwealth University.

“It’s wonderful to bring in someone young who brings fresh energy and excitement to the practice,” Berman says. “Her experience encompasses all areas of pediatric care and treatment, and she has a true passion for outpatient pediatrics. As an original resident of South Jersey, she was happy to return to the area. We couldn’t be happier to have her.”

TOP-DOC-Kids-2016-logosBerman says Russ rounds out a staff that is, without exception, deeply dedicated and passionate about The Farm’s patients and their parents.

“I’ve been here 31 years, and I can honestly say the staff we have right now is the best group of people I’ve ever worked with, from the front desk staff to billing and management,” he says. “That’s important. When you bring your child to the doctor, you want to have a great experience from the moment you walk through the door.”

Earlier this year, the National Committee of Quality Assurance certified the practice as a Patient-Centered Medical Home. The designation was given in recognition of the practice’s high-level access to care, use of health information technology and coordinated, patient-focused care.

“We have always been dedicated to providing great care for kids,” Chasen says. “The certification was a way of recognizing the work we’ve been doing for a long time.”

The Farm’s commitment to excellence is further demonstrated by their proactive improvements to pulmonary and asthma care and treatment. In early 2014, the practice began offering spirometry, or pulmonary function testing. The Farm piloted the program within the Advocare network and was one of the first pediatric practices in the region to offer the testing. Part of the program focuses on identifying patients who have a chance of developing asthma, such as children who regularly experience shortness of breath or wheezing when they exercise or play sports, or those who suffer from a chronic cough.

“We began the program almost two years ago, and we started by identifying patients who weren’t currently being treated for asthma, but who we felt were at risk,” Chasen says. “What we’re doing with those patients is basic lung testing. What we want to find out is if when they feel good, they’re really at their best. They could just be used to a level of function that isn’t really where they should be. We have patients who had no idea they weren’t feeling their best until we started treatment. We compare it to the first time you get glasses. Once you see clearly, you realize how blurry things were before.”

Berman says both parents and patients have benefitted from the availability of the testing at The Farm. The test is easily administered – it consists of taking deep breaths through a spirometer that measures the lungs’ air capacity – but previously, patients could only receive the test at a specialist’s office.

“This used to be available only through allergists,” Berman says. “We’ve made it far more convenient. It’s great for the at-risk patients, and we’ve also found it to be very successful in effectively monitoring and diagnosing asthmatic conditions, which results in fewer emergency room visits and patients missing fewer days of school and sports practices. The ultimate result is we’ve been better able to manage our patients’ pulmonary and asthma care. The feedback from parents has been overwhelmingly positive, which makes it even more rewarding.”


1001 Laurel Oak Road, Suite B • Voorhees
Phone: 856-782-7400 • Fax: 856-782-7404
975 Tuckerton Road, Suite 100 • Marlton
Phone: 856-983-6190 • Fax: 856-983-3805