Meet The HKP Team
Dr. Jill Garripoli, Founder and President at Healthy Kids Pediatrics
As a pediatrician I believe first and foremost that children stay the healthiest when their doctor and family work together as a team. My mission is to help parents stay as educated as possible about raising their children while at the same time monitoring the children for any physical or developmental concerns that may arise as they grow. I strive for open communication with parents so that together we may guide their children to be the most successful, healthy, & productive adults possible!
Dr. Jill A. Garripoli earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in English Cum Laude at Bucknell University in 1999. She obtained her degree in Osteopathic Medicine in 2003 from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (UMDNJ) School of Osteopathic Medicine. Jill then pursued her internship and residency at UMDNJ Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital.
She practiced as a general pediatrician at Rutherford Pediatrics from 2006 to 2013 and went on to co-found Top Notch Pediatrics in Hackensack, NJ in 2014. Finally, in 2016, Dr. Garripoli made her dream of owning her own practice a reality and launched Healthy Kids Pediatrics in Nutley, NJ, where she practices currently.During her free time, Jill acts as the town-designated pediatrician for the pediatric vaccine clinics through the health departments in Rutherford, East Rutherford, and Garfield, NJ.
She has also been named one of New Jersey Family’s Favorite Kids’ Doc for the years of 2011-2015, as well as one of New Jersey’s Compassionate Doctors from PatientsChoice.org in 2013.
Q: Why do you love being a Pediatrician?
JG: The reason I love being a pediatrician so much is because, first and foremost, I get to smile and laugh every day. A patient’s funny remark, a giggle at one of my silly jokes, or a warm hug brings out the best in me and reminds me why I love my work so much. I also get a deep sense of gratification when I can help foster the connection between my patients and their parents. I enjoy being seen as a role model for my patients and I know I am in the right profession when a parent tells me, “Doctor Jill, you make a difference”.
Q: Who inspires you and why?
JG: I can recall two mentors from my training who have left a lasting impression on me after all these years and who have shown by
Q: What is something that parents should know about keeping their kids healthy?
JG: In my opinion, keeping kids healthy starts with keeping yourself healthy as a parent. Too often I see parents sacrificing their own physical and emotional well-being since there are just not enough hours in the day to take care of their children, spouse, work/home, and the million other demands on their time. I have learned that children watch everything their parents do and when children see their parents feeling, looking, and acting well they thrive, too. I firmly believe that approaching children with consistency, reliability, and predictability helps them feel balanced and at ease. It is then way less stressful to get them to follow directions and cooperate. After thousands and thousands of interactions with parents and their children I have seen what works and what doesn’t…when a parent is off-center and coming at a child from a stressed or emotional place the child feels the resistance and things do not go so well. It is so much easier said than done and we all have to remember we are human and do the best we can.
Q: Do you have any advice for parents that will make going to the doctor’s office a more convenient, productive, or enjoyable experience?
JG: The one thing that makes my job harder as a pediatrician is when parents use needles or throat swabs or any slightly uncomfortable office procedure as a threat to their children. When a parent says, “if you don’t behave the doctor will give you a shot”, it makes it difficult for me to be viewed by the child as a trusted adult. If I can gain the child’s confidence then the visit can go really well no matter what has to be done during the 15-30 minutes we are together. I also find that when the parent stays calm and positive during the visit the child most often responds to that energy and in turn acts calmly as well. Parents can help their children during a visit by reassuring them that they are being brave and doing a great job (even when they are crying!). That kind of encouragement goes a long way in a child’s eyes. It is also important for parents to remind their children that they are healthy and they need to listen to the doctor’s instructions and cooperate at home with the plan in order to help their bodies return to good health.
JG: As the 8th of 9 children in my family I was constantly surrounded by a great support system and encouraging home environment. No matter the ups and downs in life it was always reinforced to me that I could be or do or have anything if I put my mind to it. When I got the chance to observe the delivery of a newborn baby during my first college summer break I knew I wanted to be a pediatrician. My decision was met with nothing less than excitement, positivity, and a “why not?” response from my family. I knew it was going to take a lot more than just book smarts to get through medical school, internship, and residency so having that support gave me the confidence to go for it.
Q: Do you have a favorite quote?
JG: One of the things I love to do is read inspirational material, watch an inspirational movie, or hang around people who make me feel like anything is possible. I have read a lot of quotes and I thought this was going to be a tough question to answer. However, I remember something my father says to my sister and I all the time: “If you are not the lead dog the scenery never changes.” My dad taught me to strive to be the best at whatever it was I chose to do. He taught me to have the “slight edge” mentality of showing up and getting the job done no matter what it was. He instilled in me that it is far more rewarding in life to be a leader and so the quote from my dad is my favorite.
Peter “P.J.” Pimpinelli, PA-C
The HKP Rock Stars
We are very excited to welcome our Medical Scribe, Stephanie Dufresne, to the Healthy Kids Team! Stephanie’s role will be to transcribe important notes and information during a visit which allows us to give our undivided attention to your child. Originally from Tucson, Stephanie graduated from University of Arizona with a Bachelors of Science in Speech Language and Hearing Science. She trained in Connecticut at the fast-paced emergency room of Waterbury Hospital. When Stephanie isn’t scribing here at HKP, she enjoys practicing, yoga, hiking, and scuba diving!
We are very excited to welcome a fantastic medical assistant, Alexandra Jones, to the Healthy Kids Team!
She’s a super-cool Mom to Elliot (8 months) and Isabella (5), and an awesome wife to Belleville Police Officer, Hugh.
In addition to enjoying movie time with the family, taking the kids shopping for clothes and toys, and having fun doing make-up and hair, one of Alexandra’s favorite things to do is teach her kids about safety. The Jones family is very involved with all of the educational activities that the local police and firefighters organize throughout the year.
When asked what she likes about working at Healthy Kids she said, “What’s not to like?! It’s a fun and friendly environment and I feel that kids and babies are very therapeutic. I’ve known Dr. Jill for 5 years now and she’s always an amazing, upbeat, and sweet person. Elliot and Isabella love P.J., too! He’s so great with kids. And working with P.J. is the best because he’s very sweet and always willing to teach you.”