Some local physicians don’t have an of;ce—
they spend their days making house calls
BY MICHAEL S. GERBER | PHOTOS BY MICHAEL VENTURA
ANNE HAYES SAT IN her car sobbing. She’d just arrived at a doctor’s appointment for her 1-year-old twins, Vivian and Audrey, both of whom were born several weeks early and had spent more than three months in the neonatal intensive care unit. Audrey, who weighed just under 2½ pounds at birth, still required a feeding tube and had to eat on a strict schedule. So before heading inside to see the doctor, Hayes had connected a syringe to the tube and pre- pared to squeeze the baby formula into her tiny
daughter’s stomach. But the tube became dislodged
and the formula spilled everywhere.
Hayes remembers breaking down, overwhelmed by
the stresses of managing her children’s medical problems and the logistics of taking three young children
to an appointment. Her 3-year-old son, Ryan, who had
endured several surgeries to repair a congenital heart
defect, was old enough to be concerned but too young
to be much help. She still hadn’t gotten out of her car.
;e twins were crying.
“It was a low moment,” Hayes says.
A little more than a year later, Ryan is jumping up
and down on the couch, displaying energy typical of
a 4-year-old who’s cooped up at home with his mom
and sisters on a rainy morning. He flops down on his
back and lifts his shirt, exposing a scar down the center
of his chest.
“Can you measure my heart? Can you check it?” he
asks the family’s pediatrician, Dr. Ashley Moss, who
has come to their house in Chevy Chase to check on
him and his sisters. Moss has built her entire practice
around seeing patients in their homes. Before meeting
her, Hayes didn’t know such a practice existed, and she
thinks it’s saved the family countless trips to doctors’
o;ces, urgent care centers and the emergency room.
In the living room, Moss examines Audrey’s ears
while Vivian plays with one of her toys on the floor
nearby. Ryan runs to another room, returning a minute
later with a pretend stethoscope in his hand.
“Can I help you, Dr. Moss?” he asks.