For years, Cindy Zeller traveled to Frederick and Columbia to help provide quality healthcare to people in those communities. That all changed this year, when she opened Brighter Futures Pediatric and Lactation Services in Woodsboro.

“I wanted to provide pediatric care in the northern part of the county, because we don’t have pediatricians up here,” Zeller said.

Zeller is a licensed nurse practitioner, who found her calling in pediatric care. Nurse practitioners are registered nurses with training in sick care, plus advanced training and education in the diagnosis and treatment of illnesses.

“We have different credentials, but we can do pretty much everything doctors do,” Zeller said.

Indeed, some studies have shown that nurse practitioners can do about 80 percent of what doctors do.

Zeller became a nurse in 1983, and when she got a job in a Frederick pediatric practice, she realized that was what she wanted to specialize in. She became a nurse practitioner in 1994, working first in Frederick and then in Columbia, but she always wanted to provide pediatric care closer to her home. “I’d much rather come here to work, where the services are needed, than travel somewhere else.”

A big hold up was that Maryland used to require a nurse practitioner to have physician oversight in order to see patients. The state changed the law in 2015, allowing nurse practitioners to operate independently.

In her new practice, Zeller sees patients up to twenty-one years old. She offers primary care, prevention and wellness, school/sports physicals, immunizations, newborn exams, lactation consultations, and consultations on other medical conditions.

“I want to be able to give my patients more personal care,” expressed Zeller.

Zeller started work on creating her own practice last June. One of the time-consuming tasks was making sure she was credentialed to work with different insurance companies.

Brighter Futures offers walk-in hours for acutely sick patients, but everyone else should call for an appointment.

Brighter Futures Pediatrics and Lactation Services is located at 10200 Coppermine Road, Suite 101, Woodsboro, MD. For more information, call 301-304-9390 or visit

Examination room at Cindy Zeller’s new practice, Brighter Futures.

Courtesy Photo

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