Clark Avenue Connection

Dr. Ben Meares

Monday Notes

Written by Dr. Ben Meares

Today is Monday, February 18, 2019

  • This morning we sign off from our answering service at 8:00 am to take calls directly from our office.
  • We will be in the office until we finish our On Call Evening Clinic (typically around 7:00 pm).

Walk-Ins

  • 8:00 – 8:30 am: Today if you arrive at the Duraleigh office during that time your child will be seen by our pediatrician(s) covering walk-in patients.
  • Walk-In appointments are for acute sick visits only (symptoms of a short duration).
  • As always, all other visits today are scheduled by appointment only.

Today’s Lineup

  • On Call PediatricianDr. Ben Meares will be rounding on our newborns at Rex Hospital and running our On Call Evening Clinic.
  • In our Duraleigh Office today:  Drs. Muff Carr, Ben Meares, Sarah Owrey and Emily Ross
  • In our Brier Creek Office today:  Drs. Jamila Fletcher and Rick Gessner

After Hours Care

  • Our On Call Pediatrician manages our after hours care.
  • Urgent calls outside regular hours: 919-781-7490
  • After hours backup number: 919-831-5526
  • Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222

Dr. Todd Harris

Banner Change: Winter 2019 Edition

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

Winter 2019 Banner

January 7, 2019 – Just a brief note because I know many of you carefully follow this: back on the first day of winter – December 21st – we replaced our fall banner depicting “Children Hugging in a Field of Hay” with our current winter banner: “Children Frolicking in Snow.”

With that technical note behind us – now – on to the important stuff:

#1) Influenza (Flu) Season Update 2018-2019

We still have flu vaccine for all patients except children 3 years and older with private insurance.

It is very unlikely that we will receive any more flu vaccine this season.

Here is a list of places where you can go and get your child a flu shot. We still recommend getting a flu vaccine as most of this season’s flu is still to come (in typical years, most flu arrives in January and February).

PLUG FOR NEXT YEAR #1: Get your flu vaccine next year in October. When you think of Halloween, think of a flu shot! October and November is when the flu vaccine is often in its best supply.

#2) How Much Flu are We Seeing So Far?

Pictured below are influenza statistics for North Carolina from about a week ago (the week ending December 29, 2018) for this year as well as the previous two flu seasons.

This year is the bright red line. You can see that this year is behind last year’s numbers (the dark gray line) for that particular week. You may recall that last year was a worse than typical flu season.

You can also see this year’s number of flu cases is beginning to rise a bit more quickly (see how the red line takes that left turn compared to the earlier trajectory).

That means – in the briefest of terms – there is a lot more flu to come (or as Mark Stoops would say, “We are just getting started bro.”).

# 3) 2019 – A Big Year Coming Up At RCAM

Dr. Muff Carrafter 40 years in the practice of pediatrics at Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine – will be retiring in August.

FORTY years! Holy Cow. Incredible. That’s a lot of children getting great care.

NOTE: Do NOT tell her I told you. It’s not a secret but she made me promise to not make a fuss (for those of you who know her, you know that’s classic Dr. Carr). I don’t think this is a ‘fuss’ but… you gotta find out somehow.

#4) Thanks for Your Cards!

Every December our staff gets a big kick when we receive your holiday cards.

We get cards for Christmas, Hanukkah, New Year – we’ve even gotten a few Halloween cards. We have chosen December – the time when we get the most cards – as the time to display them all.

We’ve even gone so far as to meticulously save and file away cards from previous years – that way, when we receive a current card, we get to display it with all of that families past cards.

In some instances, we have cards from each year from families going back to 2008 (the year we got the bright idea to start saving your cards). So, when that family’s cards go up, they may have 10 or 12 including past years.

To say the least, we all love having a visual of your children growing up year after year after year.

This year we received holiday cards from 63 different families. Including the cards from previous years for those 63 families, we got to display a total of 278 family holiday cards.

PLUG FOR NEXT YEAR #2: I know that some of you are sending out cards and might not think of your pediatrician. It’s okay. We know. When your child is healthy, we are some of the last people you want to think about. Please… consider sending us a card (feel free to include cards from previous years; we have a lot of wall space we like to cover up in December):

Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine
Holiday Card Department
3100 Duraleigh Road, Suite 300

Raleigh, NC 27612

 

In summary:

  1. More flu is coming.
  2. We still recommend flu vaccine for this year.
  3. Next year: When Halloween comes, get your flu shot!
  4. Also next year, send us your family holiday card.
  5. Do not tell Dr. Carr.

Dr. Ben Meares

Today is Tuesday, January 1, 2019

NOTE: Our office is closed for routine business today in observance of the New Year’s Day Holiday

No Walk-In Appointments on Holidays

  • Like other holidays, we are open on a limited basis
  • Patients are seen by appointment only at the Duraleigh office on all holidays.
  • If you think your child may need to be seen today, call 919-781-7490 in the morning after 9 am and speak to the nurse working with the On Call Pediatrician.
  • Today’s New Year’s Day Holiday clinic begins at 10am. Clinic ending time varies depending on how busy we are.
  • After clinic, we are available to speak by phone about any urgent concerns you may have.
  • Tomorrow will be a regular Wednesday workday.

The New Year’s Day Holiday Lineup

After Hours Care

  • Our On Call Pediatrician manages our after hours care.
  • Urgent calls outside regular hours: 919-781-7490
  • After hours backup number: 919-831-5526
  • Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222

Dr. Todd Harris

2019 RCAM Office Holidays

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

December 28, 2018 – With the New Year coming up, a reminder of the holidays for 2019 that will alter regular business hours.

  • First up: New Year’s Day, this Tuesday

We hope that your family is getting to enjoy some of these special days.


Dr. Todd Harris

December 21, 2018 – You may be able to tell this from the headline: this one has really snuck up on me.

Here is how we will be available over the next week. In summary, we will be in at least one of our offices 6 out of the 7 days. December 25th is the only day of the year we are not available in person, but we can be reached by phone for urgent concerns.

Hope you get to enjoy time with your family!

When it’s Friday, December 21, 2018

  • Typical Friday at RCAM
  • Both Duraleigh and Brier Creek offices are OPEN
  • Walk-In appointments at the Duraleigh office if you arrive between 8:00am and 8:30am
  • Friday’s On Call Pediatrician: Dr. Lily Harris

When it’s Saturday and Sunday, December 22 and 23, 2018

  • Typical Weekend at RCAM
  • All patients seen at Duraleigh office by appointment only; no walk-in appointments
  • Try to call soon after 9am if you think your child may need to be seen to talk to the on call phone nurse
  • Saturday’s On Call Pediatrician: Dr. Todd Harris
  • Sunday’s On Call Pediatrician: Dr. Lily Harris

When It’s Christmas Eve, Monday, December 24, 2018

  • Duraleigh office opens at regular time (Walk-Ins may arrive between 8:00am to 8:30am)
  • Brier Creek office is closed
  • Duraleigh office will close early (sometime after lunch)
  • Monday’s On Call Pediatrician: Dr. Emily Ross

When it’s Christmas Day, Tuesday, December 25, 2018

  • Both offices are closed
  • Christmas Day’s On Call Pediatrician: Dr. Sarah Owrey will be available for phone advice throughout the day

When it’s Wednesday, December 26, 2018

  • Duraleigh office opens at regular time (EXTENDED Walk-In times: arrive between 8:00am to 9:30am)
  • Brier Creek office is closed
  • Duraleigh office will close early (sometime after lunch)
  • Wednesday’s On Call Pediatrician: Dr. Jen Long

When it’s Thursday, December 27, 2018

After Hours / Holiday Hours Care

  • Our On Call Pediatrician manages our after hours care.
  • Urgent calls outside regular hours: 919-781-7490
  • After hours backup number: 919-831-5526
  • Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222

Dr. Ben Meares

Get Your Flu Shot

December 12, 2018 – As of today, the status of flu vaccine supply here at Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine:

RCAM Privately-supplied flu vaccine (private insurance):

  • Infants and Children UNDER 3 YEARS OLD: in stock
  • Children and Teens 3 YEARS & OLDER: OUT OF STOCK

RCAM State-supplied flu vaccine (Medicaid & uninsured)

  • Infants and Children UNDER 3 YEARS OLD: in stock
  • Children and Teens 3 YEARS & OLDER: in stock

Alternative sites that offer flu vaccine for children

NOTE: RCAM prefers that all pediatric medical care be rendered by your child’s medical home for consistency of care and continuity of medical record. We believe in the quality of pediatric medical care that is provided at RCAM. However, we also recognize that is not always possible, and, for the purpose of getting a flu vaccine, these are sound resources.

  • Ages 6 months and older:

    1. Wake County Health Department; 919-250-3900;
      • Walk-ins only at Sunnybrook Road location in “Clinic E” on Thursdays from 8:30am-10:30am
      • For appointment, call 919-250-3947
      • More information at wakegov.com
    2. WakeMed Urgent Care; 919-789-4322
      • Walk-Ins welcome
      • 2406 Blue Ridge Road, #190, Raleigh, NC 27607
    3. Passport Health; 919-781-0053 (Raleigh); 919-781-0053 (Cary)
      • No walk-Ins; appointment only; $40
      • 3100 Duraleigh Road (same building as our Duraleigh office), Suite 210, Raleigh, NC 27612
      • 8450 Chapel Hill Road, Suite 205, Cary, NC 27513
  • Ages 18 months and older:

    1. CVS Minute Clinic
  • Ages 14 years and older:

    1. Walgreens Pharmacy
    2. Rite Aid Pharmacy

 


Dr. Todd Harris

Winter Holidays Office Coverage 2018

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

November 19, 2018 – Published

winter-holiday-schedule-2016

Illness does not recognize holidays, so here is how RCAM plans to be available during the holiday season:

Wow. Is it already Thanksgiving? That sure snuck up.

It is our wish to be your child’s medical home – one place where all your child’s care resides.

  1. That means being available for questions:
    • Every day of the year one of our pediatricians is on call 24-hours-a-day for urgent health concerns.
    • If you ever have urgent concerns about your child’s health – you can always call us:
      • 919-781-7490
      • (If there is trouble with the above number, our on call backup number is 919-831-5526)
  2. That means being available to be seen – even if it is a holiday or a weekend:
    • We strive to keep our patients out of Urgent Cares and Pharmacy Clinics.
    • Emergency Rooms provide a vital service but – when possible – we want to keep you from having to go there too.
    • On weekends and holidays, we will see children with urgent medical concerns beginning in the morning by appointment only (call first – there are no walk-in appointments on holidays or weekends).
    • Christmas Day is the only day of the year that we do not see patients in our office (but we are available by phone all day).

Wednesday – November 21

  • Regular weekday business hours

Thursday Thanksgiving Day – November 22

Friday – November 23

  • Duraleigh office OPEN
  • Brier Creek office closed

Saturday and Sunday – November 24 and 25

Monday – November 26

  • Back to regular weekday business hours

christmas

Saturday and Sunday – December 22 and 23

Monday – Christmas Eve –  December 24

  • Duraleigh office OPEN (sick visits only; we will likely check out to our on call pediatrician and close the office early)
  • Brier Creek office closed

Tuesday Christmas Day – December 25

  • BOTH offices closed
  • On call pediatrician available for urgent questions
  • No office clinic on Christmas Day (atypical holiday hours)

Wednesday – December 26

  • Duraleigh office OPEN (we will likely check out to our on call pediatrician and close the office early)
  • Brier Creek office closed

Thursday – December 27

  • Back to regular weekday business hours

new-year

Monday – December 31

  • Regular weekday business hours

New Year’s Day Tuesday – January 1

Wednesday – January 2

  • Back to regular weekday business hours

 


Dr. Todd Harris

October 20, 2018 – I interupt this Banner Change post for an IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT:

Flu Vaccine: Available for All RCAM Patients

We now have adequate amounts of both state-supplied and privately-supplied flu vaccine. Flu Vaccine Clinic appointment slots are now open all RCAM patients.

Whether you have private insurance… Whether you have Medicaid insurance... Whether you are uninsured… RCAM now has flu vaccine for all RCAM patients.

Call us at 919-781-7490 and schedule your child to get their flu vaccine.

2018-2019 Flu Season: Way-Too-Early Statistics

North Carolina Weekly Influenza Surveillance Summary 10-13-2018

Sure. There is some flu out there right now – that red line picture above that depicts the 2018-2019 Flu Season shows that there isn’t much flu illness out there… yet.

The amount of flu we are seeing now is nothing like what we typically see later during the more active parts of flu season.

Take advantage of the slow part of flu season and prepare. Do your part for your family and for yourself: Go get your flu shot.

Decrease Your and Your Family’s Chance of Getting a Serious Illness

By getting your flu vaccine you know that – by the time we get to the busy part of flu season – you’ve done what you can do to limit your chance of getting the flu.

That’s what you are doing when you get your flu shot: you are reducing your chance of catching a very difficult illness.

Flu vaccine doesn’t eliminate the possibility of catching flu. It also doesn’t cause the flu. It does cut your chance of catching the flu.

I like that. Less chance to catch a serious illness. Who wouldn’t want that?

Back to the Banner Post

It’s been autumn so long that the temperature actually feels like autumn.

We welcome a new banner picture.

Welcome, two little girls who are getting along very well.

Did I Mention that 3 of Our 10 Pediatricians Have Recently Given Birth?

Lately, it seems most of the chatter around RCAM comes back to Sarah, Lily and Jen and their recent new additions.

We all have questions.

How are they doing?

How is there transition to having two young children going?

Are they getting any sleep?

The talk eventually goes inward. Remember the exhaustion of caring for a new baby – particularly when you already had an energetic and attention-starved toddler at home?

Finally someone asks, How did any of us ever decide to go through it all over again and have another child? [Next slide please…]

Presenting: Moments that Make Us Forget How Difficult Raising Young Children Can Be


Dr. Todd Harris

Atta Girl: The Grand Finale

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

October 5, 2018 – So I (and 10 others) got this text on Monday night:

[NOTE: You will be happy to know that we did forgive the 9-hour-gap between birth and viewing an official pic 😉 ]

[PRO TIP: If you ever need forgiveness, a pregnancy / birth of a child works almost 100% of the time. Although – in this case – there are still questions. Who else did you inform and when were they informed? What were the time gaps? At what amount of time does a gap mean we’ve become an after thought? All questions to which we really don’t want answers.]

Congratulations Dr. Long and Family!

OK – back to the important part – the big day arrived for our very own Dr. Jen Long, her husband, Brandon, and newly-anointed big brother Emerson to officially face-to-face welcome baby Audrey Mae.

One-In-A-Million

We are soooo happy here at RCAM that we have completed our recent ‘Season of Anticipation’ with a perfect record.

This week’s ‘Grand Finale’ ended an 8-week period in which 3 of our pediatricians had 3 healthy baby girls and a 7-month period in which 5 of our RCAM-ily had 5 healthy baby girls (yes… ALL were girls).

Counting backwards, employees of RCAM have produced 9 straight girls.

For those keeping score: if you take 9 random pregnancies, there is a 1 in 512 chance of have 9 girls.

That is not quite 1 in a million – but today maybe the Long Family would disagree.