Clark Avenue Connection

Dr. Rick Gessner

Tuesday Notes

Written by Dr. Rick Gessner

Today is Tuesday, November 13, 2018

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

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

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.


Dr. Todd Harris

September 21, 2018 Patients with private insurance may now call and set up an appointment for their child to get the flu shot in one of our Flu Shot Clinics.

Private-Supplied Flu Vaccine

For patients who have private insurance, we have received our shipment of private flu vaccine and are beginning to administer those shots. (Private insurance is through a health insurance company such as BCBS, United Healthcare, Cigna, etc.)

State-Supplied Flu Vaccine

For some, flu vaccine is supplied by the State of North Carolina:

  • Insured by Medicaid
  • Uninsured
  • Native Americans or Native Alaskans
  • Insured by a medical cost sharing plan

We have not received state-supplied flu vaccine, so we cannot begin vaccinating patients in these groups yet. We have no control over this and have no way to predict when we will receive it.

Check back here over the next few weeks. We will announce and start administering our state-supplied flu vaccine as soon as it arrives.

We dislike having two different flu vaccine start dates, but felt we simply have to begin with the vaccine that we have on hand.

Flu Shot Clinic

In an effort to prepare for the upcoming flu season with the goal of vaccinating as many of our patients as quickly as possible, Flu Shot Clinic is for getting flu shots only.

If you have other health concerns, call and make a regular appointment with one of our pediatricians.

We will also continue to vaccinate patients as they are seen in our office for routine visits.

Experts: Jury Still Out On FluMist

FluMist – the nasal spray flu vaccine – will unfortunately not be available again this year at RCAM.

You may be aware of reports that FluMist has returned as an option after being unavailable for 2 years due to concerns that is had become ineffective.

Infectious disease experts and the American Academy of Pediatrics are not yet convinced that the updated FluMist will be as effective as the Flu Shot. As a result, RCAM this year will only offer the shot version of the flu vaccine.

Decrease Your Chances of Catching a Bad Illness

Influenza illness – the Flu – can be very hard on the very young, the very old, and for those with certain underlying conditions like diabetes and asthma.

It can also be a very bad illness for anyone – regardless of health – so we recommend flu vaccine for just about all of our patients.

Decrease your family’s chances of catching the flu. Call RCAM 919-781-7490 to get your child’s Flu Shot.


Dr. Todd Harris

It’s the Weekend, September 15 and 16, 2018

The weekend notes are publishing just a little bit earlier to get the following word out to our families:

As of 10:00 Friday night, we plan to open for our typical Saturday morning on-call clinic. We will update if plans have to change before tomorrow morning.

  • No Walk-In Appointments on the Weekend
  • Patients are seen by appointment only on all holidays and weekends.
  • If you think your child may need to be seen this weekend, call 919-781-7490 in the morning after 9 am and speak to the nurse working with the On Call Pediatrician.
  • Saturday and Sunday 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.

The Weekend Lineup

After Hours Care

  • Urgent calls 24 hours a day: 919-781-7490
  • After hours backup number: 919-831-5526
  • Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222

Dr. Todd Harris

Friday Notes: RCAM CLOSED TODAY Edition

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

Today is Friday, September 14, 2018

  • We hope today’s Friday Notes: Special Edition finds you and your family together and safe

WE ARE CLOSED TODAY due to the Uncertain Nature of Hurricane Path Prediction

  • No one here is blaming local meteorologists.
  • In fact, I am personally amazed and appreciative – we benefit from their knowledge, forecasting, and stamina.

Way to Go Dr. Lily!

  • As we grow weary of weather maps, this morning’s Friday Notes: Special Edition picture features a Special Addition to the RCAM-ily: Our very own Dr. Lily Harris, her husband Michael, and now big sister Carrie Anne this week welcomed Georgia Amelia (aka “Milly”).
  • For those of you keeping score at home: 6 lbs and 8 oz.
  • Also for those of you keeping score: we are at 2 down and 1 to go for August and September expectant RCAM Pediatricians.

Today’s Plan

  • On Call PediatricianDr. Emily Ross will be managing our after hours care
  • As stated earlier, both offices are closed today. We will be unable to see any patients today.
  • IF YOU HAVE AN URGENT QUESTION ABOUT A SICK CHILD: our answering service will be taking messages and a group of our nurses – backed by Drs. Emily Ross, Rick Gessner, Ben Meares, Todd Harris and Jamila Fletcher – will be happy to try and help on what no doubt will be a challenging day.

Tomorrow’s Plan

  • Stay tuned. Like you, we will continue to monitor local weather reports.
  • We are hopeful to open up the Duraleigh office for weekend hours on Saturday.

After Hours Care

  • Urgent calls 24 hours a day: 919-781-7490
  • After hours backup number: 919-831-5526
  • Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222

Dr. Todd Harris

September 13, 2018 – Due to concerns about the safety of our employees as well as patients traveling to our office, we make the following statement:

RCAM will close both offices for Friday, September 14, 2018 being so close to the predicted path of Hurricane Florence.

We will continue to follow the weather reports and hope to open our Duraleigh office for Saturday clinic on September 15, 2018.

You may call at anytime on Friday and speak to a nurse if you have an urgent need regarding the health of your child.

Stay tuned and stay safe.


Dr. Todd Harris

RCAM Phone Upgrade COMPLETE

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

September 12, 2018RCAM is upgrading its telephone system this morning.

This morning – Wednesday – September 12th – between 7:30 and 8:30 am – if you have an urgent need about a sick child that can’t wait, call our backup on-call number 919-831-5526

By 8:30 am on that day our regular number 919-781-7490 should be working just fine.

We have been reassured that this process takes about 15 minutes. We have scheduled 60 minutes for it. Fingers crossed that we don’t set any records and have a smooth telephonic transition.

10:10 am UPDATE – Upgrade is complete. You can now reach us at our regular number 919-781-7490. Thank you for your patience.


Dr. Todd Harris

Hurricane Florence and RCAM

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

September 10, 2018 – Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine will be following the advice of our Governor and other emergency agencies as North Carolina prepares for Hurricane Florence.

As with winter storms, we will update here if we have to close or otherwise alter normal office operations at one or both of our offices.

Some potential scenarios:

  1. If we have to close our BRIER CREEK office, we may reschedule patients or we may try to route them to our DURALEIGH office
  2. If we have to close our DURALEIGH office, we may reschedule patients or we may try to route them to our BRIER CREEK office
  3. If we have to close BOTH OFFICES, we will do our best to manage urgent concerns by phone and then recommending those who need it to the local emergency departments.

A note about the phones: If there is a problem with our main phone line and you have an urgent concern about a sick child, you can call our backup answering service number at 919-831-5526.

Please keep in mind that if that situation occurs, the number of people answering the phone will be limited, so only call with urgent concerns. Save routine calls for when things settle down.


Dr. Todd Harris

September 6, 2018 – As more information about children and automobile safety is gathered and analyzed, the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) is becoming more convinced that rear-facing is the safest seating position for a child riding in a car.

Prior to 2011, the recommended age to transition from a rear-facing to a forward-facing car seat was 12 months old. The AAP in 2011 moved that recommendation to 24 months.

That same group – in an effort to make recommendations based on the best and most up-to-date information available – continues to monitor crash safety data and now is recommending that children ride in a rear-facing car safety seat as long as possible – up to the limits of their car safety seat.

Most rear-facing car seats have a maximum rear-facing weight in the 30 pound range – the average weight of a 3-year old. Convertible car seats – seats that can be used both rear-facing and forward-facing – have a maximum rear-facing weight in the 40+ pound range – the average weight of a 5 year old. This new information will therefore include virtually all children under 2 years of age and most children up to age 4.

Important links:

Discuss this with your pediatrician at your child's next well visit