Clark Avenue Connection

Dr. Rick Gessner

Today at RCAM: Monday Notes

Written by Dr. Rick Gessner

It is Monday, May 20, 2019

Today is a Typical Weekday at RCAM

  • This morning we sign off from our answering service at 8:00 am to take phone calls directly from our office.
  • Doors open at both the Duraleigh and Brier Creek offices at 8:00 am
  • Brier Creek office will close at 5:00 pm.
  • We will be in the Duraleigh office until we finish our On Call Evening Clinic (typically 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, Jen Long 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. Rick Gessner

This Weekend at RCAM: Sat / Sun Notes

Written by Dr. Rick Gessner

It’s the Weekend, May 18 and 19, 2019

  • 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 outside regular hours: 919-781-7490
  • After hours backup number: 919-831-5526
  • Poison Control: 1-800-222-1222

Dr. Rick Gessner

Today at RCAM: Friday Notes

Written by Dr. Rick Gessner

It is Friday, May 17, 2019

Today is a Typical Weekday at RCAM

  • This morning we sign off from our answering service at 8:00 am to take phone calls directly from our office.
  • Doors open at both the Duraleigh and Brier Creek offices at 8:00 am
  • Brier Creek office will close at 5:00 pm.
  • We will be in the Duraleigh office until we finish our On Call Evening Clinic (typically 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. Todd Harris 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, Jen Long 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. Jen Long

It’s Easter Weekend, April 19, 20 and 21, 2018

  1. IMPORTANT NOTE: Our office will be closed for routine business on Friday in observance of the Good Friday holiday
  2. We will offer a morning clinic for urgent needs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

 All patients seen at our Duraleigh office by appointment only

  • No walk-in appointments; be sure to call ahead
  • Try to call soon after 9am if you think your child may need to be seen to talk to the on call phone nurse
  • As always, we will be available for phone advice all day and every day

Your Easter Weekend Lineup

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

April 17, 2019 – A quick note: this Friday is Good Friday and that is an office holiday.

See how you can get up with our office if you have questions or need to be seen on a holiday here

In short, we handle holidays like we handle weekends:

  • One of our pediatricians will be on-call
  • They will see our newborns at Rex Hospital in the early morning
  • They will then see patients with urgent needs who have spoken with the nurse on call
  • That clinic begins at 10 am at our Duraleigh office.

We hope that your family gets to enjoy these special days together.


Dr. Todd Harris

Banner Change: Spring 2019 Edition

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

April 8, 2019 – Following our custom, now is the time we change our banner for the new season.

Formerly, “Children Frolicking in the Snow” – we now present “Young Child Looks Like My Oldest Daughter“.

1) Flu Activity: Much Less Than Before

The official message from the CDC website: “Influenza activity decreased but remains elevated in the United States.

Of course, a picture is worth a thousand words:

This graph depicts the last three years of likely flu activity in North Carolina (from the NC Dept. of Health and Human Services). It shows how this year’s flu (red line) peaked in February (as it usually does) and has steadily trended downward to now much lower rates as typically seen in April.

Official declarations on the efficacy of this year’s flu vaccine won’t come until later but early reports show it wasn’t bad. Preliminary results put this year’s vaccine effectiveness at about 47% (up almost 10 percentage points from last year).

TAKE-HOME MESSAGE: Plan to get your families flu vaccine for the 2019-2020 flu season in October.

2) As Flu Winds Down, It’s Time To Schedule Your Child’s Well Visit

Every child 3 years of age and older are recommended to get an annual “check up” or “well visit”.

School athletics, scouts, and most summer camps will also require that your child has an up to date physical and likely require their form to be completed so that your child can participate.

TAKE-HOME MESSAGE: Beat the summer rush. Call and schedule your child’s annual well visit now.

3) Upcoming Holidays at RCAM

The holiday office schedule will be covered again as we get closer to those holidays.

As usual – for these holidays – we will be available by phone for questions and in the office for visits for urgent concerns.

4) #BigTimesAtRCAM

  1. Last week, our very own Dr. Emily Ross got the pre-wedding pediatric medical office makeover (a.k.a. How many uses for exam table paper can you come up with?) from the RCAM nurses. Congratulations to her and her husband on their big day this past weekend. #BigTimesAtRCAM
  2. Also, you may remember Sylvia who used to work at our front desk (her husband is Steve – between the 2 of them, they worked about 70 years at RCAM)? She stands to win ten’s of dollars in the Unauthorized RCAM March Madness Pick ’em if Virginia wins the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament tonight. #BigTimesAtRCAM

Dr. Todd Harris

Maintain Your Brain

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

March 21, 2019 Why would a pediatric medical office be promoting a ‘Battle of the Bands’ concert?

Is it because the movie School of Rock is a personal, all-time favorite and this blog writer is always looking for an opportunity to embed a clip of its climactic, feel-good, how-did-this-happen moment in the big competiton when the band expertly performs a song it had never played before?

While that is true – it is a favorite – that’s not nearly enough reason to support some seemingly-random, amateur band battle.

So why is RCAM supporting such an event?

[Pause now for a word we have sponsored]

The Maintain Your Brain Battle of the Bands will take place at Broughton High School IN TWO DAYS on Saturday, March the 23rd from 1-4pm.

[Back to your regularly scheduled program]

There are two reasons why Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine has chosen to be one of its (many) sponsors:

REASON NUMBER ONE: This community event is raising awareness of brain health (Who is against that? Not these pediatricians) and the proceeds will benefit the Triangle Aphasia Project. – a local non-profit that supports individuals with a communication disorder known as aphasia.

Aphasia refers to individuals with significantly impaired communication – but who are likely not affected in other ways. In other words, these individuals typically have their normal intelligence and normal memory but have a lot of difficulty communicating.

Individuals and families affected by aphasia benefit greatly when others with the time, energy and skill are there to help.

What a difficult problem, and the good folks at Triangle Aphasia Project are helping our friends and neighbors to find solutions to the obstacles that they face.

REASON NUMBER TWO: This event came together from the idea and the follow-through of a young person.

At RCAM, we want to support young people whenever we can.

Charlotte Fullbright is a sophomore at Broughton High School. Her grandfather was her inspiration and she has seen her idea through to make it a reality – this event takes place this Saturday.

Read more about Charlotte here and more details about the concert here.

Aaaaannd that… is why RCAM is promoting a ‘Battle of the Bands’ contest.

We hope that Saturday is a big success, that many people in our community are helped as a result, and perhaps that some will be inspired to use our time and our talent to help others.


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