September 25, 2017 – Friday was the official first day of autumn, so we officially said “Goodbye” to summer with its summer vacation and children who need to find things to do – and with that as our tradition here dictates we said “Goodbye” to our summer website banner picture of ‘Three Children at the Pool with a Pink Floaty‘.
I am sure those three children are now back in school and caught up in the purposeful rhythm of the academic cycle.
Today – also part of our tradition – we say “Hello” to autumn and to a new autumn website banner picture: ‘Mother, Daughter and Many Mini Pumpkins’.
Some things coming up at RCAM:
#1-Flu season is right around the corner – it is time to get your flu vaccine
Flu vaccine clinics – Dr. Meares provided details about getting your flu vaccine at RCAM here. Like most years, in the early going we have plenty of private-supplied flu vaccine but are still awaiting our shipment of state-supplied flu vaccine. We will update here as we get more state-supplied vaccine.
We continue to recommend the flu vaccine for almost everyone – particularly the very young, the very old, and those with conditions that would make having the flu much worse like asthma or diabetes.
The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has listed 10 things you should know about this year’s flu vaccinehere.
If you are looking for a lot of information about the upcoming flu season and about the flu vaccine itself, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has compiled quite a bit here.
#2-Some New Faces at RCAM
In August we announced the arrival ofDr. Emily Ross. We have been very happy to have her join us. We are learning a lot from her as she learns a lot from us. She is working four days a week mostly in our Duraleigh office.
This month we welcomed a new nurse – Wendy B. – to RCAM. Along with being our newest nurse she is also our second ‘Wendy’ (to go with Wendy T.). That should not be confusing at all since we already have three nurses named Shannon.
You may also notice some new faces up front and new voices answering the phone. In the last 2 months, we have welcomed Jenny, Teresa (not to be confused with Front Office Manager Theresa), Denzlo and Allison. Such a large influx to our front office staff reflects only minimal turnover; rather, we have added some new positions in an effort to more completely cover the ever-growing list of front office responsibilities.
#3-Dr. Lehan’s Last Flu Season at RCAM
Next summer a true giant in our office – Dr. Leigh S. Lehan – will retire after 34 years of pediatrics at Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine.
That seems like a long way off – but it seemed like Kobe Bryant’s last season with the Lakers just flew by – so we all need to start preparations for ‘Life After Lehan.’ That means the rest of us are going to have to get a lot more patient and a lot more gentle to make up for that loss –we better start now.
Biggest difference: She does not put her hands over her head as much now when she is placed in front of a huge pink cake – although now as I write this I am doubting myself – time to put that theory to a test.
September 20, 2017 – “As of September 20th, RCAM Flu Vaccine Clinics are open for those with private insurance.”
Private-Supplied Flu Vaccine:
For those patients who have private insurance, we have received our shipment of flu vaccine and can begin giving those shots. (Private insurance is through a company such as BCBS, United Healthcare, Cigna, etc.)
State-Supplied Flu Vaccine:
For the following groups, the flu vaccine is supplied by the State of North Carolina:
Insured by Medicaid
Native Americans or Native Alaskans
Insured by a medical cost sharing plan
We have NOT yet received an adequate supply of these State-funded flu vaccines, so we CANNOT begin vaccinating patients in this group yet. We have no control over this and have no way to predict when we will receive it. We will start as soon as we can get our supply of vaccines, so stay tuned.
While we dislike separating these two groups, we simply must get started using the vaccine we have.
Also Important to Note:
Again this year, FluMist will not be available. As you may have heard in the news, FluMist has not been as effective recently. We hope to have it by next year, but for now, FluMist is not recommended and is not available. This year, we are again “stuck” with the shot!
July 26, 2017 – As you are making your weekend plans, consider joining us for a great meal to benefit someone who is pretty important to our RCAM-ily.
If you haven’t heard, one of our nurses – Erika Johnson – recently learned that she needs a kidney transplant.
A group of Erika’s supporters have organized a lunch this Saturday – all proceeds will go to help offset some of the significant costs that she has and will no doubt incur.
Details about the lunch are listed on the flyer below.
It is no small thing to process news like this and to then experience how it changes your life. We want to be sure that Erika does not go through this without being certain of our support and encouragement.
If you can’t make it to the lunch but you would like to make a contribution, Erika’s supporters have also organized a GoFundMe page that can be found here.
We welcome summer, and – with summer – we welcome a new summer website banner picture: “Welcome” we say to ‘three children at the pool with a pink floaty’.
A few things going on this summer at Raleigh Children and Adolescents Medicine:
CHECK UPS: Did you know that your teenage child’s well visit (a.k.a. “checkup” or “complete physical”) meets the requirements for participating in school sports? At that visit, we can complete your child’s school sports form (and in Wake County that will cover the next 13 months of athletic participation). If you need a form completed and you have already had a check up this year – no worries – we can complete that form based on information gathered at that visit. There is no need for a ‘Physical’ at an Urgent Care or a Pharmacy Clinic. Just send us your school’s sports form with your portion already completed. You can drop it by, mail it, or send it to us through your email or fax.
NEW PEDIATRICIAN joining RCAM! Dr. Emily Rossbegins August 1st. More about Dr. Ross later, but we are excited for her to join the RCAM-ily for the next 40 or so years (imagine the stories she will tell at RCAM’s 90th anniversary).
ePRESCRIBING MEDICATIONS that previously required a hand-delivered, paper hard copy: For over 10 years, we have been able to send most prescriptions electronically directly to your pharmacy. This practice reduces transcription errors and typically is more convenient for our patients. However, certain medications have continued to require a paper hard copy that must then be hand-delivered to the pharmacy. The Pediatricians at RCAM are currently working through the authorization process for sending these prescriptions electronically. We are happy to offer a service that improves patient safety and convenience.
PAYMENTS THROUGH THE PATIENT PORTAL: Do you prefer electronic bill paying? Coming in July, payments on your account will be able to be made electronically through our Patient Portal.
CHINI WAPI DONATIONS: Many will recall Dr. Rick Gessnerand his family spent 2 years on a medical mission in Kenya. His daughter Anna returns there this month and she has been collecting women’s underwear to distribute to women there living in prisons or remote tribes. You may have seen signs in our office about her trip. She collected more than 800 pairs. We estimate 200-250 were donated by families at RCAM. Thank you for your contributions.
And now, what would summer fun be without your pediatrician there to remind you about safety?
A brief video from the AAP about sun protection:
If you like lists (I know you are out there), here are some tips from the AAP’s website: healthychildren.org: Summer Safety Tips
Finally, from our local paper, The News & Observer, here is a video about what to do should you find yourself in a rip current. A terrifying thought, but more proof that having the right information can save your life:
RCAM hopes your family makes memories of a summer full of good health and good play!