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!
December 14, 2016 – Beneath the RCAM Official Image for Flu Season 2016-2017, we make the following announcement:
RCAM now has enough both state and private flu vaccine to cover our flu vaccine clinics for all our patients. If you haven’t already done so, call today and set up an appointment for your child to get their flu vaccine.
It is not too late: So far – and this is similar to most years – we have seen very few cases of influenza (flu) in our office. We are in the single digits at RCAM for total flu cases …so far. January and February are typically when we see the most patients with flu. For this reason, there is still time to get your child the best protection that we know of against the flu.
Yes, it is later than usual for us to begin widely offering state flu vaccine (but see #1; not too late): By report, the flooding in the east greatly delayed the shipment of state flu vaccine – at Raleigh Childrens and throughout North Carolina. Our allotments came in small numbers – only enough to keep up with patients who happened to be here for a checkup or similar. Yesterday we finally received a more typical volume of state flu vaccine and therefore today we make this announcement.
Unfortunately, there are unpleasant things about the winter that we can’t do much to prevent. Things like ‘cold’ viruses, ice storms, the fact that every morning your bed feels so much better than wherever you need to be – these are things that just can’t be stopped.
Flu vaccine is the best thing we know to limit your chance of catching a difficult if not dangerous respiratory illness. Get your child vaccinated.
November 17, 2016 – This past Saturday night, RCAM gathered together 13 current and former pediatricians (pictured above) and about 50 current and former staff who along with significant others marked the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine.
In 1966, Dr. Bob Fleming started a solo pediatric practice on Clark Avenue near Cameron Village in a 4-room house. It wasn’t long before he was joined by Dr. Stephen Edwards and they moved to a location close to the “Old” Rex Hospital on St. Mary’s Street. In the early 1970s, Dr. Alan Goldman joined the group to became member number three of “The RCAM Big Three”.
Drs. Edwards and Goldman both addressed Saturday night’s crowd and shared many of those early memories. Dr. Edwards also spoke about the future of the practice of pediatrics when he said the following:
“As long as we take care of children in the best way possible – as long as we take care of each other – and work toward the betterment of all children – we will always have a job and always feel good about that job.”
Dr. Rick Gessner, current Managing Partner of RCAM, also spoke about our past, present and hopes for the future. He challenged our current employees to seize the potential of our daily face-to-face encounters with our patients and their families: “How you greet them and smile and explain and listen and treat makes a difference in the life of a child.”
His remarks from Saturday night are posted in the video below:
Debbie Maness – our current Office Manager who has intimate knowledge of the last 38 years of RCAM – said, “Saturday was a great time – great to see [our current employees] mix with so many wonderful people from our past.”
RCAM Special Guests that night included:
“The RCAM Big Three” and their significant others looked great and seemed to be continuing to enjoy retirement:
Dr. Bob Fleming and his wife Nancy Jo – Bob still performs physicals for our armed services
Dr. Stephen Edwards and his wife Sylvia – Sylvia has seemed to give up retirement in favor of working with our front office staff
Dr. Alan Goldman and his wife Jill – Alan reminded us of his one-of-a-kind Christmas Party games. He initiated a holiday game that really needs to return. It was called “Find Your Bonus Check” and involved hiding individual bonus checks in unpredictable places in the office (let your mind wander). His annual quizzes were famous for asking things like “How many doors are in our office?” and “Finish this verse of ‘Good King Wenceslas’.”
Two former “Head Nurses”:
Dixie Kennedy and her husband Melvin – Dixie was Dr. Fleming’s first hire and she set up the nursing program at RCAM
Shirley Gower and her husband Clarence – Shirley was an unflappable, longtime head nurse
Two former “Weekend Nurses” who were known to bring ease to everyone they encountered (a wonderful trait for a weekend nurse)
Brownie Parker and her husband Wayne
Wyndee Langdon and her husband Andy
Two other blasts from the not so far past:
Cater Riggan – Cater handled our dealings with Cigna at a time when that was not easy and was also known to keep us all straight at all times (I think its called “gravitas”)
Beverly Stinson and her husband Jim – Beverly was a longtime nurse who never met a stranger
We would like to formally thank all associated with RCAM – current and past – employees and spouses – patients and their families. Taking care of children in the best way possible – working toward the betterment of all children – that requires a total team effort. And so does taking care of each other.
November 5, 2016 – From March 2015, there was a 12-month period of time during which 4 nurses and 2 pediatricians at RCAM gave birth.
Yeah. That’s SIX pregnancies working together in a relatively small space.
That is a circumstance that will cause even a busy pediatric medical practice – a place that for 50 years has lived with the eminent presence of babies – to single out one 12-month period as “The Year of the Babies.”
It was our own personal DEFCON 3. Everyone was ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice.
One day, we had a baby shower for FIVE.
It was a dirty Santa baby shower. 5 expectant mothers competed head-to-head-to-head-to-head-to-head for gifts and prizes. Witnesses were heard to say the event appeared surprisingly natural.
So what could follow so much living on the edge?
This past year we transitioned from “The Year of the Babies” to “The Year of the Shannons.” (aka “The Shannons Strike Back”)
Two of our three nurses with the name “Shannon” became pregnant with their first. On September 14th, Nurse Shannon M. welcomed her new daughter.
Today, RCAM is happy to announce that Shannon B. – the RCAM head cheerleader – and her husband Justin welcomed their brand new baby girl into the world:
Brief aside: BTW, do you like my (and everyone else’s) use of a euphemism. Rather than calling it “giving birth”, we substitute a word like “welcome”. And isn’t “giving birth” sort of candy-coating the experience too? I have been in that room and would describe it more as “committing birth”.
Of course, it’s difficult not to coat the entire experience with the joy and the happiness that comes with finally seeing and holding your little girl.
RCAM is so happy for Shannon and Justin and their family taking it to the next level!
September 14, 2016 – The sparkler is a universal sign of celebration.
It really has no other use.
ANNOUNCEMENT: here ye, here ye – we are (figuratively) breaking out the sparklers today at Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine because we have just received word that one of our very own – Nurse Shannon M. – has joined the ranks of parenthood.
Shannon and her husband Andrew this morning welcomed into the world their very own brand new baby girl.
UPDATE 09-14-2016 06:15 PM: Here she is!
We are so happy for new Mom and new Dad and we await their little girl’s first visit to RCAM.
That leaves us with only one expectant Nurse named Shannon left at RCAM. #YearOfTheShannons #ShannonsStrikeBack
As we count our blessings, here is another universal sign of celebration:
August 31, 2016 -This image is presented in memory of the summer of 2016.
With traditional calendar schools getting started this week – as we are forced to remove ourselves from our beach chair – whether that is real thing for you or if you are stepping away from some imaginary beach chair – we now face the stark reality of limited time off, kids in school, tight schedules, and… egads… the upcoming flu season 2016-2017.
Beginning September 1st, RCAM has enough flu vaccine supply to begin inoculations for the upcoming 2016-2017 flu season. Please keep reading because there are two important things to know about the start of our flu vaccination efforts:
We have plenty privately-supplied flu vaccine, but – for circumstances beyond our control – we have not received our state-supplied flu vaccine. This does not affect patients who have private insurance (like BCBS,Cigna, United, etc.) or who plan to pay cash for their flu vaccine. Unfortunately, this delay does impact our patients who receive state-supplied flu vaccine – namely, the uninsured and those with Medicaid insurance. We expect to get state-supplied flu vaccine but we do not know exactly when that will happen. We will update when it does.
There will be no Flumist nasal spray-type vaccine offered this year. We will only be offering the “flu shot” this year.
Click here for more details about those two details.
You are free to call and schedule to get your children their flu shot in one of our flu vaccine nurse clinics.
The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the pediatricians at RCAM recommend that just about everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine every year.
WakeMed presents a popular and practical program about puberty for pre-teens and their parents (try saying that 5 times fast).
There are separate programs for girls (“Girlology”) and boys (“Guyology”).
Here is a better description from WakeMed’s website about the “Girlology” program (NOTE: “Guyology” will also be offered):
“When girls learn about puberty before it happens, they face it with greater confidence and even excitement. This is the perfect time to start healthy, factual conversations. Join us for this physician-led, mother-daughter program where we will discuss growth & development, bras & bra shopping, hygiene & hair management, nutrition, menstruation, feminine care products, moods and emotions and respect for self & others.”
The presentation is known for being both engaging and factually accurate. Spots fill pretty quickly, so be sure to pre-resgister soon.
As noted in the flyer above, here are details:
Wednesday, October 5th
Andrews Center (located at WakeMed’s Raleigh campus on New Bern Avenue)
February 18, 2016 – RCAM recently became aware of a college scholarship from Shire that selects from applicants with ADHD who have been accepted to or are currently enrolled in an undergraduate program.
The details are listed in the flyer above. The student does not necessarily have to be on medication for ADHD to be eligible.
The deadline is March 9th.
Each scholarship has a value of $2,000 and includes 1 year of ADHD coaching services.
Last year there were just over 2000 applicants and 54 scholarships were awarded. Not bad odds for a college scholarship.
Four of the 54 awards given were to students from North Carolina.
Good luck to all of our patients making plans to attend college next year.