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 toΒ 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

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

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 πŸ˜‰ ]

[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.


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