Clark Avenue Connection

Ben Meares, M.D.

RCAM Today: Wednesday Notes

Written by Ben Meares, M.D.

UPDATES: Please Note these RCAM COVID-19 Adjustments

It is Wednesday, June 16, 2021

(Remember: we open our doors a little later at 9:00 am on Wednesdays)

This morning we sign off from our answering service at 8:00 am to take phone calls directly from our office.

Today’s Lineup

Dr. Ben Meares is our On Call Pediatrician today. In addition to typical office duties, our On Call Pediatrician takes calls overnight beginning after 5:00 pm.

  • Well Child Care at Duraleigh: Drs. Rick Gessner, Jen Long, Ben Meares, and Emily Mims are our pediatricians seeing well patients today at our Duraleigh office
  • Sick Child Care at Brier Creek: Dr. Sarah Owrey is our pediatrician seeing sick patients today at the Curbside Clinic at our Brier Creek office
  • TeleHealth Visits Online: Dr. Tom Sena is our pediatrician seeing TeleHealth visits today

Important Numbers

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

Todd Harris, M.D.

Now Scheduling COVID-19 Vaccinations at RCAM

Written by Todd Harris, M.D.

Originally Posted on May 21, 2021 – You may have heard that all RCAM Pediatricians enthusiastically endorse the COVID-19 Vaccination for all eligible patients, but have you heard this:

RCAM is now scheduling COVID-19 Vaccination for all of our patients 12 years old and up.

Some important details:

  • The Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine has been approved for adolescents 12 years old and up.
  • We will administer the vaccine at appointments designated for vaccine only. We will be unable to add a COVID-19 Vaccine to any other type of visit.
  • You may call to schedule your child’s COVID-19 Vaccination appointment beginning today, Friday, May 21st.
  • Our schedulers can only take calls for these appointments on weekdays during regular business hours. Please do not call on the weekend to schedule vaccination appointments.
  • The Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine has shown to be very effective after completing two (2) doses separated by 21 days. When you call to schedule, we will require setting dates for both doses.
  • You may have read that this vaccine has some very specific storage requirements. For that reason, we will not be scheduling any drive thru vaccine clinics (it saddens me to write that – stay tuned). Each appointment will be indoors at our Duraleigh office (follow the signs to our backdoor entrance).

As vaccination rates have gone up, it has been exciting to see cases go down.

Let’s all do what we can to control COVID-19.


Todd Harris, M.D.

RCAM Today: Tuesday Notes

Written by Todd Harris, M.D.

UPDATES: Please Note these RCAM COVID-19 Adjustments

Today is Tuesday, June 15, 2021

This morning we sign off from our answering service at 8:00 am to take phone calls directly from our office.

Today’s Lineup

Dr. Todd Harris is our On Call Pediatrician today. In addition to typical office duties, our On Call Pediatrician takes calls overnight beginning at 5:00 pm.

  • Well Child Care at Duraleigh: Drs. Jamila Fletcher, Todd Harris, Ben Meares, Sarah Owrey, and Tom Sena are our pediatricians seeing well patients today at Duraleigh
  • Sick Child Care at Brier Creek: Dr. Rick Gessner is our pediatrician seeing sick patients today at our Curbside Clinic at Brier Creek
  • TeleHealth Visits Online: Dr. Lily Harris is our pediatrician seeing TeleHealth visits today

Important Numbers

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

Todd Harris, M.D.

RCAM 2021: Memorial Day Holiday Weekend Notes

Written by Todd Harris, M.D.

May 29, 2021 – Here is how we plan to be available to our patients and their families this holiday weekend:

Monday, May 31, 2021 is an official RCAM office holiday

Newborn Care:

  • We will have a Newborn Clinic at 10am on Saturday, Sunday, and Monday
  • Call our office 919-781-7490 to set up an appointment
  • Sunday Newborn Clinic will be at our Duraleigh office
  • Saturday and Monday Newborn Clinic will be at our Brier Creek office

Sick Child Care:

  • TeleHealth Visits: We will be offering TeleHealth visits every day
  • Curbside Clinic: On Saturday and Monday mornings, we will offer our Curbside Clinic at Brier Creek for in-person, sick child care; call and speak to our nurse to see if your child should be seen in the Curbside Clinic
  • RCAM Phone Advice: beginning at 9am, our nurse working with our On Call Pediatrician will be available for urgent concerns throughout the day; in the evening, the On Call Pediatrician will begin taking calls for urgent concerns

Important Numbers

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

Todd Harris, M.D.

May 14, 2021 – From the above link:

“The AAP recommends adolescents ages 12 and older get vaccinated against COVID-19 now that federal health officials have signed off on the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine for these ages.”

You can add the pediatricians at Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine as enthusiastically supporting this recommendation.

Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine Coming to RCAM in June

We anticipate having the necessary approvals and logistics together by June to begin vaccinations in our office (it’s a real process).

IMPORTANT NOTE: We are currently not scheduling patients until more details have been finalized (we will post here when we begin to schedule those visits).

Due to the ultra-cold storage requirements for the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 Vaccine, it appears we will only be offering the vaccine at appointments specifically designated ‘COVID Vaccine only’ and will not be able to offer it during other visits.

More details to come…

RCAM Enthusiastically Endorses Vaccination Against COVID-19

The pediatricians at RCAM have been asked quite a bit, “Do you recommend getting the COVID Vaccine for yourself? …for your children? …for you patients?”

Here are some of the ways I have responded to that question (different answers, same conclusion):

  • Short answer: “YES!”
  • Less short answer (I call this my ‘sound bite’ answer because it is brief but also speaks to weighing the pros and cons with the decision to vaccinate): “I trust the COVID-19 Vaccine much more than I trust the COVID-19 virus, so ‘yes’ – I recommend everyone who is eligible to get the COVID Vaccine.”
  • Longer answer link (some of you are into that): here (general info), here (videos from Paul Offit, MD of Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia), here (safety)
  • Most convincing answer (for me): “Every pediatrician at RCAM – every pediatrician I know – each one works everyday on the front lines of taking care of children – each one are so convinced that without hesitation they received the COVID Vaccine for themselves (I witnessed a few crying not from the pain of the shot but from the joy of being able to avoid a terrible virus), recommend it to others, and are currently planning vaccination for their own children as it comes available. That confirms to me everything I need to know.”

Places to get COVID-19 Vaccine Now

I don’t blame you for not wanting to wait. I’m not waiting. My 14-year-old is scheduled to get her first dose of COVID Vaccine today at Walgreens.

The CDC website has so much good information (It is a good place to start for all things COVID).

They have a good summary on CDC.gov of where you can find the vaccine (here).

The most practical option I have used myself: text your ZIP code to 438829 and you pretty immediately get a listing of who is offering COVID Vaccine in your area.

 

 


Todd Harris, M.D.

Good Friday Holiday this Friday

Written by Todd Harris, M.D.

March 31, 2021 – Important note:

Our office will be closed for regular business on Friday, April 2, 2021 in observance of the Good Friday Easter holiday.

  • Like everyday, one of our pediatricians will be on call to help with your child’s urgent health needs
  • There will be a morning clinic to follow-up with some of our well infants born over this past week
  • During the coronavirus pandemic, we have altered how we see sick patients on holidays and weekends
    • On Sundays and holidays, sick patients may schedule a TeleHealth visit with our On Call Pediatrician
    • On Saturdays, sick patients may still schedule a TeleHealth visit but our Brier Creek Curbside Sick Clinic will also be available for an in-person, sick visit

Todd Harris, M.D.

Winter Holidays Office Coverage 2020

Written by Todd Harris, M.D.

November 23, 2020 – Please note:

winter-holiday-schedule-2016

Illness does not recognize holidays, so here is how RCAM plans to be available during the holiday season:

It is our wish to be your child’s medical home – one place where all your child’s care resides.

  1. That means being available for questions:
    • Every day of the year one of our pediatricians is on call 24-hours-a-day for urgent health concerns.
    • If you ever have urgent concerns about your child’s health – you can always call us: 919-781-7490 (If there is trouble with the above number, our on call backup number is 919-831-5526)
  2. That means being available to be seen – even if it is a holiday or a weekend:
    • We strive to keep our patients out of Urgent Cares and Pharmacy Clinics; Emergency Rooms provide a vital service but – when possible – we want to keep you from having to go there too.
    • The Coronavirus / COVID-19 Pandemic has impacted weekend and holiday hours: up until now, we have offered only in person, well newborn care on weekends and holidays; sick care has been provided through online TeleHealth appointments
    • Beginning in December, we will have an extra pediatrician working on Saturday who will see in person sick visits from 10am to Noon at our Brier Creek office (these visits are by appointment only)
    • Christmas Day is the only day of the year that we do not see patients in our office (but we are available by phone all day).

WEDNESDAY – November 25

  • RCAM Pandemic Mode typical weekday:
    • Well Care and Newborn Care at our Duraleigh office
    • Sick Care available online via TeleHealth Appointment
    • In Person Sick Visits at our Brier Creek office

THURSDAY Thanksgiving Day – November 26

  • BOTH offices closed for routine business
  • Newborn clinic will be offered at our Duraleigh office
  • On Call Pediatrician available for TeleHealth Appointments

FRIDAY – November 27

  • RCAM Pandemic Mode typical weekday:
    • Well Care and Newborn Care at our Duraleigh office
    • Sick Care available online via TeleHealth Appointment
    • In Person Sick Visits at our Brier Creek office

SATURDAY and SUNDAY – November 28 and 29

  • RCAM Pandemic Mode Weekend hours 
    • Newborn Care at our Duraleigh office
    • Sick Care available online via TeleHealth Appointment

christmas

THURSDAY Christmas Eve –  December 24

  • Newborn Care at our Duraleigh office
  • Sick Care available online via TeleHealth Appointment
  • In Person Sick Visits at our Brier Creek office

FRIDAY Christmas Day – December 25

  • BOTH offices closed
  • On call pediatrician available for urgent questions

SATURDAY and SUNDAY – December 26 and 27

  • RCAM Pandemic Mode Winter Weekend hours 
    • Newborn Care at our Duraleigh office
    • Sick Care available online via TeleHealth Appointment
    • In Person Sick Care available by appointment only on Saturday from 10am-noon at our Brier Creek office

MONDAY – December 28

  • Limited Well Care and Newborn Care at our Duraleigh office
  • Sick Care available online via TeleHealth Appointment
  • In Person Sick Visits at our Brier Creek office

new-year

THURSDAYNew Year’s Eve – December 31

  • RCAM Pandemic Mode typical weekday:
    • Well Care and Newborn Care at our Duraleigh office
    • Sick Care available online via TeleHealth Appointment
    • In Person Sick Visits at our Brier Creek office

FRIDAYNew Year’s Day – January 1

  • BOTH offices closed for routine business
  • Newborn clinic will be offered at our Duraleigh office
  • On Call Pediatrician available for TeleHealth Appointments

SATURDAY and SUNDAY – January 2 and 3, 2021

  • RCAM Pandemic Mode Winter Weekend hours 
    • Newborn Care at our Duraleigh office
    • Sick Care available online via TeleHealth Appointment
    • In Person Sick Care available by appointment only on Saturday from 10am-noon at our Brier Creek office

Todd Harris, M.D.

October 14, 2020 – Planning to get your child’s flu vaccine completed for this winter’s flu season?

October is a great time to get that done.

Somewhat Breaking News: we have just ADDED MORE RCAM Drive Thru Flu Vaccine Clinics.

Notes about the Outdoor, Drive Thru Flu Vaccine Clinic:

  • First, let’s be clear: the flu vaccine is the best known thing to prevent flu illness. This year is as good a year as any to try to control what you can control.
  • The drive thru vaccine clinic has been very popular because it provides limited exposure and lots of time efficiency
  • Dr. Meares says we still have some gift cards for a free scoop of Goodberry’s for those who get their flu shot [FYI: these are available while supplies last and Saturday’s Goodberry’s flavor of the day is salted caramel ]
  • Another scoop not to be overlooked: we’ve noticed fewer tears from our patients who get their shot done in the drive thru
  • Flu vaccine is administered by appointment only

These will fill up fast. Call and schedule an appointment: 919-781-7490

Drive Thru The Flu!


Todd Harris, M.D.

Join RCAM and Let’s All Drive Thru The Flu

Written by Todd Harris, M.D.

September 28, 2020 – If anyone ever tells you that moving a vaccine clinic outdoors is no big deal, remember these words:

RCAM moved its flu vaccine clinic outdoors this week, and it was a big deal.

Since March, our experience with the coronavirus / COVID-19 pandemic made clear the need to decrease everyone’s risk – risks to our patients as well as to our staff.

With that goal in mind, we made plans to safely dispense something else that decreases our collective health risk: the flu (influenza) vaccine.

After months of planning, this week saw the very first RCAM Flu Vaccine Drive Thru.

Tireless work from some of our best made this possible. Kudos to Office Manager Brian, Administrative Office Manager Theresa, Head Nurse Amanda, nurses Kathy and Megan, and Dr. Meares.

Some Pictures (and One Video):

↓  This past Saturday was like driving South on Six Forks Road with three lanes going strong

:

↓  Saturday’s three lane clinic crew was all business

↓  Sunday and the one lane setup (Drive thru rule: you can never have too many traffic cones)

↓  Sunday’s crew wanted to prove to Dr. Meares that they could get it all on one cart (Krispy Kreme donuts – sadly – are not an official Flu Vaccine Drive Thru item and therefore were not required to fit on the cart)

↓  A word from our sponsor… (made possible by Emily and an anonymous sidewalk chalk novice)


Todd Harris, M.D.

September 18, 2020 – There have been so many changes this past year – something should remain the same. Back for its annual appearance to announce the beginning of Flu Vaccination season, this image of a box of flu vaccine from 2015 (one of those years when we never realized just how good we had it).

Unofficial RCAM press release:

Once again, RCAM is here to provide your child’s flu vaccine. New this year: Drive Thru Flu Vaccination Clinics! Due to the COVID pandemic, many of our flu vaccine clinics will be outside. Thanks to our special nurses and front office workers for helping us pull this off! There will still be some indoor clinics, so that will remain an option – particularly for egg-allergic patients. If your child needs a flu shot, please give us a call.”

Some Important Details

  • Flu Vaccine will be given by appointment only (no ‘walk ins’ and no ‘tag alongs’ – everyone getting a Flu Vaccine must have an appointment)
  • Insurance information will be collected over the phone when appointment is being scheduled
  • If your child is sick, we will reschedule their appointment for when they are feeling better
  • Everyone over 3 years old is expected to wear a mask that covers the mouth and nose at all times while interacting with our nurses and office staff

New this Year: Outdoor Drive Thru

  • Coronavirus ruins everything – except it may have just taken Flu Vaccine clinic to the next level
  • Drive Thru Flu Vaccine clinic is just what it sounds like: after making your appointment, pull up to our outdoor clinic, get your flu vaccine, and drive off without ever taking off your seat belt
  • Offered at both our Brier Creek office (weekdays generally) and Duraleigh office (weekends)

An Old Classic: Indoor Flu Vaccine Clinic

  • We continue to offer some indoor flu vaccine clinics
  • Like most things we now do, these appointments have been modified to limit your exposures

Still No Nasal Spray Flu Vaccine

  • I know some of you are going to be asked this question so I’ll answer it now: we will not be offering the Flumist nasal spray flu vaccine (and I am not sure of anyone offering it in our area)

Very Important: Help Us Safely Administer the Flu Vaccine

  • Be careful with your car in the drive thru clinic – pay attention to signs and to others around you
  • Remain in your car; children should remain in their car seat unless instructed otherwise by one our nurses
  • Dress your children to get the vaccine: that means loose fitting, short pants for children under 12 years or those who prefer to get a shot in their thigh and loose fitting, short sleeved shirts for those 12 and up
  • Also safe is controlling the things we can control: get your child their flu shot, wear a mask, wash your hands, and practice safe physical distancing