Clark Avenue Connection

Rick Gessner, M.D.

RCAM Today: Weekend Notes

Written by Rick Gessner, M.D.

It’s the Weekend, December 5 and 6, 2020

  • This weekend we will be available by phone and in the RCAM TeleHealth Clinic
  • After 8:00am, our answering service will begin to take messages for the weekend nurse working with the Pediatricians on-call
  • Our nurse will begin returning calls at 9:00am
  • Everyone above 3 years old who comes to the office is required to wear a mask

Newborn Clinic

  • We will plan a morning clinic to follow-up with some of our well infants born over this past week

TeleHealth Visits from Home

  • We’ve added an option that is popular and consistent with current goals of “social distancing”
  • You can see an RCAM pediatrician via video chat for a TeleHealth visit for a sick visit or a well concern
  • The RCAM pediatrician will use methods available to them at that time to assess and make recommendations about how best to treat your child
  • There is a charge for using this clinic; typically that charge is covered in some way by your health insurance plan (usually similar to how that plan covers in-person visits)
  • Beyond the TeleHealth Visits, we do not plan to have our typical in-person sick clinic this weekend

The Weekend Line Up

Important Numbers

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

Sarah Owrey, M.D.

RCAM Today: Friday Notes

Written by Sarah Owrey, M.D.

UPDATES: Please Note these RCAM COVID-19 Adjustments

It is Friday, December 4, 2020

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. Sarah Owrey 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, Rick Gessner and Tom Sena are our pediatricians seeing well patients today at Duraleigh
  • Sick Child Care at Brier Creek: Dr. Todd Harris is our pediatrician seeing sick patients today at Brier Creek (both inside and in our Curbside Clinic)
  • TeleHealth Visits Online: Dr. Sarah Owrey 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

 

 


Ben Meares, M.D.

RCAM Today: Thursday Notes

Written by Ben Meares, M.D.

UPDATES: Please Note these RCAM COVID-19 Adjustments

Today is Thursday, December 3, 2020

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 at 5:00 pm.

  • Well Child Care at Duraleigh: Drs. Jamila Fletcher, Sarah Owrey, and Tom Sena are our pediatricians seeing well patients today at Duraleigh
  • Sick Child Care at Brier Creek: Dr. Jen Long is our pediatrician seeing sick patients today at Brier Creek (both inside and in our Curbside Clinic)
  • TeleHealth Visits Online: Dr. Ben Meares 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.

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

Todd Harris, M.D.

Labor Day: Official RCAM Holiday

Written by Todd Harris, M.D.

September 4, 2020 – Important office holiday schedule alert:

Labor Day is this Monday, September 7, 2020, and it is an official RCAM office holiday.

  • Our office will be officially closed this Monday, September 7, 2020 in observance of the Labor Day 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
  • On holidays and weekends – due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic – sick patients may be scheduled to see our on call Pediatrician for a TeleHealth visit; we will not be able to see sick patients in person

Todd Harris, M.D.

September 3, 2020 – You are beginning to see Flu (Influenza) vaccine being offered in our community in anticipation the 2020-2021 Flu season.

When is the best time to get Flu Vaccine?

My general advice about Flu vaccine is to get it as soon as and wherever you can – whether it is from our office, your local pharmacy, your workplace, etc.

However, in a year like this year when we are not expecting a shortage (that couldn’t happen in 2020, right?), it is probably best to wait until mid-September or October to get it so that you are most likely to still have coverage during the most active time of Flu season.

Flu vaccine lasts about 6 months and Flu illness is typically most active in January, February, and March.

Drive-Thru Flu Vaccine Clinic: Announcement Coming Soon

We are beginning to get some of our supply and will have a formal announcement soon about how we plan to give it to our patients.

COVID-19 impacts everything – as we have all learned – and this will be no exception.

We are currently making preparations for a “Drive-Thru” Flu Vaccine Clinic to minimize potential exposures for our families.

Don’t Call to Schedule a Flu Vaccine Appointment Quite Yet

In the next few weeks, we will post our official announcement about Flu vaccine for the 2020-21 Flu Season.

At that time, we will start scheduling patients.


Jamila Fletcher, M.D.

June 18, 2020 – Our office mourns with our community.

The owners, the pediatricians, the nurses, and the administrative staff of Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine – our entire RCAM-ily – we all mourn.

We grieve the murder of George Floyd and too many other black men and women whose lives have senselessly been taken. We are listening to the voices within our community and to those across the nation who are protesting racial injustice.

We have devoted our careers to caring for children. This is what we believe:

  • Every child deserves to feel safe
  • Every child deserves the chance to thrive and live their best life
  • Every child deserves to be treated fairly and with dignity

We condemn systemic racism and discrimination in all forms. Racial discrimination casts a lifelong shadow that undermines the health and well-being of our children and prevents us from realizing the full promise of our community.

We stand together with our community against racism, fear, and social injustice. We want to stand up for one another to end discrimination. We want to move toward one another to find our common humanity and bring healing. We uphold human dignity for all our families.

How do we talk to our children about race and racism? Here are a few ideas to start the conversation:

Most importantly, our children are listening to and watching you and they are listening to and watching us. Our words and our actions will matter.