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.


Todd Harris, M.D.

April 20, 2020 – This past weekend RCAM lost one of our giants.

Alan Goldman, MD passed away late Friday night after battling an extended illness.

RCAM Pediatrician from 1971 to 2007

I have been lucky to have worked with some talented, good people. Alan most definitely was one of the most talented and one of the best.

He worked as a pediatrician at RCAM for 36 years.

He went to Harvard University for his undergraduate degree. Anyone who knew him found that easy to believe, because he was smarter than the rest of us. You picked up on that because it was obvious, not because he ever flaunted it.

He was an accomplished pediatrician. He was the first pediatrician in Wake County who had specialty neonatology training and helped to advance neonatal intensive care in this area.

Never a Negative Word

Alan had a very pleasant and calm demeanor. I never saw him frazzled, and I never heard him say a bad or even negative word about anyone the entire time I knew him.

I will write that again just to be clear. I never heard him say a bad or even negative word about anyone.

We worked together for 11 years. There was a time when we shared an office. I saw him plenty away from work – typically, it involved some carpentry (one of his many talents).

Never. A. Bad. Word.

He Brought the Party

Alan was fun, and he was almost always working on something that would bring people together for the sake of entertainment.

So many of us have been regaled by something Alan planned: Poker nights, Christmas party games, Super Bowl games, March Madness brackets. The list goes on and on…

I knew Alan to always be preparing for the next gathering where everyone would be entertained by some sort of quiz, riddle, or trying to remember the words to “Good King Wenceslas” (How many Jewish men know all the words to “Good King Wenceslas”? Alan did.).

Our Hearts Are Heavy

Words are difficult at times like this. Alan was truly one of the RCAM greats.

He set a high bar for excellence in skill, attitude, and community.

Alan meant so much to our office, but – alsohe meant so much to so many others.

Our hearts ache for the Goldman family.

UPDATE 4/21/2020: Dr. Goldman’s family wrote a beautiful remembrance that you can find here


Todd Harris, M.D.

April 13, 2020 – So imagine that today is your birthday.

Imagine that the candles are already lit when you realize that you’re in the middle of a pandemic, and – as a pediatrician – your whole day has been about limiting the spread of germs.

In other words, there could be no “blowing out the cake.”

At that moment, we needed a hero…

Someone needed to save the day

…And it was that someone’s birthday.

Happy Birthday Dr. Gessner! You are just as quick on your feet as you ever were!


Todd Harris, M.D.

Banner Change: Spring 2020 Edition

Written by Todd Harris, M.D.

April 8, 2020 – Spring began a few weeks ago and – particularly after this past weekend – it became clear it was time to say Goodbye to Three Girls on a Sled whose carefree ride in the snow takes us back to a time before we had ever thought much about coronavirus and COVID was NO-VID.

Typically, our spring banner includes outdoor, spring activities (duh), but Young Girl and Online School seemed – given our present circumstances – to be a better fit.

[Aside: Of course, if your home is more like mine, this picture would need to include another, younger sister and some dispute about one of them “breathing too loud” and a father – numb to the sibling conflict – working feverishly to be sure the WiFi will produce enough bandwith for school and his office’s Zoom meeting that is scheduled to begin now.]

What Can You Say About This Past Month?

On March 5th we put up our first post about coronavirus disease / COVID-19 when Wake County announced its first case.

Over the last month, we have been gathering as much information as possible and processing it as a group. We have made plans and then remade plans as new information came available..

Medicine is always changing – changing plans is not necessarily a new thing. We always try to do things based on the best and most current information available.

The new thing was the speed of the changes – typically happening over years – these changes were happening over days and in some cases hours.

Let’s review all the changes at RCAM that are still current:

  • All well care is moved to the Duraleigh office – only well children accompanied by a well adult are seen for well visits at Duraleigh
    • We are scheduling only “essential well visits” at this time – those are well visits that have a vaccine associated with them
    • If you had some pressing things you wanted to discuss at a well visit that is on the delayed list, consider scheduling a TeleHealth visit (see below)
  • All sick child care was moved to the Brier Creek office – with a few twists:
    • Twist #1 – Curbside clinic was initiated for children with symptoms suspicious of possible coronavirus
    • Twist #2 – TeleHealth visits are becoming our new normal as a way to safely evaluate patients without the fear of increasing potential exposures
  • All RCAM staff are now wearing masks and gloves – at both offices – add to that lots of hand washing and not touching your face and cleaning rooms after every patient

All of these changes were made to be as safe as possible yet still available to our patient families, to reduce exposures, and to slow the spread of coronavirus / COVID-19.

TeleHealth Medicine

TeleHealth Visits have some limits though I am surprised at how typically they can identify something treatable or rule out the need to come to our office or the Urgent Care or the Emergency Department.

We have spots available. Call and schedule a visit. The steps are laid out here.

Easter Holiday is Coming Up This Weekend

Good Friday is an official RCAM office holiday, so this Friday the 10th we will operate like we have on recent weekends:

  • We will have an early clinic for newborns who need to be followed up from the past week
  • All sick patients will be evaluated through TeleHealth visits

Meanwhile, The Brian Carter Era Began at RCAM

Brian Carter is our new office manager.

He began to learn the RCAM secrets when he started in December but he didn’t take the reins completely until after February 28th when Debbie Maness retired as our office manager after 42 years (!).

He hit the ground running. Brian would probably describe it more like a chase – as in it felt like he was being chased by a lion – as his first week on the job was highlighted by a pandemic.

Brian has been great. More about him later, but it is about time we introduced him to our extended RCAM-ily.

If you see someone in our office wearing a tie that doesn’t feature Sponge Bob (Dr. Sena) – that is more than likely Briangive him a big Hello and Welcome.

Given the circumstances of his first month, he could probably use the encouragement.

Thank You

I am sure that everyone could use some encouragement.

The response of our administrative staff and nurses has been spectacular. The general day-to-day pressure on a pediatric staff is underrated, and now they quite suddenly have found themselves on one of the front lines of a pandemic.

They have handled some tough circumstances with a lot of grace and professionalism.

As pediatricians, we’ve had to work together even more than we usually do – Zoom meeting almost daily – making new plans and changing protocols that we just wrote. We have found another gear with how we work with and relate to one another and personally that has been great.

Patients and their families have even asked if they can help.

We have been gifted at least one box of N95 masks and numerous homemade masks.

Finally, the Raleigh pediatric medical community really stepped up. Specifically, Oberlin Road Pediatrics and Carolina Kids Pediatrics both sought us out directly. As it turns out, we didn’t need the help, but it meant a lot to hear from them, and we hope to return the favor sometime.

That’s how we’re all going to get through this – finding ways to help each other out.

Epilogue: Somewhat Related

For anyone still reading this, I had this post all ready to go late Sunday night.

I saved it to my computer and walked upstairs to say good night to my daughters.

When I returned, my screen looked entirely different.There were characters I had never seen before – and about 80% of my original post was completely gone. I tried to pull up the post I had saved, yet somehow that had been updated to the now-80%-gone post.

Buddy Caught Red HandedSitting two feet away from me was the cause: Buddy, our orange tabby cat.

He has a penchant for getting comfortable in odd places – for example, he loves climbing and lying on top of backpacks.

He is also well known in our house – as pictured here in what I call “Exhibit A” – for getting comfortable on my computer keyboard.

The post finally got done and I believe I have been forgiven for the words that came out of my mouth that night.

Happy Easter to everyone!

Try to enjoy what you can about being locked down with people who are likely pretty important to you – and try to ignore all of their loud breathing.


Todd Harris, M.D.

February 25, 2020 -This Friday, February 28, 2020 will mark the end of a grand era at Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine.

After 42 years, RCAM office manager Debbie Maness is retiring to become the ultimate grandmother.

She Started as a Nurse; She Became our Office Manager

Debbie came to us as a nurse in 1978 from the Rex Hospital Neonatal Intensive Care Unit. At that time, our office was known as “Fleming, Edwards, and Goldman” – our three founding pediatricians who could also be known as the “Mount Rushmore of RCAM”.

After working at RCAM for about 10 years as a nurse, Dr. Fleming approached her about taking on a then newly created position: office manager.

I am sure that when she agreed to take that position, she could not have possibly imagined the volume of challenges that would come her way. There was always something new, and that new charge always fell in some form on the office manager.

Debbie successfully led RCAM over 4 decades as the practice of medicine changed dramatically. Throughout that time, she kept us on task, and she kept a good spirit.

“Debbie Maness Week”

RCAM therefore declares February 24 through 28 to be “Debbie Maness Week” and for it to be a time to celebrate Debbie’s 42 years of dedication, skill, and attitude.

1-Monday, February 24th – “Wear Your College Allegiance Day”

Debbie loves the N.C. State Wolfpack – for better and for worse.

She always pulls for her team, and-on Monday-we wore our college allegiance to work in her honor.

2-Tuesday, February 25th – “1978 Day”

On Tuesday, we’ll make attempts to remember the year that Debbie started her career at RCAM.

3-Wednesday, February 26th – “Red And White Day”

Another tip of the cap to Debbie’s Wolfpack – but, we’ve tried to keep it generic, so the Tar Heels and the Blue Devils among us won’t feel uncomfortable.

4-Thursday, February 27th – “Dear Debbie Day”

We’ll try to put our thoughts and feelings into words for our dear friend Debbie.

5-Friday, February 28th – “Let’s Drown Our Sorrows in Baked Goods”

Debbie is a baker and one time honored method of dealing with loss involves baked goods. We’ll honor Debbie’s hobby and fill our stomachs on her last day at RCAM.


Todd Harris, M.D.

Banner Change: Fall 2019 Edition

Written by Todd Harris, M.D.

August 30, 2019 – In an historic first, we will be changing our website banner a wee bit early.

Fall doesn’t come until September 23rd but announcements have been piling up.

Also, the weather has been a little cooler (I know – I am sure we’ll be in the 90s by the time this posts) and college football begins a full schedule this weekend so here we go…

…we bid adieu to Three Girls on the Beach and hello to Young Girl With Yellow Umbrella in Autumn Park.

1-Dr. Carr Retires

This one will take some time to absorb and appreciate the significance of a career that spanned 40 continuous years at RCAM.

Dr. Carr would like me to keep this brief. May I refer you to the article below for (a few) more details.

2-Nurse Chessica Had Her Baby

Some of you have been following the pregnancy of Chessicaone of our nurses at our Duraleigh office whose name rhymes with Jessica.

She and her husband welcomed Baby Boy Parrish just a few days ago. He weighed 7 pounds 7 ounces.

They feel very blessica-ed. 😀

3-Pediatrician Formerly Known As Emily Ross, MD: Now Known As Emily Mims, MD

In the spring we reported that our very own Emily Ross, MD was getting married.

With Dr. Carr retiring and Emily now Dr. Mims, it is taking some time to update letterhead, name tags, door placards,etc…. but don’t let that confuse you when you see or hear Dr. Mims’ name.

4-Labor Day Holiday

REMINDER: It’s Labor Day weekend. As usual, we will be around.

5-Flu Vaccine 2019-2020

It wouldn’t be a Fall Banner change without mentioning Influenza (“Flu”) Vaccine.

Our supply won’t arrive before October (though it appears the pharmacies already have their supply). October and November are typically good months to get your flu vaccine. Injectible flu vaccine lasts about 6 months. If you get your flu vaccine in October, it should last through March – which is good because that is typically a busy month for flu. Stay tuned though as there have been some reports of early flu activity.


Todd Harris, M.D.

Banner Change: Summer 2019 Edition

Written by Todd Harris, M.D.

Three girls on the beach

July 1, 2019 – Whoa. Where did June go?

In case you missed it, we have moved from the spring banner, “Young Child Looks Like My Oldest Daughter“, to our new summer banner: “Three Girls on the Beach“.

A few goings on at RCAM this summer:

1-Camp Physicals, Sports Physicals, Well Visits

Their is a lot of wellness going around again this summer with a lot of families taking care of their annual physicals.

If your child needs a sports physical, your child’s annual well visit will cover that.

Also, remember that a sports physical is valid for sports participation in Wake County Public Schools for 13 months after the date of exam.

So, if your health insurance is like mine and requires 365 days between each will visit, you still have another month to schedule your child’s next well visit / sports physical. Don’t be pressured into going to an Urgent Care of Minute Clinic – taking your child to see their pediatrician for their annual visit is very important.

2-Nurse Shannon B. Had a Baby Boy

Many of you have been following the pregnancy of Shannon B., one of our nurses from our Brier Creek office.

A few weeks ago she gave birth to her baby boy. He weighed in at a healthy 6 lbs and 9 oz. Everyone is doing great.

3-Dr. Carr’s Last Day at RCAM is August 28th

Dr. Carr has been a huge part of Raleigh Childrens & Adolescents Medicine for quite some time.

Next month she will retire after almost 40 years of caring for the children of the Triangle.

How do you say goodbye to a legend?

4-Happy 4th of July

Reminder: this is a holiday week:

  • Monday thru Wednesday, July 1st-3rd: Duraleigh and Brier Creek Offices both open regular weekday hours
  • Thursday, July 4th – Duraleigh and Brier Creek Offices both closed for the Independence Day holiday; holiday coverage described here (in short, a limited clinic starting at 10am at the Duraleigh office)
  • Friday, July 5th – Duraleigh and Brier Creek Offices back to being open regular weekday hours

 


Todd Harris, M.D.

May 24, 2019 – As a pediatric office that prides itself on top-notch care of newborns and their families – when one of our own is expecting – our baby shower game can’t disappoint.

Gotta keep it fresh – like we did in 2015.

When faced with five (yes, it was five) expectant staffers, we pioneered the Dirty Santa White Elephant Auction Baby Shower.

That day featured five expectant mothers all competing for their portion of the same baby shower booty.

The typical baby shower chorus of “Ooh’s” and “Ah’s” were replaced by “Watch out!” and “Oh no she didn’t!?!”

This past Wednesday‘s mild 80 degree temp and overcast sky were a perfect setting for breaking new ground again as we took to the Duraleigh office parking lot for Nurse Shannon B’s Flash Mob Tailgate Baby Shower.

We had the grass below us and the cool sky above us. We had corn hole and music featuring “Baby” in the title.

Oh yeah… we also had Two Roosters Ice Cream (exceptional).

Congratulations to Shannon B. We look forward to your big day.

Next up, Nurse Chessica…

 


Todd Harris, M.D.

Atta Girl: The Grand Finale

Written by Todd Harris, M.D.

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 😉 ]

[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.

One-In-A-Million

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.


Todd Harris, M.D.

Friday Notes: RCAM CLOSED TODAY Edition

Written by Todd Harris, M.D.

Today is Friday, September 14, 2018

  • We hope today’s Friday Notes: Special Edition finds you and your family together and safe

WE ARE CLOSED TODAY due to the Uncertain Nature of Hurricane Path Prediction

  • No one here is blaming local meteorologists.
  • In fact, I am personally amazed and appreciative – we benefit from their knowledge, forecasting, and stamina.

Way to Go Dr. Lily!

  • As we grow weary of weather maps, this morning’s Friday Notes: Special Edition picture features a Special Addition to the RCAM-ily: Our very own Dr. Lily Harris, her husband Michael, and now big sister Carrie Anne this week welcomed Georgia Amelia (aka “Milly”).
  • For those of you keeping score at home: 6 lbs and 8 oz.
  • Also for those of you keeping score: we are at 2 down and 1 to go for August and September expectant RCAM Pediatricians.

Today’s Plan

  • On Call PediatricianDr. Emily Ross will be managing our after hours care
  • As stated earlier, both offices are closed today. We will be unable to see any patients today.
  • IF YOU HAVE AN URGENT QUESTION ABOUT A SICK CHILD: our answering service will be taking messages and a group of our nurses – backed by Drs. Emily Ross, Rick Gessner, Ben Meares, Todd Harris and Jamila Fletcher – will be happy to try and help on what no doubt will be a challenging day.

Tomorrow’s Plan

  • Stay tuned. Like you, we will continue to monitor local weather reports.
  • We are hopeful to open up the Duraleigh office for weekend hours on Saturday.

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