Clark Avenue Connection

Dr. Todd Harris

Wednesday Notes

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

03wed

Today is Wednesday, December 13, 2017

  • This morning we sign off from our answering service at 8:00 am to take calls directly from our office.
  • We will be in the office until we finish our On Call Evening Clinic (typically around 7:00 pm).

Walk-Ins

  • 9:00 – 9:30 am (NOTE: Wednesday Walk-Ins occur one hour later than a typical weekday): Today if you arrive at the Duraleigh office during that time your child will be seen by our pediatrician(s) covering walk-in patients.
  • Walk-In appointments are for acute sick visits only (symptoms of a short duration).
  • As always, all other visits today are scheduled by appointment only.

Today’s Lineup

  • On Call PediatricianDr. Todd Harris will be rounding on our newborns at Rex Hospital and running our On Call Evening Clinic.
  • In our Duraleigh Office today:  Drs. Muff Carr, Todd Harris, Leigh Lehan (AM), Jen Long, Emily Ross and Tom Sena
  • In our Brier Creek Office today:  Drs. Jamila Fletcher, Rick Gessner, Leigh Lehan (PM) and Ben Meares

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 12, 2017 – Hello, Raleigh. Welcome to cold and flu season.

Today’s RCAM Flu Update:

We are seeing lots of colds, and – fortunately – so far not a lot of flu. You can see from the table above that our suspicion of flu has risen as we are performing more flu tests but we are not getting many positives.

This matches how the Center for Disease Control (CDC) characterizes influenza in North Carolina as only “local activity“.

We know it’s coming – typically January and February are our more active flu months (this graphic from the NC Division of Public Health shows the last 2 years case of influenza peaked around February 24th).

Therefore, it is important to point out that it is not too late to get your flu shotthe best known flu prevention.

We still have plenty of flu vaccine at RCAM. If for some reason you can’t make it in to see us, here are places where you can still get your flu shot.

Today’s Holiday Card Update:

It is not too late to send us your holiday cards!

 


Dr. Todd Harris

You can’t have a holiday that requires hot stoves, pans of boiling hot water and confined spaces with extended family members without your pediatrician putting out a safety reminder.

Go ahead and add  “Read AAP website about Thanksgiving Safety” to your Turkey Day Checklist :

On Friday let’s be thankful for a safe Thanksgiving.

Go have a #KidSafeHoliday.


Dr. Todd Harris

Winter Holidays Office Coverage

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

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 or is known.

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)

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 help you avoid
  • On weekends and holidays, we will see children with urgent medical concerns beginning in the morning by appointment only (call first – there are no walk-in appointments on holidays or weekends).
  • 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).

thanksgiving

Thursday Thanksgiving Day – November 23

Friday – November 24

  • Duraleigh office OPEN
  • Brier Creek office closed

Saturday and Sunday – November 25 and 26

Monday – November 27

  • Back to regular business hours

christmas

Friday – December 22

  • Duraleigh office OPEN (sick visits only; we will likely check out to our on call pediatrician and close the office early)
  • Brier Creek office closed

Saturday and Sunday – December 23 and 24

Monday Christmas Day – December 25

  • BOTH offices closed
  • On call pediatrician available for urgent questions
  • No office clinic on Christmas Day (atypical holiday hours)

Tuesday – December 26th

  • Duraleigh office OPEN (we will likely check out to our on call pediatrician and close the office early)
  • Brier Creek office closed

Wednesday – December 27

  • Back to regular business hours

new-year

Saturday and Sunday – December 30 and 31

New Year’s Day Monday – January 1

Tuesday – January 2

  • Back to regular business hours

 


Dr. Todd Harris

Shot Box

November 3, 2017 – A belated update about flu vaccine availability at RCAM:

We have flu vaccine available for all patients.

Our most recent update reported that we had not received much of our state-supplied flu vaccine yet.

The package did arrive (its been about 2 weeks – I apologize for the delay in posting the news here on the website) and we have plenty of both state-supplied and private-supplied flu vaccine.

How to get the flu vaccine for your child:

  1. If you happen to be in our office for an appointment, mention to your nurse that you would like your child to get the flu vaccine (as well as any other of your children with you that day who need the flu vaccine). Typically we can squeeze that need into our regular office hours schedule (NOTE: we typically can’t give flu vaccine during a visit to our after-hours sick clinic that occurs in the evenings and on the weekends)
  2. Call 919-781-7490 and schedule your child to come to an RCAM flu vaccine clinic. Right now we have limited appointment slots available but we continue to add new slots.
  3. The flu vaccine is also available at most pharmacies as well as the health department. It is not important to us where you get the flu vaccine, but we generally recommend all of our patients get it.

Dr. Todd Harris

November 3, 2017 – When is the last time a pediatrician spoke up for Burger King?

Well – here comes a very favorable review.

I am giving Burger King 5 stars STAR STAR STAR STAR STAR for the following Public Service Announcement. 

Way to go BK!

Ask your children about bullying. Do they see it? Have they been bullied? Have they ever picked on someone else? Then ask yourself the same questions (actually – maybe that should come first).

The American Academy of Pediatrics offers some good advice here about how to ask and how to stay engaged with what is going on with your child when you are not around.

 


Dr. Todd Harris

Happy Halloween 2017

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

Halloween 2017

October 31, 2017 – Today I attended “Egypt Project Day” at my daughter’s school and my phone exploded with images from both the Duraleigh and Brier Creek offices.

A few observations from my day off:

  • It appears that Brier Creek had 100% costume participation. Many people do a lot of things in our office. It is rare for EVERYONE to do the SAME thing (particularly when we plan to do the same thing).
  • One other thing about Brier Creek: beautiful job with a great old school theme. Like the great teams over the years – the 1998 Chicago Bulls, the 1972 Miami Dolphins or the 1996 Kentucky Wildcats – they had a great game plan and followed it with perfect execution – they even got Dr. Meares to dress up as a dwarf. I am blown away.
  • The Duraleigh office went (almost) new school with the emojis theme. I think they look great but… we really have to do some work on our picture-taking skill sets. Today – like other days – there was lots of poor lighting and poor focus – people with eyes closed, looking nowhere near the camera, or simply hiding behind someone else (We see you Kimbo!).

Finally, whether your execution is great or… still working towards greatness… from our RCAMily to yours – Have a Fun and Safe Halloween!


Dr. Todd Harris

Banner Change: Fall Edition

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

Fall 2017 Web

September 25, 2017 – Friday was the official first day of autumn, so we officially said “Goodbye” to summer with its summer vacation and children who need to find things to do – and with that as our tradition here dictates we said “Goodbye” to our summer website banner picture of ‘Three Children at the Pool with a Pink Floaty‘.

I am sure those three children are now back in school and caught up in the purposeful rhythm of the academic cycle.

Today – also part of our tradition – we say “Hello” to autumn and to a new autumn website banner picture: ‘Mother, Daughter and Many Mini Pumpkins’.

Some things coming up at RCAM:

#1-Flu season is right around the corner – it is time to get your flu vaccine

  • Flu vaccine clinicsDr. Meares provided details about getting your flu vaccine at RCAM here. Like most years, in the early going we have plenty of private-supplied flu vaccine but are still awaiting our shipment of state-supplied flu vaccine. We will update here as we get more state-supplied vaccine.
  • We continue to recommend the flu vaccine for almost everyoneparticularly the very young, the very old, and those with conditions that would make having the flu much worse like asthma or diabetes.
  • The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has listed 10 things you should know about this year’s flu vaccine here.
  • If you are looking for a lot of information about the upcoming flu season and about the flu vaccine itself, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) has compiled quite a bit here.

#2-Some New Faces at RCAM

  • In August we announced the arrival of Dr. Emily Ross. We have been very happy to have her join us. We are learning a lot from her as she learns a lot from us. She is working four days a week mostly in our Duraleigh office.
  • This month we welcomed a new nurse – Wendy B. – to RCAM. Along with being our newest nurse she is also our second ‘Wendy’ (to go with Wendy T.). That should not be confusing at all since we already have three nurses named Shannon.
  • You may also notice some new faces up front and new voices answering the phone. In the last 2 months, we have welcomed Jenny, Teresa (not to be confused with Front Office Manager Theresa), Denzlo and Allison. Such a large influx to our front office staff reflects only minimal turnover; rather, we have added some new positions in an effort to more completely cover the ever-growing list of front office responsibilities.

#3-Dr. Lehan’s Last Flu Season at RCAM

  • Next summer a true giant in our officeDr. Leigh S. Lehanwill retire after 34 years of pediatrics at Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine.
  • That seems like a long way off – but it seemed like Kobe Bryant’s last season with the Lakers just flew by – so we all need to start preparations for ‘Life After Lehan.’ That means the rest of us are going to have to get a lot more patient and a lot more gentle to make up for that loss – we better start now.

Dr Leigh S Lehan

Biggest difference: She does not put her hands over her head as much now when she is placed in front of a huge pink cake – although now as I write this I am doubting myself – time to put that theory to a test.


Dr. Ben Meares

Shot Box

September 20, 2017 – “As of September 20th, RCAM Flu Vaccine Clinics are open for those with private insurance.”

Private-Supplied Flu Vaccine:

For those patients who have private insurance, we have received our shipment of flu vaccine and can begin giving those shots. (Private insurance is through a company such as BCBS, United Healthcare, Cigna, etc.)

State-Supplied Flu Vaccine:

For the following groups, the 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 yet received an adequate supply of these State-funded flu vaccines, so we CANNOT begin vaccinating patients in this group yet.  We have no control over this and have no way to predict when we will receive it.  We will start as soon as we can get our supply of vaccines, so stay tuned.

While we dislike separating these two groups, we simply must get started using the vaccine we have.

Also Important to Note:

Again this year, FluMist will not be available. As you may have heard in the news, FluMist has not been as effective recently.  We hope to have it by next year, but for now, FluMist is not recommended and is not available.  This year, we are again “stuck” with the shot!


Dr. Todd Harris

Houston: What Can I Do?

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

Hurricane Harvey

August 29, 2017 – Many times we see images like the ones coming from Houston – the sights are overwhelming – you want to help but… what can I do?

Three things your pediatrician would like to share on this topic:

  1. How can I help? Someone really did their homework compiling this broad list of ways to help the people of Houston.
  2. What do I tell my kids? Here is a link from the American Academy of Pediatrics that offers suggestions about how to talk to children about disasters.
  3. How can my family be better prepared? Last summer we compiled this list of parent resources regarding disaster preparedness.