Clark Avenue Connection

Dr. Rick Gessner

Monday Notes

Written by Dr. Rick Gessner

Today is Monday, June 25, 2018

  • 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

  • 8:00 – 8:30 am: 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. Rick Gessner will be rounding on our newborns at Rex Hospital and running our On Call Evening Clinic.
  • In our Duraleigh Office today:  Drs. Muff Carr, Rick Gessner, Lily Harris, Jen Long and Tom Sena
  • In our Brier Creek Office today:  Drs. Jamila Fletcher and Todd Harris

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

Dr. Lehan Retiring After 33 Years at RCAM

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

June 19, 2018 – How do you say “Goodbye” to an icon?

This week at Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine, we are trying to figure that out.

After 33 years, Friday, June the 22nd will be the last official workday for Leigh Lehan, MD.

Below is a token of what her peers had to say about those 33 years:

Leigh S. Lehan, MD Day Week

If you make it into the office, be aware that RCAM is celebrating her career for the entire week.

  • Monday, June 18th – ALLITERATION DAY – as we say goodbye to “LL”, we attempted to add our own alliteration to the day and all the while maintaining a pleasant, soothing demeanor – sorry you missed it.
  • Tuesday, June 19th – DIET SUNKIST DAY – Dr. Lehan is known for a ‘Sunny’ presence – she is also known to enjoy a Diet Sunkist from time to time, and – while that seems to be something none of the rest of us enjoys – on Tuesday we will take time to enjoy some of the small things that make the day more enjoyable
  • Wednesday, June 20th – NOTE CARD DAY – we will all do our best Dr. Lehan impersonation by writing thoughtful words on a piece of paper and sharing them with someone else in the office [NOTE about NOTE CARD DAY: if you are still reading this, you must be a big Dr. Lehan Fan like the rest of us; if so, please take a moment to write some words for her and we would be happy to sure that she gets them; send them to: RCAM / Dr. Lehan Retirement, 3100 Duraleigh Road, Suite 300, Raleigh, NC 27612]
  • Thursday, June 21st – BAKED GOODS & CRAFTS DAY – no explanation necessary
  • Friday, June 22nd – LEIGH S. LEHAN, MD DAY – Dr. Lehan began her career at RCAM in 1984 and we will try to recreate some of the themes of that era for her last day

Dr. Jen Long

Weekend Notes: Memorial Day Edition

Written by Dr. Jen Long

It’s Memorial Day Weekend, May 26, 27 and 28, 2018

  1. IMPORTANT NOTE: Our office will be closed for routine business on Monday in observance of the Memorial Day holiday
  2. We will offer a morning clinic for urgent needs on Saturday, Sunday and Monday

 All patients seen at our Duraleigh office by appointment only

  • No walk-in appointments; be sure to call ahead
  • Try to call soon after 9am if you think your child may need to be seen to talk to the on call phone nurse
  • As always, we will be available for phone advice all day and every day

Your Memorial Day Weekend Lineup

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

 

May 9, 2018Today is Nurses’ Day.

Actually – to be more correct – we are on the day we traditionally refer to as Nurses’ Day (not a real thing) right smack in the middle of Nurses’ Week (that’s the real thing).

They deserve a week but we will try to cram our appreciation into a lunch at Brio. Hopefully some pasta and chocolate lava cake will help drive home our message: we appreciate the work our nurses do for our patients.

Similarly, a few weeks ago we recognized Administrative Professionals’ Day.

On April 25th we took our front office staff to McCormick and Schmick’s and our message to them that day (along with some crispy flounder and crème brûlée) had a similar theme: RCAM can’t  perform its mission of helping children without the work of our Front Desk.

Both groups operate on the front lines of pediatric medicine – a challenging place to perform.

The Pediatricians of Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine – Drs. Carr, Lehan, Sena, T.Harris, Gessner, Meares, Fletcher, Long, L.Harris, and Ross – ask you to join us in recognizing our nurses and front office workers:

Thank you for your contribution to our important mission of helping the most important people in our lives – our children!

 


Dr. Leigh Lehan

It’s Easter Weekend, March 30, 31 and April 1, 2018

  1. IMPORTANT NOTE: Our office will be closed for routine business on Friday in observance of the Good Friday holiday
  2. We will offer a morning clinic for urgent needs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday

 All patients seen at our Duraleigh office by appointment only

  • No walk-in appointments; be sure to call ahead
  • Try to call soon after 9am if you think your child may need to be seen to talk to the on call phone nurse
  • As always, we will be available for phone advice all day and every day

Your Easter Weekend Lineup

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

Banner Change: Spring 2018 Edition

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

March 26, 2018 – In case you hadn’t noticed – this past Tuesday – calendar winter gave way to calendar spring.

At that time, we also snuck in our new banner – the cold and solitary ‘boy making snow angel‘ was replaced by this colorful and congenial ‘two girls in a field of marigolds‘.

Since changing to a spring-themed banner, it has snowed twice so we now recognize that the banner change was nothing but wishful thinking.

Flu Season Winding Down

  • That was some February.
  • As you can see, there is some flu out there still but not very much.
  • Start planning for the 2018-2019 flu season. Mark your calendars: September and October are good months during which to get your flu vaccine so you can be protected throughout flu season.

Well Season Cranking Up

  • Call now to schedule your child’s camp or school physical.
  • If your child has already had their well visit / physical for this year, remember that we can complete school, athletic and camp forms based on information from that visit. There is no reason that you would have to go to an Urgent Care or a Pharmacy Clinic for your annual physical.

Holiday Week Coming Up

  • Our office will be closed for routine business on Friday, March 30th in observance of the Good Friday holiday.
  • Our holiday schedule is very similar to our weekend schedule and both are detailed here.
  • In short, we will offer a morning clinic at the Duraleigh office for urgent needs on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
  • For predictable needs – like medication refills – try to call before Friday.

Dr. Todd Harris

March 20, 2018 – Some recommendations include so much common sense it almost feels silly to make the recommendation – until you are presented with the statistic listed below.

60,000 is a large number – particularly for something that should be close to 100% preventable.

Today is the day to put medications up and away – out of reach and out of sight.

Today is the day to go to the Up and Away website and review practical tips for taking control of this significant safety concern in your home.


Dr. Todd Harris

March 12, 2018 – Above you’ll see the most recent North Carolina state flu numbers – 3 straight weeks showing a steady drop in likely cases of influenza.

That’s good news. How about more good news?

A Big Drop in Flu Cases at Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine Too

And at our office, we’ve seen a similar trend of fewer cases of flu.

Only seven (7) positive flu tests last week – that is only one per day which is a lot less than most weeks during the month of February.

Yeah March! That is more good news.

Sports and Summer Camp Physicals

The sudden drop in flu cases has created an unexpected and atypical wellness opportunity in March.

If your child needs a physical for summer camp or for school next year, don’t go to Urgent Care or (ugh) Minute Clinic.

Give your pediatrician a call.

Why see your regular pediatrician?

  • This is the doctor who is an expert in pediatrics who already knows your child
  • This is the doctor who has all your child’s medical records and who knows which vaccines they’ve had and which vaccines they need
  • The doctor who has seen them before with illness and will be there to see them if they get sick later

Whenever possible, keep your child’s healthcare in one place –  at your pediatric medical home – Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine

Give us a call 919-781-7490 and get that taken care of now.

 


Dr. Todd Harris

Sometimes Happiness is a Good Swaddle

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

March 9, 2018 – [NOTE FROM EDITOR: In this post, I am desperate to avoid use of the 3-letter word that is associated a seasonal illness beginning with “F” and ending with “LU” – there’s been enough of that!]

In the first week of life, a good swaddle can be a really good thing.

As someone who works with newborn infants, I can appreciate a good swaddle. This swaddle has some things going for it:

A post shared by Puppy (@puppystagrams) on

What they did right:

  1. Blanket prep – If you don’t get this right, you have lost before you begin. An excellent example of the classic diamond layout with a folded corner at the head.
  2. Organization – this is a well-organized wrap; every move has purpose: from the prep noted above to the lower corner taking care of the legs, right corner taking the right upper leg (arm) and left corner taking the left upper leg (arm)
  3. Outside the box thinking – applying the swaddle to your puppy is a genius move – and that puppy is way more cooperative than the average newborn

What I would do different (with a human baby):

  1. Order of corner fold over – this may seem picky but I feel like I get a better ‘tight burrito’ swaddle with an infant if I do one of the arms first, the legs second (PRO TIP: make sure the legs are bent at the knees – if baby is crying and has them straight out, wait for them to bend their knees and bring them up toward their belly before you complete the bottom fold), and then the other arm last
  2. You can’t roll an infant – well – you probably could – but then you would likely be cleaning their stomach contents off your white (?!) bedspread
  3. Foundational concern – last and most obvious critique – baby on white bedspread? Can you say, “Set up to fail”?

Happy Friday!


Dr. Todd Harris

February 27, 2018 – At the end of last week, the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services updated this years Influenza Surveillance reports.

Picture is Worth a Thousand Words

We’ve been watching this graph for a few weeks, and the most recent trend deserves more focus – how about a crop with some enlargement:

The report shows that there were fewer flu-like cases reported last week when compared to the previous week. That’s good news.

A Welcomed Downward Trend But Still Lots of Flu

Keep in mind – we are still seeing a lot of cases of flu – a significant drop in the number of cases is a good thing but it doesn’t mean flu season is over.

Is It Too Late to Get My Child a Flu Vaccine?

This question still comes up and here are a few points about flu vaccine:

  • I have to begin with this: The best time to get the flu vaccine is before flu season (duh) but not so early that it loses its effectiveness before the end of flu season. October is an ideal month for getting your flu vaccine (I always think holidays are a good way to remember so try to get your flu vaccine before Halloween).
  • We seem to be on the other side of the peak but there are still weeks to months left of this flu season – if you can find someone who still has flu vaccine – there is little downside and still some potential upside to getting a flu vaccine even though its almost March.
  • Note: RCAM still has flu vaccine for all children 6 months to under 3 years old.

How Effective is This Year’s Flu Vaccine?

  • There has been much talk of the effectiveness of this year’s flu vaccine and this is what the CDC is reporting as of February 3, 2018: “overall the seasonal flu vaccine [given for the 2017-2018 flu season] reduced the risk of getting sick and having to go to the doctor from flu by about one third.”
  • The flu vaccine experts try to shoot higher than one third, but when the choice is depending on one’s own natural immunity vs. that natural immunity plus 33% – most would take the latter.
  • So there you go: 1 in 3 people helped by the flu vaccine – not a great year but still a significant tangible benefit.