Clark Avenue Connection

Dr. Jamila Fletcher

Weekend Notes

Written by Dr. Jamila Fletcher


It’s the Weekend, December 3 and 4, 2016

No Walk-In Appointments on the Weekend

  • Patients are seen by appointment only on all holidays and weekends.
  • If you think your child may need to be seen on Saturday or Sunday, call 919-781-7490 in the morning after 9 am and speak to the nurse working with the On Call Pediatrician
  • On the weekends, we see patients in the office in the morning but are available to speak at other times by phone about any urgent concerns you may have.

The Weekend Lineup

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

Winter Holidays Office Coverage

Written by Dr. Todd Harris


[UPDATED 11-30-2016]

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

In general, when it comes to holidays (and weekends):

  • Just like everyday, one of our pediatricians is on call 24-hours-a-day for urgent health concerns
  • There are no walk-in appointments on holidays and weekends.
  • We will see children with urgent medical concerns in the morning by appointment only.
  • Christmas Day is the only day of the year that we do not see patients in our office.
  • If you have urgent concerns about your child’s health on that day – as usual – call our main number 919-781-7490 (backup number 919-831-5526).


  • Thanksgiving Day – Thursday, November 24th – BOTH offices closed for routine business; typical holiday office coverage (limited clinic at Duraleigh Office location)
  • Friday, November 25th – Brier Creek office closed; Duraleigh office open


  • Friday, December 23rd – Brier Creek office closed; Duraleigh office open (no check ups; sick visits only; we will likely check out to our on call pediatrician and close the office early)
  • Saturday, December 24th – typical Saturday / weekend hours
  • Christmas Day – Sunday, December 25th – BOTH offices closed; atypical holiday hours; on call pediatrician available for urgent questions; no office clinic on Christmas Day
  • Monday, December 26th – Brier Creek office closed; Duraleigh office open (no check ups; sick visits only; we will likely check out to our on call pediatrician and close the office early)



Dr. Todd Harris


November 17, 2016 – This past Saturday night, RCAM gathered together 13 current and former pediatricians (pictured above) and about 50 current and former staff who along with significant others marked the occasion of the 50th anniversary of Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine.

In 1966, Dr. Bob Fleming started a solo pediatric practice on Clark Avenue near Cameron Village in a 4-room house. It wasn’t long before he was joined by Dr. Stephen Edwards and they moved to a location close to the “Old” Rex Hospital on St. Mary’s Street. In the early 1970s, Dr. Alan Goldman joined the group to became member number three of “The RCAM Big Three”.

Drs. Edwards and Goldman both addressed Saturday night’s crowd and shared many of those early memories. Dr. Edwards also spoke about the future of the practice of pediatrics when he said the following:

“As long as we take care of children in the best way possible – as long as we take care of each other – and work toward the betterment of all children – we will always have a job and always feel good about that job.”

Dr. Rick Gessner, current Managing Partner of RCAM, also spoke about our past, present and hopes for the future. He challenged our current employees to seize the potential of our daily face-to-face encounters with our patients and their families: “How you greet them and smile and explain and listen and treat makes a difference in the life of a child.”

His remarks from Saturday night are posted in the video below:

Dinner was served by Simply Delicious Catering at the City of Raleigh (COR) Museum. The museum’s displays were a timely backdrop for the evening. Dr. Gessner referenced one of them in his talk.

Debbie Maness – our current Office Manager who has intimate knowledge of the last 38 years of RCAM – said, “Saturday was a great time – great to see [our current employees] mix with so many wonderful people from our past.”

RCAM Special Guests that night included:

  • “The RCAM Big Three” and their significant others looked great and seemed to be continuing to enjoy retirement:
    • Dr. Bob Fleming and his wife Nancy Jo – Bob still performs physicals for our armed services
    • Dr. Stephen Edwards and his wife Sylvia – Sylvia has seemed to give up retirement in favor of working with our front office staff
    • Dr. Alan Goldman and his wife Jill – Alan reminded us of his one-of-a-kind Christmas Party games. He initiated a holiday game that really needs to return. It was called “Find Your Bonus Check” and involved hiding individual bonus checks in unpredictable places in the office (let your mind wander). His annual quizzes were famous for asking things like “How many doors are in our office?” and “Finish this verse of ‘Good King Wenceslas’.”
  • Two former “Head Nurses”:
    • Dixie Kennedy and her husband Melvin – Dixie was Dr. Fleming’s first hire and she set up the nursing program at RCAM
    • Shirley Gower and her husband Clarence – Shirley was an unflappable, longtime head nurse
  • Two former “Weekend Nurses” who were known to bring ease to everyone they encountered (a wonderful trait for a weekend nurse)
    • Brownie Parker and her husband Wayne
    • Wyndee Langdon and her husband Andy
  • Two other blasts from the not so far past:
    • Cater Riggan – Cater handled our dealings with Cigna at a time when that was not easy and was also known to keep us all straight at all times (I think its called “gravitas”)
    • Beverly Stinson and her husband Jim – Beverly was a longtime nurse who never met a stranger

We would like to formally thank all associated with RCAM – current and past – employees and spouses – patients and their families. Taking care of children in the best way possible – working toward the betterment of all children – that requires a total team effort. And so does taking care of each other.


Dr. Todd Harris

November 7, 2016 – Here is a brief and effective video about something that comes up in our office frequently.

A common reason for difficulty with an ear exam is too much wax in the ear canal. Some people try to combat this problem by ‘cleaning’ the ear canal with Q-tips or cotton swabs.

You know when you have good intentions but your efforts just end up making things worse?

This is one of those situations.

This video shows why Q-Tips are not a good idea for your ear canal.

Dr. Todd Harris

November 5, 2016 – From March 2015, there was a 12-month period of time during which 4 nurses and 2 pediatricians at RCAM gave birth.

Yeah. That’s SIX pregnancies working together in a relatively small space.

That is a circumstance that will cause even a busy pediatric medical practice – a place that for 50 years has lived with the eminent presence of babies – to single out one 12-month period as “The Year of the Babies.”

It was our own personal DEFCON 3. Everyone was ready to mobilize at a moment’s notice.

One day, we had a baby shower for FIVE.

It was a dirty Santa baby shower. 5 expectant mothers competed head-to-head-to-head-to-head-to-head for gifts and prizes. Witnesses were heard to say the event appeared surprisingly natural.

So what could follow so much living on the edge?

This past year we transitioned from “The Year of the Babies” to “The Year of the Shannons.” (aka “The Shannons Strike Back”)

Two of our three nurses with the name “Shannon” became pregnant with their first. On September 14th, Nurse Shannon M. welcomed her new daughter.

Today, RCAM is happy to announce that Shannon B. – the RCAM head cheerleader – and her husband Justin welcomed their brand new baby girl into the world:


Brief aside: BTW, do you like my (and everyone else’s) use of a euphemism. Rather than calling it “giving birth”, we substitute a word like “welcome”. And isn’t “giving birth” sort of candy-coating the experience too? I have been in that room and would describe it more as “committing birth”.

Of course, it’s difficult not to coat the entire experience with the joy and the happiness that comes with finally seeing and holding your little girl.

RCAM is so happy for Shannon and Justin and their family taking it to the next level!

How happy?

So happy!!

Dr. Jen Long


Today is Monday, October 31, 2016

  • We sign off our answering service at 8:00 am to take calls directly from our office until we finish our evening clinic (typically around 7:00 pm).

Halloween Notes

  1. FYI: The wood-fire pizza food truck “Flirting with Fire” will be in our office parking lot during lunch (even though they don’t cop to it on their Facebook page, it will happen).
  2. Our friends at the American Academy of Pediatrics via their website offer a lot of advice for a safe Halloween here.


  • 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. These times 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. Jen Long will be rounding on our newborns at Rex Hospital.
  • In our Duraleigh Office today:  Drs. Muff Carr, Lily Harris, Jen Long, Sarah Owrey and Tom Sena
  • In our Brier Creek Office today:  Drs. Jamila Fletcher 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

The Fair Has Come to Town

Written by Dr. Todd Harris


October 4, 2016 – If you haven’t already heard, the North Carolina State Fair came to town yesterday and will run through Sunday, October 23rd.

It’s our annual feast for the senses – with its dense collection of sights, sounds, and scents.

When it comes to the sense of touch, your pediatrician would like to remind you that the @NCStateFair has in recent years stepped up its game when it comes to hand washing facilities.

That is important with so many people in one location and with attractions like ‘Petting Zoos’ so ‘handy’ – you may also wish to bring along your own personal supply of hand sanitizer – not to ruin anyone’s fun, but just to help insure the fun doesn’t come home with you.

Finally, there is the sense of taste – and the Fair offers plenty with its infamous ‘Fair Food’ – food so noteworthy it is a guaranteed annual news segment.

This morning I came across a good-effort infographic from our friends @RexHealthcare. It tells us things that we fair-goers may not want to know – but, if you would like to know what you need to know, check it out below:

Dr. Todd Harris

Banner Change: Fall Edition

Written by Dr. Todd Harris


September 25, 2016 – As we acclimate to a new school year – as the flow of school forms slows from Code Red Status to a light trickle – Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine welcomes the fall season.

The new season also means it is time to switch up our banner. And that makes sense too – because isn’t the image of a goggled-swimming little girl very appropriate for the summer months but intolerable as we begin to feel that crisp, cool nip in the air.

Cue pictures of children playing in leaves.

Ahhh. Now doesn’t this feel better.

When If we hit 90 again, maybe we’ll put the pool pic back up.

A few things about flu vaccine for this year:

  • Get your child a flu vaccine. As we prepare for the upcoming flu season, we want to make flu vaccine available for as many as we can. We recommend it for just about all of our patients – some more than others (those more at risk for complications from catching the flu like our youngest patients and our patients with chronic conditions like asthma are most recommended to get the flu vaccine).
  • As announced earlier, we have plenty of privately-supplied flu vaccine and have begun scheduling flu vaccination clinics.
  • We anticipate having state-supplied flu vaccine in the next few weeks. We will make that known as soon as we have it.
  • Finally, the Flumist nasal spray vaccine is not available this year.

Have a healthy and productive fall.


Dr. Todd Harris


September 14, 2016The sparkler is a universal sign of celebration.

It really has no other use.

ANNOUNCEMENT: here ye, here ye – we are (figuratively) breaking out the sparklers today at Raleigh Children & Adolescents Medicine because we have just received word that one of our very own – Nurse Shannon M. – has joined the ranks of parenthood.

Shannon and her husband Andrew this morning welcomed into the world their very own brand new baby girl.

UPDATE 09-14-2016 06:15 PM: Here she is!


We are so happy for new Mom and new Dad and we await their little girl’s first visit to RCAM.

That leaves us with only one expectant Nurse named Shannon left at RCAM. #YearOfTheShannons #ShannonsStrikeBack

As we count our blessings, here is another universal sign of celebration:

Dr. Todd Harris

Influenza (Flu) Vaccine at RCAM for 2016-17

Written by Dr. Todd Harris

Beach umbrellas WS

August 31, 2016 -This image is presented in memory of the summer of 2016.

With traditional calendar schools getting started this week – as we are forced to remove ourselves from our beach chair – whether that is real thing for you or if you are stepping away from some imaginary beach chair – we now face the stark reality of limited time off, kids in school, tight schedules, and… egads… the upcoming flu season 2016-2017.

Beginning September 1st, RCAM has enough flu vaccine supply to begin inoculations for the upcoming 2016-2017 flu season. Please keep reading because there are two important things to know about the start of our flu vaccination efforts:

  1. We have plenty privately-supplied flu vaccine, but – for circumstances beyond our control – we have not received our state-supplied flu vaccine. This does not affect patients who have private insurance (like BCBS,Cigna, United, etc.) or who plan to pay cash for their flu vaccine. Unfortunately, this delay does impact our patients who receive state-supplied flu vaccine – namely, the uninsured and those with Medicaid insurance. We expect to get state-supplied flu vaccine but we do not know exactly when that will happen. We will update when it does.
  2. There will be no Flumist nasal spray-type vaccine offered this year. We will only be offering the “flu shot” this year.

Click here for more details about those two details.

You are free to call and schedule to get your children their flu shot in one of our flu vaccine nurse clinics.

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and the pediatricians at RCAM recommend that just about everyone 6 months and older get the flu vaccine every year.