“Rapping Up” How Rex Express Care Can Serve You

042114_expresscare1Dr. Linwood Watson is the medical director for the Rex Express Care system and sees patients full time at the Knightdale Express Care site. He is board certified in family medicine and works with an enthusiastic group of nurses, emergency medicine physicians, family medicine physicians, nurse practitioners and physician assistants in the Rex Express Care system. Dr. Watson enjoys acute care medicine and the satisfaction of people walking out of the clinic truly feeling better.

As many people have seen, the Rex Express Care physicians and staff recently released a humorous rap video highlighting the unique niche that our Express Care system occupies: More services than a retail clinic while still having the ability to do many basic procedures (lacerations, abscesses) and avoid the ER.

Below are some insights into this fun project paired with some Express Care reminders.

Thanks for all the video viewership, comments, and support!

Was the video fun?

Obviously no one expected BET/MTV to be buzzing the phone, but it is healthy to never take yourself too seriously. While medical personnel take their jobs seriously, you always need the ability to laugh.

One item that isn’t fun, is chest pain/potential heart attacks in the Express Care. On average, each of our 4 suburban locations have 1-2 ER transfers each day. Yes, each day!

People “know” the symptoms of a heart attack or stroke, but denial and fear prevent them from doing the correct thing- picking up the phone and calling 911!

Did the video take a long time to film?

Well, as anyone who has made a media production knows, lots of work goes into 30 seconds. Including voice work, it took about 6 hours of takes to compile enough film and audio to assemble the finished product.

Here’s the one tip to (most likely) ensure a quicker Express Care visit: Remember that the least busy time at the Express Care offices is usually between 1pm-3pm on weekdays.

While every day is different and there are no guarantees, this is usually the least busy time to come, if your schedule allows it.

Who was most enthusiastic about the filming?

Age is just a number, and that was proven with the beloved Dr. Jefferson’s performance.Dr. Jefferson is a fixture in the Cary Express Care. He was a bundle of energy for the entire production and had an affinity for the camera!

The Express Care teams also have an affinity to use all of our Rex resources to help you. Remember us if you decide to go to a retail clinic, but are turned away or referred elsewhere because you are out of their scope of practice.

Need an x-ray? We can rule out pneumonia. Need some basic lab work? We have most acute care situations covered. With 4 convenient locations, we can serve you well.


Leave a comment

November is Lung Cancer Awareness Month: Infographic

LungCancerInfographic2014Use our free online screening tool LungAware to learn about your personal risk for lung disease today.


Leave a comment

Wellness Wednesday: Tailgating with a Healthier Twist – Chicken Kabobs

Post by Diane Danchi, R.D., L.D.N. Diane is a Registered Dietitian at Rex Wellness Center of Cary and Rex Wellness Center of Knightdale.

We’re kicking off our Wellness Wednesday series with the first installment of “Tailgating with a Healthier Twist” by Rex Wellness Center Registered Dietitian Diane Danchi, R.D., L.D.N.

This week’s menu includes: Chicken Kabobs, Cream Cheese Stuffed New Potatoes, a Fruit and Cheese Plate (Gorgonzola, Cheddar, Pears, Apples, Grapes) and a Spinach and Edamame Salad.

Be sure to visit the Rex Wellness Centers’ Facebook page every Wellness Wednesday for a post featuring recipes, tips, workouts and more from our wellness experts.

Grilled Chicken Kabobs111014_ChickenKabobs

Note:  For best results marinate chicken overnight. Marinate vegetables for 2 hours.

  • 1 lb Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts (cut into bite sized cubes)
  • 1 Orange Pepper
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • 1 medium Red or White Onion
  • 8 oz. Button Mushrooms
  • 1 can Pineapple Chunks, in juice, drained
  • 1 medium Zucchini


  • 1 Packet Italian Dressing Mix
  • 3 T Oil
  • ¼ cup Vinegar
  • ½ cup Water
  • 1 tsp Black pepper
  • 1 tsp Minced Garlic
  • 1 T Honey

Night Before: Cut meat into bite sized cubes and place into a Ziploc bag. Cut vegetables into bite-sized pieces and place into a separate Ziploc bag. Whisk marinade ingredients in a bowl until well combined. Pour half of the marinade over chicken, seal bag and refrigerate overnight.

Day Of: Pour remaining marinade over vegetables and let sit for 2 hours. Load meat onto skewers, alternating with vegetables. There should be 3-4 pieces of  meat per skewer. Grill (or broil in oven) for 10-15 min, turning every 2-3 minutes for even cooking.

Makes 6-8 skewers.

Nutrition Facts: Per serving Approx:  Cals – 160; Fat – 7 gm; Carbs – 7 gm; Fiber – 2 gms; Sugar – 3 gms; Protein – 17 gms

Cheese Stuffed New Potatoes

  • 1 ½ pounds Small Round Red Potatoes
  • 1 cup Light Sour Cream
  • ½ tsp Seasoned Salt
  • ¼ tsp Black Pepper
  • 1 tsp Chopped Fresh Chives
  • ½ cup 2% Shredded Cheddar Cheese
  • ¼ Parmesan Cheese
  • Parsley

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C).

Place potatoes into a saucepan and add enough water to cover. Bring to boil and cook until tender but still firm (about 10 minutes). Drain and cool in a bowl of cold water.

Remove cooled potatoes from the water. Pat dry with a paper towel and cut in half. Using a small spoon or a melon baller, carefully remove a small amount from the center of each potato leaving an approximately ¼ inch rim. Set reserved potato aside.

In a bowl, mix together reserved potato, sour cream, seasoned salt, pepper and chives. Spoon a small amount of mixture into each potato half and place onto a baking sheet. Top each potato with some shredded cheese.

Bake for 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and potatoes are warmed through. Garnish with parsley and serve.

Note: Cheese Stuffed New Potatoes may be served warm or served at room temperature.

Spinach and Edamame Salad

  •  ½ can (14-5 oz.) Chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup Frozen Edamame, defrosted
  • 1 cup Dried Cranberries
  • 1/2 cup Pepitas (dried pumpkin seeds)
  • 2 large Carrots finely chopped or shredded
  • 10 cups Baby Spinach


  • 2 Lemons
  • ½ tsp Dry Mustard
  • ½ tsp Sugar or Honey
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Coarse Salt
  • Freshly Ground Pepper

Whisk lemon juice, mustard, honey, and oil together; add coarse salt and pepper to taste.

Or use Newman’s Light Balsamic Salad Dressing

Leave a comment

Pumpkin Bean Soup


  • 102414_pumpkin1 can white beans
  • 1 onion (small, finely chopped)
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 can pumpkin (15 ounce)
  • 1 1/2 cups apple juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg, allspice, or ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt


  1. Blend white beans, onion, and water with a potato masher or blender till smooth.
  2. In a large pot, add the pumpkin, juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, black pepper, and salt. Stir.
  3. Add the blended bean mix to the pot.
  4. Cook over low heat for 15-20 minutes, until warmed through.

Number of servings: 6 Nutrition facts per serving: 140 calories, 0.5 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 110 mg sodium, 28 g total carbohydrate, 7 g fiber, 9 g sugar, 7 g protein

Recipe courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, http://www.whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/

Leave a comment

Pink October Infographic


Leave a comment

Special Care Nursery Reunion: A New Meaning of Family

Guest post by Mary-Peyton Amburn. Mary-Peyton lives in Raleigh with her husband Daniel, 3.5-year-old son Whitaker, and newborn daughter Caroline.

Every expecting mother has an idealistic plan of how her baby is going to be born. Whether it’s a rigid birth plan or just a wait-and-see plan, I can promise you that they all include a healthy baby, chest snuggles, and the picture perfect moment of when you head home.

Caroline Amburn was born 8 weeks early in August 2014

Caroline Amburn was born 8 weeks early in August 2014

At 28 weeks and 4 days pregnant with my daughter (and second child), I was hospitalized at Rex due to complications caused from Placenta Previa.  I went home 6 days later on bed rest only to return a week and a half later.  It was a devastating realization that my daughter would not come into this world on her own time.

Even still, I just knew that my body was going to hold out for her until it was safe for her to arrive.  I had high hopes. Our daughter, Caroline, was born via emergency c-section 5 days later weighing 4 pounds 9 ounces. She was 31 weeks and 5 days old. One moment I was surfing through the TV channels in my hospital bed and not even a full 45 minutes later I had a baby.

*   *   *

I can honestly say that the first 48 hours of Caroline’s life was the most traumatic experience I have ever been through.  I was still in shock from the trauma of her birth, overwhelmed by the constant beeps and medical equipment of the NICU, and at a complete loss of how to connect with my newborn.  I had no idea what all the numbers meant on the monitors and my husband was more in tune with our baby than I was.


Caroline hooked up to the ventilator, belly lines, and more.

To add salt in the wounds, Caroline was rapidly declining from her initial “honeymoon” phase into preemie behavior. A nurse later told me, “Caroline ordered everything on the menu.”  She began with a pneumothorax, or what we would think of as a collapsed lung, that required a chest tube in order to relieve the air that was building in her chest cavity.  They inserted belly lines through her umbilical cord to act as an intravenous line for nutrients and blood draws. She was also on a CPAP for oxygen.

The full realization of what was happening to our sweet baby came after her chest tube and belly line procedures. I was wheeled into the NICU to see her after two excruciatingly long hours of waiting. I remember asking if I could touch her and feeling the sadness that came with that question. It is something a parent would never dream that they would ever have to ask. As I reached into her little incubator, Caroline crashed.

There really are no words to describe that moment. I have played it over a thousand times in my head and it will forever be burned into my mind. Watching your lifeless baby being shaken in attempt to stimulate her and then ventilated immediately isn’t something you forget. They quickly wheeled me away while the amazing NICU team that surrounded her worked. Looking back now I realize that the staff is fully trained for these medical moments, but at the time I didn’t know if Caroline would be okay. So as I sat in the NICU lobby crying inconsolably, the other NICU nurses embraced me. I may have this awful memory, but it is in conjunction with a memory of tenderness from complete strangers.

Mom and Caroline during a feeding session

Mom and Caroline during a feeding session


Dad and Caroline during Kangaroo Care

It turned out that being on the ventilator was the best thing for Caroline. It gave her time to rest while the machine breathed for her.  She showed tremendous improvement and within 48 hours of being ventilated she was down to just a nasal cannula.  Caroline was also treated with Indocin for a PDA in her heart and for jaundice. After her first week and a half, we were looking at an entirely different baby. She was off oxygen completely and she became a Feeder/Grower. She had to learn how to eat!  We slowly fell into a new routine of juggling hospital time with our son at home. It was both emotionally and physically exhausting.

*   *   *

Mary-Peyton discussing Caroline's care with one of her wonderful nurses

Mary-Peyton discussing Caroline’s care with one of her wonderful nurses

Caroline spent 26 days in the NICU.  Though it was an amazingly difficult time for our family, I actually miss our time there.  Rex and the Special Care Nursery staff became an extension of our home.  They cared for my baby girl for almost the whole first month of her life. They bathed, fed, changed, snuggled, and burped her. They monitored and watched over her as if she was their own. When my world was upside down, I was soothed by their kindness, their instruction, their care. It is a sickening feeling to leave your baby behind, to imagine them alone in a hospital, but my husband and I found comfort in the gentleness and aptitude of her caretakers. When asked about Caroline’s care there is one statement that we do not waiver from: “It takes a special person to take care of NICU babies.”

I may not have gotten my perfect birth plan but I walked away with so much more. We left 26 days later with a healthy baby, lots of kangaroo care chest snuggles, and a picture perfect moment of going home. A moment filled with more knowledge, love, and humility than I could have ever imagined.

This weekend is the Rex Healthcare Special Care Nursery Family Reunion. Family being the keyword in the event title. Though meant as “bring your whole family,” I see it differently. When we needed them most for love and support, the Special Care Nursery became our family.  We wouldn’t miss the reunion for anything.

Mom, Dad, and Caroline on the day she was discharged from Rex

Mom, Dad, and Caroline on the day Caroline was discharged from Rex

Big brother Whitaker meets Caroline 26 days after her birth

Big brother Whitaker meets Caroline 26 days after her birth


Leave a comment

Three-Bean Salad

This tangy bean salad is perfect for a picnic, and inexpensive to make. It only costs about $0.79 per serving to make this recipe!


  • 1 can lima beans (8.5 ounce)
  • 1 can cut green beans (8 ounce)
  • 1 can red kidney beans (8 ounce)
  • 1 onion (medium, thinly sliced and separated into two rings)
  • ½ cup bell pepper (chopped sweet green)
  • 8 ounces Italian salad dressing (fat-free)


1. Drain the canned beans.
2. Peel and slice the onion and separate into rings.
3. Chop the green bell pepper.
4. In a large bowl, combine the lima beans, green beans, kidney beans, onion rings and green bell pepper.
5. Pour the Italian dressing over the vegetables and toss lightly.
6. Cover the bowl and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour. The salad can be left in the refrigerator overnight.
7. Drain before serving.

Number of servings: 4 Nutrition facts per serving: 170 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 690 mg sodium, 35 g total carbohydrate, 8 g fiber, 10 g sugar, 7 g protein, 4 percent vitamin A, 30 percent vitamin C, 2 percent calcium, 6 percent iron.

Recipe courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, recipefinder.nal.usda.go.

Leave a comment

What Happens in the Dark, Comes to the Light: CEO Sleep Out

092014_Sylvia1Post by Sylvia Hackett, Vice President of Human Resources and the Rex Healthcare Foundation at Rex Healthcare. She serves on the Executive Committee of the Greater Triangle United Way Board and volunteers with the Wake Boys and Girls Club. She is also a board member of the Food Bank of Central and Eastern North Carolina.

We’ve all heard the saying, “What happens in the dark, comes to the light.” A recent experience has given new meaning to this statement for me. I participated in what the United Way of the Greater Triangle refers to as an “uncommon event,” where 25 executives from across the Triangle experience, for only one night, what more than 2,000 people in our community experience nightly: homelessness and hunger. The annual CEO Sleep Out is designed to raise awareness by making the invisible issues visible.


Sylvia in her spot for the evening

It was the evening of September 11, 2014, when we gathered on the lawn in front of the DPAC in downtown Durham. Several of the executives had participated before given this was the third year of the event. They seemed prepared and not worried about the evening ahead. The weather forecast called for rain most of the night and heavy at times. I wasn’t concerned about anything specific (except spiders) and I had already resolved that I would make it through the evening.

The United Way staff organized a very engaging evening of presentations and roundtable discussions with local non-profits on the social impacts of childhood hunger and poverty. These conversations revealed statistics that further highlighted the issues and the need for long-term solutions. The agenda also included presentations from finalists in the United Way Social Innovation Challenge.

The time went by quickly, and the program portion of the evening was over. Also, I should mention that no food was served. If we didn’t eat before we arrived at 6:30 pm, we had to wait until morning. It was just about midnight when we got in line to collect our provisions for the evening.


The maximum amount of allowed essentials: box, blanket, pillow, and sleeping bag

To participate in the Sleep Out, each executive had to raise money to support the cause. For starters, each of us received a flat piece of cardboard for the ground. If we raised $250, we received a pillow; $500 qualified us for a blanket, $750 earned us a box for shelter, and $1,000 allowed us to receive a sleeping bag. With the support of many people at Rex, as well as family and friends, I raised $1,260 which earned me all of these essentials. As we settled in for the night, I set up my box on the paved parking lot instead of the grass. I thought I could best avoid spiders out there…. and I did! Also, the rain never came—we were very lucky.

Once everyone had quieted and settled in, the night became very real for me. Even though I lay there feeling quite vulnerable, I expected the city would quiet down, and people would go where people go when it gets dark. Instead, I learned that while we only simulated homelessness, those who were truly homeless were nearby. There was an unexpected stream of foot traffic in the area, and countless other ramblings reverberated throughout the night. I decided to close the opening to the box to alleviate some slight anxiety and attempt to get some sleep. My thought was I can’t worry about what I can’t see. Eventually, I think I may have slept sporadically for 1-2 hours.

Executives on the DPAC lawn

Executives experiencing homelessness on the DPAC lawn

When daylight came, the city buses were rolling again and the people around us returned to appearing deliberate in their comings and goings. At first, I had an overwhelming feeling of relief–I had survived the night! And then I had a revelation: I had closed my box to block out what I didn’t want to see. I go about my life busy doing what I do, and that makes it easy to tune things out. This experience was a gift—a unique opportunity to help shine a spotlight on the issues of homelessness, poverty and hunger. The hope is that we as a community can find real solutions to this problem.


Leave a comment

Good-for-You Cornbread

Try this healthier version of a classic comfort food and serve it up with chili or stew.


  • 1 cup cornmeal
  • 1 cup flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 cup low-fat (1 percent) buttermilk
  • 1 large egg
  • ¼ cup soft tub margarine
  • 1 teaspoon vegetable oil (to grease baking pan)


  1. Preheat oven to 350° F.
  2. Mix together cornmeal, flour, sugar and baking powder.
  3. In another bowl, combine buttermilk and egg. Beat lightly.
  4. Slowly add buttermilk and egg mixture to dry ingredients.
  5. Add margarine and mix by hand or with mixer for 1 minute.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes in an 8×8-inch, greased baking dish. Cool. Cut into 10 squares.

Serves 10.
Nutrition facts (per serving): 178 calories, 6 g total fat, 1 g saturated fat, 22 mg cholesterol, 94 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 4 g protein, 27 g carbohydrates, 132 mg potassium.

Leave a comment

Back to School Safety Tips

As a new school year begins, it’s important for parents and children to take steps to help ensure safe and enjoyable school days. Here are some age-appropriate safety tips you can share with your children as they head off to school.

Tips for grade-schoolers

082514_school1Know the walking route. It’s important that young children understand how to get to and from school safely. If your child walks to school, pair him or her with a walking buddy. Ask that your child stick to the same pre-determined route every day, so that in case of an emergency, you’ll know his or her whereabouts. Have your child practice looking both ways before crossing the street and remind him or her to not talk to strangers.

Understand the bus rules. If your child rides the bus to school, teach him or her about proper bus etiquette. Wake County has reduced the number of bus stops this year, so make sure to check your bus route to see if it has changed.

Play it safe. Playground injuries are the leading cause of injury to school children ages 5 to 14 and to children in childcare.* Inspect your local playground, making sure adequate precautions are taken to prevent and/or minimize falls. If an injury does occur, make sure to check the Rex Express Care wait times on your way to urgent care.

Tips for teens

082514_school2Prevent sports injuries. Sports injuries are common among active teens – but they don’t have to be. Encourage your teen to use the right equipment (shoes, protective gear, etc.) for his or her sport, to warm up before playing and to rest when tired. Also, remind your teen to drink plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Lighten the load. Heavy backpacks place undo stress upon a teen’s back and shoulders, which can lead to pain, stiffness and poor posture. Help your teen lighten up by buying him or her a quality backpack with padding and wide shoulder straps. The backpack shouldn’t weigh more than 10% to 15% of your child’s body weight. If it does, remove unnecessary items. Your teen should also carry the backpack over both shoulders to evenly distribute the weight.

Tips for college students

082514_school3Be aware of your surroundings. College students, especially new freshmen, sometimes feel that they’re immune to crime simply because they are on a college campus. Unfortunately, crime can happen anywhere. Students should take the necessary precautions, such as traveling with a group and avoiding compromising situations to ensure their personal safety. Most colleges and universities provide security personnel who will escort students to evening classes or to other campus facilities at night.

Protect your possessions. Students should keep their belongings safe by locking dorm rooms and windows and never leaving backpacks, purses, laptops, cell phones, etc. unattended.

* Source: Safe Kids Worldwide, www.safekids.org.

Leave a comment