Flu Vaccine Is In!

Flu shots are in! All children 6 months of age and older should get a flu shot. We have Flumist available for children 2 years of age and older as well.
11 Things for Parents to Know about the 2015-2016 flu season

Welcome Natalie Dixon, MS, PA-C

Blue Ridge Pediatrics welcomes Natalie Dixon, MS, PA-C.

Natalie Dixon is a certified Physician Assistant, through the National Commission on Certification of Physician Assistants. She attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and received her Masters in Physician Assisting from the Medical University of South Carolina, in 2007.

Prior to working with Blue Ridge Pediatrics, Natalie worked with Wimauma Family Health Center-a health clinic for migrant workers in Florida, Clemson-Seneca Pediatrics, and the Child Abuse Pediatrics division of MUSC, in Charleston. She has a special interest in adolescent medicine, breastfeeding/lactation, weight management, and early literacy.

Natalie, her husband, and their two sons, are excited to be back in the upstate, and look forward to enjoying all of the outdoor activities offered here. They also love attending sporting events together, listening to live music and traveling.

Natalie Dixon, P.A.

We have FluMist and Flu Shots available!

Most Children two years of age and older can receive FluMist which is given as a nasal spray and needle free. Early October is the ideal time to get vaccinated. Give our office a call to schedule your flu vaccine today.

Dr. Gully’s Top Ten reasons why Blue Ridge Pediatrics has the best front office staff…

Recently, I have received a great deal of positive feedback about the front office staff from parents and patients. They are awesome! Don’t forget to share your encouraging comments with them as well. The following list should offer plenty of topics to strike up a conversation with them. Here is my top ten list of why I love them and why you should too.

Dr. Gully’s Top Ten reasons why Blue Ridge Pediatrics has the best front office staff…

  1. They are the wizards of multitasking. While they are signing you in, they have your insurance company on line one, the cardiologist on line three, ensuring your child’s medications are called in to the correct pharmacy, faxing school permission slips, AND making a color copy of your child’s growth chart so that their grandmother in Arizona can finish her scrapbook. ALL WITH A SMILE
  2. They have medical backgrounds (Liz and Jasmine are Certified Medical Assistants and Orenda is a Nursing Assistant)
  3. Although Liz is our only fluent Spanish speaking staff member, Jasmine THINKS she is too
  4. They have accents and dialects that you won’t hear anywhere north west of the Blue Ridge Escarpment
  5. You don’t have be embarrassed that your toddler is having a temper tantrum in the waiting room because Amanda has twin toddlers at home
  6. You won’t get a speeding ticket coming to our office because Jasmine already has the highway patrol tied up
  7. Orenda volunteers herself monthly for real life anaphylaxis and CPR training (ask her about it)
  8. They really care about the families of our patients
  9. They are all EXCEPTIONAL mothers and in Dr. Gully’s opinion-parenting experts
  10. They do an AMAZING amount of hard work and get little of the credit

New Screening Guidelines

Parents and patients will begin to see new questionnaires at well visit checks in order to comply with the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) guidelines.  Providers will use various methods to screen for problems such as autism, developmental delays,  depression, domestic violence, substance abuse at the appropriate ages.  These screenings will be conducted on all patients at scheduled Well Child Visits; however, we are available to discuss any concerns about your child’s development or social-emotional growth at any time.   Feel free to call our office at (864) 888-4464 at any time to schedule an appointment.  We are eager to help.


Asthma “AIR” visits for next school year begin in June

Donna AIR visitBlue Ridge Pediatrics will begin our third annual “AIR” (Asthma Intervention and Return to School) visits beginning mid-June.  Call to schedule an appointment before school starts.  Asthma ER visits  and hospitalizations increase dramatically in August and September when students return to school and are exposed to asthma triggers.  The purpose of these visits is to ensure all students with asthma return to school in August healthy and prepared.  Our goal is to ensure every asthmatic patient has their rescue inhaler, school medication administration forms, and spacers ready to take with them the first day of school.   We will revise and optimize medications as needed.  Our knowledgeable staff will provide a “refresher” to students on the importance of taking their medicines as well as how to properly administer them.

Click on the links below to learn more about the “AIR” program’s success and how we are keeping our patients healthy!

“AIR” program recognized by the South Carolina Asthma Alliance.  Read the letter Dr. Mike Bowman from MUSC wrote about the program here.

Welcome Jasmine Cobb, CMA

Jasmine Cobb, CMABlue Ridge Pediatrics is excited to have Jasmine Cobb  as part of the medical staff.  Jasmine and her son, Jemarrion, were already well known and loved by our staff.  We were thrilled to hire her in 2013 after she completed her degree as a Certified Medical Assistant.  Jasmine’s infectious smile and love for the children is apparent in her work.  She has proven to be an outstanding asset to the practice and pediatrics.

Get Active- 10 Things To Do With the Family

Get Active- 10 Things to Do With The Family

Lake Jocassee Waterfall

  1. Visit Lake Jocassee included in National Geographics special edition magazine named “50 of the World’s Last Great Places — Destinations of a Lifetime.”  Access public boat ramps, rent a cabin or camp at Devil’s Fork State Park located 20-30 minutes from Clemson and Seneca.
  2.  Take the family on a zip line canopy tour at Chattooga Ridge Canopy Tours.
  3. Watch a collegiate sporting event at Clemson University
  4. Visit Clemson’s Botanical Gardens
  5. Hike one of the many waterfalls located in Upstate South Carolina
  6. Go berry picking.  Pick strawberries, blackberries, persimmons, figs, grapes, muscadines and blueberries at the Happy Berry Farm in Six Mile.
    Boating on Lake Keowee
  7. Kayak or Raft on some of the worlds best whitewater rivers.
  8. Learn a watersport as a family on Lake Keowee.  Ideas include flatwater Kayaking, canoeing and stand up paddleboarding.  If you have access to a boat, give waterskiing, or wakeboarding a try!  Start exploring the lake at South Cove or High Falls parks.
  9. Take a day trip to Asheville to visit the Biltmore Estate.  Kids 16 and under visit for free all summer long!
  10. Play a game of laser tag at Sweet Treats in Walhalla.

“AIR” Program Recognized

The South Carolina Asthma Alliance recognized Dr. Gully and the staff at Blue Ridge Pediatrics for their “AIR” program which targets Asthma.  In the month of August and September, upon return to school, asthma admissions and ER visits increase.  The “AIR” program which stands for Asthma Intervention and Return to School, was developed in an effort to prepare patients with asthma for return to school.

Each child is scheduled an appointment during the summer break.  The goals of the visit are as follows:

  • Patients are well controlled on their current medicines
  • They have two spacers and two rescue inhalers (one for school and one for home)
  • Required school medication administration forms are signed and ready to take to school on the first day back
  • Each patient has a action plan in case of illness and knows what to do

You can read the letter sent out by the South Carolina Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics below:

A Special Message from the SCAAP Asthma Champion

Dear Colleagues:

It is that time again, when asthma is lying in wait for our patients.  Every year there is a major asthma flare when school restarts and no one has ever really done much about it.  Last year, a practitioner in Seneca, Dr. Carey Gully, did take the challenge of “doing something” to heart.  She and her office team developed a special asthma preparedness program during last summer.  It was so innovative that two of us from the SC Asthma Alliance interviewed her on video so that everyone can learn her innovative approach.  That video is now on the SC Chapter of the AAP website and I strongly urge each of you to look at it to see if there is something there which you would like to adapt for your practice.  The video is only about 17 minutes.   Her numbers, 300 patients seen and trained during last summer, without a single visit to the ER or hospitalization when school started, are truly exemplary.  I hope you will take a look at the video and see what you can incorporate into your office activities this summer.  Email me at bowmanm@musc.edu if you have any questions for me.

With best regards,

Mike Bowman, MD
SC Chapter of the AAP Asthma Champion
Head, Pediatric Pulmonology, MUSC

Sun Protection

Skin cancers including Melanoma are the most frequently diagnosed cancers in the United States.  Exposure to the suns UVA and UVB rays contribute to most cancers of the skin.  With proper skin protection, the harmful effects of too much sun can be prevented.  Blistering sunburns during childhood put an individual at greatest risk for skin cancers later in life.


UVA and UVB rays:

·         UVA rays are not absorbed by the ozone and contribute to aging and vision problems such as cataracts

·         UVB rays are absorbed by the ozone and cause sunburn

·         Look for a sunscreen that says “broad spectrum” meaning it provides UVA and UVB protection


How Do I Apply Sunscreen?

  • Use a broad-spectrum sunscreen with an SPF rating of 30 or higher
  • Apply sunscreen 20 minutes before going out into the sun
  • Use generous amounts  and remember to “rub in” spray sunscreens
  • According to the FDA, “water resistant” are effective for 40 minutes of water activity
  • Reapply every 1-2 hours during outdoor activities

Other Important Ways to Protect Yourself and Children

  • Avoid tanning beds and “suntanning”
  • Always seek shade
  • Check local weather forecasts for the UV index and avoid sun exposure when when the index is high

Sunscreen Ingredients:  Physical ingredients cause fewer allergic skin reactions than chemical ingredients.  Look for sunscreens with a combination of ingredients offering protection from UVA and UVB rays.


What about infants?

Sunscreens are approved for children older than 6 months of age.  For infants 6 months or under be sure to keep skin covered with protective clothing when possible.  Avoid sun exposure from 11am to 3pm when UV rays are at their peak.  Seek shady areas when possible.


It is safe to apply sunscreen to exposed areas of the skin (such as the face and hands) in infants less than 6 months of age if exposure cannot be avoided. 


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