This is our Why! Celebrating National Breastfeeding Month 2023

This is our Why! Celebrating National Breastfeeding Month 2023

Breastfeeding is a personal feeding choice, and yet it is often a topic of public discussion. Although natural, breastfeeding may come with challenges, some we prepare for and some we can’t. From the first time mom to the mom who has breastfed before, every pregnancy and every baby is different and therefore every feeding journey is different. Everyone, from our family, our neighbor, and even a stranger in the supermarket, loves to give advice on how, when, and what to feed those cute new babies but often that’s where the support ends. Over the past 70 years, the support women receive after childbirth has changed.  At one time, a new mom, regardless if it was her first child or her 10th, had a village of support with other mothers, grandmothers, aunt, sisters, and neighbors who supported her in those early days to rest and establish that coveted breastfeeding bond. Over time and with changes in society and culture, that level of support is no longer guaranteed and is often considered a luxury. And with those changes, support for new moms is more valuable than ever, regardless of feeding choice. 


August is National Breastfeeding Month,  with August 1st-7th designated as World Breastfeeding Week. The theme for this year is “This is Our Why”. This month we celebrate our successes, no matter how small, we share our driving force, our motivation to push through those early challenges to continue breastfeeding in any form. We share our resources and empower families to make informed feeding choices. Join us in celebrating our successes and challenges by visiting our Facebook page and sharing your why! You can also comment directly on this blog post.


stephanie glover, lpn

Post Author:

Stephanie Glover, LPN, IBCLC (Board Certified Lactation Consultant)

Contact Stephanie:  Send a Portal Message

Phone: 910-892-1333

Visit our Breastfeeding Services page

All About The ABC Patient Portal


We are so excited to announce nearly 3,500 patient portal accounts have been activated! Thank you for the confidence you've placed in us and for allowing us to communicate with you in a new way!

As you might know, calls have drastically increased for our office due to an increase in sickness in the community. And, while our multi-line phone system is very nice and allows many more calls to come in, busy signals have been replaced by longer hold times and voicemail pickups. To assist in alternative, efficient and secure communication, the patient portal was implemented to maximize our ability to respond efficiently to our  families.

Users of our PATIENT PORTAL are able to do the following:

  • Request an APPOINTMENT
  • Send MESSAGES/QUESTIONS to our staff
  • Make PAYMENTS to your account
  • And MUCH MORE!

View our Patient Portal FAQ's below

picture of ABC patient portal on desktop

View on Desktop

picture of patient portal on mobile

View on Mobile

If you have a current patient portal account or plan to activate one, the following Questions and Answers might help.

Q~ How do I request an INVITATION to the patient portal?
A~ > Complete a PORTAL INVITE FORM.  Click here:

> Submitting your invite form from the link securely submits your request to us. We'll respond quickly.

> Wait for your portal invitation from us via email. Once received, parents/guardians or patients over age 18 should verify their details as prompted. Example: If Mom is requesting an invite for her child(ren), the platform will require Mom's first and last name, date of birth and zip code.  DO  NOT use the PATIENT's Name.

> Once proper verification is made, a username and password is set up by the user.

> That's it! The new portal account is ready to use!

Q~ How do I access my secure PATIENT PORTAL ACCOUNT?
A~ Log in with your username & password at:

Q~ How do I COMMUNICATE with the ABC Pediatrics' staff?
A~ Click the "My Messages" Icon.
> Click "NEW" to create a message to us.
> Select "NO PREFERENCE" in the provider field.
(This ensures the message always goes to a member of the healthcare team logged in to our EHR software at the time that the message is sent. Selecting specific healthcare team members might delay messages because if that provider or healthcare team member is not in the office at the time that the message is sent, the message would not be reviewed until that provider or team member is back in the office.)
> Choose from the pull down menu for  "I would like to...."
> ask a medical question
> request a medical record
> ask an insurance question
> ask a general question
> Provide a few words about your request in the "How can we help you? field.
> Provide any additional information in the "Anything else you would like us to know?" field.
> Attach a file? Ex. picture of a rash, school form
        (Blue button directly below the two fields above.)
> Click SEND to submit the message to our staff.
> Monitor your email for our notice that we have responded to your request and there is a message waiting for your attention in the portal.

Q~ How do I request a PRESCRIPTION REFILL?
A~ > Under "My Health", click Medications then "Request Medication Refill"
     > Select the appropriate medication from the history.
     > Confirm Pharmacy
     > Provide any additional information in the "Anything else you would like us to know?" field.
     > Click Submit to send your refill request to our staff.
     > Monitor your email for our notice that we have responded to your request and there is a message waiting for your attention in the portal.

Q~ How do I request an APPOINTMENT?
A ~ > Click My Appointments, then "Request", then "New"
      > Complete prompts: Provider?,  How soon?,  Day of the week?,  Time Preference?
      > Select from the "What is most important to you?" field.
        > Physician
          > Day
          > Time
      > Complete the Reason for visit field.
      > SUBMIT your request.
      > Monitor your email for our notice that we have responded to your request and there is a message waiting for your attention in the portal.

Q~ How do I pay a bill?
A~ > Click "PAY MY BILL"
     > Click the blue "pay my bill" button to transition to our payment partner, Instamed.
     > Complete the "Make A Payment" window:
        > email
        > patient ID
        > last name
        > zip
      > Click PAY NOW.
      > Monitor your email for our notice that we have received your payment.

Benefits of Breastfeeding for Mom and Baby

Happy World Breastfeeding Month!

Every year in August we celebrate World Breastfeeding Month! In addition to the full month, there's also a Breastfeeding week that runs the first week in August traditionally. This year it ran August 1th through August 7th. In order to raise some awareness of the benefits of breastfeeding, ABC Pediatrics' own Dr. Mary Ann Chiodo provided some benefits of breastfeeding for both Mom and Baby!

Breastfeeding Benefits for BABY:

- access to nutrients that strengthen baby's immune system
- breast milk contains perfect nutrition- exactly the right proteins, fat, vitamins, minerals and other elements for baby's growth and development
- better response to immunizations against Polio, Tetanus, Dipththeria and Haemophilus influendza
- better oral development due to jaw movements, nutrients in breast milk decrease risk of tooth decay
- lowers risk of allergies
- lowers risk of obesity and diabetes
- lowers risk of SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome)
- lowers risk of ear infections and gastroenteritis
- enhances baby's brain development
- better protection against respiratory infections including those cause by rotaviruses
- reduced risk of hospitalizations with pneumonia and bronchiolitis
- enhance performance on cognitive development tests

Breastfeeding Benefits for MOM:

- reduces mom's risk of ovarian, uterine and breast cancer, as well as osteoporosis
- helps mom burn up to and extra 500 calories a day
- reduces post-delivery bleeding and the chances of mom developing anemia
- breast milk is free, convenient, sterile, the correct temperature and environmentally friendly

picture of baby and mom

Breastfeeding is a commitment and investment in health for both mom and baby. ABC Pediatrics offers support through specialized education, encouragement and expert staff. Please reach out to us for all your breastfeeding questions!

Call: 910-892-1333

ABC voted Best Pediatric Clinic in Best of Harnett 2022 Competition!

Thanks for your Votes!

We are super proud to announce this year’s 2022 Best of Harnett results. Due to all your support and votes, ABC Pediatrics has once again been voted Best Pediatric Clinic in Harnett County!

We also won several other accolades this year including some wonderful individual awards as well.

🥇🥈🥉They are as follows:

Practice Awards

  • 1st Place- Best Pediatric Clinic
  • 1st Place- Best Medical Facility
  • 3rd Place- Best Customer Service

Individual Awards

  • 2nd place Best Pediatrician-Dr. Mary Ann Chiodo, MD
  • 2nd Place Best Dr/PA-Rhonda Torchio, PA-C
  • 3rd Place Best Pediatrician-Rhonda Torchio, PA-C

Help us congratulate our team and individuals in comments!👏

🙏We would like to sincerely thank all of you that voted in this year’s competition. We obviously could not celebrate this without you! Your ABC Family looks forward to servicing your healthcare needs in the 22/23 year ahead!

Sincerely, The ABC Staff and Team 🩺

🔗Full online magazine link from The Daily Record website:Special Edition Best of Harnett Magazine Link

rhonda torchio best of harnett county awards

ABC’s “Star of the Week” Program on Social Media!

Hey Abc Fam! We are starting a new program where we will highlight members of our ABC Family’s achievements on social media. 💫📸 They will be recognized as our “ABC Social Star of the Week!” 🤩
✳️ Here’s how it works:
1. Submit your child’s achievement using our form located here:

2. We will post one kid a week on our Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If they happen to have their own social media, provide those links using the form and we can try to tag them and/or you the parent(s) as well.

3. Achievements can include really anything you are proud of, so long as it took place RECENTLY and outside of your home activities. Additionally, your child should have been awarded or selected by someone other than yourselves. (Unless you’re a Coach or Teacher, for example, that was responsible!)

4. Please understand that we will work on posting each child, but the posts will be organized by the time they were received and also, at times, the accolade they received.

That’s it for now! We will see where the program goes from here. We are looking forward to seeing some submissions!
The Abc Staff and Team 🩺😊

Schedule your Wellness Visits for the 2023-24 School Year!

It’s School Preparation Time at ABC Pediatrics!

Our staff is READY to help school-age students complete all the requirements for their health assessments for the 2023 – 2024 School Year!

Every year we face a flood of appointment requests in the two to three weeks leading up to the first day of school for physicals, medication management, and immunization updates. Unfortunately, we cannot often accommodate the last minute requests because our providers schedules fill up quickly as the new school year approaches.

Why would I do this now!?

  • If you come in now, it's a major step out of the way when school is closing in, taking this off your plate.

  • If any potential issues arise from the checkup, you've got more time to resolve them!

  • Because patients are less sick during the summer months, our providers are less busy at the moment. This ensures you will be able to schedule with who you want to see, and most likely, choose the time and day that works best for your family.

  • Insurance companies are becoming very strict about ensuring patients get preventative services every year. Summertime is the absolute best opportunity to get this requirement taken care of.

Not sure when your child is due for a physical or a maintenance visit?  Our staff is available to check your child’s visit history, immunization status, and discuss just what he/she may need for the upcoming school year.

Call TODAY!  (910) 892-1333

Below is a list of services provided by our ABC Pediatrics’ Health Care Team that may be performed to ensure he/she is ready for school!

  • Check to see how tall he/she is
  • Check his/her weight
  • Check his/her Blood Pressure  
  • Obtain a urine specimen and a small sample of blood from him/her for lab testing
  • Test his/her hearing
  • Check his/her ability to see by performing acuity and depth perception vision assessments
  • Review responses to age-appropriate questions to evaluate and confirm his/her readiness for school
  • Review current medication regimens and if needed, provide refills
  • Perform an EKG (measures heart activity)
  • Perform Spirometry (lung capacity and function) test
  • Perform a complete physical exam to make sure he/she is healthy
  • Make recommendations that will allow for the best possible school year performance
  • Administer any necessary and required vaccines
  • Complete his/her required school forms
  • Give stickers, hugs and best wishes to him/her for a fantastic year in school!  

New Phase Update Effective 03.10.22

NEW PHASE EFFECTIVE Thursday, March 10th, 2022

OFFICE HOURS: Monday thru Friday, 7:45am until 4:15pm

For nearly two years, the ABC Pediatrics’ team has kept you informed of the ever-changing global COVID pandemic. We’ve monitored transmission and case rates for COVID-19 and its variants and made adjustments to our workflow while remaining committed to ensuring our patients received well care, immunizations, medication management, mental health care and allergy immunotherapy. Simultaneously, we invested in In-Office COVID PCR testing capabilities and COVID antibody testing capabilities as well as COVID vaccine administration as soon as the services could be made available to our area. We effectively processed sick patients and provided In-Office COVID related services in isolated areas of our office to mitigate the possibility of spread.

The last two years have presented us with extreme challenges. Every challenge was approached head on, analyzed and managed based on data and common sense. These challenges provided our team with increased knowledge and confidence. To you, our patient family, THANK YOU for trusting us and navigating through each phase of this pandemic cycle with us. Your kindness, support, and ability to conform to our various workflow changes have provided our staff with strength, courage, and reassurance.

With North Carolina’s transmission and positivity rates well under 5%, ABC Pediatrics will eliminate some of the strict protocols we have had in place for nearly two years.

● ALL PATIENTS will once again be welcomed through our front entrance.
● ALL PATIENTS will be processed face to face by our Front Office staff and directed to either the SICK or WELL waiting area.
● NEWBORN INFANTS will be prioritized and processed in a separate triage area and roomed in only designated newborn exam areas.
● Exam rooms will continue to be sanitized after patient visits.

New Phase Update from ABC Pediatrics (09-10-21)

NEW PHASE EFFECTIVE Monday, September 20th, 2021

OFFICE HOURS: Monday thru Friday, 8:00am until 4:15pm

As COVID continues to impact our community, ABC Pediatrics has evaluated and revised our approach in caring for the health care needs of our patients. We remain committed to ensuring patients receive well care, medication management, mental health care and allergy immunotherapy, while maintaining service for sick patients and testing during this ever-changing pandemic. Our new process will go in effect Monday, September 20, 2021, and is described below. 

Weekday MORNINGS will be designated for SICK PATIENTS. All available primary care providers will respond to patients who need care for the following:

● Exposure to Covid 19
● COVID Testing
● Fever
● Cough
● Shortness of Breath
● ER Follow Up

● Change in sense of taste or smell
● Cold Symptoms
● Sore throat
● Vomiting
● Diarrhea
● Body aches/fatigue

Weekday AFTERNOONS will be designated for WELL PATIENTS. All available primary care providers will respond to patients who need care for the following:

  • Well Physicals
  • Immunizations
  • Medication management
  • Routine follow up care
  • Telehealth 

Patients scheduled with our MENTAL HEALTH team and/or our ALLERGY team will be offered a different method of check in and welcomed through a side entrance for appointments from 8 am to 4:30 pm Monday through Friday. 

Also, effective September 20, 2021, the following services will ONLY be available via our SECURE PATIENT PORTAL

  • Medication refill requests
  • Lab results
  • COVID related school correspondence

If you have not requested and/or received your child’s Patient Portal invitation, please check with a member of our front office team to get this set up. 

New Electronic Health Records System

Hello ABC Family!

Exciting news! We’re currently implementing a new Electronic Health Records system at our office! Behind the scenes work has been underway for months and the transition is coming VERY SOON as we bring state of the art electronic services to our patients and their families!  There are some especially important dates we would like to bring to your attention.


Hello ABC Family!

         Exciting news! We’re currently implementing a new Electronic Health Records system at our office! Behind the scenes work has been underway for months and the transition is coming VERY SOON as we bring state of the art electronic services to our patients and their families!  There are some especially important dates we would like to bring to your attention.

Monday, 05.17.21 through Friday, 05.21.21- STAFF TRAINING

● Our office will be OPEN!    

● Staff training each day from 11am-1pm    

● Appointments for sick and urgent concerns and newborn infant care will be available.

● Appointments for well care and non-urgent care will be limited due to staff training.

● Our staff will remain fully available for phone calls, prescriptions refills, general questions and concerns.

● Our patient portal services, unfortunately, will not be available after 05.20.21. Until we get our new patient portal up and running, please call us (910.892.1333) for your healthcare needs.


Monday, 05.24.21 through 05.25.21- SYSTEM CONVERSION WEEK

● Our office will be OPEN!   

● Appointments for sick and urgent concerns and newborn infant care will be available.

● Appointments for well care and non-urgent care will not be scheduled due to system unavailability.

● Our staff will remain fully available for phone calls, prescriptions refills, general questions and concerns.


Monday, 05.31.21 & Tuesday, 06.01.21- OFFICE CLOSED

● Our office will be CLOSED for Memorial Day and remaining system conversion and activation work.


Wednesday, 06.02.21 through Friday, 06.04.21- GO LIVE

● Our office will be OPEN!  Please bear with our staff as we navigate a totally different work flow in our new system. 

Medicaid is changing in NC!

Medicaid is changing in NC!

Starting July 1, 2021, Medicaid services will be available through Prepaid Health Plans (PHPs). A PHP is a group of doctors, hospitals and other providers that work together to provide all types of health care. This includes – physical health, behavioral health, and medications. Effective July 1, 2021, EVERY NC Medicaid recipient must choose a PHP or one will be chosen for you by NC Medicaid.  WE WANT TO HELP YOU THROUGH THIS PROCESS!


1-      Choose a primary care provider (PCP)


2-      Choose a health plan

  • ABC PEDIATRICS works with all available health plans.
  • Attached to this notice is a list of your available plans. The list tells you about the health plans and the various services they offer. Choose the best one for your family.

3-      Enroll in one of these ways

  • Go to
  • Use the NC Medicaid Managed Care mobile app. To get the free app, search for NC Medicaid Managed Care on Google Play or the App Store.
  • Call NC Medicaid at 1-833-870-5500 (TTY: 1-833-870-5588).
  • Mail the enrollment form using the return envelope that came in your package.  Or fax it to 1-833-898-                    9655.
  • Choose your health plan by May 14, 2021 or one will be chosen for you. It is better if you choose a health plan, because you know your health care needs best.
picture of melinda johnson pointing at medicaid sign

What happens next?

After a PHP is selected, information and a new ID card will be mailed. The ID card should be used for health care services beginning on July 1, 2021. Questions can be answered by your health plan’s member services number on the ID card.

If you decide later that you want to change your health plan:

Health plans can be changed until September 30, 2021. After that, unless there is a special reason, health plans cannot be changed until the Medicaid recertification date. Those who feel they should not be enrolled in a health plan because they need certain services to address a developmental disability, behavioral health, traumatic brain injury or substance use disorder, reconsideration can be requested. This is a review of the decision. To request a reconsideration, call 1-833-870-5500 (TTY: 1-833-870-5588).

Questions? Go to You can also use the “chat” tool on the website. Or call 1-833-870-5500 (TTY: 1-833-870-5588), 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., 7 days a week.  After May 14, 2021, hours are open from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

Attached is a SAMPLE enrollment package. Some of the areas are filled in as an example to help you complete your form.  

Please call a member of our BUSINESS OFFICE STAFF if you need any help:   (910) 892-1333, then press 4.