Seattle Children's Provider News

Special Update: Message from Susan Betcher, Chair of the Hospital Board of Trustees and Jeff Sperring, MD, Chief Executive Officer

Letter to Seattle Children’s workforce and community from Susan Betcher, Chair of the Hospital Board of Trustees and Jeff Sperring, MD, Chief Executive Officer, regarding Covington & Burling’s Assessment of Seattle Children’s Efforts to Combat Racism and Promote Systemwide Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

We want to communicate directly to our workforce, patients and families, the community, and other stakeholders – that the independent assessment of Seattle Children’s efforts to combat racism and promote diversity, equity and inclusion led by Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder of the Covington law firm is complete. The Board has unanimously adopted their recommendations as set forth in their summary.

Moving forward, we will act with an unwavering commitment to deliver equitable treatment of pediatric care and pursue equitable treatment across Seattle Children’s workforce while promoting anti-racism, diversity, equity and inclusion for all. Where our past actions have not lived up to our aspirations and values, we are resolved to not only do better but lead the way. This is an enormous task, but one we fully embrace. Read full post »

Special Update: Surging Hospital Occupancy in our Region

Seattle Children’s is experiencing high inpatient and Emergency Department (ED) volumes and staffing shortages in some areas. Likewise, hospital occupancy across Washington state has been extremely high for weeks. Many hospitals are reporting occupancies over 100%, significant ED boarding of inpatients, and delays in transferring patients to higher levels of care. A forecasted increase in admissions for COVID-19 for the next several weeks will add to the strain.

To fulfill our mission of caring for as many children within our institution as possible, we are actively preparing our ED and intensive care units for surges, including the possibility of young adult patients transferred from other hospitals.

Call to Action:   Please manage patients in outpatient settings whenever possible to help reduce visits to Seattle Children’s ED and hospital admissions.

Youth Mental Health: A Conversation With Dr. Jeff Ojemann About Seattle Children’s Generation REACH

Seattle Children’s bold new initiative to address the growing youth mental health crisis, called Generation REACH, makes a long-term commitment to youth mental and behavioral health as an inextricable part of child health. Dr. Jeff Ojemann talks more about what Generation REACH aspires to do and what it’s already accomplishing today.

The pandemic has exacerbated an existing mental health crisis. How is that showing up at Seattle Children’s?

Jeff Ojemann

Dr. Ojemann: We began seeing a large increase in mental health–related ED visits, particularly for suicidality, last summer and a huge increase in eating disorders. That was followed by reports in the fall of a 30% increase in the suicide rate among Seattle-area youth.

The Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine team responded to the increased demand with a quick pivot to telehealth for about 90% of visits, increased crisis clinic capacity and coordination with community EDs to help avoid inpatient admissions when possible. Read full post »

Small or Missing Ears: A Q&A on Microtia and Aural Atresia With Dr. Randall Bly

Dr. Randall Bly is an assistant professor of the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery through the University of Washington School of Medicine, and the co-director of the Cranial Base Program at Seattle Children’s. With a background in mechanical engineering, he also serves as adjunct faculty through the UW College of Engineering. Bly leads a group of surgeon-scientists and engineers at the BioRobotics lab in designing cutting-edge innovations in surgery.

How common are microtia and aural atresia?

headshot of Dr. Randall Bly

Randall Bly

Dr. Bly: Microtia is a small or absent ear. About 1 in 5,000 babies are born with it annually in the United States.   In most cases, it is only on one side. Seventy percent of these children also lack an ear canal (called aural atresia).

We don’t know what causes microtia in most cases. Sometimes it’s genetic, but no specific gene has been identified. In some cases, it’s related to maternal diabetes during pregnancy, exposure to high doses of vitamin A, or a mother’s use of Accutane (isotretinoin) during pregnancy. Read full post »

New Referral Guidelines: Dermatology, Rehab Medicine and Biochemical Genetics

Dermatology Now Requires a Referral for All New Patients

Read full post »

New Cerebral Palsy Program Is Unique in WAMI

Seattle Children’s is excited to introduce the Cerebral Palsy Program, a new offering for children with cerebral palsy and their families. We have a multidisciplinary team that offers the right services at the right time, including not just medical treatment but the education and support families need to be their child’s best advocate.

Children with cerebral palsy (CP) have long been seen by providers at Seattle Children’s, but the new program expands the services we can provide. Our dedicated staff of specialists, surgeons, therapists, social workers, nurses and administrators will work as a single, coordinated team to offer high-quality, standards-based care tailored to each patient’s unique needs, with access to the equipment and therapies that can help children live their healthiest life possible. Read full post »

Cancer and Blood Disorders Program Poised for Accelerated Growth With Addition of Dr. Mignon Loh

Dr. Mignon Loh – New Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy Division Chief and BTCCCR Center Director

Message from Dr. Leslie Walker-Harding, chair, University of Washington School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics; senior vice president and chief academic officer, Seattle Children’s

I am thrilled to announce that on Dec. 1 Dr. Mignon Loh will join the University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics as division chief of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy. In this role, she will provide clinical leadership at Seattle Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center and research leadership as center director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research (BTCCCR) at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Loh will also serve as professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the UW School of Medicine, as well as head of the Section of Pediatric Oncology at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (Fred Hutch). Read full post »

New Policy to Guide Seattle Children’s Engagement With Law Enforcement

Dismantling overpolicing and systems that may result in overpolicing of people of color at Seattle Children’s is critical to protecting the health and safety and minimizing trauma for Black, Indigenous and People of Color patients, families and communities. It’s one of the five pillars of our Anti-Racism Organizational Change and Accelerated EDI Plan.

Following the work in April 2021 of a multidisciplinary group that examined how Seattle Children’s engages with law enforcement, a policy has been created to guide workforce members on how and when to appropriately engage law enforcement at Seattle Children’s. Over the coming months, our related policies will be updated and our teams will receive training.

Seattle Children’s App Now Available in Spanish

The official Seattle Children’s App is now available in English and Spanish. The app, created by Seattle Children’s, helps families quickly connect to MyChart, find and contact services to support their child and family, access our interpreter services, and use turn-by-turn directions to navigate the hospital.

Families can download the app today from the Apple App or Google Play stores.

When referring your patients to Seattle Children’s, please share this information by giving them our family flyer about the new app (Spanish version).

Changes in COVID-19 Vaccine Clinic Hours and Inpatient Caregiver Visitation Standards

  • The hospital campus COVID-19 vaccine clinic is now open Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., due to reduced demand.
  • Up to three caregivers can now be designated as eligible visitors for each inpatient (up from two).
  • Important note: we are still only allowing TWO caregivers to visit at a time.
  • Parents/caregivers who are fully vaccinated no longer need to be tested prior to their child being admitted to a double room.

Read full post »