Seattle Children's Provider News

Seattle Children’s Emergency Department and Hospital Capacity Update

Seattle Children’s continues to see high numbers of pediatric patients seeking care in our Emergency Department (ED) and psychiatry inpatient units for mental and behavioral health emergencies.

Our emergency operations center that opened for this behavioral health emergency remains open.  The strategies we have put in place have succeeded in helping to discharge or progress care for these patients, creating much-needed capacity for new patients in the ED and psychiatry inpatient units. Despite these successes, we anticipate a continued high level of demand on the ED and PBMU for the foreseeable future.

We are experiencing high volumes of RSV in the community; flu is arriving more slowly.

In case you missed it, please see our update from Nov. 21, 2023: ED Patient Surge for Mental and Behavioral Health; Elevated RSV Rates Prompt Changes to Masking/Visitor Policies.

As we respond to the youth mental and behavioral health emergency, the safety, security and well-being of our patient and workforce is our top priority. We are taking steps to support patient and staff safety including adding supplemental staffing resources and increasing security. This work is ongoing and includes collaborating with our partners at all levels of government (local, state, federal) and continuing to listen to and support our workforce, patients and families.


How you can help

We continue to ask community providers to see patients in primary care whenever appropriate and feasible, to help preserve capacity in the ED for those who need it. If you are sending a patient to the ED, please call first to alert us: 206-987-8899 or toll-free 866-987-8899.


Tips for treating RSV/bronchiolitis

With RSV rates currently high in the community, we would like to remind providers that we offer several resources for caring for patients in primary care and supporting families with education materials.






  • Provider treatment tips:
    •  Bronchiolitis is a viral illness needing supportive care measures.
    •  Timeline of symptoms: increasing symptoms for two to three days with very slow resolution from day 6 to 22+.
    •  During height of symptoms (days 2- 6): clinical course varies minute to minute, clinical decisions and interventions should only be considered for sustained changes in clinical presentation
    •  Viral swab testing and CXRs do not alter the clinical course or parent satisfaction in care and can lead to over prescription of antibiotics (25% of children with bronchiolitis will have atelectasis on CXR)
    •  Albuterol is not helpful for bronchiolitis and may lead to side effects (tachycardia, iatrogenic V/Q mismatch, increased cost or implications for future illnesses, i.e., excess albuterol prescribing in the future.

Free On-Demand Class for Parents Offers Help With Children’s Behavior and Attention

A new virtual class for parents offers immediate help to parents experiencing behavior problems in children ages 4 to 11 years old. The class is free.

“We know families often have long waits to see behavioral health therapists or a specialist. This on-demand program teaches key parent training skills from our programs in short videos so caregivers can work on them at home and jump-start behavior changes,” says Dr. Erin Gonzalez, Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine.

The new class — our first asynchronous parent training program — was created by Seattle Children’s Behavior and Attention Management team and is available now on our website.

Based on the First Approach Skills Training (FAST) Behavior workbook, the FAST-Behavior Basics class has eight core videos and three bonus videos, each around two to five minutes long, that go with the caregiver worksheets from the FAST-Behavior workbook (also downloadable for free on our website).

Providers are welcome to recommend that families access this self-guided class as a stand-alone program or as they wait for other services.


More information: Behavior Basics Class – Seattle Children’s Hospital (

Short Wait Times for Youth Mental Health Referral Line

Current wait times are low for families who call the Washington Mental Health Referral Service for Children and Teens, thanks to a boost in funding and staffing. Families can be scheduled for an intake appointment within a few days and will receive a follow-up letter within a few weeks with contact information for mental health therapists in their local area who can see their child and who take their insurance.

The number for families to call is 833-303-5437 (press 1 for an interpreter). The service is free.


For more information:  Visit the Washington Mental Health Referral Service for Children and Teens website and view program metrics for 2019 to 2023.

New Texting Service Offers Families a Better Experience When Scheduling Their Appointments

We are pleased to share that Seattle Children’s has activated a text messaging service that will confirm for families when their referral has been received and provide information about how and when to schedule their appointment. Seattle Children’s previously had this ability for a handful of clinics but is now able to do it across all specialties.

The texting service provides important information about wait times if an appointment isn’t immediately available. Follow-up texts will keep families updated about when to expect an appointment.

“This is an important evolution for Seattle Childrens,” says Amy Tufano, senior director for system access. “We’re excited to give families more visibility into wait times and a better overall experience with scheduling.”

Families will need to grant permission before Seattle Children’s begins sending text messages; our teams will assist them in opting in when they register.

Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic Offers Quick Access to Therapies and X-Rays; Outside Referrals Are Welcome

 We’d like to remind providers that Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) site in Rainier Valley — OBCC Othello — offers not only primary care services but also several specialty therapy services that are available with an outside referral with little to no wait time (two weeks or less):

            • Physical therapy
            • Sports therapy
            • Rehab therapy

Walk-in X-rays are also available weekdays at OBCC for patients up to age 18 with an order. Families can bring their order with them or have their community provider fax it to 206-985-3128.

Specialty care expanded significantly at OBCC when the Othello location opened last year and is drawing more patients. “Many new families who come to OBCC Othello for the first time are bowled over by our beautiful new building and quick access to care,” says Antwanette Lyons, OBCC’s manager of community health programs and development. She notes that many new families at OBCC are coming from Tacoma and Pierce County and say they appreciate the convenient location and easy parking.


Additional benefits to receiving specialty care at OBCC

Families who come to OBCC — for specialty care or any service — have access to a range of family assistance programs. These are offered through the clinic’s community care coordinator team. OBCC can assist with childcare, groceries, transportation, utility assistance, rental assistance and more. Its WIC program is open to patient families and all community members.

“Our ability to meet families’ concrete needs as well as their psychosocial needs is what sets us apart from other places that our families could choose for care,” says Lyons.

At this time, certain other OBCC specialty services — including dermatology, dental, behavioral health, nutrition and sickle cell — are still by internal referral only.


When referring a patient to OBCC: Use Seattle Children’s new appointment request form (NARF) and write “OBCC” on the referral to help ensure families are scheduled at the OBCC Othello location. For X-rays, use Seattle Children’s Radiology Request Form and check the X-ray box for OBCC Othello.


In related news:

  • OBCC Central District will have a new home at 18th Avenue S. and S. Jackson Street. Learn more.

Meet Laura Knapp: A Leader With Unrelenting Hope

Seattle Children’s welcomes Laura Knapp as its new vice president of Mental and Behavioral Health. An innovator, collaborator and optimist, Knapp leads Seattle Children’s mental and behavioral health strategy. She is responsible for the organization’s efforts to meet the recent increased demand for services and develop strategies for long-term growth and expansion.

In her 20-year career working in mental and behavioral health care, Knapp says she’s done most social work jobs imaginable, including serving as a therapist, social worker and now, administrator.

On the Pulse sat down with Knapp to learn what she thinks makes Seattle Children’s unique, how collaboration is crucial to increasing access to care, and why the fall season is especially busy in her house. Read full post »

Meet Our Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Providers

Orthopedics and Sports Medicine physicians are available to meet virtually and in person with your clinic to offer education on a range of topics. The asterisked physicians below are also available for meet-and-greets.


Jennifer Bauer, MD, MS*

Chief, Spine Surgery

  • Adolescent idiopathic scoliosis (AIS)
  • Non-AIS scoliosis


Todd Blumberg, MD

Orthopedic surgeon

  • Infant/child hip dysplasia
  • Hip preservation


Antoinette Lindberg, MD

Orthopedic surgeon

  • Bone and soft tissue tumors in orthopedics


Michael Saper, DO

Orthopedic surgeon

  • Management of first-time traumatic shoulder dislocation
  • Management of first-time patella dislocation: predicting recurrent instability
  • Top five pediatric and adolescent knee injuries


Gregory Schmale, MD

Chief, Orthopedic Medical Education; program director, Orthopedics

  • Common pediatric knee injuries


Mike Tretiakov, MD*

Orthopedic surgeon

  • Pediatric lower extremity differences (congenital and acquired)


Suzanne Yandow, MD

Orthopedic surgeon

  • Gait abnormalities in children


Scott Yang, MD*

Orthopedic surgeon

Scoliosis and pediatric spine conditions

  • Outpatient orthopedics — basics of exam and diagnosis


Burt Yaszay, MD*

Chief, medical director

  • General scoliosis
  • Back pain


Please contact your Seattle Children’s physician liaison if you would like to schedule a meeting with an orthopedic physician for your clinic.



Patti Kilburn

[email protected]

(425) 890-5748



Dawn Riley

[email protected]

(425) 681-8671



Kenton McAllister

[email protected]

(509) 222-8183



Erin Moya

[email protected]

(425) 457-9248


Flyer: Education Presentations From Seattle Children’s Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Access Dashboard: December 2023

Please visit our Access Dashboard – December 2023 to find wait times for many of our ambulatory clinics and a list of conditions considered urgent for scheduling purposes.  We hope this information will support you in making decisions about referring to Seattle Children’s. Algorithms and other clinical care resources for common pediatric conditions are available at

CMEs, Conferences and Grand Rounds



  • Fetal Echocardiography: Understanding the Normal and Abnormal Fetal Heart. December 14, 2023, 6 to 7 p.m. Category 2 CME for OB/MFM providers. Learn more and register.


Mental Health – First Approach Skills Training (FAST) Trainings 

These trainings are intended for primary care–based behavioral health providers. For questions about resources or training opportunities for providers, please contact [email protected].

Project ECHO

  • Caring for Gender Diverse Youth, Series 2 – A Project ECHO: A free series for healthcare providers who are interested in learning how to provide gender-affirming care or who are currently providing gender-affirming care, particularly in the primary care setting.
    • January through June 2024
    • Category 1 CME credits and Quality Improvement MOC (Part 4) credits are available
    • Learn more and register by noon on December 15, 2023


2024 Pediatric Nursing Update Conference: January 26, 2024 (virtual)

Save the date in 2024:

  • 2024 Nursing Research Symposium: May 10, 2024, Seattle Children’s Sand Point Learning Center


Grand Rounds


Provider Grand Rounds

Year-round on Thursdays from 8 to 9 a.m. Learn more.

  • December 7, 2023: Pediatric Pandemic (Really Disaster) Network. Brianna Enriquez, MD, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, UW, Emergency Medicine, Seattle Children’s; Danielle Zerr, MD, MPH, Professor of Pediatrics, Division Chief of Pediatric Infectious Disease and Adjunct Professor of Epidemiology, UW, Medical Director of Infection Prevention, Seattle Children’s.
  • December 14, 2023: State of the Department. Leslie Walker-Harding, MD; Ford/Morgan Endowed Professor, Chair of Department of Pediatrics and Associate Dean of University of Washington; Chief Academic Officer and Senior Vice President, Seattle Children’s.
  • December 21 and 28 – No Grand Rounds (Winter Holidays)


Psychiatry Grand Rounds

First Friday of every month October through June from 8 to 9:20 a.m. Learn more.


  • January 5, 2024: Complex Developmental Trauma and the Attachment, Regulation and Competence (ARC) Treatment Network: Identification and Translation of Key Principles of Intervention Across Treatment Settings, Building From the Foundational Theories of Childhood Development, Attachment and Traumatic Stress. Margaret Blaustein, PhD
    Director, Center for Trauma Training, Inc. (Virtual Only).
  • February 2, 2024: Development of and Intervention With the National Training and Development Curriculum (NTDC), the Children’s Bureau First Federally Funded Foster and Adoptive Parent Training Program That Is Culturally Adapted and Trauma-Informed; and the Washington State Kinship Navigator Program. Angelique Day, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Washington School of Social Work. (Wright Auditorium, hospital campus).

New Medical Staff


Medical Staff

Rakesh Ahuja, MD, Radiology

Matthew Anderson, MD, Neurosurgery

Rakesh D’Souza, MD, Cardiology

Ryutaro Hirose, MD, Transplant Surgery

Divya Natarajan, MD, Critical Care

Lester Permut, MD, Cardiac Surgery

Melinda Pierce, MD, Endocrinology

Allison Pollock, MD, Endocrinology

Sarah Rucker, MD, Community Pediatrics

Zheyi Teoh, MD, Infectious Disease

Daniel Truong, DO, Community Pediatrics


Allied Health Professionals

Kathryn Beemer, MSW, Psychology

Shelbi Grothaus, PA-C, Neonatology

Alana McVey, PhD, Psychology

Emily Navar, ARNP, Neurosurgery

Yewande Noah, ARNP, Psychology

Debra Ann Vilhauer, PhD, Psychology

Carly Von Hoffman, LMFT, Psychology

Courtenay Willcox, PA-C, Orthopedics