News

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PAL Expands Child and Adolescent Mental Healthcare to Alaska

Seattle Children’s Partnership Access Line (PAL) program has expanded to serve Alaska.

The new service, PAL-Pediatric Alaska (PAL-PAK), offers immediate support to pediatric care providers (doctors, nurse practitioners and physician assistants) throughout Alaska who have questions about child and adolescent mental healthcare, such as diagnostic clarification, medication adjustment or treatment planning.

Consultations can be patient specific or can be general questions related to child psychiatry. The phone consultation is covered by HIPAA, section 45 CFR 164.506; no additional release of patient information is required to consult by phone.

There is no charge to primary care providers for calling the consultation line; the consultation service is state and federal HRSA* grant funded. Providers may call for assistance with any patient, regardless of the patient’s insurance type.

Please call 855-599-7257 (toll free), Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m., Alaska Time, to be directly connected to a child and adolescent psychiatrist.

*HRSA disclaimer: This resource is supported by the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of an award totaling $2,215,029 with 20% financed with nongovernmental sources. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, HRSA, HHS or the U.S. government. For more information, please visit HRSA.gov.

New Referral Information for Autism Center

In response to growing demand for services, our Autism Center has created a new page to help providers understand and use the Autism Center’s referral process. The webpage contains the forms and fax numbers needed to make a referral and helps providers understand what their patients can expect once their referral is submitted. It also links to helpful resources families can access while they wait for their first appointment.

Families who are referred to the Autism Center receive a call when an appointment becomes available. Families are also welcome to ask to be placed on our cancelation list to help them get in sooner. We recently created this 2-minute, “What to Expect” video for the Autism Center that providers are welcome to view and share with their patients.

If you have questions, call the Autism Center. Or you are always welcome to call the hospital’s provider-to-provider line at 206-987-7777 or 877-985-4637 (toll free) for any reason or for a consultation.

Innovative Care Models for Sports Injuries, Concussions and Physical Therapy

The team of physicians and athletic trainers in Seattle Children’s Sports Medicine Program leads the way nationally with programs designed to prevent injuries among young athletes.

The Sports Medicine Program includes a team of providers with specialized expertise: two pediatric sports surgeons, a physiatrist and five pediatricians who all possess fellowship training in sports medicine, and three sports medicine-trained physician assistants.

These experienced providers work with more than 40 certified athletic trainers in the Athletic Trainers Program – the largest program of its kind in the country – who monitor the health and safety of young athletes at more than 300 school and community sporting events annually. All of the clinicians in our Sports Medicine Program understand the specific physical and psychosocial challenges of sports injuries, either because they were athletes themselves or have worked with elite international- and Olympic-level competitors. Read full post »

A Comprehensive Approach to Cerebral Palsy

Seattle Children’s is one of the top treatment destinations in the country for children with cerebral palsy, a distinction made possible by the collaboration and expertise of surgeons and physicians.

Families of children with cerebral palsy seeking treatment at Seattle Children’s have access to a breadth of expertise unique to the Pacific Northwest.

The Cerebral Palsy Program includes a complete array of specialists. An orthopedic surgery team, which includes seven surgeons experienced in lower extremity, two surgeons experienced in upper extremity and four surgeons experienced in spine, performs single-event multilevel orthopedic surgery (SEMLS) along with a number of other procedures to address high tone and shortened muscles.

The program’s nationally and internationally recognized neurosurgeons have expertise in intrathecal baclofen pumps, selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) and hemispherectomy for children with intractable seizures. Read full post »

Groundbreaking Research at Seattle Children’s Improving Bone Tumor and Sarcoma Treatment

Research into tumor paint, glue embolization treatments and other fields of oncology care has allowed practitioners in the Bone Tumor and Sarcoma Clinic to provide unparalleled cancer care to children in the Pacific Northwest.

The Bone Tumor and Sarcoma Clinic is one of the first of its kind in the U.S. in which orthopedic surgeons and oncologists work side by side in the same program. The clinic’s expertise includes two surgeons with fellowship training in both pediatric orthopedics and musculoskeletal surgical oncology and a third with training in both pediatric and adult musculoskeletal oncology. Their interdisciplinary backgrounds and emphasis on collaborative care has resulted in one of the largest, most comprehensive bone and soft tissue programs in the country.

An emphasis on communication

At weekly bone tumor conferences, oncology, orthopedic and radiology teams review and discuss individual patient cases. An additional weekly clinic that includes a broader group of providers offers another opportunity for clinicians to maximize each child’s progress.

“Sarcoma requires team-based care,” says Dr. Suzanne Yandow, chief of Pediatric Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Seattle Children’s and professor of orthopedic surgery at UW Medicine. “We have to have constant discussions about patients in group settings, and we have an entire team of oncologists, nurse practitioners with expertise in sarcoma care, social workers, and others who attend these weekly meetings.” Read full post »

Teduglutide and Transplants: Moving the Field of Pediatric Intestinal Rehabilitation Forward

The Intestinal Rehabilitation Program at Seattle Children’s, the only program of its kind in the Pacific Northwest, is dedicated to reducing transplantation rates through innovative research that improves intestinal failure management.

Seattle Children’s was one of the largest recruiters for the first 12-week trial evaluating the efficacy and safety of the investigational drug teduglutide for patients with long-term TPN dependence related to short bowel syndrome. Already approved for short bowel syndrome treatment in adults, teduglutide is designed to reduce the need for TPN.

“Teduglutide is the first drug to be introduced to the commercial market that has a sound theoretical basis, as well as supportive preclinical and adult clinical studies, to improve intestinal adaptation above and beyond what can be achieved with the best standard of care,” says Dr. Simon P. Horslen, director of the Intestinal Rehabilitation Program and medical director of Solid Organ Transplantation at Seattle Children’s, and professor of pediatrics with UW Medicine. “Anything that has the potential to wean a child from TPN or even reduce the amount of TPN they receive will improve quality of life.”

Results from the initial 12-week trial were promising. Among 42 children ages 1 to 17, the treatment was associated with overall reductions in TPN, in some cases as significant as 41%. Four children were weaned from TPN entirely during the study.

Horslen and his co-investigator, Dr. Danielle Wendel, gastroenterologist at Seattle Children’s and assistant professor at UW Medicine, are awaiting results from a recently completed 24-week study.

“Teduglutide is a huge step forward in the management of intestinal failure,” Horslen says. Read full post »

Uncovering the Genetic Roots of Pediatric Pancreatitis

Dr. Matthew Giefer’s pioneering research into the causes of early-onset pancreatitis has created new potential for diagnosing and treating the disorder in children.

Understanding the causes of pediatric pancreatitis – a condition many doctors may overlook when seeing children with abdominal issues – can lead to more timely and effective treatments.

It appears that genetics play a bigger role than previously thought, according to research conducted by Dr. Matthew Giefer, director of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy at Seattle Children’s and assistant professor at UW Medicine, and an international team of physicians involved in the INSPPIRE (International Study group of Pediatric Pancreatitis: In search for a cuRE) trial.

The team analyzed 342 children ages 0 to 18 diagnosed with either acute recurrent or chronic pancreatitis and found that family history and mutations on the PRSS1 or CTRC genes were the factors most strongly associated with early-onset pancreatitis. Surprisingly, 71% of children with this form of the disease had at least one gene mutation known to cause pancreatitis. Children with later onset pancreatitis, which generally develops after age 6, were less likely to have these genetic risk factors. Read full post »

Innovative Research Driving Change for Children With Hepatologic Challenges

At Seattle Children’s, the Pacific Northwest’s only dedicated pediatric hepatologists are actively engaged in research consortiums and working to improve treatments for pediatric liver diseases.

Two of these physicians, Dr. Evelyn K. Hsu, program director of the Advanced/Transplant Hepatology Fellowship at UW Medicine and Seattle Children’s, and Dr. Karen F. Murray have spearheaded a number of innovative studies that have improved children’s access to lifesaving transplants and medications. Read full post »