News

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Awards: The Best of the Best – Local Providers Recognized for Excellence

On March 28, two Seattle Children’s providers and two community-based providers were honored as 2019 recipients of the Richard A. Molteni Award for Professionalism and Quality and the Elizabeth Thomas Award for Advanced Practice Providers. Winners included Dr. Sheryl Morelli, Dr. Cora Breuner, Susie Paeth, ARNP, and Megan Spangler, ARNP.

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Research News

Research and discoveries at Seattle Children’s shed light on brain development and new immunotherapy approaches for pediatric cancers.

Brain Research: New Clues to the Cause of Seizures. Doctors at Seattle Children’s were able to examine live brain tissue immediately after a child’s surgery. They hoped to find clues as to what activity caused by the HCN1 gene mutation might be contributing to a young boy’s life-threatening seizures. Read more in Scientists Find Clues to Rare Mutation Hours After Toddler’s Brain Surgery.

Research: New Immunotherapy Approaches for Pediatric Cancers. At Seattle Children’s, Dr. Katie Albert leads a team studying CAR T-cell therapy for solid non-CNS tumors in the STRIvE-01 trial. “Immunotherapy is moving at an accelerated pace, but just getting started for solid tumors,” said Albert. A main goal for pediatric cancer is the ability to treat it with immunotherapy only. “This is critically important for children with cancer because the long-term toxicities of chemotherapy and radiation are profound,” said Dr. Michael Jensen, director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. Read more in Oncology Times.

Brain Development and the Importance of Microglia. A Seattle Children’s doctor made an unexpected discovery about the importance of microglia cells to brain development, which make up just 10% of brain cells but appear to be critical to guiding brain development. Read the story in the Atlantic Monthly.

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Grand Rounds May 2019

Seattle Children’s holds Grand Rounds every Thursday in the hospital’s Wright Auditorium from 8 to 9 a.m. Area providers are welcome to attend. For more information or to view our full upcoming schedule, click here. Past Grand Rounds can be found in our video library.

The month ahead:

May 2, 2019: Family Investment in Youth Sport and Consequences for Child Well-Being. Emily Kroshus, ScD, MPH, Research Assistant Professor, Department of Pediatrics at UW and Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s.

May 9, 2019: Cutaneous Manifestations of Primary Immunodeficiency Disorders. William E. Pierson Allergy Lecture. Thomas Fleisher, MD, Scientist Emeritus, Department of Laboratory Medicine, NIH Clinical Center and Executive Vice President, American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

May 16, 2019: Serendipity – Adventures in Translational Research. Tapper Surgery Lecture. Jessica Kandel, MD; Mary Campau Ryerson, Professor of Surgery, Surgeon-in-Chief at University of Chicago Medicine Corner Children’s Hospital and Chief, Section of Pediatric Surgery.

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Research Findings: Smoking During Pregnancy Doubles the Risk of Sudden Unexpected Infant Death Syndrome (SUID)

The first findings to result from a collaboration between Seattle Children’s Research Institute and Microsoft data scientists provide expecting mothers new information about how smoking before and during pregnancy contributes to the risk of an infant dying suddenly and unexpectedly before their first birthday.

According to the study published in Pediatrics, any amount of smoking during pregnancy — even just one cigarette a day — doubles the risk of an infant dying from SUID. For women who smoked an average of 1 to 20 cigarettes a day, the odds of SUID increased by 0.07 with each additional cigarette smoked.

Dr. Tatiana Anderson

Tatiana Anderson

“With this information, doctors can better counsel pregnant women about their smoking habits, knowing that the number of cigarettes smoked daily during pregnancy significantly impacts the risk for SUID,” said Dr. Tatiana Anderson, a researcher in Seattle Children’s Center for Integrative Brain Research and lead author on the study. “Similar to public health campaigns that educated parents about the importance of infant sleep position, leading to a 50% decrease in sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS) rates, we hope advising women about this risk will result in [fewer] babies dying from these tragic causes.”

Ongoing Research: Examining the Link Between a Baby’s Microbiome and Developing Immune System

Scientists at Seattle Children’s Research Institute are looking for new clues in an important indicator of overall infant health — a baby’s developing immune system and microbiome.

Ongoing research not only examines how an infant’s microbiome can evolve to help protect against HIV infection but also what factors, such as diet, alter an infant’s susceptibility when exposed to HIV through their mother’s breast milk. Read more about the research being conducted by Dr. Heather Jaspan of Seattle Children’s Center for Global Infectious Disease Research.

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 »