Provider Q&A

All Articles in the Category ‘Provider Q&A’

Kids, Sleep, and Mental Health in Today’s Pandemic: How Our New Expanded Sleep Center Helps More Kids: A Q&A With Dr. Maida Chen

Maida Lynn Chen, MD

Dr. Maida Lynn Chen

Dr. Chen is director of Sleep Medicine at Seattle Children’s.

What’s new at the Sleep Center?

In June we opened a bigger, better Sleep Center. Our new state-of-the-art facility has 12 sleep study suites and 6 exam rooms, up from 8 and 4, respectively. We’ve included the latest technology while still prioritizing families’ comfort. We also have significantly more staff now, which allows us to see a lot of children we couldn’t before.

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Caring for the (Whole) Child With Cleft Lip and Palate: A Q&A With Dr. Kelly Evans

Dr. Evans is one of the pediatricians on the Craniofacial team at Seattle Children’s.

How common is cleft lip and palate?

Roughly 1 in 1,000 babies is born with cleft lip and/or palate. It’s one of the most common birth defects in the United States along with congenital heart defects, Down syndrome and spina bifida. The exact cause is often unknown, but researchers believe it’s usually a combination of genetic and other factors, for example, environmental factors.

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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 »

An Improving Outlook for Babies With Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia (CDH): A Q&A With Dr. Rebecca Stark

Rebecca Stark

Rebecca Stark, MD, FACS, is a board-certified pediatric surgeon in the Division of Pediatric General and Thoracic Surgery at Seattle Children’s and an Assistant Professor of Surgery at UW.  She is director of the Congenital Diaphragmatic Hernia Program and surgical co-director of the ECMO Program at Seattle Children’s.

What is CDH?

Dr. Stark: When a baby’s diaphragm doesn’t form completely before birth, it leaves a hole between their abdomen and chest. Organs that should grow in the belly go through the hole up into the chest. Babies with CDH have small lungs as a result, and the lung tissue itself is different. Babies with CDH may have serious breathing problems starting soon after birth, as well as a low blood pressure and elevated heart rate. Read full post »

Managing Epilepsy and Seizures: A Q&A With Dr. Rusty Novotny

Dr. Rusty Novotny is the director of Seattle Children’s Epilepsy Program.

How common is epilepsy?

Rusty Novotny

Dr. Novotny: About 0.6% of kids have active epilepsy. If you imagine an elementary school with 500 students, that’s about 3 kids.

The highest incidence of pediatric seizures is in the newborn period and then it drops dramatically; it’s lowest in adolescence and continues to gradually increase as a function of age. Febrile seizures (from fever) are most common in children between 6 months and 6 years old. We rarely see febrile seizures in kids over 6 years old in the absence of other underlying risk factors. This is great because it means that kids can “outgrow” the risk of a seizure recurrence with febrile seizures and certain types of seizures in epilepsy syndromes we see in children.

One in 10 people will have a seizure at some point in their life. Read full post »

“We Have Something Special Here:” A Q&A With the Heart Center’s Dr. David Mauchley

Dr. Mauchley is a cardiac surgeon. He joined Seattle Children’s Heart Center in February 2020.

What drew you to Seattle Children’s?

David Mauchley

Dr. Mauchley: I grew up in the Pacific Northwest in Moscow, Idaho, and went to medical school at the University of Washington. My wife is also from Washington state, and we met in medical school. We always hoped there would be an opportunity to move back to Seattle to be closer to family. Read full post »

Equity in Primary Care: A Q&A With Dr. Tumaini Coker, New Division Chief of General Pediatrics

Tumaini Coker, MD, MBA, took on a new role as Seattle Children’s division chief of general pediatrics in January 2021.

A lot of people don’t know exactly what Seattle Children’s General Pediatrics division is. Can you tell us about its purpose and makeup?

Dr. Tumaini Coker

Dr. Coker: We are a group of nearly 60 faculty in academic general pediatrics. We are clinicians, educators, researchers and advocates. Our faculty members practice primary care pediatrics and teach students and residents across multiple clinical sites, such as Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, Harborview Pediatric Clinics and UW Neighborhood clinics, to name a few. Faculty investigators conduct research across a wide range of topics that impact child and family health and wellness, from autism, to concussion in young athletes, to environmental health. In addition to our clinical and research programs, we have multiple fellowship training programs, including our newest fellowship in Child Health Equity Research, and fellowships in pediatric injury research, health services and quality of care research, child abuse medicine and sports medicine. Read full post »

Dr. Shaquita Bell Talks About the Future of Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic

When Dr. Shaquita Bell started working at Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) as a resident in 2006, she felt like she’d been transported back to her home in Minneapolis.

“I identify as Black and Native (my dad is Black and my mom is Cherokee), and I wanted to work in a place where I could see myself and my family reflected, serving a community like the one I came from,” Shaquita says, “I found that at OBCC.”

When Dr. Ben Danielson left Children’s in November, Shaquita was appointed OBCC interim medical director.  InHouse asked her about the recent leadership change, how she is addressing racism in healthcare and the future of OBCC. Read full post »

Common Urology Questions: A Q&A With Dr. Nicolas Fernandez

Nicolas Fernandez

Dr. Nicolas Fernandez is a pediatric urologist. He joined Seattle Children’s in 2020. An artist also, he illustrated the images for this article.

Q: When does buried penis in an obese child require surgery?

Dr. Fernandez: This is a very interesting topic. Genital, and more specifically penile, appearance is very subjective and varies from culture to culture. There are three different types of buried penis, also known as hidden penis.

  1. Secondary to obesity
  2. Secondary to poor penile pubic and penoscrotal fixation of the skin
  3. Secondary to prior penile surgery that creates a trapped penis

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