Seattle Children's Provider News

Seattle Children’s Opens World-Class Outpatient Facility for Patients with Cancer and Blood Disorders


An innovative new outpatient space for the Cancer and Blood Disorders Center (CBDC) and Pediatric Blood and Marrow Transplant (BMT) Program officially opened this week on two floors of Seattle Children’s newest building called Forest B. It nearly doubles CBDC’s clinical outpatient capacity to help Seattle Children’s meet the growing need for pediatric services in the region.The physical and operational design of the new space reflects Seattle Children’s commitment to a patient care model that brings complex care teams together in a single location, with the patient at the center.

“Our model of care sets us apart from any other program in the country,” said Dr. Mignon Loh, division chief of Pediatric Hematology, Oncology, Bone Marrow Transplant and Cellular Therapy at Seattle Children’s and director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. “It’s a new paradigm, and it shows how Seattle Children’s is at the forefront of improving the patient experience.”

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New Fast-Track Psychiatric Consultation Program at Autism Center Prioritizes Timely Access to Quality Care

Seattle Children’s Autism Center is now offering a fast-track program for children and teens already diagnosed with autism or other neurodevelopmental disorders and who are struggling with psychiatric or behavioral concerns.

The program offers short-term evaluation and consultation to identify appropriate treatment options. Patients are then returned to their community provider with written recommendations for their ongoing mental health management, which may include medication and/or therapy.  See “What to expect” below for more details on patient hand-off.

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New Resources for PCPs: Microcytic Anemia Algorithm, Hypospadias Algorithm and Neonatal Fever Pathway

Seattle Children’s recently created two new algorithms to support PCPs’ care of their patients:

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Fetal Care and Treatment Center Performs First Successful Laser Ablation Procedure for Twin-to-Twin Syndrome

Seattle Children’s Fetal Care and Treatment Center expanded in October 2021 to offer fetal intervention and surgery. Dr. Bettina Paek and Dr. Martin Walker co-direct the surgery program with Dr. Rebecca Stark and are specialists in using fetoscopic laser ablation for twin-to-twin transfusion syndrome (TTTS). They have some of the highest survival rates in the United States.

From Seattle Children’s On the Pulse:

Katie and Nic Harmston were distraught as they drove to Kaiser for an ultrasound in July 2021.

Katie was six and a half weeks pregnant but was experiencing symptoms of a miscarriage. They both feared the worst.The Harmstons held their breath as the ultrasound began.

After a moment, the sonographer smiled and said, “We have a heartbeat.” Katie and Nic were nearly overwhelmed with relief. Then the sonographer said something unexpected.

“Hold on — there are two heartbeats!”

“We were shocked to find out it was twins,” Katie says. “I just started crying and laughing.”

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3 Referral Tips for Ordering Labs

Tips to help your patients get their labs in the most timely, convenient way:

Tip 1:  Use the correct fax number to submit lab orders. The vast majority of lab orders should go to our central lab fax, 206-985-3193, but there are a few exceptions. Knowing about them will help your order be processed without delay.

Orders  Fax # Note
Orders for new collections
(See Exceptions below)
Fax 206-985-3193 Ninety-nine percent of all lab requests will use this number.



    • Sweat chloride test
    • Oral glucose tolerance test
    • Breath tolerance test
    • Platelet aggregation test


Fax 206-985-3124 These procedures require families to have an appointment with the laboratory (no walk-ins). We will call the family to schedule.
Add-on orders
(Collection already done but patient needs additional tests)
Fax 206-987-2631

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Seattle Children’s Code Purple Will Be Replaced With a New System

Seattle Children’s began work last fall to replace Code Purple (a code meant to initiate a de-escalation response when all other interventions to manage behaviors that put people at risk for injury or harm have been unsuccessful).

Replacing Code Purple was critical because it has routinely been used inequitably on Black and African American patients and families.

The new system, called Adaptive Social Response, was created in partnership with families, community leaders and workforce members. Adaptive Social Response provides support tailored for the specific need of a patient, family member or care team member, including specialized support to address issues of equity or discrimination. There is also a pathway specific to addressing violence/threat of violence.

Adaptive Social Response will be launched at the hospital campus and Springbrook Professional Center in early January 2023. Code Purple will no longer be used from that point onward.

Providers looking for more information about the changes to Code Purple at Seattle Children’s may contact

CMEs and Grand Rounds

Category 1 CME series

  • Adolescent Medicine Updates, January 21, 2023, 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. via Zoom. This highly practical course will provide current information on the most up-to-date best practices for primary care of adolescents. Brochure. Register Now
  • Practical Pediatrics, February 4, 2023, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Seattle Children’s hospital campus, Wright Auditorium. Course covers diagnostic and management updates to address gaps in practice encountered in primary care of children. In-person. Brochure. Register Now
  • Urgent Pediatric Problems, March 4, 2023, 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Sand Point Learning Center near Seattle Children’s. Brochure.


Schwartz Rounds

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New Medical Staff

Medical Staff

Jennifer Bracamontes, MD, Endocrinology

Carlos Castillo Pinto, MD, Neurology

Melissa Hathaway, MD, Medicine

Kevin Keith, MD, Emergency-Urgent Care

Brenda Kitchen, MD, Hematology-Oncology

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Special Update: Seattle Children’s Remains In Active Code Yellow for High Census and Capacity Constraints

  • Seattle Children’s is experiencing record-setting census for inpatients, intensive care units (ICUs) and the Emergency Department (ED).
  • We also continue to treat high numbers of patients experiencing mental and behavioral health crises.
  • Regionally, hospitals across Washington state continue to report strained pediatric capacity.
  • Seattle Children’s has implemented a variety of surge plans to help us meet the demand for our services while ensuring we deliver the best possible care. Many of those plans are having a positive impact, but the capacity situation is still critical.
  • Leaders are huddling daily to monitor the situation and propose additional solutions.
  • When sending families to the ED, please call our Communications Center first (206-987-8899) to help with staffing and space planning. Advise families to expect longer-than-typical wait times and that we are triaging to see the sickest patients first.

For More Information: Please refer to our Emergency or Urgent Care Referral Guide when sending patients to Seattle Children’s.

Autoimmune Encephalitis (AIE) in Children: A Q&A with Drs. Catherine Otten and Stephen Wong

Catherine Otten, MD, and Stephen Chee-Yung Wong, MD, lead the Inflammatory Brain Disorders Clinic at Seattle Children’s. With increasing evidence that children with severe problems related to thinking, learning and mental health have inflammatory brain disorders, Seattle Children’s created the clinic in 2021 to bring the latest advances in this fast-growing field to children in our region. The most common condition Drs. Otten and Wong see in patients is autoimmune encephalitis (AIE).

Q: Can you give us a quick reminder of what AIE is?

Autoimmune encephalitis is an inflammatory brain disease associated with antibodies that bind to cells in the brain. It is a type of noninfectious encephalitis. Patients can experience a wide range of neurologic and psychiatric symptoms, including seizures, abnormal movements, behavior changes, psychosis, autonomic dysfunction, cognitive symptoms, or altered level of consciousness. Different types of AIE can affect children and adults at different rates and with different symptoms. Often, patients may present with acutely to subacutely altered mental status, behavioral changes and seizures. Clinicians may be considering different types of encephalitis, including infectious and autoimmune encephalitis, in their differential diagnosis. Symptoms can progress, and a good portion will need critical care, and nearly all will be hospitalized acutely for treatment and management. Long-term, children typically continue to need treatment to manage relapses, refractory disease or sequelae from their AIE.

Q: How common is autoimmune encephalitis?

It is likely more common than we recognize! For instance, the California Encephalitis Project tracked the causes of encephalitis, and autoimmune causes of encephalitis were more common than any infectious agent. The most common type is anti-N-methyl-D-aspartate receptor encephalitis, or NMDARE, which affects women and children in higher proportion. AIE is not expected in very young infants under 6 months of age, but affects all ages otherwise. Read full post »