Seattle Children's Provider News

Updates: Hospital Capacity, Visitor Policy and Telehealth Offerings

High volumes hospital-wide including the Emergency Department and PBMU

We are experiencing persistently high demand for medical and surgical services, with acute care beds 90% full if not higher.

The Emergency Department (ED) continues to see record high demand in the setting of a significant increase in mental health boarding. Given the resultant ED physical bed capacity constraints, patients will likely experience longer wait times. The ED remains available for all emergent patients and will continue to prioritize the sickest patients. If patients are non-emergent, please use non-ED alternatives for care whenever possible. When sending patients to the ED, please call ahead to our Mission Control center to alert us. Calling is essential to helping the ED anticipate needs. Please thank families for their patience as we balance all the needs of the community at this time.

Capacity in the Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Unit (PBMU) continues to be constrained, with limited ability to accept referrals from other hospitals, due to ongoing facility improvements in the PBMU that are intended to open up more capacity over the long-term for these services.

Read full post »

How Genetic Epilepsy Research Is Offering Pediatric Patients New Options: A Q&A With Drs. Ghayda Mirzaa and Jay Hauptman

In Part 1 of our Epilepsy Q&A, Dr. Jay Hauptman discussed advances in neurosurgery and the many new options available for children with intractable epilepsy. In Part 2, we hear from Dr. Hauptman and Dr. Ghayda Mirzaa about the genetics of epilepsy and how research is leading to new nonsurgical treatment options.

Dr. Mirzaa is a Seattle Children’s clinical and molecular geneticist at the Center for Integrative Brain Research and Seattle Children’s Epilepsy Program. Dr. Hauptman is a neurosurgeon with Seattle Children’s Epilepsy Program.


Q: What do we know about the role of genetics in epilepsy?

DR. HAUPTMAN: We know genetics contribute significantly to many types of epilepsy. Roughly a third of cases have an underlying genetic cause. We are still learning how and why genetic mutations cause epilepsy in kids.


Q: What is the focus of recent research?

DR. MIRZAA: We’ve made great progress in the last few years, at Seattle Children’s Center for Integrative Brain Research and elsewhere. Our Seattle Children’s team has traced focal cortical dysplasia, which is among the leading causes of intractable epilepsy, to mutations in a family of genes that control important pathways, such as the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway. Now we are exploring if drugs that are known to inhibit this pathway, which are already being used or tested to treat cancer, can be effective for epilepsy too.

Read full post »

Help Us Broaden Our Referral Network to Support Gender-Diverse Patients and Their Families

Seattle Children’s Gender Clinic team is working to broaden our referral network of primary care providers (PCPs) who have experience working with transgender and gender-diverse young people and their families. This will help us with the important task of connecting gender-diverse youth in our region with affirming PCPs close to home.

Are you a PCP who works to create a welcoming clinic environment for gender-diverse youth? If so, please fill out this brief form.

You are also welcome to forward this email to primary care colleagues who might like to add themselves to our referral list. PCPs do not need to be currently prescribing gender-affirming hormones or puberty blockers in order to fill out this form.

Read full post »

Otolaryngology Referral Policy Changes Begin This Month

Otolaryngology has experienced a sharp rise in referrals, which has increased wait times for new patients to two to three months. New referral policies will go into effect May 3, 2023, to help ensure those patients who most need specialty care from Otolaryngology have timely access to our specialists. We will reevaluate our capacity and referral policies every three months.

Effective May 3, we will not see patients with the following conditions:

  1. Allergic rhinitis
  2. Ankyloglossia for children 3 years old and older
    • For concerns about ankyloglossia impacting speech, we recommend submitting a referral to our Childhood Communication Center (CCC) with subspecialty VPD Clinic for a Speech Language Pathology evaluation focused on the impact of oral structure on speech function. Our Speech Language Pathology team will collaborate with Otolaryngology if any concerns are identified that would benefit from our intervention.
  3. Chronic cough
  4. Globus sensation
  5. Hyperacusis
  6. Speech delay
    • For concerns about general oral anatomy impacting speech, we recommend submitting a referral to our Childhood Communication Center (CCC) with subspecialty VPD Clinic for a Speech Language Pathology evaluation focused on the impact of oral structure on speech function. Our Speech Language Pathology team will collaborate with Otolaryngology if any concerns are identified that would benefit from our intervention.
    • For concerns about hearing loss impacting speech, we recommend submitting a referral to Audiology for a hearing evaluation.
  1. Throat clearing

Read full post »

Psychiatry Department’s New Behavior and Attention Management Program Aims to Serve Families Faster, Better

We are excited to announce that Seattle Children’s new Behavior and Attention Management Program is offering a wide range of integrated services for youth ages 5 to 15* with disruptive behavior or attention problems.

The Behavior and Attention Management Program follows a stepped care model built around group-based parent behavior management training (children are required to participate only in limited instances). Research shows that providing training and support for caregivers on healthy, safe and effective behavior management strategies is the best therapeutic approach to help youth struggling with behavior or attention.

Read full post »

Dr. Todd Cooper Appointed to Children’s Oncology Group Committee Chair

Dr. Todd Cooper, Oncology section chief and director of Seattle Children’s Pediatric Leukemia/Lymphoma Program, as well as principal investigator in the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research, has been appointed to chair the Children’s Oncology Group (COG) Myeloid Committee, effective May 1.

The COG is the largest consortium of pediatric hospitals providing oncology services in the world. It unites more than 10,000 cancer experts at about 250 hospitals across North America, Australia and New Zealand.

Cooper, who is also a professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington School of Medicine and the Evans Family Endowed Chair in Pediatric Cancer, will be responsible for setting COG’s vision and priorities for clinical/translational research and clinical care for pediatric and young adult malignancies, including acute myeloid leukemia (AML), acute myeloid leukemia of Down syndrome (AML-DS), chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML) and other myeloproliferative neoplasms.

He will work with experts throughout COG institutions to develop and conduct blood cancer clinical trials and protocols, as well as working with other international AML consortia to ensure COG’s clinical/translational priorities are synchronized and complementary. Read full post »

Dr. Shaquita Bell Receives Award for Major Contributions to Native American Child Health

From Seattle Children’s On the Pulse


Senior Medical Director of Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC), Dr. Shaquita Bell, has been awarded the 2023 Native American Child Health Advocacy Award by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) Committee on Native American Child Health (CONACH).

Dr. Shaquita Bell

The esteemed award is presented each year to an individual who has made significant contributions toward promoting the health and well-being of Native American children and exemplifies a lifelong commitment to Native American children and their communities.

“It is an absolute honor to be given this award,” Dr. Bell shared. “I was nominated by my mentor Dr. Joey Bell, the first Native doctor I ever met. I remember first hearing him speak about his oral health work in the tribal community of Lumbee and hoping that one day, I too could make an impact as big and important as he did. Fast forward almost 20 years, it feels unreal to be receiving this award because of his nomination.”

Read full post »

New Flyer on Psychiatry and Autism Center Locations and Services, Plus Other Mental Health Resources for Healthcare Providers

Flyer: Psychiatry and Autism Center services by location

Seattle Children’s provides a wide range of psychiatry and behavioral health services for youth at the main hospital campus, North Clinic in Everett, South Clinic in Federal Way, Seattle Children’s Magnuson and via telehealth.

To help healthcare providers understand at a glance what services are available where, we have created an Autism Center and Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine Service Locations flyer.

Questions about referring your patient? Seattle Children’s Psychiatry triage team is available to answer providers’ questions about referrals, including the status of a referral that has already been submitted, our services that are currently available and wait times for our services and locations. Contact our PBM Referral Intake Team at 206-987-2164, option 2, or email [email protected]. Our goal is to help you find the appropriate care for your patient, either at Seattle Children’s or elsewhere.

Read full post »

CMEs, Grand Rounds and Other Events


  • 18th Annual Pediatric Bioethics Conference, July 20 to 22, hosted by the Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics. Can criteria such as citizenship, cognitive disabilities, mental health or the absence of social support be used to decide who qualifies for a transplant? Should children be prioritized over adults for transplant? We’ll tackle these subjects and more at the 18th Annual Pediatric Bioethics Conference at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle. Join us a day early on July 20th for our inaugural nursing bioethics conference “Pediatric Bioethics at the Point of Care: A Critical Examination of Ethical Issues in Pediatric Nursing” hosted by Seattle Children’s Center for Pediatric Nursing Research. Learn more. 


  • Updates on Primary Immunodeficiency Diseases for the General Practitioner. May 6, 2023, 8 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. (virtual). Learn more. Register.
  • Epilepsy Surgery in Children. May 18, 2023, 6 to 7 p.m. (virtual). Category 2 CME. Learn more and register.
  • Pediatric Mental Health CME. A free child mental health education virtual conference hosted by the Partnership Access Line (PAL). Register here. Learn more.

  Read full post »

New Medical Staff

Medical Staff


Sarah, Gabriel Elias, MD, Anesthesia

Morgan, Rachel C., MD, Community Pediatrics (active community medical staff)

Martin, Jan Anderson, MD, Neurology

Ariel Elizabeth Garcia, MD, community Pediatrics (active community medical staff)

Read full post »