Seattle Children's Provider News

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, chief of the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Seattle Children’s and vice chair of clinical affairs for the Department of Pediatrics at UW Medicine, have spearheaded a number of innovative studies that have improved children’s access to lifesaving transplants and medications. Read full post »

Upcoming CME Events

The following CME Events are being held this month:

On January 17, Dr. Kenneth Gow and Dr. Deepti Gupta will be presenting on “Vascular Anomalies – More Than Skin Deep” in Everett. For more information, please contact Physician Liaison Jen Mueller at

On January 25, Dr. Kelly Pham will be presenting on “Ambulatory Cerebral Palsy” in the Tri-Cities. For more information, please contact Physician Liaison Kenton McAllister at Read full post »

New Medical Staff

Medical Providers

  • Amanda Allison, MD, Seattle Children’s, Emergency
  • Anne Coleman, MD, Allegro Pediatrics – Bellevue, Pediatrics
  • Jessica Jenness, PhD, Seattle Children’s, Psychology
  • Joy Kawamura, PhD, Seattle Children’s, Psychology
  • Tyler Ketterl, MD, Seattle Children’s, Hematology-Oncology
  • Aaron Lyon, PhD, Seattle Children’s, Psychology
  • Kyle Nagle, MD, MPH, Seattle Children’s, Orthopedics
  • Jay Sarthy, MD, PhD, Seattle Children’s, Hematology-Oncology
  • Alexia Spanos, PhD, DBT Center of Seattle, Psychology
  • Stephanie Srur, DO, Olympia Pediatrics, PLLC, Pediatrics
  • Mark Wainwright, MD, PhD, Seattle Children’s, Neurology

Allied Health Professionals

  • Hannah Cody, PA-C, Seattle Children’s, Neonatology
  • Wendy Fairall, ARNP, South Sound Pediatric Associates, Pediatrics
  • Laura Hopper, ARNP, Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, Pediatrics
  • Nathaniel Johnson, ARNP, Seattle Children’s, Neonatology
  • Tacie Reger, ARNP, Seattle Children’s, Neonatology
  • Joseph Yanity, PA-C, Seattle Children’s, Neonatology

Read full post »

New Medical Staff – December 2018

Medical Providers

  • Sara Beste, MD, MPH, Seattle Children’s, Emergency
  • Ara Greer, DDS, PhD, Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic, Dentistry
  • James Hulse, MD, Seattle Children’s Tri-Cities Clinic, Cardiology
  • Valori Neiger, MS, BCBA, Seattle Children’s, Psychology
  • Rebecca Stark, MD, Seattle Children’s, Surgery
  • Monica Thakar, MD, Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Hematology-Oncology
  • Ajla Wasti, MB BS, Seattle Children’s, Hematology-Oncology

Read full post »

Identifying Fatty Liver Disease

A Q&A With Dr. Niviann Blondet

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) – the accumulation of fat in the liver – is the most common liver disorder in the United States, affecting approximately 10% of children. Although incidence is increasing, this condition is uniquely difficult to diagnose.

To address this issue, Seattle Children’s has opened a new Fatty Liver Clinic to treat patients with a multidisciplinary approach.

“We estimate about 10 million children have fatty liver disease, but there’s a large population that goes undiagnosed,” said Dr. Niviann Blondet, a gastroenterologist at Children’s. “It’s not until they develop cirrhosis that they seek medical attention.”

Dr. Blondet offers the following information to providers in hopes that patients might be diagnosed sooner and treated more effectively.

What are the risk factors of NAFLD?

Obesity is the most significant risk factor. There is a direct correlation between NAFLD and body mass index (BMI). However, the disease can occur in children within a normal weight range.

The prevalence of NAFLD increases throughout childhood, possibly because BMI increases with age in children.

Studies have also shown an association with insulin resistance. NAFLD increases the risk of developing type 2 diabetes and may worsen glycemic control in children with diabetes and contribute to the development and progression of chronic diabetic complications.

Gender can also be a contributing factor. NAFLD is approximately 40% more common in boys than girls. Read full post »

Upcoming CME Events in Tri-Cities, Everett

On December 7, 2017 Dr. Kathleen Kieran will be presenting on “Top 5 Questions I Get From PCP’s” in the Tri-Cities. For more information, please contact Physician Liaison, Kenton McAllister at

On December 12, 2017 Dr. Niviann Blondet will be presenting on “Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease” in Everett. For more information, please contact Physician Liaison, Jen Mueller at


New Medical Staff

Medical Providers

  • Alali Abdulaziz, MB BS, PhD, Harborview Medical Center, Neurosurgery
  • Dupuis Daniel, DDS, MSD, Northwest Pediatric Dentistry, Dentistry
  • McCabe Liana, MD, Virginia Mason University Village Medical Center, Pediatrics

Allied Health Professionals

  • Carl Anderson, ARNP, DNP, Seattle Children’s, Emergency Department
  • Susanna Fenstermacher, ARNP, Seattle Children’s, Emergency Department
  • Tera Johnson, ARNP, Seattle Children’s, Emergency Department
  • Michelle Murphy, ARNP, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Cancer and Blood Disorders Center
  • Misty Smith, ARNP, Seattle Children’s, Neonatology
  • Candy Yu, ARNP, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Cancer and Blood Disorders Center

How to Best Care for Transgender Youth

A Q&A with Dr. David Inwards-Breland

Transgender youth have unique medical needs. Finding appropriate care for these patients, and their families, can be challenging.

Seattle Children’s offers the only multidisciplinary clinic in our region for youth who are transgender or gender-nonconforming. Because demand for these services is high, patients are not always able to get scheduled at the Gender Clinic as quickly as they might like.

Dr. David Inwards-Breland, medical director of the Gender Clinic, offers the following advice to providers caring for transgender or gender-nonconforming patients who may be waiting to see a specialist at Children’s. Read full post »

New Medical Staff

Medical Providers

  • Martin Bomalaski, MD, University of Washington, Rehabilitation
  • Andrea Burke, DMD, MD, Harborview Medical Center, Oral Surgery
  • Jesse Costales, MD, Seattle Children’s, Psychiatry
  • Polina Frolova Gregory, DO, MS, Seattle Children’s, Hematology-Oncology
  • Sriharsha Grevich, MD, MAS, Seattle Children’s, Rheumatology
  • Ezekiel Maloney, MD, Seattle Children’s, Radiology
  • Vishal Nigam, MD, Seattle Children’s, Cardiology
  • Javid Osafi, DMD, Kid’s Choice Dental, Dentistry
  • Alissa Roberts, MD, Seattle Children’s, Endocrinology
  • Nefthi Sandeep, MD, Northwest Congenital Heart Care, Cardiology
  • Tyler Sasser, PhD, Seattle Children’s, Psychology
  • Nora Silverman, MD, PhD, Harborview Medical Center, Ophthalmology

Allied Health Professionals

  • Melissa Lo, ARNP, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance, Hematology-Oncology
  • Hannah Smith, ARNP, DNP, Seattle Children’s, Infectious Disease
  • Sara Twardowski, ARNP, Seattle Children’s, Psychiatry