On the Pulse

Seattle Children’s Researchers to Present at Pediatric Academic Societies Annual Meeting

Dr. Megan Moreno (top) and Dr. Annika Hofstetter (bottom)

Dr. Megan Moreno (top) and Dr. Annika Hofstetter (bottom)

Seattle Children’s has the honor of having over 100 doctors and researchers slated to present at the 2015 Pediatric Academic Societies (PAS) Annual Meeting. This is the largest international meeting focused on children’s health research and clinical implications.

On the Pulse is highlighting two Seattle Children’s researchers who will be presenting their exciting new research: Dr. Megan Moreno and Dr. Annika Hofstetter.

Using media to understand mechanisms of behavior change

Dr. Megan Moreno of Seattle Children’s Center for Child Health and Behavioral Development is leading the way in adolescent social media (SM) use research. In her PAS presentation she will highlight key adolescent health issues pertaining to the SM landscape.

Over 90 percent of adolescents use SM, where they may display risky behaviors and describe their health attitudes, intentions and behaviors in ways that can be measured, Moreno said. Read full post »

Fighting a Nameless Battle, Racing for Research

Alyssa Bowen

Alyssa Bowen

Alyssa Bowen appears to be an average 15-year-old on the outside, but inside, her body is fighting a civil war. Her immune system is hyperactive, creating antibodies to attack her own blood cells, platelets, white blood cells and tissues. Despite the extensive efforts of doctors and nurses, they have not been able to offer Alyssa an exact diagnosis.

Alyssa has been coming to Seattle Children’s Hospital from a very young age. She has had many hospitalizations and a variety medications and treatments to help her manage her puzzling condition and the pain associated with it. Read full post »

Brother Donates Kidney to Sister, “I Always Knew I Would Be the One”

Anna and Andrew Hug - Web

Andrew and Anna Copley

In honor of Organ Donor Awareness Month, we’re sharing the story of Anna and Andrew Copley. Read below about Anna’s journey to transplant and the bond that will tie two siblings together forever. 

Anna Copley, 15, and her family have known since Anna was a baby that she might need a kidney transplant. At only 3 weeks old, she contracted severe respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a virus that infected her lungs and breathing passages. Her kidneys failed due to the virus and even though she recovered, her kidneys were damaged beyond repair. As Anna grew up, her kidneys got progressively worse, unknowingly to the Copley family.

“We are thankful that Anna’s kidney’s ‘failed slowly,’” said Rebecca Copley, Anna’s mother. “Her kidney failure progressed so slowly, that her body adjusted, and for her, she only knew this as normal.” Read full post »

Research Continues to Disprove Link Between Autism and Vaccines

King_Bryan_Small

Dr. Bryan King worries that each time the media includes the MMR vaccine and autism in the same sentence, even if reporting the lack of association, the false idea of a linkage between the two is perpetuated.

A significant body of validated research over the last 15 years has found no link between the measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism spectrum disorders, yet the false myth that this vaccine may cause or intensify the disorder continues to circulate among some families of children with autism. As a result, some parents delay or forgo the life-saving MMR vaccine for their children.

A new study, led by The Lewin Group and titled “Autism Occurrence by MMR Vaccine Status Among U.S. Children With Older Siblings With and Without Autism,” has been published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). This study further refuted the concern that children who are at higher risk of developing autism could be negatively impacted by the MMR vaccine. The study included approximately 95,000 children with older siblings and found that receipt of the MMR vaccine was not associated with an increased risk of autism, regardless of whether older siblings had autism.

Dr. Bryan King, director of Seattle Children’s Autism Center and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine at Seattle Children’s Hospital and an investigator in Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development, has written an editorial published in the same JAMA issue addressing this research and the controversies that surround it. On the Pulse sat down with King to learn more about these important issues. Read full post »

A Tribute to Our CEO, Dr. Tom Hansen

On May 1, Dr. Tom Hansen will step down as Seattle Children’s CEO after 10 years of service. During his leadership, Hansen was known as a visionary with big ideas – big ideas that helped us become one of the best children’s hospitals in the world while getting us closer than ever to achieving our goal of eliminating pediatric disease.

In May, Hansen will pass the CEO baton to Dr. Jeff Sperring, but he has no plans to stop innovating on behalf of Seattle Children’s. He will be returning to his research roots full time, continuing to pursue his passion of helping improve outcomes for premature infants as an investigator at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. In his research, he will focus on the development of low-cost ventilators for premature infants born in low- and middle-income countries. Read full post »

My Little Brother, My Greatest Inspiration: Celebrating the 1-Year Anniversary of Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Center

Mikey

Mikey at high school graduation

April marks the 1-year anniversary of the grand opening of Seattle Children’s Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center. The Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center hosts year-round classes for adults with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) or other developmental disabilities. And though it’s only been a year, the Alyssa Burnett Center has already seen great success. Tammy Mitchel, program manager, recounts below her hopes and fears from day one and shares some of her favorite milestones from the past year.

Nearly one year ago, as I was driving to the grand opening of the Alyssa Burnett Adult Life Center, my head swirled with thoughts, hopes, dreams and – admittedly – fears for this journey to open a center for adults with autism. Would it be possible to thoughtfully offer classes to adults with autism and serve a wide spectrum of ability levels? Could we teach adults who had never been in a kitchen how to cook for themselves? Would we be equipped to handle even the most challenging behaviors? And most importantly, could we create a community where all of this could happen under one roof?

I’m so happy to say one year later that yes, we could. And we did. Read full post »

Teen Offers Hope to Others Living with Crohn’s Disease

Lizzy Hiking

Elizabeth doesn’t let Crohn’s slow her down, enjoys hiking.

Elizabeth McIntosh, 19, has been through a lot to get to where she is today. Diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, one of the most common types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), at age 2, she felt like she was never going to be able to have a normal life – one uninterrupted by Crohn’s flare ups and debilitating abdominal pain.

But after undergoing surgery to remove more than three feet of her colon, she’s finally living the life she’s always hoped to live and wants to offer support to others living with Crohn’s.

“Never lose hope,” said McIntosh, who’s been a patient at Seattle Children’s since diagnosis. “You may have a long journey ahead of you, but you always have to have hope. It will get better.” Read full post »

Seattle Children’s to Host Documentary Screening on HPV Vaccine

Human Papilloma Virus vaccine with syringe in vial at a clinic.Development of the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine has been touted as one of the greatest victories in cancer prevention, and yet, only a minority of adolescents in Washington state have received all three recommended doses of the vaccine. Less than half of girls complete the vaccine and only 13% of boys do.

“We know nearly 80% of Americans are infected with HPV and that this virus can cause several types of cancer, including cervical cancer,” said Dr. Rachel Katzenellenbogen, an adolescent medicine expert at Seattle Children’s and an investigator in Seattle Children’s Research Institute’s Center for Global Infectious Disease Research. “And still, too few are getting this life-saving vaccine.”

To raise awareness of this public health concern, Seattle Children’s will show the documentary film “Someone You Love” in the hospital’s Wright Auditorium on April 24. The film shares the stories of five women who have been affected by HPV. Each of them, and their families, must cope with the misconceptions, stigma and shame associated with the sexually transmitted virus. Read full post »

Seattle Children’s Research Institute to Host International Conference on Immunotherapy in Pediatric Oncology

Dr. Mike Jensen, director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, will be a keynote speaker at the 4th International Conference on Immunotherapy in Pediatric Oncology.

Dr. Mike Jensen, director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, will be a keynote speaker at the 4th International Conference on Immunotherapy in Pediatric Oncology.

On Sept. 25 and 26, Seattle Children’s Research Institute will host the 4th International Conference on Immunotherapy in Pediatric Oncology (CIPO2015), “Examining the Emerging Therapeutic Potential of Immunotherapy in Pediatric Oncology.” This two-day program brings together scientists and healthcare leaders from around the world to discuss the latest immunotherapy research in the field of pediatric oncology.

“We expect to bring together hundreds of national and international oncology and immunology professionals with the goal of providing opportunities for scientific exchange, collaboration, problem-solving and mentoring,” said Dr. Mike Jensen, director of the Ben Towne Center for Childhood Cancer Research at Seattle Children’s Research Institute. “The conference will provide a venue to present new data and explore emerging concepts in an effort to bring immune-based therapies to more children with pediatric cancer.” Read full post »

Doctor Offers Tips to Prevent Overuse Injuries

ThinkstockPhotos-166214839Spring has sprung and spring sports are underway. Children and teens are back on the baseball mound, track and soccer field, and while playing sports is a great source of exercise for kids, they can also cause injury and pain if children try to spring back too fast. To help keep kids healthy and active this season, Dr. Thomas Jinguji, a sports medicine doctor at Seattle Children’s Hospital, offers tips for parents and coaches to make sure pain isn’t a part of a child’s season.

With more children and teens participating in recreational sports and organized activities, it’s not surprising that overuse injuries, or damage to a bone, muscle, ligament or tendon caused by stress from repetitive actions, are common. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), half of all sports medicine injuries in children and teens are from overuse. And with longer seasons, more intensity during practices and games and more pressure to succeed, it’s no wonder Seattle Children’s is seeing an increase in these types of injuries. Read full post »