On the Pulse

All in a Day’s Work: A Look Inside Seattle Children’s Urgent Care

Dr. David Wang provides care for 15-month-old Serigne at Seattle Children’s

Throughout this season’s viral surge, Seattle Children’s Urgent Care team has been hard at work caring for a high volume of patients throughout its four locations in Bellevue, Everett, Federal Way and Seattle.

The sites are open 7 days a week, including holidays, and recently expanded their reach by offering virtual urgent care services to all children across the state of Washington.

“We’re excited to be launching another way to access Seattle Children’s urgent care team, especially at this time where there’s so much demand and a need for our services,” shared Dr. Jay Santos, medical director for Urgent Care at Seattle Children’s, in an interview with KAPP News.

The Urgent Care team at the main Seattle location has also been busy with a move to a larger space within the hospital and has expanded its hours of service.

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Jumping into the New Year with Healthy Coping Skills

2023 is the Year of the Rabbit, symbolizing courage, kindness and good fortune. While specific celebrations vary across Asian cultures, including Vietnam where they’ll welcome the Year of the Cat, many practices emphasize family and reuniting with relatives.

The new year is also a great time to recommit to healthy habits — and try some new ones. This year, in addition to focusing on physical health, your family might want to set some goals to boost your mental and emotional wellbeing.

On the Pulse shares some helpful ideas from the latest edition of Good Growing to get you started.

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Jesse’s Full-Circle Connection to Seattle Children’s

PART FIVE: From witnessing exceptional care and compassion given to children in their own lives, to receiving treatment first-hand, this weekly series features Seattle Children’s employees and the life experiences that drove them to pursue careers in healthcare.

Jesse Giordano was a pediatric patient at Seattle Children’s three decades ago and is now part of its dedicated workforce

During a family vacation in 1993 at Lake Chelan, WA, 12-year-old Jesse Giordano started experiencing severe flu-like symptoms and extreme pain in his left arm.

“After a couple days holed up in the motel, my mom took me to an area emergency room,” Giordano said. “Other than confirming I had a fever, they told me to follow up with my primary care provider.”

That Monday morning, the family did just that. Giordano was given a blood test and then went home to wait for the results.

“We got a phone call later that day or early Tuesday directing us to Seattle Children’s immediately,” he recalled. “I was not super worried, but my mom was an absolute wreck.”

The family arrived at Seattle Children’s for the appointment in an area now called the Ocean zone.

At the appointment, doctors conducted a Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and found something concerning.

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Virtual Urgent Care Opens at Seattle Children’s

The new service brings care closer to home and increases access to urgent care for kids and teens across the state.

Beginning today, Seattle Children’s is offering telemedicine for urgent care services for the first time.

The new Virtual Urgent Care will expand services beyond our four in-person urgent care locations in Seattle, Federal Way, Everett and Bellevue to any eligible patient in the state of Washington.

This new service will bring care even closer to home and increase access to urgent care for kids and teens across the state.

Virtual urgent care allows patients to stay at home, or in another location of their choosing within Washington state, and use technology to see, hear and talk with a provider through a computer, tablet or other digital device.

At a time when health care organizations everywhere continue to see high patient volumes, this service will provide a new option for care for families in communities across Washington state.

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Empowering Primary Care Providers to Support Mental and Behavioral Health

Seattle Children’s Care Network (SCCN) Integrated Behavioral Health Program helps kids receive behavioral health services from specialists embedded in their primary care clinic.

Seattle Children’s has teamed up with primary care pediatricians in the Puget Sound region to implement a new approach to address the growing youth mental health crisis.

Seattle Children’s Care Network (SCCN) and Seattle Children’s Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine launched a Pediatric Integrated Behavioral Health Program in 2020 to provide children and their families with the mental and behavioral health support they need earlier and closer to home.

The innovative program aims to empower primary care teams to identify, manage and coordinate mental and behavioral health services within their community settings with the long-term goal of alleviating pressure on hospitals and specialty care practices.

“We know we can make a difference for a significant number of kids with mental and behavioral health conditions,” said Dr. Sheryl Morelli, chief medical officer for Seattle Children’s Care Network. “By screening and treating kids in primary care, when appropriate, more kids can receive treatment and we can create capacity in the system. The program takes a bigger, population health approach to meeting the behavioral mental health need of kids in our community.”

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Healthy Sleep Habits for School-Age Kids

As featured in Good Growing

Studies consistently show that less than half of all school-age kids get enough sleep most weeknights. While the most recognized consequence of inadequate sleep is daytime sleepiness, children commonly manifest their sleepiness as irritability, behavioral problems, learning difficulties and poor academic performance.

Some sleep disruptions are normal and are connected to age-related changes. Others are symptoms of an actual sleep disorder. Whatever the reason, sleep problems can affect the entire family and should be accurately diagnosed.

The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that children ages 6 to 12 get between 9 and 12 hours of sleep each night, and that teens get 8 to 10 hours. Quality sleep provides immense benefits and children who regularly get enough sleep have healthier immune systems and better overall mental health. Additionally, they have sharper memories and better behavior, which are key to success in school.

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Seattle Seahawks Pay a Special Visit to Seattle Children’s Patients During the Holidays

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith visits with a pediatric patient at Seattle Children’s Hospital

Seattle Children’s patients and families were surprised this holiday season when some exciting visitors stopped by – Geno Smith, Seattle Seahawks quarterback, Michael Dickson, punter, Joey Hunt, center, and Jalen McKenzie, tackle.

The players delivered teddy bears, signed autographs, played video games, and shared special moments with our patients and their families.

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Ringing in the New Year with Positive Reinforcement

The new year is an ideal time for parents to renew their commitment to using positive reinforcement with their children.

Positive reinforcement includes specific and immediate praise when spotting a child doing something kind or helpful.

 

For example, using phrases like:

  • “Your bedroom looks amazing, thank you for putting all your clothes and toys away!”
  • “Thank you for trying all the different foods on your plate without me asking.”
  • “I appreciate how patient and generous you’re being with your little sister right now.”
  • “Thank you so much for brushing your teeth without me asking you!”

This kind of approach is also particularly beneficial if the action is the opposite of a problem behavior that a parent or caregiver is trying to reduce. When encouraging a new behavior, it is important to offer specific praise as much as possible, as it may help a child learn how to better manage their stress and frustration. It is a logical tool that teaches and strengthens the behaviors we want to see.

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‘The Fight of My Life’ | How Becky Found a Lifelong Passion After Battling Childhood Cancer

PART FOUR: From witnessing exceptional care and compassion given to children in their own lives, to receiving treatment first-hand, this weekly series features Seattle Children’s employees and the life experiences that drove them to pursue careers in healthcare.

Natalie Jean Ahrens (left) helped care for Becky Greenway when she was a pediatric patient at Seattle Children’s

In 1991, Becky Greenway was a 17-year-old student facing chronic knee pain throughout her senior year of high school.

“My pain was worse at night and the only way I could get any relief was by soaking it in the bathtub,” she recalled.

Greenway sought care from several primary care doctors who provided varying diagnoses, including tendonitis, growing pains and a possible mental disorder.

“This fourth doctor couldn’t find any reason for my pain, so he was convinced it was all in my head,” Greenway explained.

Feeling exasperated, Greenway’s mother pushed forward, certain that the root of her daughter’s pain was something more serious.

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Why ‘Home for the Holidays’ Holds a Special Meaning for Harper’s Family

Harper and mom Meagan celebrate Christmas at Seattle Children’s

As many families prepare for their annual holiday celebrations and family gatherings, this year’s plans look very different than last year for 3-year-old Harper and her parents, Meagan and Josh.

In 2019 just a few months before Christmas, Harper was transported to Seattle Children’s on an emergency flight from Yakima, Wash. after blood tests in a local emergency room revealed she had leukemia, a cancer of the blood.

At a mere five months old, the diagnosis that their child had acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) was both shocking and devastating to Harper’s parents, but they took comfort in knowing that she was in the best hands possible with a team of experts in Seattle Children’s High-Risk Leukemia Program.

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