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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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Updated (Bivalent) COVID-19 Vaccines Are Now Available for Kids Who Are 6 Months to 5 Years Old

Beginning Dec. 14, Seattle Children’s began offering updated (bivalent) COVID-19 vaccines to children aged 6 months to 5 years old at our hospital campus.

The Moderna bivalent vaccine is available as a booster to children aged 6 months to 5 who have received two doses of the monovalent Moderna COVID-19 vaccine series.

The Pfizer-BioNTech bivalent vaccine is available to children aged 6 months to 4 years as a third dose to those who have not completed their three-dose primary Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine series. The Pfizer bivalent vaccine is not yet approved for use as a booster for this age group.

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What You Should Know About the Flu Vaccine This Year

Flu season is here. Dr. Annika Hofstetter, whose research focuses on pediatric and adolescent vaccination, especially in high-risk populations, answered a few questions parents may have about the flu vaccine this year for On the Pulse.

Hofstetter is co-leader of the Maintenance of Certification Influenza Vaccination Project at Seattle Children’s and is a member of the Seattle Children’s Influenza Steering Committee.

Beginning Oct. 3, patients can get a flu vaccine during their visit at Seattle Children’s, including at a clinic appointment, urgent care or emergency department visit, or during hospitalization.

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Innovative Epilepsy Procedure Offers New Avenue of Treatment to Reduce Seizures

Caitlin with Dr. Stephanie Randle

A cutting-edge procedure for epilepsy at Seattle Children’s, known as responsive neurostimulation (RNS), is offering hope and seizure reduction relief to some patients who are still looking for solutions after exploring other treatment options.

With RNS, a battery-powered device is placed in a patient’s skull to reduce seizures. A neurosurgeon connects thin wires from the device to one or two parts of the brain where a child’s seizures start. When the device senses that a seizure may be starting, it sends a signal to stop it.

Seattle Children’s is one of only a handful of centers across the country to offer this device and the only one in the northwestern U.S. to use this device on a child.

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Seattle Children’s Announces Chief Research Operations Officer

Eric Tham, MD, MS

Seattle Children’s has appointed Dr. Eric Tham as its new senior vice president and chief research operations officer. Tham will focus on research administration, finance, operations and continue broader research leadership, effective immediately. Since 2021, Tham has served as interim senior vice president of Seattle Children’s Research Institute.

“I’m excited to help guide the research division as it continues to grow and tackle big questions around improving child health and health equity,” said Tham. “I look forward to continuing to work with Seattle Children’s leadership to help steer the research division into its next chapter.”

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New Bivalent COVID-19 Booster Shots Are Now Available at Seattle Children’s

Beginning today, Seattle Children’s is offering the new Pfizer COVID-19 bivalent vaccine booster. It will be available to patients, community members and workforce members.

We will begin offering the new bivalent Moderna vaccine booster later this week.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the updated COVID-19 boosters from Pfizer-BioNTech for people ages 12 years and older and from Moderna for people ages 18 years and older.

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Partnering with Biotechs to Save Lives

Dr. David Rawlings, director of Seattle Children’s Center for Immunity and Immunotherapies and a scientific co-founder of GentiBio

Biotechnology start-up GentiBio — a Seattle Children’s Research Institute spin-out — announced a multi-year collaboration with global pharmaceutical company Bristol Myers Squibb, the latest success story in the research institute’s rapid development of therapies and technologies that change children’s lives. Spin-off companies and biotechnology/pharmaceutical industry collaborations are a critical part of accelerating and expanding the reach of these innovations. 

GentiBio is collaborating with Bristol Myers Squibb to develop new engineered regulatory T cell (Treg) therapies to re-establish immune tolerance and repair tissue in patients living with inflammatory bowel diseases, which cause debilitating and life-threatening chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Current therapies are largely focused on systemic anti-inflammatories and broad immunosuppression, which can cause adverse effects and are not curative.  

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Vaccines Are Now Available for Kids Under 5

On June 21, Seattle Children’s became one of the first locations in the country to offer COVID-19 vaccinations to children ages 6 months to 4 years old.

This was a day that Seattle Children’s staff has long worked toward, as Seattle Children’s doctors were also involved clinical trial research for COVID-19 vaccines for this age group. For children in the 6 months – 4-year-old age group, our COVID-19 vaccine clinical trial spots were highly sought after, with thousands of applicants for approximately 100 slots at Seattle Children’s.

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What Parents Should Know About the Current Baby Formula Shortage

A confluence of factors has led to a nationwide baby formula shortage. Dr. Dale Lee, medical director of clinical nutrition at Seattle Children’s, shared some advice for parents with The Seattle Times.

Here are some key takeaways from Lee:

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Meet Dr. André Dick – A Beacon for Those Who Follow

April marks National Donate Life Month, a time devoted to spreading awareness about the tremendous need for increasing the number of organ, eye and tissue donors. According to the United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS), more than 100,000 people in the U.S. need a lifesaving organ.

One organ and tissue donor can save or enhance more than 75 lives. Anyone can be a potential donor. Registering with the national registry and sharing your decision with your family ensures that your wishes are carried out. You can also be a living donor by choosing to give an organ or part of an organ to someone in need through organ donation.

Seattle Children’s has one of the best and busiest pediatric transplant centers in the nation, working across a six-state region to provide lifesaving organ transplants for patients. Seattle Children’s Transplant Center is one of the few in the world that performs living donor liver transplants, is one of the top five kidney transplant centers in the U.S. and also has some of the best survival outcomes in the nation for pediatric liver, kidney and heart transplants.

Dr. André Dick, senior vice president and surgeon-in-chief, who also serves as surgical director of the pediatric kidney transplant program, took time this month to talk about his journey to where he is now, what he does in his role at Seattle Children’s, and his priorities for the years ahead. Read full post »