On the Pulse

Student Fundraises for Seattle Children’s Orthopedics, Publishes Research and Book on Sports Medicine

In 2022, high school student Rakshith “Rocky” Srinivasan was working on research on how amino acids help with muscle mobility.

He was mentored by Dr. Burt Yaszay, the Chief of the division of Orthopedics and Sports Medicine at Seattle Children’s, who helped Rocky understand the science behind muscle mobility.

In these sessions, Dr. Yaszay discussed his own research in orthopedics and sports medicine at Seattle Children’s, which inspired Rakshith to raise funds for those programs.

Since then, Rakshith and his nonprofit, Unlimited Potential (UP) have raised more than $10,000 for Dr. Yaszay’s program and research.

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Seattle Children’s Lead DIPG Researcher Attends Brain Cancers Forum at The White House

The White House recently convened patients, caregivers, oncologists, researchers and administration officials for the Cancer Moonshot Brain Cancers Forum as the administration moves to advance progress for patients with glioblastoma (GBM) and diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG).

Among the attendees invited was Dr. Nicholas Vitanza, an attending physician in Seattle Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center (CBDC) and the organization’s DIPG Research Lead.

Cancer Moonshot is an initiative that aims to reduce the death rate from cancer by at least 50 percent over the next 25 years and improve the experience of people and their families living with and surviving cancer.

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Seattle Children’s Shares Tips to Avoid Common Bike Helmet Mistakes

Parents and children who have bike helmets and wear them for every ride are off to a good start. But do the helmets fit correctly?

Proper helmet fit is vitally important in protecting against head injury whether riding through the neighborhood or commuting to school or work.

A quick look around town reveals that many people are wearing helmets that don’t fit well or aren’t adjusted in the right way.

On the Pulse shares tips for getting a good bike helmet fit.

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State Lawmakers Pass Seattle Children’s Top Priority Bill to Change How WA Cares for Youth Stuck in Hospitals

(Pictured left to right) Kashi Arora, Dr. Alysha Thompson, Dr. Sina Shah, Gov. Jay Inslee, Erika Boyd, Greta Johnson and Representative Lisa Callan

Most people hope any trip to the emergency room will be a short stay, but many emergency rooms and hospitals in Washington, including Seattle Children’s, are where young people in crisis become stuck when they are unable to get connected to the kind of support they need.

Last summer and fall, Seattle Children’s convened with other hospital leaders and government agency officials to devise a legislative fix.

The group included representatives from the agencies that oversee, health, social services, child welfare, and education as well as the mental health policy lead in the governor’s office. They met for over six months before settling on many of the provisions outlined in what is now called House Bill (HB) 1580.

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Gift Brave Gowns to Seattle Children’s with Former Patient, Harper

Harper is giving back to Seattle Children’s by collecting bright, fun hospital gowns for patients

Angie Foy and her daughter Harper of Edmonds are excited to give back to Seattle Children’s with a fundraiser called “Gift a Brave Gown to a Brave Kid.”

Harper was born with a rare genetic disorder called harlequin ichthyosis, which causes the skin to form in hard diamond-shaped plaques on the body. The plaques become dry and flake off, and the intensely dry, tight skin causes severe discomfort for Harper.

She spent almost three months at Seattle Children’s as a newborn undergoing various surgeries to restore circulation to her hands, legs and feet.

“They became family to us,” explained Foy of Harper’s care team at Seattle Children’s. “They saved her life and watched over her for me when I couldn’t be there.”

When she and Harper heard about Brave Gowns, they knew right away they wanted to help too.

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Seattle Children’s Trial Medication Stops Emree’s Seizures

It’s been 12 years, but Brandy Epling still chokes up at the traumatic memory of her firstborn’s birth.

It was a difficult pregnancy, with preterm labor forcing a 33-day stay at a southwest Washington hospital for the mom-to-be, followed by months of bedrest. Ultrasounds revealed the baby’s brain was a bit bigger on the left side, but the local fetal medicine doctor wasn’t overly concerned.

Induced at 38 weeks, Brandy labored for 22 hours until Emree finally emerged.

“It was probably the scariest moment of my life,” Brandy said. “When she came out, her head was grossly swollen. There was this ring of fluid around her head. Her left eye was completely enlarged and she was not breathing normally.”

It took hours to stabilize the critically ill infant, who also had fluid around her heart.

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Protect Kids and Teens from Cold Water Shock Drowning

Warmer weather is cause for celebration in the Pacific Northwest, and many families choose to get outside to beat the heat and enjoy nature.

If your activities take you on or near the water, use extra caution this time of year as water temperatures are very cold even when air temperatures are warm.

Melting mountain snowpack makes rivers and lakes icy cold, causes rivers to run higher and faster, and raises the risk of drownings from cold water shock.

On the Pulse dives into the topic of cold water shock and how to recreate around water safely.

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Just How Bad Is Social Media for Youth Mental Health?

There is growing concern about social media’s effects on mental health, especially for kids.

In January, Seattle Public Schools filed a lawsuit against Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, Snapchat and YouTube for their roles in “creating a youth mental health crisis.” In February, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a hearing about the issue, with some senators demanding social media companies be held accountable.

How does social media affect mental health? Are the concerns valid? And if so, what can parents and other adults do to protect kids (and themselves)?

Dr. Yolanda Evans, co-chief of the Division of Adolescent Medicine and a principal investigator in the Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development at Seattle Children’s, sees the effects of social media firsthand.

In this Q & A with Dr. Evans, On the Pulse shares her expertise and provides helpful resources for families and caregivers.

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Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic Focuses on Broadening Community-Oriented Care Through New Governance Council

In early 2023, Seattle Children’s Odessa Brown Children’s Clinic (OBCC) was pleased to introduce its new Governance Council, comprised of both community representatives and staff members, dedicated to providing strategic leadership that aims to achieve equity, diversity and inclusion priorities, and emerging initiatives at OBCC.

A key element of the council’s work is ensuring the needs and perspectives of the community are represented at OBCC to help inform decision-making by the clinic’s senior medical director.

“It’s an exciting time to be involved,” explained Max Hunter, Ph.D, Program Manager of Community Measurement and Innovation at OBCC, during a radio interview with The Seattle Medium. “One of the reasons we wanted to have the Governance Council is so that we move towards a more community-oriented healthcare approach where we are not only serving the community, but also working with and sharing power with the community.”

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Seasonal Allergies or Something More? Seattle Children’s Helps Parents Distinguish the Difference

Stuffy nose, sneezing, and itchy or watery eyes are a few indications that a child may be suffering from allergies. These symptoms are most often triggered during the spring and summer months but it can sometimes be tough to differentiate the cause among other illnesses that tend to spread this time of year.


On the Pulse answers some common questions about springtime allergies from parents and caregivers.

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