100 Years

2003 to 2005: A New Era for Research

A New Vision Statement

A New Vision Statement Mom and child at Children’s  

In 2003, the board of trustees update the hospital mission and adopt a new vision statement with the goal of making Children's one of the five best pediatric medical centers in the United States. The statement affirms research as a key element in this drive for excellence.

A New Era for Research

A New Era for Research A Children’s sleep study patient  

In November 2003, the board welcomes Dr. James B. Hendricks, Children's Hospital's first vice president for Research and head of the new Research Administration division.

In collaboration with the pediatrician-in-chief and surgeon-in-chief, Hendricks manages research endowments and the staff who conduct pediatric research at Children's, the University of Washington Child Health Institute, Harborview Medical Center and Fred Hutchison Cancer Research Center.

A Diversified Board

A Diversified Board A Children’s patient gets checked out  

In June 2003, the Children's Hospital and Regional Medical Center Board approves 12-year term limits for trustees — a hotly debated issue since trustee Mary Gates proposed term limits in 1981.

In November 2004, a 97-year-old tradition fell with the appointment of the first male trustees. At the same time, the board approved a bylaw change to allow the CEO and medical director to have ex-officio (nonvoting) seats on the board.

On December 8, 2004, Dr. Rob Roskin becomes the board's first male voting member.

A New Level of Support

A New Level of Support Children’s Hospital and Regional Medical Center  

In January 2004, the five-story, 100,000-square-foot Janet Sinegal Patient Care Building opens with state-of-the-art facilities that add 42 inpatient beds and raise the hospital's total capacity to 250 beds.

African safari murals, a meditation room and chapel, coffee shop and gift shop grace the main hallway in the new facility. Patient rooms, now mostly single bed, feature pull-out couches so at least one parent can stay overnight.

Janet Sinegal is the first person to serve simultaneously on all three of Children's boards: the Guild Association, the foundation and the hospital. Together with her husband Jim, president and CEO of Costco Wholesale, they spearhead fundraising efforts involving Costco employees and vendors, resulting in significant contributions to Children's. The Sinegals also give generously to Children's on a personal basis.

Half of the $60 million cost of the new inpatient facility is paid for by donors, including $6 million raised by Children's guilds.

An Ethical Voice

An Ethical Voice Bioethics advertisement  

In 2004, Children's opens the first bioethics center in the nation solely dedicated to the study of research and health care for children. The Center for Pediatric Bioethics is a podium for the complex bioethics challenges facing healthcare professionals, scientists, patients, families and the community at large.

In 2005, the center is dedicated to retiring CEO Treuman Katz.

A Room of Their Own

A Room of Their Own Research equipment  

In 2004 Children's leases two buildings in downtown Seattle, adding 50,000 square feet of bench laboratory space and 40,000 square feet of clinical and health services research space to its research enterprise. The lease arrangements nearly triple the amount of space Children's dedicates to bench laboratory research.

Research Firsts

Research Firsts Children’s physician-researcher Dr. Andrew Scharenberg  

In July 2003, Dr. Andrew Scharenberg and Children's colleagues identify a magnesium transport protein that is essential to cell replication. The research results show that tumor cells containing the protein divide rapidly, while cells lacking the protein become magnesium deficient and unable to divide.

The findings lay the groundwork for new approaches to treat cancers and immunologic diseases.

In April 2004, Children's physician-researcher Dr. Dimitri Christakis provides the first evidence that early television exposure may be related to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). His nationally acclaimed study finds that each hour of television watched per day at ages 1 to 3 increases the risk of attention problems such as ADHD by almost 10% by age 7.

In 2005, Christakis and colleagues find no scientific evidence that "educational" media products have any proven educational value for babies and toddlers.

In 2004, Children's physician-researcher Dr. David Rawlings successfully shows that gene therapy can correct a form of primary immune deficiency disease (PIDD) known as X-linked agammaglobulinemia (XLA) in mice for the lifetime of the animal. Gene therapy is a relatively new treatment, in which the correct version of a gene is inserted into cells to fix a genetic defect.

A year later, Rawlings and his team identify the trigger that activates a pathway in T and B immune cells that leads to the survival and growth of these cells — a discovery that could lead to more effective treatment of cancers and autoimmune diseases.

In 2004, Children's physician-researcher Dr. Frederick Rivara determines that targeting teenagers with concentrated antismoking education campaigns and increasing the current cost of a pack of cigarettes by $1 could reduce the number of teenage smokers by 26%, and help more than 108,000 people in the United States survive to age 85.