2009 Academic Annual Report
Seattle Children’s is advancing care for children and teens one achievement at a time. Read on to see how our world-class faculty from the University of Washington School of Medicine and our exceptional staff dedicated to pediatrics are bringing the future of pediatric medicine to patients and families today.
The University of Washington (UW) School of Medicine’s Department of Pediatrics was ranked sixth in the nation according to U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of graduate and professional programs.
Seattle Children’s is the primary pediatric teaching site for the UW School of Medicine, which was ranked number one among primary care medical schools for the 16th straight year.
U.S. News & World Report ranked Seattle Children’s among the nation’s top children’s hospitals for the 17th consecutive year. Children’s was ranked fourth in the country for kidney disorders, sixth for cancer, eighth for urology and ninth for respiratory disorders and neurology/neurosurgery.
Other Children’s programs receiving top recognition by U.S. News included neonatal care, orthopedics, digestive disorders, and heart and heart surgery. Children’s was the only children’s hospital in the Pacific Northwest to make the list.
Funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to Seattle Children’s Research Institute increased 44%. The dramatic gain moved Children’s to the number five spot among pediatric research institutions receiving NIH awards — up six spots from number 11 in 2007.
Children’s received approximately $30 million from the NIH in 2009. We also ranked third in the Northwest region in NIH research funding, after our research partners the University of Washington and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
In the Spotlight
Dr. Jerry Zimmerman was
honored by the American
Academy of Pediatrics for
his contributions to the
field of critical care
Dr. Jerry Zimmerman received the Distinguished Career Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Section on Critical Care Medicine.
Zimmerman was among the first group of physicians to be board certified in pediatric critical care. He is known for bringing a biochemistry approach to the practice of pediatric critical care medicine and is co-author of Pediatric Critical Care, one of the premier medical school textbooks on the topic.
Zimmerman leads Seattle Children’s Division of Critical Care Medicine.
Dr. Wendy Mouradianreceived the Oral Health Service Award from the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP).
For years, Mouradian has been a key national advocate for children’s oral health in the medical community. She chaired The Face of the Child: U.S. Surgeon General’s Conference on Children and Oral Health. Currently, she is project director of the Surgeon General’s Report Pediatric Update project for the AAP.
Mouradian is associate dean for Regional Affairs and professor in the following departments at University of Washington: Pediatric Dentistry, Pediatrics, Dental Public Health Sciences and Health Services.
Drs. Bonnie Ramsey and Arnold
Smith received the University of
Washington’s Inventor of the
Year Award for their lifesaving
work developing TOBI, an
aerosol version of the antibiotic
Drs. Bonnie Ramsey and Arnold Smith received the Inventor of the Year Award from University of Washington.
Ramsey and Smith developed TOBI, an inhaled form of the antibiotic tobramycin that treats potentially fatal pulmonary infections in cystic fibrosis patients, without the kidney damage caused by ingesting the antibiotic. The clinical trials on a national scale they organized during TOBI’s development have been widely adopted as a model and have improved the clinical trials process.
Ramsey holds the Endowed Chair in Cystic Fibrosis at the University of Washington.
Dr. Hans Ochs received the Clinical Immunology Society President’s Award.
Ochs has long been known as one of the nation’s top clinical immunologists. He is internationally known for his research on primary immune deficiency diseases.
Ochs is the Jeffrey Modell Chair of Pediatric Immunology Research and professor of pediatrics at the University of Washington.
Dr. Frederick Rivara, who has dedicated his career to turning public policy into programs that have a far-reaching impact on child health, received the University of Washington School of Public Health’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
Rivara is internationally recognized for his study of injury-control methods and has co-authored three books and published more than 400 writings.
At the University of Washington, he is the George Adkins Professor of Pediatrics, vice chair for Academic Affairs and adjunct professor of epidemiology.
Dr. Richard Shugerman was honored by the Association of Pediatric Program Directors with the Distinguished Residency Director Award.
Under Shugerman’s leadership, the University of Washington Pediatric Residency Training Program based at Seattle Children’s Hospital has become one of the top five pediatric residency programs in the U.S. Today, one-third of all medical students interested in a pediatric residency apply to Seattle Children’s — that’s more than 1,000 applicants each year for 32 spots.
Shugerman is an emergency medicine physician at Seattle Children’s.
Dr. Heather Mefford received the William K. Bowes, Jr. Award in Medical Genetics from Harvard Medical School.
Mefford’s research focuses on regions of the human genome that are especially susceptible to rearrangement, and how small deletions and duplications of these regions contribute to pediatric disease. She has played a pivotal role in describing several new syndromes important in clinical genetics, identifying a chromosomal deletion that causes pediatric renal disease and diabetes and reporting clinical features of chromosomal deletions resulting in mental retardation, autism and epilepsy.
Dr. Martin Koyle was one of two Americans named a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of England. The distinction is given based on merit and achievement, including education, training, professional qualifications and surgical competence.
Koyle leads Seattle Children’s Division of Urology.
Drs. Joseph Flynn and Margaret Rosenfeld were listed in USA Today’s “Most Influential Doctors” database. The two were chosen for the leadership they have shown with colleagues who look to them for advice on treatment guidelines, understanding of new therapies and innovative approaches to medical care.
Flynn and Rosenfeld are attending physicians at Seattle Children’s in the divisions of Nephrology and Pulmonary Medicine, respectively.
Senior fellow Dr. Phoenix Ho
received the Young Investigator
Award from the Journal of
Clinical Oncology for his
research around the SHIP
gene as it relates to acute
Dr. Phoenix Ho received the Young Investigator Award from the Journal of Clinical Oncology.
Ho's current research centers around the SHIP gene as it relates to acute myeloid leukemia (AML). His laboratory has shown that leukemic cells in a particular subset of AML patients have a high expression of the s-SHIP isoform, typically found solely in stem cells.
Ho is a senior fellow in Hematology/Oncology at Seattle Children’s Hospital and Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center.
Dr. Ross Hays received the first grant ever awarded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) for pediatric palliative care.
The $3 million five-year grant funds studies on managing stress and improving well-being for families on the Intensive Care Unit by using specific communication interventions.
Hays is medical director of Seattle Children’s Palliative Care Program and an ethics consultant for Children’s Treuman Katz Center for Pediatric Bioethics.
Surgeons at Seattle Children’s performed their 500th kidney transplant — a milestone for the hospital, which performed its first successful organ transplant in 1985.
The recipient was an 8-year-old girl who received a kidney from her mom after she suffered renal failure.
The success rate for transplanted kidneys has risen from 70% to more than 90% thanks to advancements in organ-rejection drugs and postsurgery care. The girl’s new kidney should last for decades.
Jeanette Zaichkin, RN, is the first nurse in the nation to have a book published by the American Academy of Pediatrics.
The book, Newborn Intensive Care: What Every Parent Needs to Know, was edited by Zaichkin. It features a comprehensive review of newborn medical conditions and the challenges facing parents of babies in intensive care. The easy-to-understand guide is used by parents, nursing and medical students, home-health nurses and social workers.
Zaichkin is a neonatal outreach coordinator in Seattle Children’s Division of Neonatology.
Drs. Robert Sawin and John
Meehan Jr. were the first to
perform the complex Puestow
procedure using a surgical
Drs. Robert Sawin and John Meehan Jr.performed the first-ever Puestow procedure using the da Vinci robot.
The complex surgical procedure, which treats chronic inflammation of the pancreas, involves a lot of suturing and was a dramatic demonstration of the versatility of robotic technology.
Sawin, Seattle Children’s surgeon-in-chief, and Meehan, an attending surgeon in the Division of General and Thoracic Surgery, presented their results as a video conference for the American College of Surgeons and at the Minimally Invasive Robotics Association’s annual conference.
Seattle Children’s became the first pediatric hospital in the country with a 64-slice Discovery VCT PET/CT scanner.
By performing two exams simultaneously, the VCT PET/CT limits patients’ exposure to radiation and the need for multiple exams. The information provided by the combined PET/CT scans enables doctors to provide more accurate diagnoses earlier in a disease’s progression, making it particularly useful for oncology and neurology patients. Physicians can also use the technology to monitor the effects of therapy.
Seattle Children’s launched a three-year pilot project to provide legal assistance to low-income families with children who are receiving medical treatment and also have social, housing, immigration, economic or legal problems that negatively affect their health.
For example, a child with asthma living in moldy substandard housing may make repeated trips to the hospital with severe breathing problems. If a social worker and a lawyer can intervene to improve the family’s living conditions, that may have a significant positive impact on the health of that child.
Innovations in Pediatric Care
A study using yoga to help treat teens with eating disorders led by Dr. Cora Breuner and Rain Carei, PhD, was among Time magazine’s top health stories of 2009.
In the study, a group of teens being treated for eating disorders received their usual treatment plus two hours of yoga classes each week. The group who received yoga showed steady gains after treatment, while the group who did not relapsed after treatment.
At Seattle Children’s, Carei is a clinical psychologist and Breuner is an attending physician in the Division of Adolescent Medicine.
Seattle Children’s new clinic
and surgery center in Bellevue,
Wash., received the Leadership
in Energy and Environmental
Design (LEED) certification.
Seattle Children’s new clinic and surgery center in Bellevue, Wash., received the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) certification.
The existing natural wetlands at the building site were conserved, and sections of the facility feature green roofing. The 75,000-square-foot building was designed to maximize energy performance and water efficiency. Puget Sound Energy identified $500,000 in rebate grants that Children’s is eligible for, in addition to expected savings of more than $117,000 per year in energy costs.
Dr. Sihoun Hahn was part of a team that developed an innovative clinical diagnostic test to identify a wide range of mitochondrial disorders.
The new molecular diagnostic tool uses targeted genetic sequencing to screen a patient's DNA for variations in 362 genes that have been associated with mitochondrial disease or mitochondrial function. In tests, the tool was able to accurately identify the mutations underlying patient’s conditions.
Hahn leads the Biochemical Genetics Program at Seattle Children’s.
Seattle Children’s developed
an integrated approach to
autism assessment and
treatment by bringing all of
services together under one
Seattle Children’s developed an integrated approach to autism assessment and treatment by bringing all of Children’s autism-related services together under one roof.
The new model of care provides comprehensive — and timely — autism services, since early assessment is critical to a child's treatment. In addition to recruiting and training more providers, clinicians changed the way they screen patients, to get families in sooner.
The center provides diagnosis and treatment regardless of a family's ability to pay, something other community providers are not able to do.
Children’s co-sponsored the Washington State Childhood Obesity Summit to address one of our nation’s leading health threats.
National and local experts, members from community health organizations, public health officials and policy makers from across the state gathered to share current best practices in childhood obesity education and prevention, and to discuss the role policy makers can play in effecting change.
Seattle Children’s is developing an integrated childhood obesity program that will include prevention and treatment of obese youth, research, clinician education and community intervention.