2011 Academic Annual Report
Achievements of 2011
Seattle Children’s is advancing the care for children and teens one achievement at a time. Here are some highlights of how our world-class faculty from the University of Washington School of Medicine and our exceptional staff are bringing the future of pediatric medicine to our patients and families today.
Seattle Children’s was listed among the nation’s top children’s hospitals for the 19th consecutive year by U.S. News & World Report in its annual rankings of America’s Best Children’s Hospitals. In 2011, Children’s was ranked 7th overall, and 2nd in the country for kidney disorders, 7th for urology, 8th for cancer, and 10th for neurology/neurosurgery.
Other Children’s programs receiving top recognition by U.S. News included cardiology, pulmonology, orthopedics, neonatology, gastroenterology and diabetes.
The University of Washington School of Medicine Department of Pediatrics was ranked 8th among the top pediatric programs at medical schools in the country according to the 2011 rankings of graduate and professional programs provided by U.S. News & World Report. Seattle Children's Hospital is among the sites that train UW’s pediatric physicians. Each year, one of every three graduating medical students interested in pediatrics applies to the UW Pediatric Residency Training Program at Children’s.
In the Spotlight
Dr. F. Bruder Stapleton received the 2011 Founder’s Award from the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology. The award recognizes individuals who have made lasting and unique contributions to the field of pediatric nephrology. Stapleton is Children’s chief academic officer.
Dr. F. Bruder Stapleton became president of the American Pediatric Society, an organization that brings people together to advance the study of children and their diseases, and to prevent illness and promote health in childhood. His term concludes May 2013.
Dr. Linda Quan received one of seven 2011 Community Lifesaver awards from the National Drowning Prevention Association. The award honors exceptional work in the advancement of drowning prevention at the community or regional level. Quan, an emergency medicine doctor, is internationally recognized for her research, advocacy and programs on preventing drowning in open water.
Dr. Edgar Marcuse received the Martin H. Smith, MD Award for Achievement in Childhood Immunization from Every Child by Two, a national organization dedicated to protecting children from vaccine-preventable diseases.
Dr. Robert Hickman received UW Medicine’s 2011 Legacy Innovator Award, which honors individuals whose work from the 1950s to 1970s influenced future generations of researchers and paved the way for future UW innovations. Hickman, who is the former chair of Seattle Children’s division of Nephrology, developed the Hickman catheter.
Dr. Ray Chih-Jui Hsiao was one of three early career physicians to receive the 2011 Leadership Award from the American Medical Association (AMA) Foundation. The award recognizes outstanding non-clinical leadership in advocacy, community service and education, and provides special training to continue developing skills as future leaders in organized medicine and community affairs.
Hsiao is working to transform prevention and treatment services for adolescents with co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders in Washington state. He was also recently named a Presidential International Consultant for National Chung Cheng University in Taiwan.
In 2011, Seattle Children’s launched two blogs to help support parents and caregivers. The Autism Blog, written by members of Seattle Children’s Autism Center, provides credible information on topics such as choosing a summer camp, supporting siblings and understanding new research findings. Teenology 101 features posts about navigating the “teenage years,” including issues around behavior, independence, weight and body image, substance abuse and birth control.
Leading experts from Seattle Children’s published Jump Ropes to Genetics to share their views on trends in pediatric healthcare that critically impact the health and well-being of our nation’s youth.
The topics of the book’s short, readable chapters include exciting treatment advances, the impact of healthcare costs on access, and deficiencies in the current system that could have grave consequences for the first generation of the 21st century.
Written by those on the front lines of pediatric healthcare every day — doctors, researchers, philanthropists and executives — Jump Ropes to Genetics offers new thinking about how we can move forward despite challenging costs, inconsistent quality and a complex healthcare environment.
Jump Ropes to Genetics is available as an eBook. Find out more at firstname.lastname@example.org
Seattle Children’s is the first hospital in King County to have an on-site blood transfusion service staffed by Puget Sound Blood Center (PSBC).
The new lab exclusively serves Children’s patients. It is staffed by PSBC technicians who are experts in blood typing, cross-matching and the high-complexity testing required to safely process blood components.
Having a blood bank on Children’s campus enables faster, more efficient delivery of lifesaving blood products to our patients. Previously, blood products were processed at a PSBC laboratory about three miles away and couriered to the hospital when ordered.
The new on-site lab is also able to package the blood products in units suitable for the smallest pediatric patients, helping to eliminate waste of this vital resource.
Innovations in Pediatric Care
Seattle Children’s helped launch Vax Northwest, a public-private partnership to decrease the number of Washington state parents who don’t vaccinate their children. About 6.2% of parents in the state opt out of kindergarten vaccines — the highest vaccine exemption rate in the nation. Most states have vaccine exemption rates of less than 3%.
Vax Northwest has two main foci: developing tools for healthcare providers working with parents making vaccination decisions and creating community outreach resources for parents who favor vaccination to share in their own communities.
Group Health, the Washington State Department of Health, WithinReach and the Community Pediatric Foundation of Washington are also Vax Northwest partners. The Group Health Foundation and a grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation fund this five-year collaborative effort.
Findings from several Seattle Children’s experts were featured in Pediatric Obesity: Practical Applications and Strategies from Primary to Tertiary Care, a special supplement of Pediatrics, published by the American Academy of Pediatrics. Children’s researchers contributed to the following findings:
• Children in weight management programs were not completing treatment. Barriers included transportation difficulties and the inability of caregivers to miss work.
• In-person training by obesity experts enhanced primary care providers’ ability to identify pediatric obesity. Internet-based and phone interactions are not as effective.
• Insurance coverage frequently fails to adequately reimburse the providers and number of visits needed to effectively provide obesity care.
• Nearly three-quarters of hospital administrators surveyed reported that obesity programs were part of their hospital’s strategic plans.
Only 13% of teens with suicidal thoughts received mental health visits through their healthcare network, and only 16% received services in the year after — despite having access to care — according to a team of researchers at Seattle Children’s Research Institute, the University of Washington and Group Health Research Institute.
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for people 15 to 24 and the fourth leading cause of death for children between the ages of 10 and 14. Identifying suicidal ideation is critical to preventing suicide.
“These findings underscore the need for clinicians to be aware of the potential for suicide in adolescence,” says lead author Dr. Carolyn McCarty of Children’s. “Primary care physicians and healthcare providers should be specifically assessing suicidal ideation in the context of depression screening for teenagers. Effective screening tools are available — as are effective treatments for depression.”
Researchers from Seattle Children’s Center for Child Health, Behavior and Development continue to examine how media use impacts youth and young adults. Dr. Dimitri Christakis’ study “Problematic Internet Usage in U.S. College Students,” found that the prevalence of problematic Internet use is a cause for concern that may require intervention.
Dr. Michelle Garrison’s study, “Media Use and Child Sleep: The Impact of Content, Timing and Environment,” demonstrated that sleep problems in preschool-age children increased with every additional hour of violent daytime media content or any evening media use. Nonviolent content viewed during the day did not appear to be associated with significantly increased sleep problems. Early childhood sleep disruption is associated with obesity, behavior problems and poor school performance.
Doctors who used an iPhone application called iResus performed 17% better during a simulated cardiac emergency than a control group who relied on memory alone, according to a 2011 study by Dr. Daniel Low, a Seattle Children's anesthesiologist who developed the app in collaboration with the Resuscitation Council (UK).
After training in advanced cardiac life support there is inevitable decay in both skill and knowledge. Stress and fatigue compound this problem. The iResus app is a clinical decision aide-memoire to help healthcare professionals make the correct choices and adhere to current best practice guidelines. It is similar to the in-flight emergency cards used by pilots to help them follow standard protocols for managing aviation emergencies. Once the app is downloaded, it does not rely on a WiFi or phone signal. If it detects a signal when it is started, it will connect to a server to ensure that the most current set of guidelines is on the phone. The user chooses between adult and pediatric algorithms and then a specific emergency (e.g., advanced life support, bradycardia, tachycardia or anaphylaxis). By breaking down the algorithm into screen-sized steps, the app provides complex algorithms in simple sequence to assist clinical decision making.
More than 60,000 copies of the free app have been downloaded since it was launched January 2010.
Researchers at Seattle Children’s Research Institute made headway in understanding the cells and channels that are important in making anesthetics work, according to a study published in the Dec. 20, 2011, issue of Current Biology. The study uncovered what cells responded to anesthesia in an organism known as C. elegans, a transparent roundworm often used in research.
“We believe there is a class of potassium channels in humans that are crucial in this process of how anesthetics work, and that they are perhaps the ones that are sensitive to potential anesthesia reversal,” says Dr. Phil Morgan, lead author of the study. Dr. Margaret Sedensky and Vinod Singaram, a graduate student from Case Western Reserve University, were co-lead authors of the study.