December 1, 2022

Children’s Minnesota opens its first inpatient mental health center  
Children’s Minnesota opened its first inpatient mental health center at its St. Paul hospital at the end of November. The 22-bed inpatient mental health unit is the first in the east metro to serve kids as young as six years old, and one of the few in the state to admit all kids, even those with other complex medical conditions. The unit is expected to care for more than 1,000 children and adolescents each year, supporting the urgent mental health needs of the most vulnerable kids in Minnesota and the region.

Read more about the center here
Dr. Anne Bendel to advance cancer research as newly appointed endowed chair
Dr. Anne Bendel, pediatric neuro-oncologist in Children’s Minnesota’s cancer and blood disorders program, was named the endowed chair for novel therapies and cancer research by the Harper Family Foundation. In this role, Dr. Bendel and the neuro-oncology team will advance clinical research and new trials for pediatric cancer therapies. 

Dr. Bendel is an active member in the national Children’s Oncology Group and the Pacific Pediatric Neuro-oncology Consortium, giving Children’s Minnesota patients access to national neuro-oncology clinical trials. Children’s Minnesota is in the top 5 percent of participating institutions with the Children’s Oncology Group. Nearly 90 percent of eligible patients at Children’s Minnesota participate in clinical trials, making clinical research vital. 

Read more about Dr. Bendel’s research here.  
Children’s Minnesota expands cardiovascular department
Sarah Blonsky, MD; Cathleen Pruitt, MD; and Neil Zaki, MD, MSCI have joined the expanding cardiovascular department to round out the program’s comprehensive pediatric cardiovascular services. The Children's Minnesota cardiovascular team provides everything from routine cardiovascular care to the most complex cardiovascular interventions, from before birth and into adulthood. Dr. Blonsky, Dr. Pruitt and Dr. Zaki join a team that treats the most pediatric cardiology patients in Minnesota and has some of the best outcomes in the country. 

Read the full article here.
Ask a Specialist service available for non-urgent questions
We recognize the importance of having direct access to pediatric specialists for questions and general advice and invite you to submit a non-urgent, general question through our Ask a Specialist service. Questions are triaged by a Children’s physician and, if needed, redirected to one of our physician sub-specialists or other pediatric health professionals. We will respond to your question within 10 business days.

For urgent needs or questions with specific patient detail, Children’s Minnesota Physician Access is your 24/7, live connection. Call 1-866-755-2121.
Multi-chemotherapy regimen for pleuropulmonary blastoma shows early promise 
Children with advanced pleuropulmonary blastoma (PPB) who received a four-chemotherapy regimen had better outcomes compared to those who received other chemo regimens. Dr. Kris Ann Schultz, and Dr. Yoav Messinger, pediatric oncologists in Children’s Minnesota’s cancer and blood disorders program, recently published findings from the study.

The study compared outcomes in children with Types II and III PPB who received IVADo (ifosfamide with mesna, vincristine, actinomycin-D and doxorubicin), a regimen determined by international consensus, to outcomes in children receiving other regimens. This large cohort of uniformly-treated children with advanced PPB provides a benchmark for future therapeutic studies for this rare pediatric tumor.

Read more about the study here

Resources for Respiratory Illness
Respiratory illnesses like RSV and influenza are circulating early this season. Here are some helpful resources:

Podcast: Bronchiolitis updates
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