April 25, 2023

Harriet’s story: Rare fetal heart tumor successfully removed by maternal-fetal-cardiology team  
At their 20-week ultrasound, baby Harriet’s parents learned she had an extremely rare cardiac tumor called a pericardial teratoma, making her chance of survival less than 40 percent. From 2000-2020, only 55 fetal pericardial teratomas were reported worldwide.  

Harriet’s parents were referred to the Midwest Fetal Care Center (MWFCC), a collaboration between Allina Health and Children’s Minnesota, where they would be under the care of a multi-disciplinary team of highly trained surgeons and maternal-fetal medicine experts. Dr. Lisa Howley, director of fetal cardiology at Children’s Minnesota, Dr. Joseph Lillegard, director of open fetal surgery at MWFCC, and Dr. Saul Snowise, medical director at MWFCC cared for Harriet in-utero as they made plans for her delivery. 

The MWFCC team delivered baby Harriet through a complex c-section procedure called Ex-utero Intrapartum Treatment (EXIT), where the baby’s arms and chest are delivered first while the head and legs remain in the uterus. Harriet remained attached to the umbilical cord and placenta to receive oxygen, blood and nutrients while Dr. Lillegard, Dr. Frank Moga, associate chief of cardiac surgery at Children’s Minnesota, and her care team removed about 80 percent of the tumor.  

Read Harriet’s full story here. 

Program growth for ENT and Facial Plastic Surgery program 
Due to growth in the Cleft and Craniofacial program, the specialties are being split into their own respective multidisciplinary subspecialty programs effective immediately. The subspecialties will continue to be part of the Ear, Nose, Throat (ENT) and Facial Plastic Surgery program, the only pediatric ENT program in Minnesota dedicated exclusively to kids with disorders of the head and neck. 

Dr. Robert Tibesar will move from serving as medical director of the Cleft and Craniofacial program to director of the Craniofacial program. Dr. Brianne Roby will serve as director of the Cleft program. Dr. Roby will continue to serve as director of the ENT and Plastic Surgery Fellowship at Children’s Minnesota.

Patients will continue to see the same multidisciplinary team of providers in the same clinic locations. Read more about the program and leadership changes here
Register now: Twin Cities Pediatric Update, Sept. 21-22, 2023
Two keynote speakers have been announced – and you won’t want to miss them. Register now for the 5th annual Twin Cities Pediatric Update conference!
  • Dr. Roy Antony Guerrero, MD, FAAP, was the only pediatrician in Uvalde, Texas, on the day of the horrific Robb Elementary school shooting. He will talk about being called to the hospital to assist that day and what has happened in Uvalde since the shooting.
  • Emma Benoit was left paralyzed after she attempted suicide at age 16. Her painful experience led her to help others with her story and shine a light on the youth suicide epidemic.
Two more keynote speakers will soon be announced, along with a full program of plenary sessions on the latest news and advances in pediatrics.  

Participants may join the conference in-person in Minneapolis or virtually. Register here.  

New state requirement for congenital cytomegalovirus newborn screening 
Minnesota is now the first state to require universal congenital cytomegalovirus (cCMV) screening of newborns. Given these new requirements, Children’s Minnesota hosted national and local cCMV experts for a Grand Rounds presentation, “Universal Congenital CMV Screening: What Does the Pediatrician Need to Know,” in March 2023. The recorded education session covers different clinical presentations of cCMV, appropriate evaluations for positive screens, when to refer to Infectious Disease, and more. 

Congenital cytomegalovirus is the most common viral infection in newborns and 90% of infants with cCMV are asymptomatic. Left untreated, cCMV can lead to a range of problems including hearing loss and neurologic deficits.  

Access the recorded presentation here

Anxiety and stress in kids can be helped by primary care pediatricians 
For more than a decade, mental health issues have gradually worsened for nearly every segment of the population. The COVID-19 pandemic dramatically exacerbated the growing crisis, with record numbers of kids and teens with depression, anxiety, trauma, loneliness, and suicidality. In 2021, pediatric health experts declared a national state of emergency in children’s mental health.

“If we weren’t already doing a lot of mental health care before the pandemic, we certainly are now,” said Dr. Angela Kade Goepferd, pediatrician and chief education officer at Children’s Minnesota. Dr. Goepferd also hosts the Talking Pediatrics podcast, where they discussed youth mental health and how clinicians can help in the episode, “The Impact of Anxiety and Stress on Kids and Families” with Dr. Sara Gonzales Rodriguez, pediatric psychologist at Children’s Minnesota. 

Primary care pediatricians and other health care providers are uniquely positioned to help address mental health in kids because they are often in long-term relationships with families for many years and can help destigmatize mental health care, especially with hesitant parents.  

Read more about this episode
here or listen to the full podcast here
Virtual Grand Rounds
Every Thursday, 8 - 9 a.m.

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Upcoming presentations

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Watch the Grand Rounds session: 
"Violence Prevention in Pediatrics and the Next Step Program"
Talking Pediatrics podcast
Join us as we bring intriguing stories and relevant pediatric healthcare information and partner with you in the care of your patients. Our guests, data, ideas and practical tips will surprise, challenge and perhaps change how you care for kids.

Listen to the previously recorded Talking Pediatrics:
"What Pediatric Clinicians Should Know About PrEP"
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