August 4, 2022

New inpatient mental health unit in St. Paul will offer parents a place to stay
Jamie Winter
The new Children’s Minnesota inpatient mental health unit in St. Paul is set to open this fall and will care for approximately 1,000 children and adolescents each year. Included in the plan is a 22-bed inpatient psychiatric unit that will also provide a place for parents to stay with their children, which is a unique feature for this type of care unit. Gov. Tim Walz recently toured the new unit before signing the bipartisan mental health reform bill that helped enable it.

PrairieCare, a Minnesota-based psychiatric health system, will provide programmatic guidance and joint clinical leadership for the new unit. The partnership will provide high-quality psychiatric care to kids as young as 6 years old, making this the first inpatient unit in the east metro to treat kids under 12 years old. It will also serve children with more complex medical needs with a dedicated, multi-disciplinary care team of psychiatrists, psychologists, program therapists, nurses, occupational therapists, child life and music therapists to provide individualized treatment tailored for the most vulnerable kids in Minnesota and the region.

Jamie Winter, RN, MBA, director of mental health services at Children’s Minnesota, was named a 2022 Health Care Hero by the Minneapolis/St. Paul Business Journal for her strategic leadership to open the new inpatient unit in St. Paul. Winter was also instrumental in opening Children’s Minnesota’s first partial hospitalization program in Lakeville in 2021.

Read more about the new inpatient unit.
Event: 2022 Twin Cities Pediatric Update 
Join us as the Twin Cities Pediatric Update returns as a live in-person event at the St. Paul RiverCenter!

This year’s conference will feature four keynote speakers, a variety of plenary sessions, and three sets of breakout sessions you can select from to keep you current on relevant topics and recent advances in pediatrics that are most important to your practice. Educational credits are available. Click here to register.

Patient story: From cancer at age 15 to double major in college
Isadora Swann Dr. Julie Chu
What was initially thought to be allergies due to facial swelling was revealed to be much more serious after Isadora Swann’s pediatrician recommended further screening. At age 15, Isadora was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s b-cell lymphoma.

Dr. Julie Chu, program director for the Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) cancer program at Children’s Minnesota, treated Isadora. Because Isadora was 15, Dr. Chu knew she needed to have a say in her care plans. “A lot of times we only talk to the parent,” said Dr. Chu. “But since she was just a few years away from being an adult, we wanted to make sure she was involved. It’s what we do for all our AYA patients.”

One of the most helpful aspects of Isadora’s care journey was the relationships with the doctors, nurses and other members of the care team. They would play card games with her, ask about traveling and her favorite shows. “Everyone did such a great job building a personal relationship,” said Isadora. “I’m still excited to come in for check-ups.”

Spoiler alert: Isadora’s story has a happy ending. Read the full story.

Neonatal home-based monitoring program featured on WCCO-TV
A new dad with terminal cancer got to spend precious moments with his prematurely born son thanks to an innovative neonatal home-based monitoring program called Children’s Home Application based Monitoring Program. The family’s story was featured on WCCO-TV in July.

The program was created by Dr. Cristina Miller, medical director of the NICU follow-up clinic at Children’s Minnesota. It first launched in 2021 as a pilot study at the Children’s Minnesota hospital in St. Paul. Now, the program also serves the Children’s Minnesota hospital in Minneapolis and the Children’s Minnesota NICU at Mercy hospital in Coon Rapids.

Watch the full WCCO story.
Children’s Minnesota’s 2021 Annual Report
Dr. Marc Gorelick
The 2021 Children’s Minnesota Annual Report shares a look at how and why we do everything we can to improve pediatric health care. Children’s Minnesota is consistently acknowledged for the quality of care we provide, including nationally ranked excellence in pulmonology and lung surgery by the U.S. News & World Report and distinctions as a Level I pediatric trauma center and Level I children’s surgery center.

While 2021 saw the continuation of the worst pandemic in a century, it was also the continuation of how Children’s Minnesota shifts and adapts to the needs of our patients and community members. “Never before has Children’s Minnesota been so needed by our community,” said Marc Gorelick, MD, MSCE, president and chief executive officer. “And we have been there, steadfast in our commitment to our patients.”

Each day we’re focused on putting the pieces in place that will position us as every family’s essential partner in raising healthier kids for years to come. We are deeply grateful for our staff, community supporters, donors, patient families and everyone who has supported us with hard work and dedication to ensure that Children’s Minnesota continues to build a better future for all kids.

Read the 2021 Annual Report.
Children’s Minnesota researchers find increase in COVID-19 related croup during Omicron
The number of kids diagnosed with COVID-19 related croup was significantly higher during the Omicron surge compared with other COVID-19 variants, such as Alpha or Delta, according to a team of Children’s Minnesota researchers and clinical staff led by Dr. Kelly Bergmann, director of research for the department of emergency medicine.

“Analysis of COVID-19-related croup and SARS-CoV-2 variant predominance in the U.S.” was published July 1 in JAMA Network open. The analysis found the proportion of children with COVID-19 related croup was significantly higher during Omicron (10.9%) compared with Alpha (4.1%) and Delta (3.6%). Read the full article.
Understanding Racial Bias in Medical Tools
Adriene Thornton and Siman Nuurali
In this podcast episode, “Health Equity Actions: When Racial Bias is Built Into Our Medical Tools,” guest host Adriene Thornton, manager of health equity and Siman Nuurali, a change management consultant at Children’s Minnesota discuss structural racism in health care and the racial bias that exists in commonly used medical tools and tests.

Many health care practitioners are surprised to learn about the biases that are built into the tools they use in good faith to treat their patients, from lab values to pulse oximeters. Listen to this conversation to learn how racism was built into the tools of health care and what we can do to change this going forward.

Listen on Apple PodcastsSpotify, Spreaker or on our website.

With new episodes released every Friday, be sure to check the Talking Pediatrics podcast page weekly.
Virtual Grand Rounds
Every Thursday, 8 - 9 a.m.

Join us for the live, virtual event or watch recorded presentations.
Watch the previously recorded Grand Rounds:
Talking Pediatrics podcast
Join us each week 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.

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