February 2015

“With sufficient resources and a strong, sustained commitment of time, energy, and ingenuity from the scientific, medical, and patient communities, the full potential of precision medicine can ultimately be realized to give everyone the best chance at good health.”- Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD and Harold Varmus, MD

Spin a Good Yarn: Using Narratives to Improve Prescribing Practices


A team of investigators from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s PolicyLab recently received nearly $600,000 from the William T. Grant Foundation to lead an innovative study examining antipsychotic prescribing practices. Led by David Rubin, MD, MSCE, the co-director of PolicyLab, the researchers plan to study …

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Project Increases Flu Vaccination in Pediatric Patients With Cancer


While influenza vaccination is important for all children, it is critical that pediatric patients with cancer get a flu shot because their weakened immune systems leave them especially vulnerable to severe infections. A quality improvement project at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia used simple strategies and …

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President Obama Announces $215 Million Precision Medicine Initiative


Saying precision medicine — in which patients receive highly personalized treatments — offers “one of the greatest opportunities for new medical breakthroughs that we have ever seen,” President Obama recently announced the launch of the Precision Medicine Initiative (PMI). First mentioned in the 2015 State …

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Research Collaborative Aims to Advance Understanding of Preterm Birth


What causes preterm birth and how to prevent it remains a perplexing riddle in medical science. One in nine babies in the U.S. is born prematurely, according to the March of Dimes, and this rate has barely budged despite years of investigation. Finding the solutions …

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Scientists Explore Gene Silencing as Novel Approach to Dystonia


Many of us take for granted our ability to control our bodies and muscles. We type on keyboards and stretch at our desks without much thought. However, such everyday actions can be challenging for children with early onset genetic dystonia — the most common form …

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Brain Imaging Links Language Delay to Chromosome Deletion in Children


According to a team of radiologists and psychologists led by a CHOP expert, children born with a DNA abnormality on chromosome 16 already linked to neurodevelopmental problems show measurable delays in processing sound and language. By strengthening the case that the deleted gene disrupts a …

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Five Years After Recession, Millions of Children Live in Poverty


A new report from The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia’s PolicyLab and the advocacy organization First Focus found poverty, food insecurity, and housing instability are more prevalent than they were before the Great Recession. Moreover, according to the report, approximately 1.9 million more children live in …

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Researchers Honored for Using Video to Better Understand Alarm Fatigue


ECRI Institute selected an innovative study conducted by patient safety researchers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia who aimed to objectively measure alarm fatigue as a finalist for its 9th Annual Health Devices Achievement Award. The award recognizes an outstanding initiative undertaken by an ECRI …

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Pediatric Medical Device Innovators Receive PPDC Seed Grants


The Philadelphia Pediatric Medical Device Consortium (PPDC) announced that it will provide seed grants of $25,000 each to three companies to transform their innovative ideas into commercial devices that benefit young patients. The PPDC brings together engineers and biomedical researchers from The Children’s Hospital of …

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