Stories about: News

A message of gratitude: Thank you for making Boston Children’s #1

The 2017-18 U.S. News & World Report “Best Children’s Hospitals” rankings were released this morning, and thanks to all of you, Boston Children’s Hospital has once again been named the #1 children’s hospital in the nation.

We know how much these results mean to you when deciding to partner with us in caring for your patients and families — particularly when they need to travel great distances. This ranking is a testament to your partnership and the trust that you and your families have placed in us. We will never stop striving to earn that trust, and we will always provide a welcoming, inclusive environment for all families, whether they’re coming from just down the street or from across our global community.

While we can’t capture all of the moments that went into this ranking, we’ve created this video to give you just a taste of what can happen when all of us — researchers, clinicians, administrators, support staff, innovators, patients and families — strive together to make the impossible possible.

For all you do, for your families and for the Community of Care that we have built together, thank you.


Warmest regards,

Sandra L. Fenwick

President and CEO


Kevin B. Churchwell

EVP of Health Affairs and COO

Noteworthy: B. Heidi Ellis, PhD, honored for pioneering work with refugee children

Caring for refugee children

Refugee children and teens are an especially vulnerable population. Many of them experience trauma, either in war-torn home countries or during flight. And when they arrive in the U.S., refugee families continue to face stressors that make healthy adjustment difficult, including poverty and discrimination. These and other stressors can contribute to mental health issues, and cultural barriers, stigma and a lack of knowledge about mental health services make these issues harder to treat.

In partnership with refugee communities and agencies, Boston Children’s Refugee Trauma and Resilience Center (RTRC), under the guidance of Director, B. Heidi Ellis, PhD, develops prevention and intervention programs, conducts research, and develops resources to assist refugee families and providers serving refugee populations. RTRC staff regularly provide training and consultation on refugee youth mental health across the country, reaching more than 850 providers in the past six months.

In recognition of her pioneering work with refugee children and teens, Ellis was awarded Boston Children’s 2017 David S. Weiner Award for Leadership and Innovation in Child Health — an award honoring the exceptional work of an employee, health care provider or faculty. …Read More

Vaping: The new face of nicotine


E-cigarettes. Vapes. E-hookahs. Cigalikes. It’s hard to keep up with the terminology but one thing is certain: teens are using these products at an alarming rate.

According to a 2016 Report of the Surgeon General, the number of high school students who have used e-cigarettes increased 900 percent between 2011 and 2015 — making e-cigarettes the most common type of tobacco product used by teens and young adults.

“These products pose an interesting public health question because they’ve been accepted by some in the public health community as a useful smoking cessation tool,” says Sharon Levy, MD, MPH, director of the Adolescent Substance Abuse Program (ASAP) at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Levy says that framing e-cigarettes in this way has led to mixed messages — and potential health risks. …Read More

Health care news roundup

Notes-worthy articles from around the web

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Amish rarely get asthma. Why?

U.S. News & World Report: Asthma researchers were puzzled to find that the condition is extremely rare in Amish communities, where children are exposed to more dust and allergens than children in typical American communities. A new study dives into this phenomenon and the results suggest some unconventional ways to prevent asthma.

N.I.H. may fund human-animal stem cell research

New York Times: Implanting human stem cells into animal embryos is an ethically complicated scenario that sounds right out of science fiction. But the National Institutes of Health plans to lift its ban on these experiments in the not-too-distant future. Do the benefits outweigh the costs?

Two-thirds of Americans OK if doctors ask about guns

Reuters: The framing of gun violence as a public health issue is becoming less and less controversial. According to a recent survey, most Americans think it’s OK for doctors to talk with patients about guns: 30 percent said it should be saved for specific situations, while 23 percent said the conversation is appropriate any time.

Related reading: A Pediatrician’s View on Gun Violence and Children, a New York Times op-ed featuring Dr. Eric Fleegler, a pediatric emergency physician and health services researcher at Boston Children’s Hospital.

Learn more about Asthma, Allergy and Immunology research at Boston Children’s.