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Bear Essentials Online - April 2012

Articles in this issue

Beacon Award

The Cardiac Intensive Care Unit  (Cardiac ICU), Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU), and Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Children’s National received the Beacon Award for Critical Care Excellence, an award given by the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses (AACN).

The award recognizes the nation’s top pediatric, progressive, and adult critical care units across a multitude of hospitals. The recognition represents extraordinary commitment to high-quality critical care standards, and dedication to the exceptional care of patients and their families.

As Beacon Award recipients, the Cardiac ICUPICU, and NICU succeeded in the following areas, as measured against evidence-based national criteria:

  • Recruitment and retention
  • Education, training and mentoring
  • Research and evidence-based practice
  • Patient outcomes
  • Leadership and organization ethics
  • Healing environment

Learn more about critical care at Children’s National.

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Making an Impact on Asthma

The IMPACT DC asthma clinic at Children’s National provides comprehensive asthma education, medical consultation, and care coordination for patients. IMPACT DC takes advantage of the “teachable moment” that naturally occurs after the crisis of an asthma attack in the Emergency Department and works with families to establish more effective primary long-term asthma care.

Clinic staff focuses on three key areas of asthma care:

  • Medical care: Includes a detailed assessment of asthma severity and prescription of controller medications if indicated.
  • Environmental Modification/Trigger Control: Includes tailored education for patients and families on the role of the environment and triggers.
  • Care Coordination: Includes the creation of an individualized patient report that is forwarded to the patient’s primary care provider (PCP) and school nurse, as well as to the patient and family.

Additional asthma resources such as printable pdfs (in English and Spanish) are available. Learn how to:

  • Control asthma triggers in school and at home
  • Use and take care of an inhaler, spacer, or Diskus
  • Create family goals for managing asthma

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Clinical Trials at Children’s National

It’s easy to find a clinical trial at Children’s National Medical Center. Search our database to see if one is right for your child.

Featured Trials:

If your child is between the ages of 7 and 17years old and has a diagnosis of bipolar disorder or exhibits symptoms of bipolar disorder, such as intense irritability, mood swings, or difficulty sleeping, he or she may be eligible to participate in a year-long research trial conducted by the psychiatry department at Children’s National Medical Center. Study procedures may include a psychological evaluation and medication at no cost.

Study coordinator contact:

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Children's National Medical Center is conducting a research study to investigate the learning and behavioral patterns of children with congenital heart defects. If your child has a congenital heart defect, is between 4 and 21 years of age, and speaks English, he or she may be eligible.

Study coordinator contact:
Jacqueline Sanz

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Children’s National is conducting research to learn about working memory skills in children. If your child is healthy, and is between the ages of 8 and 15 years old, he or she may be eligible to participate in this voluntary study. Eligible participants will receive compensation for time and travel. Parents will receive a written report of the study results for their child.

Study coordinator contact:
Madison Berl

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Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) researchers are looking at sleep patterns and stress levels in infants as they transition into daycare to better understand SIDS.  Researchers are looking for Caucasian infants less than 3 months of age, who are staying home with a parent or going into a licensed daycare.

Study coordinator contact:
Brandi Joyner

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Children's National is conducting research to see if a home-based computer program can help children with epilepsy learn working memory skills. If your child has epilepsy and is between the ages of 8 and 15 years old, he or she may be eligible to participate in this study. Eligible participants will receive compensation for time and travel.

Study coordinator contact:
Madison Berl

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Healthier Snacks: Swapping This for That

Eating a healthier diet can be a daunting lifestyle change, but by starting small and making smarter choices, reaching health goals is easier. Better eating habits can start by simply substituting foods. Swap out common “bad-for-you” snacks with some healthier alternatives.

Instead of: Try:
3 Fried mozzarella sticks
Fresh veggie slices with low-fat salad dressing or cottage cheese
Breakfast Danish 1 Fresh fruit and 6 oz low fat yogurt
Candy bar Handful of trail mix
Corn chips 1 oz baked chips of your choice
Potato chips 1 oz pretzels or baked potato chips

English muffin with 1-2 tablespoons of low fat or fat-free cream cheese or fruit preserves
Apple pie
½ to 1 cup spiced applesauce and 3-4 crackers
Ice cream ½ to 1 cup non-fat frozen yogurt
Cheddar cheese Low-fat string cheese
Frozen pizza Make your own mini pizza: 1 english muffin with mariniara sauce, 1 oz low fat cheese and add your favorite veggies
Croissant Small soft pretzel with mustard
8 oz Milkshake 8 oz Fruit smoothie or non-fat yogurt shake
Hot dog with the works 1 small tortilla with melted low-fat cheese and 1 oz lean meat ( turkey, chicken)
Sour cream-based dip Salsa
Ice cream bar Frozen 100% fruit juice bar
Brownie 4oz low fat chocolate pudding
Butter cookies 5 gingersnaps or vanilla wafers
Pound cake
Angel food cake (1 small slice) add favorite berries on top
Microwave popcorn 3 cups of hot air popcorn, add spray butter and seasoning
Snack cake Granola bar
Chocolate chip cookies 15-20 Teddy Grahams ™

Click here for additional nutrition information for your child.

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Spring-Themed Sandwich Recipes

PB&J Blossom Sandwiches
Preparation time: 5 minutes


  • Whole wheat bread
  • Peanut butter
  • Jelly
  • Water bottle cap
  • Flower-shaped cookie cutter


  • Cut two slices of bread into flower shapes with a cookie cutter.
  • Cut a hole in one of the slices by pressing a water bottle cap into the center.
  • Spread the peanut butter on the whole piece and then spread the jelly on top of that.
  • Place the slice with the hole on top.

Serves: 1 per sandwich

Tuna Fish Sandwiches

Preparation time: 5 minutes


  • Whole wheat bread
  • 1 (5-ounce) can of tuna
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ½ teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 baby carrot
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 pea
  • 1 circle-shaped and 1 heart-shaped cookie cutter


  • Stack two slices of bread. Place the circle-shaped cookie cutter near the edge of the bread slice and cut around the shape.
  • On the opposite site of the same piece of bread, place the heart-shaped cookie cutter near the edge with the two arches touching the crust. Cut around the shape. (You will not have a complete heart shape, the arch from the circle will be there.)
  • Drain the liquid from the tuna. In a bowl, mix together the tuna, lemon juice, and salt and pepper.
  • Put a third of the filling in each sandwich, then add the veggies eye (baby carrot circle slice and a pea) and mouth (red pepper).

Serves: 1 per sandwich

Source: (Recipe and photo)

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Parent's Letter Project

The Parent’s Letter Project lets a parent whose child has been a patient at Children’s National reach out to families who are about to undergo similar treatment by writing a letter of advice and support.

“Trust your instincts as a parent.” Read a letter from Evi's mom.

The Parent’s Letter Project invites you to share advice with other parents at Children’s National. Write your letter.

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