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Saturday Appointments with 72nd Street Pediatricians Moving to Downtown Clinic Appointments with 72nd Street Pediatricians Moving to Downtown Clinic2023-10-19T05:00:00Z<p>​Starting November 4, Saturday morning appointments with 72<sup>nd</sup> Street Clinic pediatricians will be scheduled at the <a href="/locations/boys-town-hospital-downtown">Boys Town Pediatrics Downtown Clinic</a> at 555 N​ 30<sup>th</sup> St.</p><p>This combined extended-hours clinic will give your family access to <strong>more pediatricians</strong> while receiving the same great care you are used to. You will have a scheduled appointment with one of our board-certified pediatricians!</p><p>Saturday morning appointments are available from 9:00 a.m. to noon for sick visits.</p><p></p><h3>Meet Our Providers</h3><ul><li> <a href="/physicians/nathan-asher">Nathan Asher, M.D.</a></li><li> <a href="/physicians/m-kelly-mccarthy">Kelly McCarthy, M.D.</a></li><li> <a href="/physicians/sarah-orr">Sarah Orr, D.O.</a></li><li> <a href="/physicians/gregory-penny">Gregory Penny, M.D.</a></li><li> <a href="/physicians/katherine-penny">Katherine Penny, D.O.</a></li> <li>​ <a href="/physicians/megann-sauer">Megann Sauer, M.D.</a></li><li> <a href="/physicians/alexis-sawyer">Alexis Sawyer, M.D.</a><br></li><li> <a href="/physicians/melinda-winterscheid">Melinda Winterscheid, M.D.</a><br></li></ul><h3>Schedule an Appointment</h3><p>To schedule a Saturday appointment at the Boys Town Pediatrics Downtown Clinic, call <a>531-355-6363</a>.</p>
New and Expecting Parents Invited to Newborn Expo and Skills Workshop and Expecting Parents Invited to Newborn Expo and Skills Workshop2023-10-06T05:00:00Z<p></p><p>Boys Town Pediatrics is excited to offer parents two options for preparing for their newborn this fall! We will host a virtual Newborn Expo from Monday, October 9, to Friday, October 13 and an in-person newborn skills workshop on Saturday, October 14. </p><h2>Virtual Newborn Expo – Monday, October 9 through Friday, October 13</h2><p>Led by Boys Town Pediatricians and experts, the virtual event will be held on Facebook with daily education sessions. Each day will feature content tailored to new and expecting parents, with a live presentation at noon and additional resources shared throughout the day. </p><p>Education topics will include:</p><ul><li>Feeding and Newborn Nutrition with <a href="">Monica Kelly, M.D.</a></li><li>What to Expect at the Hospital with <a href="">Danielle Empson, M.D.</a> </li><li>First-Year Developmental Milestones with <a href="">M. Kelly McCarthy, M.D.</a> </li><li>Tummy Troubles with <a href="">Rose Pauley, APRN</a></li><li>Mental Health for Parents with [presenter name and profile link]</li></ul><p>Virtual attendees who participate in a livestream session will be entered to win prizes from Boys Town Pediatrics and our community partners. One lucky grand prize winner will receive a FREE newborn photography session with Nikki McLeay Photography. We'll draw for the grand prize on Friday, October 14.</p><p>Learn more about the Boys Town Virtual Newborn Expo and register on <a href="">our event page</a> and let us know you're going on our <a href="">Facebook page</a>! </p><h2>In-Person Newborn Skills Workshop – Saturday, October 14</h2><p>Led by Boys Town Pediatricians and community partners, the Newborn Skills Workshop will offer in-person education sessions and hands-on training for new and expecting parents and caregivers. At this 3-hour workshop, attendees will have the chance to learn about: </p><ul><li>Newborn first-aid and CPR with the Boys Town Fire Department</li><li>Car seat installation and travel safety with Safe Kids Omaha</li><li>Swaddling and home care with Nurture Omaha </li><li>Babyproofing your home with Nebraska Regional Poison Center</li></ul><p>The event is free but attendance is limited, so <a href="">sign up today</a>! </p><p>Please note: This event features concurrent sessions and may require attendees to change rooms. While it's not designed as a "come and go" event, we understand life's demands and encourage you to attend around your schedule.​<br></p><p>​</p>
Karla McGregor, P.h.D., Awarded 2023 ASHA Honors of the Association McGregor, P.h.D., Awarded 2023 ASHA Honors of the Association2023-09-20T05:00:00Z<p></p><div>Karla McGregor, Senior Scientist and Director for the Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning at Boys Town has been awarded the 2023 American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) Honors of the Association Award. She was 1 of 10 recipients and will receive the award at the ASHA convention in November! </div><div><br></div><div>This award recognizes individuals with “distinguished contributions to the discipline of communication sciences and disorders” and it is the highest honor ASHA bestows. To receive this honor, one must have made significant contributions to the profession that has fundamentally “changed or enhanced” its trajectory. To learn more about this award and the required components <a href="">click here​</a>.<br></div><div><br></div><div>“I am extremely fortunate to have work that keeps me motivated, curious, and challenged. It is a great honor to have this work recognized by my peers,” explained Karla McGregor.</div><div><br></div><div>“Dr. Karla McGregor has made substantial contributions to the study of child language and awareness of developmental language disorders throughout her career,” said Ryan McCreery, Vice President of Research at Boys Town. “Boys Town is so lucky to have her leading our clinical, educational, and research programs to help improve the lives of children with language and learning problems, but the impact of her work extends far beyond the children and families we serve. Dr. McGregor’s accomplishments absolutely meet the high standard needed to obtain this award.”<br></div><p>​</p>
Boys Town Pediatric Specialty Clinic Opens in Lincoln Town Pediatric Specialty Clinic Opens in Lincoln2023-09-08T05:00:00Z<p></p><p>We are pleased to announce the opening of the new location of the Boys Town Pediatric Specialty Clinic in the St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Lincoln, NE. This clinic provides specialized gastroenterology, neurology, neurosurgery and rheumatology care for infants, children and teens.</p><p>The Boys Town Pediatric Specialty Clinic providers at this clinic are:</p><p><a href="">Jon Vanderhoof, M.D.</a>                    <a href="">Rose Pauley, APRN</a><br> Pediatric Gastroenterology         Pediatric Gastroenterology</p><p><a href="">Mark Puccioni, M.D.</a>                       <a href="">Vincent Morris, APRN</a><br> Pediatric Neurosurgery                 Pediatric Neurosurgery</p><p><a href="">Adam Reinhardt, M.D.</a>                   <a href="">Isabella Herman, M.D., Ph.D.</a><br> Pediatric Rheumatology                Pediatric Neurology</p><p>The <a href="">Lincoln Boys Town Pediatric Specialty Clinic</a> is located at 575 S 70<sup>th</sup> Street, Suite 300, Lincoln, NE 68510.</p><p>Take a look at photos of the new clinic below.<br><br></p><p>​<img src="" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p>
Boys Town Pediatric Neuroscience Welcomes Second Pediatric Neurosurgeon Town Pediatric Neuroscience Welcomes Second Pediatric Neurosurgeon2023-08-04T05:00:00Z<p>​​<img src="" class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="" style="margin:5px 10px;width:250px;height:250px;" />Boys Town Hospital is proud to welcome Mark Puccioni, M.D., as a full-time board-certified pediatric neurosurgeon at Boys Town Pediatric Neuroscience. Dr. Puccioni has been working closely with Boys Town as a community partner physician since 2012, serving patients in both pediatric neurosurgery and the Boys Town Craniofacial Clinic.<br></p><p>An Omaha native, Dr. Puccioni received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) and also completed his neurosurgery residency at UNMC. He completed a pediatric neurosurgery fellowship at Children's Medical Center Dallas/University of Texas Southwestern. He is board certified in pediatric and adult neurosurgery and is the only pediatric neurosurgeon in Nebraska inducted into the American Society of Pediatric Neurosurgeons. </p><p>“Life-changing care is not just treating the neurosurgical problem effectively, but doing so with a good neurological outcome," Dr. Puccioni said. “A quality job can change someone's life for many, many decades. It is extremely rewarding to have seen so many of my patients go from childhood to adulthood happy and healthy. “</p><p>Welcome, Dr. Puccioni!<br></p>
Camp Abilities Recreation Day Promotes Inclusivity in Sports for Youth with Visual Impairments Abilities Recreation Day Promotes Inclusivity in Sports for Youth with Visual Impairments2023-07-10T05:00:00Z<p>​​<br></p><p>The <a href="/services/center-for-childhood-deafness-language-learning/vision-program">Boys Town Vision Program</a> hosted nine families on Saturday, June 24 at the Camp Abilities Recreation Day. This fun-filled day focused on bringing families together and promoting inclusive play.</p><p>Set in the Skip Palrang Memorial Fieldhouse on Boys Town Campus, the camp provided resources for children with vision loss and their families to learn about and play adaptive sports such as beep baseball, golf, beep kickball and yoga.</p><p>“Camp Abilities Recreation Day offers families who have children with visual impairments an opportunity to participate in community leisure activities as a family," said Kristal Platt, Boys Town Vision Program Coordinator.</p><p>Sports specialists were on-site to coach the children with visual impairments, while sighted family members were invited to wear eye masks to learn how to play sports by listening for the beep of the balls.</p><p>“For many of the families, it was the first time they experienced sports for the visually impaired. They seemed very interested in all activities and hopefully will continue to take the opportunity to explore these options," said Glen Wragge, Adaptive Physical Education Specialist.</p><p>To keep the fun going after the event, every family received a soccer ball with a bell to continue sports activities at their home.</p><p>Check out the photos below for highlights of Camp Abilities Recreation Day.​<br></p><p><img src="" alt="camp abilities" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p>
Boys Town Hosts Inaugural Intellectual Property Summit Town Hosts Inaugural Intellectual Property Summit2023-06-13T05:00:00Z<p>​​On Tuesday, April 25, a group of employees from across Boys Town gathered at the corporate headquarters to participate in a collaborative brainstorming event. The first event of its kind at Boys Town, the 2023 Intellectual Property Summit resulted in shared ideas and expertise, connections across the many functions of our broad-reaching organization and a lot of laughs!<br></p><p>“Boys Town has an extensive history of taking concepts built from research and interaction with the people we serve and turning them into something that can change the way America cares for children and families," said Rod Kempkes, Boys Town CEO. “Over the years, we've used these ideas to create scalable solutions that impact children and families across the country, to improve service offerings in mental and physical health and to drive further research to advance care for future generations. The summit came to fruition to intentionally build on this history of change – and to bring together people from across the organization who might not typically interact with one another."</p><p>Upon arrival, representatives from departments ranging from research to IT to healthcare to education were split into groups of five to seven people. After spending some time participating in ice breakers to get their creative juices flowing, the groups were tasked with working as a team to come up with an innovative solution for a challenge faced by employees working to fulfill the Boys Town mission. Their creative, analytical, service-focused minds did not disappoint!</p><p>Following an afternoon of brainstorming, discussion and analysis, the groups presented ideas that addressed:</p><ul><li>Improving digital citizenship skills for Boys Town youth,</li><li>Eliminating transportation barriers for service users,</li><li>Modernizing fundraising options,</li><li>And more!</li></ul><p>Alas, only one team could claim the Square Mile Innovation Legacy (SMILe) Award. Chosen by popular vote of the summit participants, the SMILe Award recognizes the team that made the greatest impression. Voters were encouraged to consider connection to mission, resource efficiency, creativity and more.</p><p>Attendees chose the team of Gary Breit (external research consultant), John Etzell (youth care), Monty Horine (governance and strategy), Tony Jones (Successful Futures), Susie Kaup (marketing and development), Gabrielle Merchant (research) and Ryan Metcalf (IT) and their solution that addressed the youth mental health crisis.</p><p>Congratulations to our SMILe Award honorees, and to the entire cohort of 2023 Intellectual Property Summit participants! Boys Town extends a sincere thank you for your willingness to share your time, energy and creativity. ​<br></p><p>​</p>
Dr. Shaguna Mathur Named Honorary Chair at Annual Building the Future Gala Shaguna Mathur Named Honorary Chair at Annual Building the Future Gala2023-06-08T05:00:00Z<p>​<a href="">Shaguna Mathur, M.D.</a>, Pediatric Neurologist at Boys Town National Research Hospital, was awarded as the Honorary Chair at the 5<sup>th</sup> Annual Down Syndrome Alliance of the Midlands Building the Future Gala on Saturday, May 6<sup>th</sup>.<br></p><p><sup> </sup>Boys Town Hospital attendees filled two tables at the gala, cheering on Dr. Mathur as she accepted this well-deserved award amongst peers in the Down syndrome medical community and many families with loved ones living with Down syndrome.</p><p> “I am honored and deeply grateful to receive this recognition," Dr. Mathur said. “I am fortunate to have the opportunity to work with such an amazing team here at Boys Town and to collaborate with the Down Syndrome Alliance. Together we will continue to provide comprehensive and holistic care to children with Down syndrome. "</p><p> The Down Syndrome Alliance of the Midlands (DSA) is a non-profit agency in Omaha that was founded in 1999. The organization is committed to connecting those touched by Down syndrome through education, advocacy and support. DSA is full of parents, advocates, educators and medical professionals. DSA is affiliated with the National Down Syndrome Society, the National Down Syndrome Congress, the Global Down Syndrome Foundation and Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action.</p><p> To learn more about the DSA and what they do for people who have Down syndrome and their families, please click <a href="">here</a>. <br></p><p><img src="" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p>​<br></p>
Boys Town a sponsor of 2023 Nebraska Science Festival (SciFest) Town a sponsor of 2023 Nebraska Science Festival (SciFest)2023-06-06T05:00:00Z<p>​​​​​Boys Town was a proud sponsor of the 2023 Nebraska Science Festival (SciFest). SciFest is a month-long celebration of science with more than 60 events across the state. The goal of SciFest is to make science accessible, interactive, relevant and fun for all ages. As a platinum sponsor, Boys Town hosted seven SciFest events including hands-on activities, informative presentations and tours of our research facilities.<br></p><p>SciFest kicked off with the Science Café, a collaborative event hosted by Boys Town at the Slowdown. Gaelle Doucet, Ph.D., Director of the Brain Architecture, Imaging and Cognition Laboratory at the Institute for H​uman Neuroscience, presented “Understanding the Aging Brain" to a full house. Dr. Doucet explained how the brain ages from childhood through late life with a focus on formation during adolescent years.</p><p>Later that week, Boys Town hosted the SciFest keynote presentation featuring Ken Jennings, Jeopardy legend and game show host. The Boys Town Music Hall was full with 650 guests in attendance to listen to Ken speak on the topic “Artificial Intelligence: Are Humans in Jeopardy?"</p><p>Thomas Lynch, Boys Town Historian, explained the “Science of Relics" which focused on the potential relics of Father Flanagan.</p><p>Visitors toured the anechoic chamber at Boys Town; the Boys Town Hearing RV, where they could take a free hearing test; the Institute for Human Neuroscience, where they viewed the recently added OPM machine; and the Center for Human Performance Optimization, where guests experienced hands-on state-of-the-art physical therapy equipment.</p><p>The final event was the SciFest Public Expo at the Durham Museum. Boys Town staff from research, audiology, neurology and speech and language shared their love of science through interactive demonstrations. The Boys Town Fire Department, Boys Town Police Department and Boys Town Security Team were on-side for guests to check out, as well as the Boys Town Hearing RV.</p><p>Throughout the month, hands-on activities for children and adults were offered at the Hall of History. Activities included learning about physics by playing with marbles, interacting with the print press to learn about ink pressing and more. The Overlook Café even joined in the fun by offering science-themed breakfasts.​<br></p><p> <img src="" alt="SciFest" style="margin:5px;" /> <br> </p><p>Ryan McCreery, Ph.D., Vice President of Research and Director of Audibility, Perception and Cognition Laboratory was excited that Boys Town had such a big role in Nebraska SciFest.</p><p>“NE SciFest was incredible this year, and Boys Town was really proud to be a sponsor and a major contributor to many of the events," Dr. McCreery said. “Science and research are a huge part of our mission, and NE SciFest does an amazing job of increasing enthusiasm for and awareness of the cutting-edge research that's happening right here in our community."​<br></p>​<br>
Boys Town’s Kaylah Lalonde, Ph.D., Awarded the Early Career Research from the American Auditory Society Town’s Kaylah Lalonde, Ph.D., Awarded the Early Career Research from the American Auditory Society2023-04-24T05:00:00Z<p>Kaylah Lalonde, Ph.D., Director of the Audiovisual Speech Processing Laboratory, was awarded the Early Career Research Award at the 50<sup>th</sup> Annual Scientific and Technology Conference of the American Auditory Society (AAS) held in Scottsdale, Arizona, in early March.</p><p>Dr. Lalonde's primary line of study focuses on audiovisual speech enhancement, the way listeners use visual cues on a speaker's face to help understand speech and how the use of said cues changes over development from infancy to young adulthood. She also studies how pediatric hearing loss may change the way children learn to use those cues. </p><p>Dr. Lalonde attended this conference as a graduate student and feels fortunate to have been able to share about her own experience to students in attendance.</p><p>“I just felt so honored to be receiving this award, and it allowed me to talk to the students in the room about my journey and how we don't always feel like we are the most impressive, but that doesn't mean we aren't doing a great job and progressing in our careers and in how we contribute to the field," said Dr. Lalonde. </p><p>Dr. Lalonde first learned about Boys Town National Research Hospital and the Center for Hearing and Speech Perception while attending those early AAS conferences. Boys Town has historically had a significant number of scientists presenting research at the annual conference, so Boys Town was on Dr. Lalonde's radar early. </p><p>Being a Boys Town researcher may have helped Dr. Lalonde receive this prestigious award. </p><p>“Being at Boys Town has allowed me to be more productive than I might have been in a faculty position at a university," said Dr. Lalonde. “Being able to collaborate with so many people within Boys Town National Research Hospital has also been a big contributor to productivity."</p><p>Dr. Lalonde hopes that this productivity and the work being done with children who have hearing loss will change the way that we diagnose and treat these children. In the long term, it may even inform the signal processing that happens in hearing aids.</p><p>Also honored at the AAS conference was Monita Chatterjee, Ph.D., Director of the Auditory Prostheses and Perception Laboratory, who received the Carhart Memorial Award. </p><p>“Monita is my internal mentor," said Dr. Lalonde, “so that was really special to me."</p><p>To learn more about Dr. Chatterjee's award, <a href="">click here</a>. <br></p><p><br></p>
Boys Town’s Monita Chatterjee, Ph.D., Receives the American Auditory Society’s Carhart Memorial Award Town’s Monita Chatterjee, Ph.D., Receives the American Auditory Society’s Carhart Memorial Award2023-04-10T05:00:00Z<p>​​Boys Town National Research Hospital's Monica Chatterjee, Ph.D., Director of the Auditory Prostheses and Perception Laboratory, delivered the Carhart Memorial Lecture and received the Carhart Memorial Award at the 50<sup>th</sup> Annual Scientific & Technology Conference in Scottdale, Arizona, in early March.</p><p>Established by the American Auditory Society (AAS), the Carhart Memorial Lecture and Award were created to honor Professor Raymond Carhart as the “Father of Audiology." The award recognizes one scientist whose current research is having a significant impact on clinical practices and auditory science and whose career is promised to have lasting impact. </p><p>Dr. Chatterjee's recent research and Carhart Lecture presentation revolved around the challenges people with cochlear implants (CI) face when trying to hear pitch, or how people are feeling from their speech. Pitch is often the dominant acoustic cue for identifying mood or emotion, and CI patients' problems identifying pitch cues can lead to difficulties in understanding emotions.</p><p>“We've been working with children who are congenitally deaf and have a cochlear implant and with adults who had hearing throughout the period of language development and later lost their hearing, resulting in a cochlear implant," said Dr. Chatterjee, “Compared to hearing counterparts, both populations show significant deficits in their ability to identify spoken emotions. There's also a lot of individual variability, and we are currently studying the sources of this variability in order to develop effective treatments for individual patients." </p><p>An individual's ability to identify a speaker's mood or emotion and convey emotion in their own speech can impact their social interactions within their families, schools and workplaces. People who interact with CI patients often assume they have “normal" hearing and can understand pitch, which is not the case. Therefore, misunderstandings can easily happen when a CI listener doesn't perceive a sad or angry pitch to a voice or doesn't effectively verbalize their own emotions. </p><p>These miscues are important because they may cause isolation for the CI patient when spoken interactions don't go well. In both children and adults with cochlear implants, quality-of-life measures have been shown to be lower in those who scored lower in spoken emotion perception. </p><p>“It's hard to think of children having poorer quality of life for any reason," said Dr. Chatterjee. “But if future studies show that poorer emotion perception actually has a negative impact on quality of life, and if our research can do something about that…it's very motivating for me."​<br></p><p><br></p>
Boys Town Becomes the First Pediatric Hospital in Nebraska With Level 4 Epilepsy Program Town Becomes the First Pediatric Hospital in Nebraska With Level 4 Epilepsy Program2023-04-10T05:00:00Z<p>For years, Boys Town National Research Hospital has led the region in treating complex epilepsy diagnoses, but in March of 2023, the <a href="/services/pediatric-neuroscience/epilepsy-program">Boys Town Pediatric Epilepsy Program</a> received an official level 4 accreditation through the National Association of Epilepsy Centers, certifying our comprehensive approach to diagnosis and treatment of pediatric epilepsy patients.</p><p>“We are so honored and excited to be the first pediatric-focused program in our state with a level 4 epilepsy center accreditation," said Deepak Madhavan, M.D., Chief Medical Officer and VP of Medical Affairs at Boys Town National Research Hospital. “We feel that this accreditation confirms and acknowledges the quality and comprehensive nature of the pediatric epilepsy care we provide here at Boys Town."</p><p> <strong>What is a level 4 epilepsy center?</strong><br><strong> </strong><br>Level 4 epilepsy centers serve as regional or national referral facilities for patients with complex epilepsies. To receive accreditation, programs must provide complex forms of intensive neurodiagnostic monitoring as well as extensive medical, neuropsychological and psychosocial treatment. Boys Town is one of a handful of centers across the country that is officially certified as a level 4 center and the only pediatric-focused hospital in the region to claim the accreditation.</p><p> <strong>Complex Epilepsy Care at Boys Town</strong></p><p>The Boys Town Pediatric Epilepsy Program offers complete evaluation for surgery, including intracranial electrodes, and provides a broad range of surgical procedures for epilepsy. Our fellowship-trained team includes pediatric epileptologists, specialized neurologists and board-certified pediatric neurosurgeons. Boys Town is the only facility in the world with two next-generation MEG (magnetoencephalography) systems capable of pinpointing the area of the brain causing the patient's seizures, down to the millimeter. This allows our neurosurgeons to have the most complete picture possible going into surgery.</p><p>In addition to our advanced surgical capability, the Boys Town Pediatric Epilepsy Program is supported by a host of advanced diagnostic and treatment methods.<br></p><ul><li>The <a href="/services/pediatric-neuroscience/epilepsy-program/epilepsy-monitoring-unit">Boys Town Epilepsy Monitoring Unit (EMU)</a> is one of the most technically advanced pediatric-focused inpatient imaging units in the region.</li><li>We have genetic neurologists on hand to diagnose genetic epilepsy syndromes.</li><li>Our patients have access to vagal nerve stimulation (VNS) and responsive neurostimulation (RNS) devices when medications can't control epileptic seizures.</li></ul><p>Add to that our team of behavioral health experts and dietitians, and each patient ends up with a life-changing treatment plan that is tailored to their needs.</p><p>“We want our community and broader region to know that if a child has a tough-to-treat epilepsy diagnosis, we are here with the latest medical and surgical options for them," Dr. Madhavan said. “Our pediatric epileptologists and pediatric neurosurgeons are committed to providing the highest possible care for kids here in Nebraska and the surrounding regions."​​</p>
Boys Town Vision Program Hosts 15th Annual Beeping Egg Hunt Town Vision Program Hosts 15th Annual Beeping Egg Hunt2023-04-03T05:00:00Z<p>​The Boys Town Hall of History was filled with the sound of beeping on Saturday, April 1 as children with visual impairments participated in the 15<sup>th</sup> Annual Beeping Egg Hunt, hosted by the Boys Town Vision Program.</p><p>This unique, inclusive event allows children who have a hard time finding eggs in a traditional egg hunt (which relies heavily on vision) the chance to find 16 eggs and take home prizes. When they weren't on the hunt for eggs, attendees listened to storytelling teaching artist Donnis Arens act out “The Tale of Peter Rabbit" and took pictures with a real live bunny!</p><p> <strong>So…how does the beeping egg hunt work?</strong></p><p>Prior to the children's arrival, volunteers placed large plastic eggs throughout the Boys Town Hall of History. The eggs make a beeping sound so children can find them even if they have difficulty seeing. The hunters then trade in their eggs for prizes like candy, stuffed animals and scented chalk.</p><p>The egg hunt is a family-friendly event – so siblings without visual impairments are able to join in the fun too! Check out the photo gallery below for highlights of the 15<sup>th</sup> Annual Beeping Egg Hunt.​<br></p><p>​<img src="" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><p> <img src="" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /> <br> </p><p> <img src="" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /> <img src="" alt="" style="margin:5px;" /> <br> </p>​<br>
Boys Town Services Host Community Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day Celebration Town Services Host Community Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day Celebration2023-03-27T05:00:00Z<p>On Sunday, March 26, the Boys Town Institute for Human Neuroscience partnered with the Boys Town Center for Human Performance Optimization, United Cerebral Palsy of Nebraska and Special Olympics of Nebraska, to host the second annual Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day Celebration Carnival.</p><p>This family-friendly carnival offered inclusive games and activities, such as a wheelchair obstacle course, therapy dogs, bounce houses, a photo booth, carnival treats and face painting. There were also six different booths to encourage communication and educate on resources for support and services for the cerebral palsy community.</p><p>More than 265 friends from the community joined for the fun at this four-hour event, alongside 60+ volunteers from Boys Town and other organizations. Miss Nebraska even made a special appearance to show her support as she took photographs, played games with the families and enjoyed a slushie.</p><p>Thanks to everyone who supported Cerebral Palsy Awareness Day 2023! The Boys Town Institute for Human Neuroscience and Boys Town Center for Human Performance Optimization are already looking forward to next year’s event!</p><p><img src="" alt="Cerebral Palsy Team" style="margin:5px;" /> </p><p><img src="" alt="Mrs Nebraska with child" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p>
Boys Town Pediatrics to Host Virtual Newborn Expo March 2023 Town Pediatrics to Host Virtual Newborn Expo March 20232023-03-16T05:00:00Z<p></p><p>Boys Town Pediatrics is excited to host another virtual Newborn Expo starting Monday, March 20, through Friday, March 24! </p><p>This event will be held virtually on Facebook and will feature pediatrician- and provider-led education sessions. Each day will feature content tailored to new and expecting parents, with a live presentation at noon and additional resources shared throughout the day. </p><ul><li>Education topics will include:</li><li>Hot weather tips</li><li>Common infant illnesses</li><li>Feeding and newborn nutrition</li><li>Sleeping (newborn and parents alike)</li><li>Figuring out your parenting style</li><li>And more!</li></ul><p>Virtual attendees who participate in a livestream session will be entered to win prizes from Boys Town Pediatrics and our community partners, an​d a grand prize drawing will be held on Friday, March 24, to win a FREE newborn photography session with Nikki McLeay Photography.</p><p>Learn more about the Boys Town Virtual Newborn Expo <a href="">on our event page</a> and let us know you're going on our <a href="">Facebook page</a>! <br></p><p>​</p>
Clinic Operations Coordinator Receives The Caring Kind Award Operations Coordinator Receives The Caring Kind Award2023-02-03T06:00:00Z<p>​​<br></p><p>On October 21, 2022, Marisol Hackman, Clinic Operations Coordinator for Specialty Clinics, was awarded the 2022 Caring Kind Award, presented by the Nebraska Hospitals Association (NHA). Each year, the Caring Kind Award is given to one employee from each NHA-member hospital in recognition of their compassion for patients, cooperation with co-workers and dedication to excellence in their job responsibilities. </p><p>The winners are celebrated at The Caring Kind Luncheon, held as the finale of the NHA Annual Convention in the fall.</p><p>“Mari comes to work every day ready to serve the mission and those around her," said Jason Bruce, M.D., Executive Vice President of Healthcare and Director of Boys Town National Research Hospital and Clinics. “Her positive spirit and pleasant nature are infectious. She truly embodies the values and dedication we care so deeply about at Boys Town."</p><p>Hackman joined Boys Town in 2006 as a behavioral health technician and is now an integral part of the clinic administration team. </p><p>“As a 'behind-the-scenes' hospital employee, this award is really special to me," said Hackman. “Receiving this award makes me feel seen and that the work I do matters to the organization. Every day at work is unpredictable but working alongside such wonderful people is definitely a constant!"​<br></p><p>​</p>
Groundbreaking Imaging Suite Opens at Boys Town National Research Hospital Imaging Suite Opens at Boys Town National Research Hospital2023-01-18T06:00:00Z​ <p>​​​​​​At Boys Town National Research Hospital, the emphasis has and continues to be providing extraordinary care for children and their families. On December 15th, Boys Town took another large step toward that aim.</p><p>Tony Wilson, Ph.D., the director of the Institute for Human Neuroscience at Boys Town, and his team of re​nowned scientists became the second of only two facilities in the world to install a high-resolution Cerca® OPM-MEG (optically-pumped magnetometer – magnetoencephalogram) system. The OPM-MEG (or OPM) system is the most up to date MEG technology in the world, and the team at the Institute for Human Neuroscience are well equipped to capitalize on this opportunity. Not only are they the world’s leading institute for published research utilizing MEG technology, but they are also the leading research entity in MEG study funding in the United States, and the only institute in the world to house two next-generation MEG systems. It is, therefore, not surprising that the Institute was chosen from among many applicants from across the country to receive a high-end instrumentation grant (S10OD032468) from the National Institute of Health to fund this most recent technology, revolutionizing child and adolescent brain research. </p><h2>OPM = A Wearable MEG Scanner</h2><p>OPM (optically pumped magnetometry) is the first wearable MEG device that will allow researchers to study the brain activity of children from birth to 5 years old. The OPM system consists of a series of Lego-sized sensors attached to a helmet that can be worn by infants and toddlers, allowing them to move around and interact with their environment while scientists directly record their brain activity in real-time. The latest generation of high-resolution OPM has 128 channels, which provide enough brain coverage to look in-depth at where and how brain activity is generated in our youngest children. Similar technology is used in the next-generation MEG systems with the exception that traditional MEG sensors need to be cryogenically cooled, which means the sensors are fixed and cannot be worn on the head, limiting participant movement during scanning.</p><h2>Upcoming OPM Studies</h2><p>The first study Boys Town plans to conduct will be looking at infants in the first couple of months of life. Studies have been done on how brain structure changes during this time, but how that affects brain function has been beyond study until now. “We'll be able to observe the reactions within their brains as they are literally gaining awareness of the world," said Dr. Wilson, the Director of the Institute for Human Neuroscience and principal investigator of the Dynamic Imaging of Cognition and Neuromodulation (DICoN) laboratory. “We will be watching as they gain awareness of their parents and as they begin processing touch and language for the first time.</p><p>Max Kurz, Ph.D., principal investigator of the Physiology of Walking & Engineering Rehabilitation (PoWER) laboratory within Institute, plans to study how small children learn to control motor behavior and how the brains of young children with cerebral palsy develop differently than typically developing children. Children with cerebral palsy usually do not get formally diagnosed until they miss multiple motor milestones through development. These types of OPM studies will enable scientists to see and predict these missed milestones much earlier, and eventually use novel therapeutic interventions to prevent these milestones from being missed.</p><h2>The Future of OPM</h2><p>Currently, the OPM is only authorized for research use. However, following FDA approval, the OPM will open medical avenues that have been previously unavailable. For example, MEG is currently approved for use on patients with epilepsy to precisely map areas of seizure origin prior to surgery. Unfortunately, many infants and toddlers with epilepsy require surgery before they are old enough to lie still in a traditional MEG scanner. Yet, with wearable OPM technology, infants and toddlers will now be able to have the location of their epilepsy precisely and noninvasively mapped prior to surgery, which means that surgeons will have a much clearer picture of where to perform the procedure than ever before. This is just one of the many clinical applications for OPM that will expand treatment for very young patients.​</p><h2>A Quantum Leap in Scanning</h2><p>The concept for the OPM system was conceived at the University of Nottingham, England in the Nobel-Prize-winning Sir Peter Mansfield Imaging Center. Cerca Magnetics, a company formed by University of Nottingham scientists, was developed in 2020 to facilitate the development and manufacturing of the first wearable human OPM system.</p><p>The Cerca team worked in collaboration with QuSpin in the United States, to develop and fabricate the modern sensors that are used in Cerca OPM systems. Major benefits of QuSpin sensors are their small size, lightweight, and portability, which allows researchers to configure custom helmets for all ages that allow for placement of the sensors directly on the scalp.</p><p>Cerca researchers also worked with Magnetic Shields Limited in England, to build cutting-edge magnetically-shielded environment. These custom environments provide an ideal setting allowing scientists to take advantage of the sensitivity of OPM sensors without magnetic interference from the surrounding environment such as nearby traffic or other machinery. The collaboration between Cerca, QuSpin, the University of Nottingham, and Magnetic Shields Limited have led to the creation of the most sensitive, highest-density OPM systems currently available in the world.</p><p>​The only other high-resolution OPM-MEG system aside from Boys Town is housed at the University of Nottingham, England.</p><h2>Watch the OPM System in Action!<br></h2><div class="embed-container"> <iframe src="" frameborder="0" title="OPM Neuroscience Long Video.mp4" style="top:0px;left:0px;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe>​ </div>​<br>
Boys Town Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient Unit Celebrated Three Years of Changing Lives Town Child & Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatient Unit Celebrated Three Years of Changing Lives2023-01-12T06:00:00Z<p>Since opening its doors in October 2019, the Boys Town Inpatient Psychiatric Unit has changed the lives of kids and families around the region. The 16-bed unit serves kids aged 5-17 who are in acute distress with a psychiatric diagnosis; length of stay is typically 5-7 days.</p><p>“It’s very short-term – our goal is to address the immediate [psychiatric] crisis, stabilize that crisis and get them hooked up with services that are going to support them at discharge,” said Dottie Heffernan, Director of Inpatient Psychiatric Services. “Outpatient appointments, sometimes day-treatment, sometimes [a residential treatment center] – it can be a variety of things.”</p><p>Since the unit opened in 2019, 1,267 patients have been admitted for care. Some patients have been admitted more than once, but according to Heffernan, that doesn’t equate failure: “It’s like treating someone with diabetes – they just need a tune-up.”</p><p>The unit is manned 24/7 by nearly 60 staff, including psychiatrists, nurses, psychiatric technicians, social workers, schoolteachers and child life specialists. There is also occasional collaboration with other departments at the hospital on an as-needed basis. The work, while crucial, can be challenging. </p><p>“We do a lot of fun things for our staff so we can make it lighter for them,” said Heffernan. “We do spirit weeks and monthly employee recognition so we can keep it supportive and light.”</p><p>The unit has received several 5-star ratings from patients and families throughout the years, a big accomplishment for such a new unit. Patients will often send cards or come back to the unit to say thank you to the staff.</p><p>“It’s been really a pleasure to see this unit open and grow into what it is today,” said Heffernan. “You start with something that’s brand new with brand new staff, and to see it grow into a solid unit where parents and families and patients think that we’ve done a good job is very rewarding.”</p>
An “Experimental Station” - Youth Care Research at Boys Town “Experimental Station” - Youth Care Research at Boys Town2022-09-13T05:00:00Z<p>This year the Boys Town Child and Family Translational Research Center (TRC) is celebrating 30 years of Youth Care research publications with our 2021 Applied Research Bibliography. The bibliography contains 566 citations and abstracts of published Youth Care research which includes peer-reviewed journal articles, books, and book chapters. This anniversary provided us an opportunity to reflect on the history and heritage of Youth Care research at Boys Town.</p><p>The spirt of research at Boys Town goes all the way back to our founder, Father Edward J. Flanagan. In 1939, Fr. Flanagan said, “I like to think of Boys Town as an experimental station in youth work – a starting point from which we adults may gain a better and a finer knowledge of the problems of youth and the treatment of unusual cases that may arise”. Fr. Flanagan learned from the boys he cared for and then applied this knowledge to inform the rest of society on how to improve care for vulnerable children. This approach was later referred to as participatory action research. Today, we continue this approach at the TRC as we partner with children, families, and our practitioners to use research to improve the quality of child and family services and help us address the complex problems that we now face in society. </p><p>Youth Care research at Boys Town has evolved over several decades. In the 1970s, Boys Town was a replication site for a research-based model of residential care called the Teaching-Family Model, that was developed at the University of Kansas. This later became the Boys Town Family Home Program that exists today. One of the visionaries at that time, Dr. Dan Daly, realized that a formal research institute was needed to continue to support Boys Town’s Youth Care programs into the future. When asked why Youth Care research was started at Boys Town, he said, “First, we wanted to assess the long-term effectiveness of the Boys Town program. Second, we wanted to understand which elements of the program were most responsible for its success. Such understanding allowed us to successfully replicate effective programs across the country. Third, the changing needs of children and families dictated that we continue to develop and innovate. Research helped us both in program development and in testing the effectiveness of innovations.”</p><p>As a result, many research studies and partnerships followed, resulting in several of the other services Boys Town has today such as Common Sense Parenting®, In-Home Family Services®, Well-Managed Schools®, and the Residential Treatment Center. In addition to developing new programs, Youth Care research also helped to create and refine the systems of administration, training, consultation, and evaluation that are involved in routine monitoring and scaling up programs across the country. Today, this practice-research partnership is a key ingredient of making sure Boys Town programs are effective and replicable. </p><p>Boys Town’s On the Way Home® (OTWH) aftercare program is one example of how Boys Town has used research to evolve and meet the needs of children and families. The need for aftercare was discovered via routine follow-up surveys administered to caregivers of children who resided in our Family Home Program. Caregivers shared with us that they recognized the tremendous progress their children made at Boys Town, but the transitions back home and to school for their children were difficult. They told us they weren’t prepared to provide the same level of support the children had received at Boys Town and needed aftercare supports to help. </p><p>This valuable information inspired a partnership between Boys Town and Drs. Alex Trout and Mike Esptein at the University of Nebraska at Lincoln to design and test an aftercare intervention with a research project that was funded by the United States Department of Education, Institute for Education Sciences (Grants # R324A12060, R324B070031). Ideas were collected from youth, caregivers, and teachers which resulted in the creation of the OTWH® Consultant position -- an individual who is trained to provide family, school, and homework aftercare support. Evaluations of OTWH® showed it was effective in helping children remain at home with their family and in school after they departed residential programs. </p><p>Currently, <em>OTWH®</em> is on two national clearinghouses, the California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare (CEBC) and the Title IV-E Prevention Services Clearinghouse (PSC). These clearinghouses are resources that provide the public and state agencies with a way to find effective programs for children and families. Additionally, states can access federal dollars for using programs that are on the PSC. The recent addition of <em>OTWH®</em> on the PSC will improve access to a quality aftercare service for children and families because we listened to caregivers who shared their valuable experiences and input through research. For more information about <em>OTWH®</em> please visit: <a href="" target="_blank"></a> and <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p><p>The current evidence-based status for other Boys Town programs can be found here:</p><p> <em>OTWH®</em> is just one example of the many research products that have been created over the years to improve the quality of services for children and families. To learn more about current TRC projects go to: <a href=""></a>. </p><p>As we move forward, the TRC will continue to partner with children, families, practitioners, researchers, and other professionals to help identify solutions to today’s complex problems in this “experimental station” we call Boys Town. We hope you will take some time to view our Publications page where you will find our 2021 Applied Research Bibliography and other research materials that may be of interest (<a href=""></a>.</p>
Boys Town Research Paper Named Editor’s Choice by The Journal of Pathology Town Research Paper Named Editor’s Choice by The Journal of Pathology2022-09-01T05:00:00Z<p>​​​<img src="" alt="Dom Cosgrove" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px 10px;width:150px;height:150px;" />A recent article by Dominic Cosgrove, Ph.D., Senior Director of the Boys Town National Research Hospital® Research Center, and his team was featured in the September issue of <em>The Journal of Pathology</em> and has been selected by the Editor-in-Chief to be his Editor's Choice. The Editor's Choice award is given to the article that the editor feels is the “must read" of the issue. Dr. Cosgrove's article presents recent findings in the ongoing research of Alport syndrome, that will enable scientists to have a better understanding of the molecular mechanism of the disease.</p><p>Alport syndrome is a genetic condition characterized by kidney disease, hearing loss and eye abnormalities. It is caused by an inherited defect in type IV collagen, a structural component of basement membranes that is needed for the normal function of the kidneys, ears and eyes. This rare disease occurs in approximately 1 in 2,500 to 5,000 births.</p><p>“People with Alport syndrome experience a progressive loss of kidney function and frequently develop sensorineural hearing loss, caused by abnormalities of the inner ear," said Dr. Cosgrove. “In 1991, when I first joined Boys Town, Alport syndrome was the first and only disease that had a known genetic cause."</p><p>Dr. Cosgrove's research solves a long mystery regarding a role for collagen receptors in Alport syndrome by identifying type III collagen in capillary basement membranes of the ear and the kidney that causes progressive damage to these organs. His findings open the door to a better understanding of the mechanism of the disease. This new understanding is particularly significant as it will enable pharmaceutical companies to better treat those dealing with the disease through the establishment of a drug therapies that addresses the kidney function and hearing loss in patients with Alport syndrome.</p><p>Boys Town congratulates Dr. Cosgrove and his team on this important discovery that will led to more effective treatment for those suffering hearing loss due to Alpert syndrome.</p><p><a href=""></a><br></p>
Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health’s National Psychology Conference Stresses Serving Others with Humanity Town Center for Behavioral Health’s National Psychology Conference Stresses Serving Others with Humanity2022-07-11T05:00:00Z<p>Mental health is an important part of a child's health and well-being. It affects how children handle stress, relate to others and make healthy choices. Children who struggle with mental health issues often feel alone and their parents generally lack the tools to effectively manage the behaviors. Boys Town stresses that mental health problems do not define a person, and no one should ever feel that they are alone.</p><p>As leaders in children's mental health, the providers at the Boys Town Center for Behavioral HealthSM understand the issues that children and parents face. Serving others with heart and humanity, the team seeks to collaborate and share their findings and experience with others in the field. This year's Boys Town's National Psychology Conference: Bringing It Home, Sharing It Forward, for example, focused on parent training and best practices for dealing with children facing everything from mutism to learning disabilities.</p><p>Hosted at Boys Town's National Headquarters on June 10, the conference included an interdisciplinary audience of more than 75 psychologists, psychiatrists, post-doctoral an d graduate students, and related staff. Boys Town was responsible for the program and its contents. Those attending had the opportunity to receive training and valuable resources from the mental health experts at Boys Town, who work with children and their families nationwide.  </p><p>Dr. Keith Allen, the Director of Psychology and Professor in Pediatrics and Psychology at Omaha's Munroe-Meyer Institute and the University of Nebraska Medical Center, kicked off the conference with a presentation on the Five Secrets of Effective Parent Training: Examining Underappreciated Process and Content Variables  Dr. Patrick Friman, Vice President of Behavioral Health at Boys Town and a Clinical Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Nebraska School of Medicine, gave the keynote address entitled, Sources of Behavior and Experience: Ontological/Phenomenological Perspectives on Clinical Practice.</p><p>A total of 12 break-out sessions, designed to share Boys Town's learnings and first-hand experience within a variety of mental health scenarios, were featured. These sessions stressed the vital importance of effectively bridging the gap between research and practice. “Continuing to serve with humanity was definitely a common thread of the entire conference," said Julie Almquist, M.S. LIMHP, Assistant Clinical Director at the Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health.</p><p>In addition to sponsoring this continuing-education opportunity for practicing psychologists and counselors, many conference attendees are currently involved in the Boy​s Town Center for Mental Health's Post-Doctoral Program. This important part of the Center's work provides training and experience for future Behavioral Health Clinic staff members in Omaha and at Boys Town's affiliate sites in other states.</p><p>“Every year, we hire between six and eight individuals for one-year internships at the Boys Town Center for Mental Health, said Dr. Friman. From that group, we invite the most interested candidates to apply to the Post-Doctoral Program that lasts another year. From that group, we pick the most interested to be staff. All the clinical directors at our affiliate site clinics were formerly interns and post-docs."</p><p>The behavioral health clinics that have opened at Boys Town's affiliate sites were a natural extension of the services that were being offered by the Center on Boys Town's Home Campus. Clinics are currently serving youth at Boys Town Nevada, Boys Town Central Florida, Boys Town South Florida and Boys Town Washington DC.</p><p>"The individuals who run these clinics trained with our team in Omaha to learn how to deliver clinical services to a community and to cultivate referrals from pediatricians," Dr. Friman said. "Then they transitioned to the sites and replicated what they learned here, just on a smaller scale."</p><p>Dr. Friman said some post-doctoral grads who previously worked at Boys Town have become well-known and prominent in their areas of expertise. They include Susan Swearer, a professor at UNL, who works with Lady Gaga on bullying projects; Doug Woods, who is internationally famous for developing the most effective treatment for Tourette's syndrome; and Ann Davis, one of the most successful researchers of obesity in the United States.</p><p>The Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health staff remains committed to serving clients with heart and humility, sharing their expertise by collaborating with others in the field nationwide and helping to educate and prepare the next generation of leaders in mental healthcare.​</p>​<br>
Change Lives and Earn Money Lives and Earn Money2022-06-14T05:00:00Z<p>​You can earn money, help advance science and change lives by participating in research studies this summer at Boys Town! Boys Town is looking for participants from all age groups to join our life-changing research studies. Participants can earn at least $15 per hour for their time. Studies are non-invasive and fun – and can help change the lives of children with hearing, communication, developmental, behavioral and mental health challenges.  We need participants with and without these challenges.</p><p><a href="">Browse our list of current openings</a> and sign up today! This is a great summer break activity for kids and adults alike! <strong>Don't see a study that fits you?</strong> Boys Town is always looking for research participants<a href="">; sign up</a> to be notified of future studies. </p>
Boys Town EIPA Forms New Partnership, Improving Opportunity in Educational Interpreter Community Town EIPA Forms New Partnership, Improving Opportunity in Educational Interpreter Community2022-03-15T05:00:00Z<p>​​​​​​​​​The Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) Center at Boys Town National Research Hospital and the National Association of Interpreters in Education (NAIE) are joining forces to strengthen educational interpreting across the nation.</p><p>Both Boys Town Hospital and NAIE believe students who are deaf, hard of hearing or deaf-blind have the right to access educational environments using highly qualified sign language interpreters. This partnership between the two foundational educational interpreter organizations will accelerate the advancement of educational interpreting services and will have an immensely positive impact on the interpreter community. Boys Town Hospital and NAIE will collaborate in numerous ways, revising the EIPA written test, updating the website and providing support for educational interpreting initiatives. </p><h2>About the Organizatio​ns</h2><p>Founded in 1999, <a href="/professional-education/eipa">the EIPA Center at Boys Town Hospital</a> ​focuses on supporting the unique skills required for sign interpretation in k-12 educational settings by offering mentoring, workshops and EIPA tests to aspiring interpreters. Boys Town Hospital also provides screenings to help administrators make interpreter hiring decisions and offers trainings to interpreters to assist them in skill and knowledge enhancement.  </p><p><a href="" target="_blank">NAIE</a> plays a vital role in advocating for interpreters in education by working to assist in the complex challenges they face. NAIE provides support to its members by identifying best practices through continuing education, networking, resources and other professional opportunities. <br></p><p>​</p>
Boys Town National Research Hospital has been Awarded a $12.5 Million COBRE Grant to Study Pediatric Brain Health Town National Research Hospital has been Awarded a $12.5 Million COBRE Grant to Study Pediatric Brain Health2022-03-04T06:00:00Z<p>Boys Town National Research Hospital will create a new Center for Pediatric Brain Health using funding from a $12.5 million COBRE (Center of Biomedical Research Excellence) grant that was recently awarded from the National Institutes of Health (NIH). This grant is renewable at a similar funding level for up to 15 years. </p><p>The Center for Pediatric Brain Health will be an important new part of the recently created Institute for Human Neuroscience. Initially, the Center will support four early-career researchers who will focus on different issues affecting pediatric brain health, including radon exposure, pubertal hormone levels, the impact of hearing loss on language processing, emotional dysregulation, and how the emergence of psychiatric traits is related to brain network reconfiguration. </p><p>“This Center grant will lead to major breakthroughs in pediatric neuroscience and position Omaha, and particularly Boys Town, as an international hub for pediatric brain research and clinical care," said Tony Wilson, Ph.D., Patrick E. Brookhouser Endowed Chair for Cognitive Neuroscience, Director of the Institute for Human Neuroscience, and principal investigator at the Center for Pediatric Brain Health. “These centers are not very common, and centers focused on pediatrics are even more rare." </p><p>Boys Town Hospital is focused on taking the research conducted at the Center for Pediatric Brain Health and using it to develop the best treatment options to advance patient care in pediatric neurology and other specialties. </p><p>“Boys Town has a history of unwavering commitment to improving the lives of children and families," said Jason Bruce, M.D., Executive Vice President for Health Care and Director of Boys Town National Research Hospital. “The new Center for Pediatric Brain Health will allow us to explore deeper into neurological and mental health conditions and develop even better treatments and therapies for all children who need this care."  </p><p>COBRE grants are meant to fund a succession of new researchers in a specific scientific area. As the four current investigators complete their studies, additional newly recruited researchers will move on to the grant. With the possibility of funding 12-15 scientists over 15 years. A COBRE grant is an exceptional way of supporting the next generation of researchers and building regional capacity for excellence in a specific target area, such as pediatric brain health. </p><p>Another important component of a COBRE grant is the mentorship structure it provides. Each researcher will have a Boys Town mentor that will work with them on their research protocols and establishing a line of research.  In addition, each researcher will have an external mentor that is an expert in their field of study; these can be national or worldwide experts. The Center for Pediatric Brain Health will also have its own executive advisory committee filled with leading international researchers in the field. </p><p>Boys Town's Center for Hearing Research received a COBRE grant eight years ago to fund the Center for Perception and Communication in Children. With Lori Leibold, Ph.D., as the principal investigator, the Center received renewed funding at its five-year review. Boys Town National Research Hospital is also a research partner in Creighton University's first COBRE grant to fund its Translational Hearing Center.</p><p> <img alt="Meet the first four neuroscience researchers at the Center for Pediatric Brain Health." src="" style="margin:5px;" /> <em>Meet the first four neuroscience researchers at the Center for Pediatric Brain Health. L to R: Elizabeth Heinrichs-Graham, Ph.D., Brittany Taylor, Ph.D., Tony Wilson, Ph.D., Director of the Center, Stuart White, Ph.D., and Gaelle Doucet, Ph.D.</em><br></p>
Supporting the Next Generation of Neuroscientists at Boys Town’s New Pediatric Center for Brain Health the Next Generation of Neuroscientists at Boys Town’s New Pediatric Center for Brain Health 2022-03-04T06:00:00Z<p>Boys Town National Research Hospital received a $12.5 million COBRE (Center of Biomedical Research Excellence) grant from the National Institute to develop the next generation of neuroscientists…but the outcome this will have on pediatric neurological, mental, and behavioral health is priceless.</p><h2>Meet Our Researchers</h2><p> <img class="ms-rtePosition-1 custom-is-rounded" alt="Gaelle Doucet" src="" style="width:140px;height:140px;margin-right:10px;margin-left:0px;" /> </p><p> <strong>Gaelle Doucet, Ph.D.</strong><br><a href="" target="_blank">Brain Architecture, Imaging and Cognition Laboratory</a><br>Dr. Doucet’s research aims to identify the role of all major brain networks in everyday life throughout the lifespan and how their functions change with aging. Her lab is studying how the brain adapts from adolescence to late adulthood, as well as why some individuals will develop mental disorders and whether we can predict or prevent the start of disorders.<br clear="all"></p><p> <img class="ms-rtePosition-1 custom-is-rounded" alt="Elizabeth Heinrichs-Graham" src="" style="width:140px;height:140px;margin-right:10px;margin-left:0px;" /> </p><p> <strong>Elizabeth Heinrichs-Graham, Ph.D.</strong><br><a href="" target="_blank">Cognitive and Sensory Imaging Laboratory</a><br>When performing cognitive and language tests, some children with hearing loss perform at or above the level of their normal-hearing peers, while others fall behind. Dr. Heinrichs-Graham’s lab uses brain imaging coupled with behavioral and audiometric testing to investigate the impact of mild-to-severe hearing loss, as well as the quantity and quality of therapeutic intervention, on brain, language, and cognitive function through development, with the ultimate goal of learning how we can optimize performance for all children who have hearing loss.<br clear="all"></p><p> <img class="ms-rtePosition-1 custom-is-rounded" alt="Brittany Taylor" src="" style="width:140px;height:140px;margin-right:10px;margin-left:0px;" /> </p><p> <strong>Brittany Taylor, Ph.D.</strong><br><a href="" target="_blank">Neurodiversity Laboratory</a><br>About half of homes in eastern Nebraska and western Iowa test high for radon, a naturally occurring gas that builds up in homes and other buildings and is linked to the development of certain cancers in adulthood. Despite the known long-term consequences of radon exposure, the impacts on developing children are poorly defined. Dr. Taylor uses structural and functional neuroimaging, cognitive testing, and measures of health and inflammation to explore how home radon exposure impacts brain development in kids.<br clear="all"></p><p> <img class="ms-rtePosition-1 custom-is-rounded" alt="Stuart White" src="" style="width:140px;height:140px;margin-right:10px;margin-left:0px;" /> </p><p> <strong>Stuart White, Ph.D.</strong><br><a href="" target="_blank">Developmental Clinical Neuroscience Laboratory</a><br>Dr. White’s lab works with healthy teens and youth who have serious emotional and behavioral problems (aggression, emotion regulation problems, impulsivity and other mental health/ behavioral problems) and/or exposure to traumatic events. He uses brain imaging and measures of endocrine function (hormones) to understand how changes due to puberty impact the neural systems involved in both trauma and serious behavioral problems.<br clear="all"></p>
Preschoolers Celebrate Super Bowl’s Attention to Inclusive Communication Celebrate Super Bowl’s Attention to Inclusive Communication2022-02-14T06:00:00Z<p><img class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="Children dancing" src="" style="margin:5px;width:437px;height:225px;" />“We're having a dance party to celebrate the Super Bowl because there's a special connection for us this year," said Kate Kaiser, MA, lead preschool teacher at Boys Town's Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning.  </p><p>For the first time in history, the Pepsi Super Bowl VI halftime entertainment lineup will feature two Deaf music artists, Warren “Wawa" Snipe and Sean Forbes, who will add American Sign Language to the halftime show. Their performances not only increase accessibility for people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, they bring increased visibility for communication inclusion – and we think that's something to celebrate!</p><p>What a wonderful opportunity for our little ones to see talented Deaf performers on a national stage. </p><p>Boys Town's preschool program is a comprehensive program focused on empowering Deaf and hard of hearing children to reach their full potential. Serving children since the late 1970s, its goal is to educate children to help them transition into a kindergarten placement with age-appropriate skills in every developmental area.</p>
Ryan McCreery, Ph.D., onto American Auditory Society Board of Directors McCreery, Ph.D., onto American Auditory Society Board of Directors2022-02-07T06:00:00Z<p>​Boys Town National Research Hospital would like to congratulate Ryan McCreery, Ph.D., Boys Town Vice President of Research and the Director of the Audibility, Perception and Cognition Laboratory. Dr. McCreery has been selected as a member of the Board of Directors at the American Auditory Society (AAS) by a vote of his peers.</p><div class="is-clearfix"><div class="inline-image is-size-7">​​​​​​​​<img class="inline-image__image" alt="Ryan McCreery, Ph.D." src="" /> <h2 class="is-size-5">Ryan McCreery, Ph.D.</h2> </div>​ <p>“The American Auditory Society is unique because it is a multidisciplinary organization that brings together clinicians and scientists to advance research to help people with hearing and balance problems," noted Dr. McCreery. “Because the AAS is inclusive of clinicians and scientists, their mission and goals align closely with those of the Boy Town research program where our research aims to support the children and families served by our clinical and educational programs."</p><p>Dr. McCreery's current line of research focuses on various aspects of hearing, hearing amplification, language processing and language development. His research has contributed to our understanding of the importance of cumulative auditory experience on language and sensory development. Dr. McCreery's research directly relates to clinical outcomes and has led to optimized clinical protocols for fitting hearing aids for kids who have hearing loss.</p><p>In 2020, Dr. McCreery was selected as a Fellow of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). ASHA is the primary professional, credentialing and scientific organization for speech-language pathologists, audiologists and speech/language/hearing scientists. Fellowship is the most prestigious recognition awarded for professional contribution and achievement.</p><p>Dr. McCreery has authored 74 peer-reviewed publications and has numerous research collaborations. He is a regular speaker at scientific and clinical meetings, having given over 160 talks on clinical and scientific information.  </p><p>“Being elected by my peers to serve on the Board of the American Auditory Society is a huge honor," Dr. McCreery said enthusiastically. “I will have the opportunity to help the AAS advance initiatives related to clinical-translational research, mentor students and early-career scientists, and improve the representation of people from historically underrepresented backgrounds in our field. I am looking forward to working with the otolaryngologists, hearing scientists, engineers and audiologists who make up the AAS Board over the next three years."</p></div>
Types of Child Maltreatment have Different Impacts on how Children Learn Social Behavior of Child Maltreatment have Different Impacts on how Children Learn Social Behavior2022-01-19T06:00:00Z<p>​Rewarding good behavior, punishing bad behavior, and redirecting a child to help show him or her how to act or behave across situations are tried and true reinforcement strategies that parents use every day. What Boys Town has known for years is that while these strategies work for most children, not everyone benefits as much as others – especially children who have suffered from abuse or neglect. </p><p>A new study from the <a href="">Boys Town Center for Neurobehavioral Research in Children</a>, looked specifically at reward and punishment processing, known as reinforcement processing, in children with a history of abuse or neglect. What they found was neglect, not abuse, was associated with reduced brain responses to the receipt of reward. Findings from this study demonstrate the neurodevelopmental impact of childhood maltreatment, particularly neglect, has on a child's ability to learn from reinforcement as well as the impact it has on developing serious behavioral problems.  </p><p>“It is important to understand how maltreatment affects different types of core processes necessary for socialization. That can help inform and bolster how we intervene," stated <a href="">Karina Blair, Ph.D.</a>, research scientist at Boys Town.   </p><p>Many children who come to <a href="" target="_blank">Boys Town</a> have a history or abuse or neglect. The incidence of exposure to early life stressors in childhood is extremely high with 1 in 8 children in the United States experiencing some form of maltreatment by 18 years of age. Child neglect is identified as the failure of a parent or caregiver to provide food, clothing, shelter, medical care, or supervision that a child needs to remain healthy and safe from harm. </p><p>Previous studies have typically grouped together these two early life stressors. This new research from Boys Town separated the two to better understand the developmental impact of each specific childhood stressor so that better and more effective interventions can be created to help every child. </p><p>This research provides a baseline to why traditional reinforcement learning may not be as effective for children who have experienced neglect. Boys Town can then move forward in developing and studying new intervention methods, as well as enhancing current methods, to continue to help more children who struggle with the lasting impacts of neglect. These findings are important not only to the youth care work at Boys Town, but for all who work with children who have experienced neglect.  </p><p>“To quote Father Flanagan, he said, 'There is no such thing as a bad boy, only bad environment, bad modeling and bad teaching.' Boys Town continues to work every day to uncover ways to help every child reach a positive and successful future, no matter what the child experienced in his or her past," said Dr. Blair. </p><p>Read the entire study here: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p><h2> Study Model​<br></h2><p>The study was conducted at Boys Town. Participants included 142 adolescents ages 14-18 with varying levels of past abuse or neglect. The participants received an fMRI scan while performing a learning task that would engage the area of the brain that responds when stimulated to engage in a reward or avoid a punishment. Researchers found the level of neglect was negatively associated with responses to reward and punishment. They also found that the level of neglect was associated with the level of behavioral problems, meaning higher levels of neglect corelated with higher incidence for conduct and aggression difficulties. ​</p> <br>
Elkhorn Athletic Association and Boys Town Pediatrics Announce Partnership to Increase Inclusivity in Play Athletic Association and Boys Town Pediatrics Announce Partnership to Increase Inclusivity in Play2022-01-18T06:00:00Z<p>​Boys Town Pediatrics and the Elkhorn Athletic Association (EAA) have announced a special, multi-year partnership agreement that will ensure metro-area children who have developmental and physical challenges can enjoy greater access to sports and play opportunities.</p><p>The agreement makes Boys Town Pediatrics the exclusive pediatric partner of the MD West ONE Sports Complex and includes naming rights to the all-play field, a barrier-free and adaptive space located at the complex in western Douglas County. </p><p>“Recreational play is such a critical part of childhood and for young people's physical and emotional well-being. The Boys Town Pediatrics All-Play Field will allow every child, regardless of their physical or cognitive abilities, to enjoy the thrill and fun of competition," said Jason Bruce, M.D., executive vice president of health care and director of Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><p>In addition to the naming rights, Boys Town Pediatric specialists will provide free informational and educational programming to the community, including coaches, parents and players, at the complex's Learning Center. The programs will address a variety of health-related issues, such as concussions, seizures, anxiety and depression.   <br></p><p>“It is an honor to have Boys Town Pediatrics committing to be the title sponsor for the barrier-free playing field for adaptive sports and having a Learning Center on the MD West ONE Sports Complex. They are incredibly committed and dedicated to enriching kids' lives, which is perfectly aligned to the EAA's organizational mission and the representation of what this complex will mean in our community," said Bruce O'Neel, EAA Executive Director.</p><p>For Boys Town, the partnership is an opportunity to reach more children and families who too often are marginalized or forgotten. The Boys Town Pediatrics All-Play Field will be a safe, inclusive space that celebrates children of all abilities. </p><p>“Our mission at Boys Town is to heal and strengthen the body, mind and spirit. Collaborating with youth sports in and around Omaha is a good example of how that mission is brought to life locally to make lasting and positive differences in the health and lives of kids and families," said Father Steven E. Boes, Boys Town president and national executive director.</p><p>The Boys Town Pediatrics All-Play Field is scheduled to open in 2023.</p><p> <strong>About Elkhorn Athletic Association</strong></p><p>EAA is a non-profit youth sports organization dedicated to providing a safe, enjoyable and positive learning environment. EAA serves families with children of all ages and skill levels across the region, encouraging and supporting the holistic development of every child, teaching leadership and other essential skills, and inspiring athletes to seek excellence in all aspects of their lives. </p><p> <strong>About Boys Town Pediatrics</strong></p><p>Boys Town Pediatrics has five clinics throughout metro Omaha and a team of board-certified pediatricians providing primary care, from routine well checks and same-day sick visits to care for complicated medical conditions. For children who need highly specialized care, Boys Town Pediatrics is backed by a team of pediatric specialists across a range of services, who are known for their accurate diagnosis, treatment and care for childhood injuries, diseases and disorders. </p> ​<br>
New Center for Human Performance Optimization Is Awarded a Grant in Its First Month of Operation Center for Human Performance Optimization Is Awarded a Grant in Its First Month of Operation2021-12-21T06:00:00Z<p>​The Foundation for Physical Therapy Research announced the presentation of their 2021 Foundation for Physical Therapy Research Award to <a href=""> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Brad Corr,</span><span style="text-decoration:underline;"> PT, DPT, </span> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Associate Director of Physical Rehabilitation</span></a> at the <a href=""> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Center for Human Performance Optimization</span></a>, for his clinical trial “Powering Through Transition: Therapeutic Power Training for Adolescents and Adults with Cerebral Palsy."</p><p>Having just opened in November of 2021, the Center for Human Performance Optimization will benefit from this $40,000 grant.</p><p>“Launching the center with a grant establishes our momentum and enhances our opportunity to grow," Corr said. “This gets us right out of the gate with a grant. It allows us to collect data, and then we use that momentum to roll it into larger grants and additional projects."</p><h2>This Project and Beyond</h2><p style="text-align:justify;">The transition from childhood to adulthood for individuals with cerebral palsy (CP) is met with unique challenges. Power training, which requires moving quickly against resistance, is emerging as an intervention for pediatric physical therapists. This research intends to explore Therapeutic Power Training (TPT), which uses wearable technology often employed by elite athletes for visual feedback combined with functional movements to optimize mobility for adolescents and young adults with CP.</p><p>Corr felt that this grant was not only a vote of confidence in his research but also a tribute to the state-of-the-art facilities and world-class technology of both Boys Town's Institute for Human Neuroscience and Center for Human Performance Optimization.</p><p>“When you submit a project, you get feedback on the grant and there's always pros and cons," said Corr.  “In this instance, the environment and the collaborators were cited as primary reasons this grant got funded. The resources at the center, as well as the research resources here at Boys Town, were noted by the reviewers as strengths of the project."</p><p>Brad Corr is a physical therapist by training with over 14 years of experience working with individuals who have intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan. He pairs his clinical care expertise with equal experience in developing research and therapeutic interventions to support children with cerebral palsy and other physical disabilities. <a href=""> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Learn more about the Center for Human Performance Optimization</span></a>.</p>
Patterns or Phonics? Unraveling Dyslexia and Statistical Learning or Phonics? Unraveling Dyslexia and Statistical Learning2021-12-03T06:00:00Z<p>​Sometimes looking at a learning issue from a new angle will generate innovative ways of helping those who deal with the problem.</p><p>This may be the case with a new research paper published by <a href="">Christopher Conway, Ph.D.</a>, Director of the <a href="">Brain, Learning and Language Laboratory at Boys Town National Research Hospital</a> and Sonia Singh, Ph.D., of The University of Texas at Dallas, which looks at an aspect of human cognition called statistical learning and how it relates to dyslexia.</p><p>Their paper, <a href="" target="_blank">Unraveling the Interconnections Between Statistical Learning and Dyslexia: A Review of Recent Empirical Studies</a>, examines whether dyslexia is associated with reading and language deficits or more associated with the ability to discern patterns in letters and words and the patterns related to how sounds map with the letters and words. The ability to learn these types of patterns is referred to as statistical learning.</p><h2>A Different Kind of Problem?</h2><p>“The primary view of dyslexia is that it is a phonological issue, meaning that some people have problems processing and perceiving speech sounds," Conway said</p><p>If dyslexia is a statistical learning problem, then it's not about understanding speech sounds per se, but instead about learning the patterns you're exposed to throughout your life.</p><p>Conway said that from infancy, we are perceiving and hearing sounds of speech, coming to an understanding of what order words should go in and the meanings of words. These patterns show us how to order words to make sense. The same is true of written language. Most people learn what letters can go together and what letter combinations don't make sense.</p><h2>Earlier Diagnosis Potential</h2><p>The research looks at whether dyslexia is associated with impairments in recognizing patterns when it comes time to learn to read. If you're having trouble figuring out patterns of letters and their associated sounds, that means you'll have trouble reading apart from any difficulties processing speech sounds.</p><p>“Statistical learning is a cognitive measure," Singh said, “so it can be measured outside of reading." </p><p>She said a measurement for pattern learning can provide more accessibility, so parents and healthcare providers don't have to wait until reading age to predict whether a child will have trouble reading. It has the potential to solve a dyslexia problem before it appears.</p><p>Read the full published article here: <a href="" target="_blank"></a></p>
IMPACT Reveals the Importance of DEI in Speech Pathology and Audiology Reveals the Importance of DEI in Speech Pathology and Audiology2021-12-02T06:00:00Z<p>​​​As Boys Town presents more Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) opportunities to our associates, it becomes more apparent that there are always additional avenues to be explored. That's why faculty at the <a href="/news/impact-efforts-expand-diversity-in-speech-language-pathology-audiology-fields">Boys Town Center for Perception and Communication in Children joined forces last year</a> with a new program created by Jessica Sullivan, Ph.D., of Hampton University and Lauren Calandruccio, Ph.D., of Case Western Reserve University called <strong>IMPACT</strong> (<strong>I</strong>nnovative <strong>M</strong>entoring and <strong>P</strong>rofessional <strong>A</strong>dvancement through <strong>C</strong>ultural <strong>T</strong>raining). </p><p>Realizing that the fields of Audiology and Speech Pathology are populated by 92% white and 96% female personnel, Drs. Sullivan and Calandruccio decided to create a program that would support diversity in the Communication Sciences and Disorder (CSD) field. </p><p>With this in mind,<strong> </strong>the professors founded IMPACT, an innovative new mentoring program run jointly between Hampton and Case Western Reserve Universities and external collaborations and mentorships with other colleges and research facilities like Boys Town.  It aims to engage and support students from underrepresented minority groups interested in CSD as a career path. IMPACT provides a supportive environment for students to explore graduate programs and navigate the graduate school application process. Students also work on building their professional networks and communication skills. In combination, the IMPACT program activities strive to help students feel confident and prepared for success in graduate school and beyond. </p><h2>IMPACT at Boys Town</h2><p>Boys Town researchers met the IMPACT program's inaugural class over virtual 'Family Dinners' and provided virtual tours of the laboratories. Students connected with researchers they could identify with and gained exposure to exciting career paths and CSD-related research initiatives through these activities.</p><p><a href="">Lori Leibold, Ph.D.</a>, Director of the Center for Hearing Research and the Human Auditory Development Laboratory, noted that programs like this help train the next generation of scientists and clinicians. “It was a great learning opportunity for all," stated Dr. Leibold. “ Boys Town Researchers were able to support students of color who are pursuing careers in audiology, speech-language pathology, and research. In turn, the students provided our researchers with insight into some of the difficulties they encounter in reaching their professional goals, such as racism, feeling isolated, poverty, opportunities to gain experience, and advocacy. “</p><p>Dr. Sullivan pointed out that the virtual tour of Boys Town's research facilities made a lasting impression on the students who attended. “They're working on a presentation for ASHA, and they specifically named some of the Boys Town labs that stuck with them. A year later, they are still talking about Chris Stecker's lab and Karla McGregor's mobile van to do language assessment. It's important to understand how participating in activities like these can spark and change the future of research," said Dr. Sullivan.</p><p>Boys Town looks forward to furthering Diversity, Equity and Inclusion within our own Boys Town community and with further virtual and in-person activities with IMPACT scholars.  Both Boys Town and Drs. Sullivan and Calandruccio hope that by spotlighting this program, other universities will explore having an IMPACT program of their own for CSD students or similar programs for other career paths and graduate school programs that have under-represented populations.</p><p style="text-align:center;"><img alt="IMPACT (Innovative Mentoring and Professional Advancement through Cultural Training) and Boys Town logos" src="" style="margin:5px;" /> </p>
Improving the Diagnosis of Otitis Media (Ear Infection) in Pediatric Patients the Diagnosis of Otitis Media (Ear Infection) in Pediatric Patients2021-11-29T06:00:00Z<p>​Waking up in the middle of the night to a crying child suffering from an ear infection is an all too familiar event for many parents. In fact, most parents would not be surprised to learn that otitis media (ear infection) is the No. 1 cause for pediatric office visits, the No. 1 cause for antibiotic use in children, and the No. 1 cause for surgery in children. </p><p>Boys Town National Research Hospital is leading the way to discover new techniques that can determine the level and type of fluid in a child's middle ear, as well as whether the cause is bacteria, a virus, or fluid build-up due to anatomical differences in a child's middle ear. Having improved diagnostic tools will help physicians deliver the most accurate diagnosis and care plan for their patients. </p><h2> <strong>Improving Otitis Media Care and Treatment</strong></h2><ul><li>Placing tubes in a child's ear, while a common procedure, is still a big deal for the child and parents. At Boys Town Ear, Nose and Throat, we deal with this every day. With the help of volunteer families, our researchers were able to gain valuable knowledge by examining and testing children before and after tubes were placed. We'll <a href="" target="_blank"> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">use this research</span></a> to better understand how fluid in the ear affects hearing, and to determine the best treatments for ear infections.</li><li>To ensure proper treatment, getting an accurate diagnosis is vital, but making that diagnosis as simple and objective as possible is important when dealing with young children. The Boys Town research team is <a href="" target="_blank"> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">studying a new objective middle-ear test</span></a> that involves simply placing an ear tip with a microphone in a child's ear. This new method gives us valuable information about middle-ear status, lessening the chance for a misdiagnosis.</li><li>Lastly, we are researching ways to refine the information we get from our <a href="" target="_blank"> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">advanced diagnostic techniques</span></a>. This involves applying computational models to the data we get from an exam on a child with an ear infection to further improve the new diagnostic tools we are developing.</li></ul><h2> <strong>Accurate Diagnosis Means Improved Outcomes</strong></h2><p>Getting the diagnosis right is of the utmost importance. While doctors do an admirable job of diagnosing and treating otitis media, there's a need for more accurate measures that can determine the level and type of fluid in a child's middle ear, as well as whether the cause is bacteria, a virus, or fluid build-up due to the dysfunction of the child's middle ear.</p><p>The Boys Town Center for Hearing Research is leading the way to discover new techniques. </p><p>"We want to better understand ear infections and differentiate between causes more effectively," said <a href=""> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Gabrielle Merchant, Au.D., Ph.D.</span></a>, Director of the Translational Auditory Physiology and Perception Laboratory. "By improving the diagnosis, we are improving the treatment and ultimately improving the lives of children." </p><h2> <strong>Three Recent Research Papers</strong></h2><p>The Center for Hearing Research recently published three papers on improving diagnostic testing for otitis media.</p><p>"Our goal is to find objective ways to say 'yes, there's an ear infection' or 'no, there is not bacteria present' or 'it is caused by a virus,'" Dr. Merchant said. "Ultimately, we want to avoid unnecessary surgeries or unnecessary use of antibiotics while ensuring the child is properly treated."</p><p>The first paper, “<a href="" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Audiologic Profiles of Children with Otitis Media with Effusion</span></a>," illustrates research done with children recruited from ear, nose and throat clinics who were having tubes placed. </p><p>The researchers first perform a battery of standard hearing tests, including tympanometry and behavioral audiometric testing, following up with experimental tests that are FDA-approved.</p><p>After the tubes are placed, the effusion is studied for the type and amount of fluid present, which is then compared to the results from testing. This work found that the amount, or volume, of effusion is an important determinant of the impact a given episode of otitis media has on a child's hearing. </p><p>The second paper, “<a href="" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">Improving the Differential Diagnosis of Otitis Media with Effusion Using Wideband Acoustic Immittance (WAI)</span></a>," utilizes a relatively new diagnostic tool called wideband acoustic immittance (WAI). WAI measures how the ear drum is moving in an affected ear. This, in turn, can tell us things about what is happening behind the ear drum. This paper found that WAI could determine the volume of effusion in a child's ear. This is particularly significant given the findings of the first paper, which demonstrated that volume is an important factor as to how a child is hearing. </p><p>"It's quick and easy," Dr. Merchant said. "We place a microphone in a child's ear, press a button, then take it out."</p><p>Dr. Merchant said that larger sample sizes are needed before moving this diagnostic tool to clinical settings. The advantage of WAI is that it takes the subjectivity out of assessment of ear drum and middle-ear status. </p><p>The third paper, “<a href="" target="_blank"><span style="text-decoration:underline;">The Influence of Otitis Media with Effusion on Middle-Ear Impedance Estimated from Wideband Acoustic Immittance Measurements</span></a>," takes WAI testing further by applying computational models to the findings from the first and second papers to improve the diagnostic utility of WAI further. The models estimate characteristics of the ear canal and help isolate the influence of the effusion and ear infection on the ear drum motion, all to drive and maximize precision and accuracy.</p>
Boys Town Receives Three Best of Omaha Recognitions Town Receives Three Best of Omaha Recognitions2021-11-17T06:00:00Z<p> <img class="ms-rtePosition-2" alt="Best of Omaha logo" src="" style="margin:5px;width:200px;" />Boys Town is excited to announce that Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health; Boys Town Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic and Boys Town Pediatrics physician, Dr. Kelli Shidler, were voted the Best of Omaha.</p><p>That's right, the best of Omaha is right here at Boys Town!</p><p>“Best of Omaha" is an annual recognition program run by Omaha Magazine that dates back to 1992. Individuals cast their votes for as many as 320 categories. </p><p>Congratulations to the staff at Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health; Boys Town Ear, Nose and Throat Clinic and Dr. Kelli Shidler for receiving this honor! </p><ul><li> <a href="/services/behavioral-health/center-for-behavioral-health">Boys Town Center for Behavioral Health</a></li><li> <a href="/services/ear-nose-throat-institute">Boys Town Ear, Nose and Throat</a></li> <li> <a href="/physicians/kelli-shidler">Kelli J. Shidler, M.D.</a></li></ul><p style="text-align:center;"> <img alt="Best of Omaha" src="" style="margin:5px;" /> </p>
Unlike Any Other Physical Therapy Clinic – Introducing Boys Town’s Center for Human Performance Optimization Any Other Physical Therapy Clinic – Introducing Boys Town’s Center for Human Performance Optimization2021-11-08T06:00:00Z<p>​The Center for Human Performance Optimization at Boys Town National Research Hospital is a place where adolescents who have a physical disability are surrounded by dedicated physical therapists, leading researchers and the most advanced motion technology and equipment to create a unique hybrid in neuroscience care.  This collaborative research style makes the center and the institute unique, not only in Omaha but also nationwide.</p><p>“We have built a world-class environment where we can research cutting-edge physical therapy interventions and training," said Brad Corr, PT, DPT, Associate Director of the Center for Human Performance Optimization (CHPO). “Father Flanagan recognized the importance and strong influence environment has in how we think, perform and learn. The environment in the CHPO is designed to feel more like a fitness or sports facility than a medical clinic."</p><div class="embed-container"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div> <p>This 2,300-square-foot physical therapy center is filled with equipment that has been specially chosen to enhance skills for kids of all abilities, such as the 60+ foot track with overhead robotics to optimize walking and provide safely guided fall strategies without risk of injury, and specialized split belt and curved treadmills to increase leg power and improve gait. With the Institute for Human Neuroscience next door, collaboration will focus on developing rapid prototypes of technology and therapeutics so that every individual can have a breakthrough in improving their mobility. It is very unusual to find a scenario where science and clinical practices are almost indistinguishable from each other.</p><p>“Our mission is to change the way America cares for children and families," said Ryan McCreery, Ph.D., Vice President of Boys Town Research. “Research plays a major role in that change. Boys Town has a unique approach of blending research and clinical care that generates new and better ways to improve and transform lives. It's what we do every day across all our research, guiding us to better outcomes and helping more children, everywhere." </p><p>Learn more about <a href=""> <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Center for Human Performance Optimization</span></a>.</p>
Boys Town Hospital Preschool Inspires Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children to be Superheroes Town Hospital Preschool Inspires Deaf and Hard of Hearing Children to be Superheroes2021-11-05T05:00:00Z<p style="text-align:center;">​<em>​“I'M THE HULK!" “SPIDERMAN!" “BATMAN!" “SUPERMAN!"</em></p><p>Boys Town National Research Hospital's preschool program for children who are deaf or hard of hearing inspires them to be anything and everything they want to be, including superheroes! </p><p>The program is focused on empowering children to reach their highest potential. Serving children since the late 1970s, its goal is to educate children to help them transition into a kindergarten placement with age-appropriate skills in every developmental area. </p><h2> A Superhero Lesson Project</h2><p>In the preschool, learning projects are based on students' interests. And there is always a lot of interest around superheroes. So, a project was developed around the topic. </p><p><strong>See our creative project, in action:</strong></p><div class="embed-container"> <iframe width="400" height="400" src="" frameborder="0"></iframe> </div><p>“The preschool uses art as part of the program because art brings attention to the unique and varied ways that children can express themselves, and it highlights their ability to represent how they view themselves and the world around them," said Cathy Carotta, Ed.D., Director of Clinical and Educational Programs at Boys Town's Center for Childhood Deafness Language and Learning. “Art is instrumental in supporting each child's growth as it provides a vehicle whereby their thoughts, their emotions, and their imaginations are made visible.  It helps children to demonstrate, using multiple mediums, who they are right now and who they are dreaming to become in the future. </p><p>The art program is under the direction of art therapist, Jill Dibbern Manhart.</p><p>A recent fun and empowering role model for the preschool children is included in the new Marvel movie, “Eternals," with lead actor, Lauren Ridloff, who is deaf in real life and the movie. The film includes sign language as part of its dialogue and adaptive techniques were used behind-the-scenes to help Ridloff on the set. </p><p>Adaptive communication strategies and sign language are used every day in Boys Town's preschool program to support the child's individual development. The family's values and culture drive the types of communication methods that are used.  Teachers use a range of approaches including listening and spoken language, sign language, and picture communication systems with children who have cochlear implants and hearing aids. </p><p>The inclusivity of the first deaf Marvel superhero character is inspiring to our preschool children and other children who are deaf or hard of hearing. </p><p>“The Marvel movie is an art form," Carotta said. “And we are happy to see deaf superheroes. This is exactly what we are sharing with our children – that they have unique, wonderful attributes to give to the world." </p><p>The preschool children completed a “Heroes Project" where they learned through a lesson plan that involved superheroes learning about the values of inclusivity and helping themselves and others reach their highest potential, values that are important to and align with Boys Town. In addition, the kids had a blast! </p><p>The Boys Town preschool, teachers and the lessons they create and teach, like the Heroes Project, empower young children to be everything they can be, an important lesson for them to learn when they are young. </p><p> <a href="/services/center-for-childhood-deafness-language-learning/preschool-program">Learn more about the Boys Town National Research Hospital's preschool program.</a></p>
Dr. Sharad Kunnath Named Crohn’s & Colitis Foundations Medical Champion Sharad Kunnath Named Crohn’s & Colitis Foundations Medical Champion2021-11-02T05:00:00Z<p>​​<img src="" alt="Sharad Kunnath, M.D., Gastroenterologist, Receives Foundation Award" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:296px;" />On Saturday, Oct​ober 23, Boy Town Gastroenterologist Sharad Kunnath, M.D., was honored as the 2021 Medical Champion for the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation Nebraska/Iowa Chapter at the Night of Champions Gala in downtown Omaha.</p><p>This award is bestowed on a member of the medical community who assists the Foundation in advancing the mission to find a cure for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and to increase the quality of life for people living with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.</p><p>Dr. Kunnath is a professional member of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation. He has shared his expertise at Foundation patient education events, supported and participated in the Take Steps annual fundraising walk and encouraged many patients to attend Camp Oasis, a camp created so children with IBD can experience camp and learn that they are never alone in their journey. He is a strong advocate for pediatric patients and their families, connecting them to Foundation resources and providing excellent care on their IBD journey. </p><p>“I thank the Foundation for this honor," Dr. Kunnath said in his acceptance speech Saturday evening. “And I really thank God for each of my IBD patients. I think it's a privilege that I have: to walk this journey with them. I believe I have given a little bit to them, but they have given a lot more to me."</p><p>Congratulations, Dr. Kunnath, for receiving this prestigious recognition! We are grateful for all that you do to change the way America cares for children with IBD, and we are proud to call you a part of the Boys Town family.</p> <br>
The Dizzy Child Dizzy Child2021-10-14T05:00:00Z<p>​While <a href="" target="_blank"><em>The Dizzy Child</em></a>, the title of a new paper published in the <em>Otolaryngologic Clinics of North America</em>, by Elizabeth Kelly, M.D., Neurotologist, Kristen Janky, Au.D., Ph.D., Clinical Audiologist and Research Scientist, and Jessie Patterson, Au.D., Ph.D., Clinical and Research Audiologist at Boys Town National Research Hospital, may sound somewhat lighthearted, up to 15% of children have problems with dizziness. </p><p>Unfortunately, most children with dizziness are diagnosed with "unspecified dizziness", which highlights the difficulty many practitioners have in determining the cause of dizziness in children. Therefore, understanding the cause of dizziness in children is a growing area of research.</p><h2>Difficulty in Diagnosing</h2><p>Young children have trouble communicating their symptoms, thus inhibiting medical provider's from making an accurate diagnosis. Balance problems can cause children a great deal of discomfort and stress because they can affect gross motor development and visual acuity. It's no surprise that balance disorders can then impact children's schoolwork, social life, and interactions with family. The longer dizziness goes on, the more a child is negatively impacted. Thus, it's important for caregivers to be aware of changes in a child's behavior or motor function.</p><h2>Aids for Caregivers</h2><p>Two pediatric questionnaires, the <a href="" target="_blank">Pediatric Dizziness Handicap Inventory</a> and the <a href="">Pediatric Vestibular Symptom Questionnaire</a> are both available for children age 6 and older to determine the severity of vestibular symptoms. The results garnered from these tools can help a child's medical provider identify the severity of dizziness and monitor changes in symptoms following treatment. </p><h2>Vestibular Evaluation in Children</h2><p>Vestibular loss often results in delayed gross motor skills, such as sitting, standing, and learning to walk. Thus, the medical history can play a critical role in determining whether a child has an underlying vestibular disorder. Children with hearing loss are more likely to have vestibular loss; therefore, children with history of gross motor delay and with history of hearing loss are good candidates for a vestibular evaluation. </p><p>There are a variety of reasons children can become dizzy. For example, vestibular migraines are the most common cause of dizziness in children. Thankfully, some modifications medical and vestibular assessment can be completed in children.</p><p>Learn more about our <a href="">Balance and Vestibular Evaluations</a> and the <a href="">Vestibular Tests and Treatments</a> offered at Boys Town National Research Hospital. </p><p>To read the full article, <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</p>
Annual Research Project Review Showcases Collaboration Research Project Review Showcases Collaboration2021-09-28T05:00:00Z<p>​We know knowledge is power and that when you collaborate with others it can lead to important insights and discoveries. That's the goal behind the External Advisory Committee at Boys Town's Center for Perception and Communication in Children.<br></p><p>Each year, a group of Boys Town scientists present their research projects during a two-day meeting with an external advisory group that includes five members who are national leaders in their field of study. Boys Town researchers gain valuable input and feedback from committee members, as well as experience presenting and discussing their research.</p><p>Our 2021 research presentations included: </p><ul><li> <strong><em>Improving the Diagnosis of Ear Infections</em></strong><br> by <a href="">Gabrielle Merchant, Au.D., Ph.D.</a>, Director of Translational Auditory Physiology and Perception Laboratory</li><li> <strong> <em>Understanding How Face Masks Affect Speech Perception </em></strong><br>by <a href="">Kaylah Lalonde, Ph.D.</a>, Director of Audiovisual Speech Processing Laboratory</li><li> <strong> <em>Development of Online Tool for Speech-Language Genetics Research </em></strong><br>by <a href="">Hope Sparks Lancaster, Ph.D.</a>, Director of Etiologies of Language and Literacy Laboratory</li><li> <strong> <em>Studying Self-Talk in Children </em></strong><br>by <a href="">Angela AuBuchon, Ph.D.</a>, Director of Working Memory and Language Laboratory </li></ul><p> <a href="">Watch videos</a> on the four projects that were presented, and learn more about the External Advisory Committee supporting the Center for Perception and Communication in Children.</p><p>External Advisory Committee members include:  </p><ul><li>Lisa Bedore, Ph.D., a leading expert in developmental language disorders and language learning in children who are Spanish-English bilinguals</li><li> <a href="" target="_blank">Lisa Goffman, Ph.D.</a>, known for her work investigating how the integration of language, speech, and motor interactions impacts typical and atypical language development. </li><li> <a href="" target="_blank">Kevin Munhall, Ph.D.</a>, recognized for his work on the multisensory processes and brain structures involved in face-to-face communication.</li><li> <a href="" target="_blank">Andrew Oxenham, Ph.D.</a>, respected for his work on auditory and speech perception, addressing questions related to pitch, speech recognition with acoustic and/or electric hearing, and auditory scene analysis.</li><li> <a href="" target="_blank">Robert Shannon, Ph.D.</a>, known for his work on the perception of speech and non-speech sounds by people with cochlear implants, brainstem implants, and midbrain implants. </li></ul>
Three Boys Town Research Projects Receive ASHA Award Boys Town Research Projects Receive ASHA Award2021-09-23T05:00:00Z<p>​<strong>​Three Boys Town Research Projects Receive the Distinguished Editor's Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) </strong></p><p>To have one researcher paper recognized for this award is impressive, but we are extremely proud to announce that three publications by four Boys Town researchers have received the Editor's Award from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA).</p><p>Congratulations to Lori Leibold, Director, Ph.D., Director of the Center for Hearing Research; Heather Porter, Ph.D., Research Scientist at the Human Auditory Development Laboratory; Karla McGregor, Director of the Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning; and Krystal Werfel, Ph.D., Research Scientist III, Written Language Laboratory, for receiving this highly esteemed award. </p><p>“We are honored to be recognized for our collaborative work, and hope that it shines some light on the communication challenges children face in noisy environments such as classrooms.," said Dr. Leibold. </p><p>Receiving an Editor's Award is one of the highest honors an individual can receive. It is presented to the editor's choice of the most commendable single article appearing in each journal in 2020. Winning articles are selected by the editorial team, including the editor-in-chief, based on experimental design, teaching-education value, scientific or clinical merit, contribution to the professions, theoretical impact, and/or other indices of merit. </p><p>“Being recognized by leaders in my profession is an honor but being recognized for work that was a product of my heart as well as my brain...even more so," said Dr. McGregor. “I am passionate about raising awareness of Developmental Language Disorder and maybe this award will shine a bit of light in that direction."</p><p>“We are honored to be recognized for this work addressing the complexities of literacy intervention for children with hearing loss and hope that this award will help to inspire and advance other research that addresses this critical issue," stated Dr. Werfel. </p><p>The following articles by Boys Town researchers were selected for this award: </p><p> <em> <strong>Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools</strong></em><br><strong>Editor-in-Chief: Holly Storkel</strong><br><a href="" target="_blank">How We Fail Children With Developmental Language Disorder</a><br> Karla K. McGregor</p><p> <em> <strong>Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research</strong></em><strong>—Hearing Section</strong><br><strong>Editor-in-Chief: Peggy Nelson</strong><br><a href="" target="_blank">The Clear-Speech Benefit for School-Age Children: Speech-in-Noise and Speech-in-Speech Recognition</a><br> Lauren Calandruccio, Heather L. Porter, Lori J. Leibold and Emily Buss</p><p> <em> <strong>Perspectives of the ASHA Special Interest Groups</strong></em><br><strong> </strong> <strong>Editor-in-Chief: Brenda Beverly</strong><br><a href="" target="_blank">Teaching Vocabulary to Improve Print Knowledge in Preschool Children With Hearing Loss</a><br> Emily Lund, Carly Miller, W. Michael Douglas and Krystal Werfel</p><p>Congratulations to Dr. Lori Leibold, Dr. Heather Porter, Dr. Karla McGregor and Dr. Krystal Werfel on this prestigious award! </p>
Deepak Madhavan, M.D., MBA, Appointed Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs at Boys Town National Research Hospital Madhavan, M.D., MBA, Appointed Chief Medical Officer and Vice President of Medical Affairs at Boys Town National Research Hospital2021-09-22T05:00:00Z<p>​​Boys Town is pleased to announce the appointment of Deepak Madhavan, M.D., MBA, to the position of Chief Medical Officer and Vice-President of Medical Affairs at Boys Town National Research Hospital.</p><p>Dr. Madhavan joined Boys Town National Research Hospital as the Executive Medical Director of the Pediatric Neuroscience Initiative in May 2019. Over the past two years, he has worked diligently to create the largest, most comprehensive pediatric neuroscience program in the area and increase access to neurological care for children across the Midwest and beyond. </p><p>As Chief Medical Officer and VP of Medical Affairs, Dr. Madhavan will be extending his team- and department-building skills hospital-wide. His duties will include patient safety and accreditation activities within the hospital and among the medical staff. Additionally, Dr. Madhavan will be involved in strategic planning for the hospital, as well as physician recruitment and retention.</p><p>“Dr. Madhavan's dedication to Boys Town's mission is inspiring," said Jason Bruce, M.D., Executive Vice President of Healthcare and Director of Boys Town National Research Hospital and Clinics. “His vision, strategy and expertise will help guide Boys Town Hospital to the next level in the region, bringing life-changing care and hope to more children and families." </p><p>As Dr. Madhavan moves into this position at Boys Town Hospital, he will continue his operational and leadership involvement in the pediatric neuroscience program.</p><p>Prior to joining Boys Town Hospital, Dr. Madhavan was the Director of the Nebraska Comprehensive Epilepsy Program at the University of Nebraska Medical Center. He is board certified in neurology and epilepsy. He received his medical degree from the University of Nebraska Medical Center and completed his neurology residency at the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics. He completed a fellowship in clinical neurophysiology and a fellowship in epilepsy, both at New York University.</p>
New Clinic Created Specifically for First-Time Seizures in Kids Clinic Created Specifically for First-Time Seizures in Kids2021-09-16T05:00:00Z<p>​​​We're pleased to introduce <strong>Boys Town's First-Time Seizure Clinic, designed specifically for children who have experienced their very first seizure</strong>. </p><p>Watching a child experience a seizure can strike fear into any parent's heart and finding where to get answers may feel overwhelming.  Now, families have place dedicated specifically for children with first-time seizures, to be seen quickly, with far <strong>less time from call to care</strong>.</p><p> <strong>Boys Town's First-Time Seizure Clinic</strong> is staffed by a team of pediatric neurologists with experience and expertise in epilepsy care. Children are evaluated by pediatric neurologists who specialize in epilepsy care to help identify the cause of the child's first seizure and help the family establish a management or treatment plan if necessary. If needed, diagnostic imaging is available on site, so there's less waiting involved.</p><p>“Our goal with the<strong> </strong>First-Time Seizure Clinic is to see children quickly," said Deepak Madhavan, M.D., Executive Medical Director of Boys Town Pediatric Neuroscience.<strong> “</strong>This is important in first-time seizures because we want the child to receive appropriate medical care as soon as possible if the seizure is serious. And even when it isn't serious, we want parents and children reassured to relieve that stress and concern."</p><p>Parents can <strong>call <a class="tel">531-355-7420</a></strong> to schedule an appointment for a child who has had his/her <em>first</em> seizure within the last month, or is waiting on a referral to a neurologist, and has not yet seen a neurologist or been diagnosed with epilepsy or seizure disorder.</p><p>It is estimated that five to 10 percent of children will have at least one seizure. Not all need ongoing medical care, however Boys Town pediatric neurologists say all children who experience a seizure need to be seen and evaluated by a medical provider. </p><p>Parents waiting for their child to see a neurologist after an emergency room, urgent care clinic or pediatrician visit are encouraged to call for a timely appointment at 531-355-7420. The clinic is located at Boys Town Pediatric Neurology, 14080 Hospital Road on Boys Town Campus.</p><div class="embed-container"> <iframe width="560" height="315" src="" frameborder="0"></iframe>  <br></div>
Register for MyBoysTown Today for MyBoysTown Today2021-08-30T05:00:00Z<p> <strong>​​​​​MyBoysTown</strong> is a new and improved patient portal experience – connecting your medical, hospital and behavioral health care across all Boys Town services into one record.</p><p>With <strong>MyBoysTown</strong>, you can message your provider, request appointments, review lab results, review and request prescription refills, download school and sports physicals, get health and appointment reminders, review and pay bills and more.</p><p> <em>After hearing from some of our patients, we have made modifications to our enrollment process. Your child's social security number will no longer be needed for enrollment. We want to thank those who reached out to us. Our top priority is the health and safety of children and we will continue to provide the care you have come to know and trust from us.</em></p><h2>Sign Up for MyBoysTown Today!</h2><ul><li>Visit <a href="" target="_blank"></a>.</li><li>Click the "Register Now" button. </li><li>Complete the registration form and create your username and password.</li><li>Provide further verification such as your billing number from your Boys Town statement or insurance number located on your insurance card. </li><li>If we can verify your information, you will receive an email to verify we have your correct email address.</li><li>Click the link provided to complete your registration process.</li></ul><p> <strong>Need help?</strong> Call us M-F, 8am-5pm at <a><span style="text-decoration:underline;">531-355-1234</span></a> or email <a href=""></a>​ for assistance.</p><h2>Stay Connected with the MyChart App!</h2><p style="text-align:center;"> <img alt="MyChart logo" src="" style="margin:5px;" /> </p><p style="text-align:center;"> <a href=""> <img alt="Google Play store" src="" style="margin:5px;width:184px;" /></a> <a href=""><img alt="apple store" src="" style="margin:5px;width:164px;" /></a><br></p>​<br>
Cerebral Palsy: Microstructural Changes in the Spinal Cord Tied to Hand Motor Control Palsy: Microstructural Changes in the Spinal Cord Tied to Hand Motor Control2021-08-27T05:00:00Z<p>​While the study of brain structure and function in individuals with Cerebral Palsy (CP) is fairly common, until recently, the spinal cord has not been studied as closely due to difficulties with the spasticity caused by CP and the need to remain motionless during Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI).</p><div style="width:100%;text-align:center;font-size:10px;margin-right:1rem;float:left;display:block;max-width:400px;"> <img alt="spinal cord image" src="" style="width:100%;display:block;" />Researchers at the Boys Town PoWER Laboratory have published research that ties microstructural changes in the spinal cord, including reduced grey matter in the cross-sectional areas, to deficits in manual dexterity.</div><p>But now, researchers at the Boys Town PoWER  (Physiology of Walking and Engineering Rehabilitation) Laboratory have published research that ties microstructural changes in the spinal cord, including reduced grey matter in the cross-sectional areas, to deficits in manual dexterity.</p><p>“Not only were we able to successfully image the spinal cord in adults with Cerebral Palsy, which has its challenges, but we were able to identify microstructural changes in the upper spinal cord and to connect these changes with hand functioning as measured by a clinical test," said Michael Trevarrow, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the PoWER Lab. </p><p>“By identifying alterations within the upper spinal cord and directly connecting those to sensory-motor impairments of the upper extremities, we are providing an avenue for future work to establish what other roles the spinal cord plays within this population," Trevarrow said. </p><p>For more information on this exciting new study from the PoWER Lab, visit: <a href=""> <span style="text-decoration:underline;"></span></a> </p>
New MRI Study: Reduced Threat Responsiveness Corresponds with Aggressive Behavior MRI Study: Reduced Threat Responsiveness Corresponds with Aggressive Behavior2021-08-24T05:00:00Z<p>​​​​​​​In a first-of-its-kind study, researchers at Boys Town National Research Hospital Center for Neurobehavioral Research have linked reduced threat and reduced emotional responsiveness to recorded aggressive behavior in researched adolescents during their first three months in the Boys Town residential setting.​​</p><p>Previous studies have attempted to examine relationships between brain responses and self-reported aggression. But this study is the first to have an <em>objective</em> (observed and recorded) measure of aggressive incidents, as judged by trained Family-Teachers® in the Boys Town program.</p><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;float:left;display:block;max-width:280px;width:100%;margin-right:1rem;"> <img alt="snake image" src="" style="width:100%;display:block;" />Researchers used images of human and animal figures that were neutral or aggressive to measure threat or emotional response. </div><p>Researchers recruited adolescents shortly after arrival at the Boys Town residential program and measured their threat and emotional response to pictured human and animal figures that were neutral or aggressive as they loomed toward or moved away in the adolescent's field of view. The responses were recorded using an MRI scanner and looking at the reactions in segments of the brain, including the inferior frontal gyrus and the amygdala.  Those brain responses were then related to the number of aggressive incidents shown during the first 3 months of stay at Boys Town.</p><p>Many factors can make a child/adolescent more prone to aggressive behavior, including economic deprivation, poor parenting, maltreatment and even ADHD. But this study looks beyond those factors to neurocognitive dysfunctions that may make an individual more inclined to aggression. The reduced reaction to threat and reduced emotional responsiveness directly (as measured in <strong>M</strong>agnetic <strong>R</strong>esonance <strong>I</strong>maging) correlated to increased recorded episodes of aggressive behavior. </p><p>The researchers hypothesized two potential reasons for this increase. The first being a lack of ability to formulate the consequences of aggressive acts and the second may be related to reduced empathetic responsiveness. Though that wasn't part of this study, the underlying architecture for threat is the same as that for empathy.</p><div style="text-align:center;font-size:10px;float:right;display:block;max-width:280px;width:100%;margin-left:1rem;">​ <img alt="Brain MRI Image" src="" style="width:100%;display:block;" />The responses were recorded using an MRI scanner and looking at the reactions in segments of the brain, including the inferior frontal gyrus and the amygdala. </div> <p>​“What we clearly do show in this study is that lack of emotional response or reduced response to threat is a risk factor," said Dr. James Blair, Ph.D., one of the researchers and the Director of the Center for Neurobehavioral Research. “And we can understand why it is a risk factor with respect to poor decision making and corresponding empathic issues."</p><p>Asked about the future of this study and its findings, Dr. Blair stated, “We need better risk assessment tools – for aggression, self-harm and other mental health concerns.  This study is an early step in developing the next stage of assessment tools for aggression risk."</p><p>To learn more about the study and its findings, go to:​ <a href="" target="_blank">10.1093/scan/nsab058 </a></p>
Researchers from Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals visit Institute for Human Neuroscience from Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals visit Institute for Human Neuroscience2021-08-23T05:00:00Z<p>​We were happy to welcome research colleagues from the Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering at Madonna Rehabilitation Hospitals for a tour at our Institute for Human Neuroscience on Boys Town campus. What an inspiring visit with so many smart minds in the room who work every day to advance research that improves the lives of patients, children and families.</p> <div style="width:100%;text-align:left;font-size:10px;margin-right:1rem;display:block;max-width:830px;"> <img alt="Madonna Tour Participants" src="" style="width:100%;display:block;" /> <strong>Pictured Left to Right:</strong> Arash Gonabadi, MS, Assistant Research Director Rehabilitation Engineering Center, Madonna; Thad Buster, MS, Chief Research Analyst, Madonna; Judith M. Burnfield, PhD, PT, Director Institute for Rehabilitation Science and Engineering, Director Movement and Neurosciences Center, Madonna; <a href=""> Tony Wilson, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Human Neuroscience</a>, Boys Town; Guilherme Cesar, PhD, PT, Assistant Research Director Movement and Neurosciences Center, Madonna; Susan Fager, PhD, CCC-SLP, Director Communication Center, Madonna; Dr. Jason Bruce, Executive Vice President of Healthcare and Director of Boys Town National Research Hospital and Clinics; Dr. Deepak Madhavan, Executive Medical Director, Boys Town Pediatric Neuroscience; <a href=""> Ryan McCreery, Ph.D., Director of Research, Boys Town;</a> <a href=""> Karla McGregor, Ph.D., Director, Center for Childhood Deafness, Language and Learning, Boys Town</a> </div>
Boys Town National Research Hospital Announces Collaboration with Mayo Clinic in Pediatric Cardiology Care Town National Research Hospital Announces Collaboration with Mayo Clinic in Pediatric Cardiology Care2021-07-28T05:00:00Z<p>Boys Town National Research Hospital is pleased to announce a new collaboration with Mayo Clinic to provide cardiology care for children in Omaha and surrounding communities.</p><p>Beginning August 2, the pediatric cardiology outreach clinic will provide diagnosis, care and treatment for a range of heart conditions such as murmurs and palpitations, syncope (fainting), chest pain, abnormal heart rhythm and various other congenital defects and heart diseases. </p><p>“We are thrilled to begin this collaboration with our colleagues from Mayo," said Jason Bruce, M.D., Executive Vice President of Health Care and Director of Boys Town National Research Hospital and Medical Clinics. “To provide a comprehensive patient care approach, we bring together multiple specialists to form the child's care team, addressing the physical, developmental and mental health care of the child. Collaborating with Mayo Clinic allows us to bring their expert cardiology care to our patients and community." </p><p>Mayo Clinic cardiologists will see patients at Boys Town Medical Clinics, located on Boys Town campus, at 139<sup>th</sup> and Pacific Street. To learn more about pediatric cardiology, <a href="/services/pediatric-cardiology">request an appointment online</a> or refer a patient by calling <a class="js-phone">(531) 355-1234</a>. </p><p>Mayo Clinic is the second national collaboration with Boys Town National Research Hospital in two years. In 2019, Boys Town Hospital began a collaborative project with Shriners Healthcare for Children-Twin Cities serving as an outreach clinic for their Nebraska patients to receive care closer to home. </p>
Boys Town’s Morgan Busboom Awarded Foundation for Physical Therapy PODS I Scholarship Town’s Morgan Busboom Awarded Foundation for Physical Therapy PODS I Scholarship2021-07-27T05:00:00Z<p> <img src="" alt="Morgan Busboom headshot" class="ms-rtePosition-2" style="margin:5px;width:300px;height:300px;" />Morgan Busboom, PT, DPT, of the Institute for Human Neuroscience at Boys Town National Research Hospital, was recently awarded a PODS I Mildred Wood Award from the Foundation for Physical Therapy. Funding from the foundation was provided to 21 of the most promising physical therapist researchers to help these new investigators begin their research careers and complete doctoral studies. </p><p>The award provides professional development opportunities for Busboom, as well as supports her dissertation work that she will be doing at Boys Town. Busboom, a Ph.D., student at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, is working at Boys Town's Institute for Human Neuroscience in the <a href="">Physiology of Walking and Engineering Rehabilitation (PoWER) Laboratory</a> under the direction of Max Kurz, Ph.D. </p><p>With the help of this scholarship, Busboom will be focusing her dissertation on a project titled: Robotic Exoskeleton Gait Training in Adolescents with Cerebral Palsy. Through her research, Busboom will be studying new or better ways for patients with cerebral palsy to walk using robotic exoskeleton therapy and how the clinically relevant changes are connected with improvements in the brain and spinal cord activity. </p><p>“We're using the robotic exoskeleton in a way that is a little bit different than you would think. A robotic exoskeleton is used a lot of times in rehab to assist or support a patient as they perform gait training. I am proposing to use the robot to perturb the leg movements during physical therapy to enhance the nervous systems exploration of new and better ways to walk," explained Busboom of her dissertation work. </p><p>Having grown up in Nebraska, Busboom was familiar with Boys Town and is excited to be working in the Institute for Human Neuroscience. “I grew up in Nebraska and had heard about Boys Town. I wasn't aware of all the research opportunities here so that's been the most exciting thing - learning about Dr. Kurz and Dr. Wilson coming to Boys Town and their 'why' for coming here, as well as seeing all of the resources available at Boys Town and the excitement around research," said Busboom. </p><p>In addition to her work at Boys Town, Busboom also is a contracted pediatric physical therapist. “It's interesting to see both the hospital side of physical therapy and the research side. Seeing both helps me to develop new ideas for research." </p><p>“Morgan is extremely creative in her thought process and has a knack for disentangling the source of the movement challenges seen in the patients she treats. She is very deserving of this award and is well on her way towards making an impact on the treatment strategies used at Boys Town and across the clinics in the United States," said Dr. Kurz.</p><p> <em>The </em> <a href=""> <em>Institute for Human Neuroscience</em></a><em> at Boys Town National Research Hospital opened in March 2021. Located on Boys Town campus in Omaha, Nebraska, it is one of the most cutting-edge neuroscience research facilities in the nation and the only site in the world with two next-generation MEG (magnetoencephalography) systems.</em></p>
Let the children talk (to themselves)- it helps memory the children talk (to themselves)- it helps memory2021-07-19T05:00:00Z<p>It's the middle of your remote workday. You leave your home office, but the moment you enter the kitchen, you've completely forgotten what you wanted in the first place. You muse aloud "why did I come in here?" and proceed to talk yourself through the sequence of events that led to your arrival in the kitchen. Adults commonly use these self-talk strategies to remember and problem solve. However, in these days of remote learning, you may have noticed that your children's memory lapses are less often accompanied by self-talk. In fact, its long been thought that children younger than 7 are unable to use a self-talk tool called rehearsal to help them remember lists of things. But thanks to a modernized version of five-decades-old study, we now have a much better idea of when rehearsal develops.</p><p><img src="" alt="Study participants point to the pictures, just as they did in the original Flavell study." style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><div><span class="ms-rteStyle-References">Study participants point to the pictures, just as they did in the original Flavell study</span>.</div><div><br></div><div>In 1966, Flavell, Beach, and Chinksy showed 60 children --5, 7, and 10-year-olds -- sequences of hand drawn pictures. After each sequence, the researchers laid out the pictures and asked the child to point to the pictures in the order. Meanwhile, another researcher discretely watched the child's mouth for subtle movement that indicate the child was talking to herself. In the original study, only the 7- and 10-year-olds spontaneously took advantage of rehearsal to help remember the lists.</div><p><img src="" alt="The participants vision was obstructed during the delay period prior to recall, just as was done in the 1966 study." style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><span class="ms-rteStyle-References">The participants vision was obstructed during the </span><span class="ms-rteStyle-References"></span><span class="ms-rteStyle-References">delay period prior to recall, just as was done in the 1966 study.</span><p><span class="ms-rteStyle-References"></span><br></p><p>Fast forward to 2017. Dr. Emily Elliott of Louisiana State University, Dr. Candice Morey of Cardiff University and Dr. Angela AuBuchon of Boys Town National Research Hospital® struggled to reconcile the results from 1966 with new research from their colleague Dr. Chris Jarrold at the University of Bristol. Dr. Jarrold used different methods than the 1966 study, but his results suggested that 5- and 6-year-olds might also be using very simple forms of rehearsal on memory tests. </p><p><img src="" alt="Care was taken to replicate the obstruction of vision during delay periods." style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><span class="ms-rteStyle-References">Care was taken to replicate the obstruction of vision during delay periods.</span><p><br></p><p>Drs. Elliott, Morey, and AuBuchon decided to find out if the inconsistency could be explained by either the differing methods or the passage of time, so they proposed to lead a multi-site registered replication report of the 1966 study. After their proposal was accepted by the journal Advances in Methods and Practices in Psychology Science (AMPPS), they made all of their materials – from the study protocol and experimental program to the data analysis code – available on Open Science Framework (OSF). They invited researchers around the world to conduct the experiment in the own labs and contribute data. Ultimately, the replication included 977 children from 17 labs – including the three lead authors' and Dr. Jarrold's – representing not only the United States and the United Kingdom, but also Turkey, Norway, New Zealand, Germany, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Italy, and Austria.</p><p><img src="" alt="Study participants from 17 sites worldwide were observed as they provided verbal labels for items presented on the computer scre" style="margin:5px;" /><br></p><span class="ms-rteStyle-References">Study participants from 17 sites worldwide were observed as they provided verbal labels for items presented on the computer screen.</span><p><br></p><p>Careful attention was paid to preserving key elements of the original study. However, the replication was modernized to reflect current research practices. For example, pictures were presented on a computer to standardize the experiment across of the labs. They also video recorded the children, when possible, to assure that lip movements were reliably monitored.  The new study also included a subset of 6-year-olds to better asses the presumed transition from non-verbal memorization in younger children to rehearsal in older children.</p><p>The replication upheld the core of Flavell and colleagues 1966 finding – fewer 5- and 6-year-olds than 7- and 10-year-olds used self-talk. Importantly, though, many more 5- and 6- year-olds used self-talk than would have been predicted by the original 1966 study.  With the expanded study size, 75% of 5-year-olds were found to verbalize as a memory tool at least part of the time, versus 10% in the Flavell study. The updated research also suggests that increased verbalization led to increased memory span performance in the participating children regardless of the participants' age. The benefits of pointing and verbalizing in these memory exercises were particularly prominent in 6-year-olds, who were added to the replication study and were not present in Flavell's original study.</p><p><a href="">Click here</a> to read the newly published replication study.</p>
Boys Town Researchers Find Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Adolescents Can Significantly Impair Quality of Life Town Researchers Find Generalized Anxiety Disorder in Adolescents Can Significantly Impair Quality of Life2021-06-28T05:00:00Z<p>​​​​​​<img src="" alt="GAD" class="ms-rtePosition-2" />A quality life is where our goals and aspirations flourish.  But a quality life is more challenging for adolescents to achieve if they have generalized anxiety disorder (GAD) and are plagued with constant worries about almost everything.</p><p>This suffering is especially poignant for researchers at Boys Town, where 30% of the adolescents in the Family Home Program arrive with some level of generalized anxiety disorder. Until recently, GAD in adolescents has seen very little neuroimaging research.</p><p>“A major problem we see in adolescents with GAD is the recruitment of the brain regions involved in response control and attention," explained Karina Blair, Ph.D., Director of the Program for Trauma and Anxiety in Children (PTAC) at Boys Town National Research Hospital. “Response control and attention are what allows us to concentrate on useful activities. That part of the brain (top-down attentional control) helps us reduce distraction and lets us focus on what is necessary and what we need to do to achieve our goals in life."</p><p>Researchers believe that the difficulties that adolescents with GAD have in engaging top-down brain functions cause them to be more prone to distractions, especially distractions that are worrying. It is also possible that consistent worry interferes with their ability to control responses and attention, so the worry-distraction, distraction-worry scenario may be a two-way path.</p><p>Investigations like this one may pave the way for future brain-level studies that index treatment response. By understanding the brain-level difficulties face​d by adolescents with GAD, one can develop biomarkers of those difficulties so that we can be sure whether a treatment has helped or whether additional remedies need to be considered.</p><p>To read the full article, <a href="" target="_blank">click here</a>.<br></p> <style> .ms-rtePosition-2 { width:450px; height:auto; float:right; } </style><br><br>​​<br>