Pediatric

dentist

Two Rivers’ Maggie Klinkner aims to be a pediatric dentist

Name: Maggie Klinkner

Parents: Tim and Sam Klinkner

School: Two Rivers High School

Grade: Senior

GPA: 3.67

What extracurricular activities have you been involved with during high school? Throughout high school, I have been involved in student government, Junior Leadership through The Chamber of Manitowoc County, Boomerang, Fact, National Honor Society, Lights Leaders, Advisory Recreational Board, server at St. Peter the Fisherman, figure skating through the Manitowoc County Figure Skating Club, cross country, and track and field.

What is one academic accomplishment about which you feel particularly good? Being able to be involved in so many different things while still keeping up with all my school work. 

Which class or extracurricular activity influenced your decision regarding the career you plan to pursue? My chemistry, physics and advanced chemistry classes. Throughout middle school, science was never a class I really enjoyed, but my views changed when I entered these high school classes. My teacher had a large part in my choice, as she knew how to make the material we learned enjoyable and easy to learn. 

What advice do you have for those just starting their high school career? Don’t take anything for granted; go to that basketball game, go to that musical. High school is only four years long — make the best of it while you are still there. 

What are your plans after high school? I plan to attend Marquette University, where I will major in chemistry. After graduation, I would like to go to dental school and become a pediatric dentist.

What would you like to be doing 10

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health

Inspired by Her Cancer Struggle, Kan. Teacher’s Class Brings Holiday Cheer to Pediatric Patients

Inspired by Her Cancer Struggle, Kan. Teacher’s Class Brings Holiday Cheer to Pediatric Patients

Angela Holtgraves’ special education students began the Stocking Project in 2017 upon learning of Holtgraves’ own cancer battle

When the holiday season rolls around, hundreds of pediatric cancer patients in Kansas will receive stockings stuffed with toys — and it’s all thanks to teacher Angela Holtgraves and her students.

Holtgraves, 34, is a special education teacher, and for the last three years, has spearheaded a special initiative called Stocking Project with her students to spread goodwill and holiday cheer to those who need it most.

“It’s a nice way for us to help others,” she tells PEOPLE in this week’s issue. “This is their way of being able to show the world, ‘I might have a disability, but I can still do some pretty incredible things.’”

For Holtgraves, a mom of two based in Olathe, cheering up young oncology patients at Kansas City’s Children’s Mercy Hospital is personal; she overcame a breast cancer diagnosis at 28, and one of her students was a leukemia survivor. Sharon Houser, the teacher with whom she started the Stocking Project, also has a daughter who is a young breast cancer survivor.

Holtgraves’ students at Shawnee Mission North High School had previously done projects to give back — including making hygiene bags for homeless people — but when they learned of her history with cancer in 2017, switched gears to refocus their efforts.

Courtesy Angela Holtgraves Angela Holtgraves

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Together, they came up with the Stocking Project, which went with Holtgraves when she began teaching at Olathe West High School in 2018.

The group’s initial goal that first year was to create 20 stockings. Instead, they filled 75 in just two weeks, a number that has continued to grow each year for a total of nearly 600.

PEOPLE’s second annual Kindness Issue is dedicated to highlighting the ways, big and small, that kindness can make a difference and change lives. Click here and pick up the issue, on stands Friday, Oct. 30, for more stories on the impact of kindness from Priyanka Chopra Jonas, Sterling K. Brown, Heather Locklear and other stars, as well as everyday people practicing kindness in their communities. To share the story of someone who’s done something exceptionally kind, email [email protected]

Holtgraves estimates that she and her students have raised more than $50,000 in donated goods, helped along with gifts from companies like Russell Stover and Sephora, as well as local businesses.

“The sense of pride they get is everything,” she says.

Angela Holtgraves’ students

RELATED: Ava Sambora Praises Mom Heather Locklear for Helping Her Cope with Anxiety: ‘She is Selfless’

Each year, Holtgraves typically dedicates a day in December to filling the stockings, which are broken down by age group and sex, including male, female and gender-neutral patients, with about 20 items each.

Because of COVID-19, however, this year’s plan

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health

Promise to Expand Intermountain Healthcare, Primary Children’s Hospital Pediatric Behavioral Health Services Inspires $10 Million Gift

Gift to the Intermountain Foundation will help Intermountain Healthcare and Primary Children’s expand and enhance behavioral health services to improve mental wellness in children and teens and help prevent mental health crises.

Greg and Julie Cook
Greg and Julie Cook
Greg and Julie Cook

Salt Lake City, Utah, Oct. 27, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Intermountain Healthcare and Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital are launching a bold plan to enhance mental and behavioral health services for children and teens in crisis throughout the Intermountain West – an effort that has inspired an extraordinary $10 million gift from Utah community leaders Greg and Julie Cook.  

The Cooks’ generous and transformational gift to the Intermountain Foundation will help Intermountain Healthcare and the experts at Primary Children’s expand and enhance behavioral health services to improve mental wellness in children and teens and help prevent mental health crises. 

Suicide is a leading cause of death among children ages 10-17 years. Intermountain Healthcare’s hospital emergency departments have seen a more than 300 percent increase in pediatric mental health crises over the past eight years, and an estimated 40 percent of kids who have depression are not getting care, said Katy Welkie, RN, MBA, CEO of Primary Children’s Hospital and Vice President of Intermountain Children’s Health. 

“The COVID-19 pandemic has also highlighted the ongoing need for additional mental, behavioral, and emotional health resources,” Welkie said. “It is our responsibility as a community of passionate, motivated, and family-driven individuals to tackle this crisis head on. Thanks to the generous gift given by the Cook family, we will continue to build on our primary promise to offer additional support for children in our community.”

For teenagers like Holland, these services are critical to achieving a hopeful future.

“I think I just stopped caring. I was living like it was my last day, every day. I didn’t feel like I had a future, or anywhere to go,” said Holland, 16, recalling her struggle before getting help from Intermountain Primary Children’s Hospital’s behavioral health services. “I’m really grateful that there’s someone to talk to now.” 

With the help of the Cooks’ gift, Intermountain Healthcare and Primary Children’s Hospital will begin to offer: 

  • A new pediatric assessment, referral, and consultation service to screen, triage, and place children in the right services, both virtually and in person. Services will include both crisis response and stabilization, as well as a full array of treatment options.

  • Expansion of available care options, including a call center, TeleHealth services, and in-home crisis services. The call center will connect families to local providers and services throughout the Intermountain West.

  • A new pediatric behavioral health unit located at the second Primary Children’s Hospital campus being built in Lehi. Offering both inpatient and outpatient services, the new hospital will include a 12-bed behavioral health unit with private outdoor space conducive to healing and spiritual health. 

The new Lehi hospital location was selected to ensure the shortest drive time possible for the rapidly growing Utah County community.

“When we learned about Intermountain’s effort to

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health

Taysha Gene Therapies Receives Rare Pediatric Disease Designation and Orphan Drug Designation for TSHA-104 to Treat SURF1-Associated Leigh Syndrome

Taysha anticipated to submit Investigational New Drug Application for TSHA-104 to FDA in 2021

Rare pediatric disease and orphan drug designations now obtained in multiple pipeline programs, including TSHA-101 for GM2 gangliosidosis, TSHA-102 for Rett syndrome and TSHA-118 for CLN1

Taysha Gene Therapies Inc. (Nasdaq: TSHA), a patient-centric gene therapy company focused on developing and commercializing AAV-based gene therapies for the treatment of monogenic diseases of the central nervous system in both rare and large patient populations, today announced that it has received rare pediatric disease designation and orphan drug designation from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for TSHA-104, an AAV9-based gene therapy in development for SURF1-associated Leigh syndrome. Taysha anticipates it will submit an Investigational New Drug (IND) application to the FDA for TSHA-104 in 2021.

“We have now obtained rare pediatric disease and orphan drug designations in multiple gene therapy programs, which we believe will allow us to work more effectively with the FDA as we advance our broad portfolio,” said RA Session II, President, CEO and Founder of Taysha. “The receipt of these designations highlights the dedication that our team has to advancing our gene therapy pipeline as efficiently and rapidly as possible.”

Leigh syndrome is a severe neurological disorder that usually presents in the first year of life. It is characterized by progressive loss of mental and movement abilities that can result in death within two to three years. Approximately 10-15% of people with Leigh syndrome have a SURF1 mutation.

“Being diagnosed with a mutation in the SURF1 gene is a truly devastating event for families,” said Kasey Woleben, Founder of Cure SURF1 Foundation. “Taysha’s commitment to developing a gene therapy for SURF1 deficiency is greatly welcomed by the patient community and has the potential to save the lives of children afflicted with this progressive disorder.”

Taysha has secured rare pediatric disease designation and orphan drug designation for multiple of its programs, including GM2 gangliosidosis, CLN1, Rett syndrome and now SURF1. In addition to these designations, the company also has fast track status for the CLN1 program.

“SURF1 deficiency is a monogenic mitochondrial disorder and is the most common cause of cytochrome c oxidase deficient Leigh syndrome,” said Steven Gray, Ph.D., Chief Scientific Advisor of Taysha and Associate Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at UT Southwestern. “Obtaining these key designations highlights our commitment to developing a gene therapy for the treatment of SURF1 deficiency.”

The FDA defines a rare pediatric disease as a serious or life-threatening disease in which the disease manifestations primarily affect individuals aged from birth to 18 years. Pediatric diseases recognized as “rare” affect under 200,000 people in the U.S. The Rare Pediatric Disease Priority Review Voucher Program is intended to address the challenges that drug companies face when developing treatments for these unique patient populations. Under this program, companies are eligible to receive a priority review voucher following approval of a product with rare pediatric disease designation if the marketing application submitted for the product satisfies certain conditions, including

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health

Start Pediatric Vaccine Trials for COVID-19 Now, Experts Urge

Sixteen-year-old Katelyn Evans of suburban Cincinnati rolled up the sleeve of her burgundy sweatshirt and waited for her shot — a chance to play a small role in combating the pandemic. The high school junior was among the first US teenagers younger than 18 to enter a clinical trial for a COVID-19 vaccine. And although she doesn’t know whether she received a placebo or an actual dose, she is helping build evidence for how adolescents respond to the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine.

Until now, children have been mostly sidelined in the race for a vaccine. The path to pediatric vaccination will require a gradual expansion of large adult trials into teens and then into younger children, according to experts. Last week, Pfizer became the first manufacturer to gain US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approval to test the vaccine in children as young as 12 years of age. Meanwhile, AstraZeneca, whose trial is paused in the United States, is already vaccinating 5- to 12-year-olds in clinical trials in the United Kingdom.

Still, debate continues to swirl around the timeline for US pediatric trials. Some pediatric vaccine experts are urging swift action, but the National Vaccine Advisory Committee (NVAC), which sends its recommendations to US Assistant Secretary of Health Brett Giroir, MD, is signaling that pediatric trials should await the release of safety and efficacy data from adult trials. The earliest such data will likely come from the Pfizer trial and could come as soon as late November, according to the company. (Based on current safety data in adult trials, Moderna intends to start pediatric trials by the end of the year, if it receives regulatory approval, a company spokesperson said.)

Stephen Hahn, MD, FDA commissioner, likewise indicated that the agency would want to see “really robust safety and efficacy data” in adults before moving forward with a pediatric vaccine trial. “Of course, we want to expedite the development of a vaccine for children, but we want to make sure that’s carefully done and thoughtfully considered,” he said during a recent webinar hosted by Michael Osterholm, PhD, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota.



 

How Heavy Is Their Burden of COVID-19?

When to start pediatric trials is a question that requires weighing the potential risks of novel vaccines against possible benefits. “The burden of disease in children is so low that I don’t think we can tolerate any adverse events in children,” said NVAC member H. Cody Meissner, MD, chief of pediatric infectious disease at Tufts Children’s Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts. Meissner is helping draft a panel recommendation that supports the “cautious but deliberate development” of phased trials.

Others look at the concept of burden more broadly. Since the pandemic began, 16-year-old Evans hasn’t been able to sing in the school choir. This fall, she returned to in-person classes, but in choir, they simply beat out the rhythm with their hands. Singing is considered a high-risk activity in the time of COVID-19.

That may seem like

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