Katharin Czink is WGN’s Medical Watch Producer.

Recent Articles
  • Using the eye’s own healing power to stop condition that impairs vision

    Patients can see it coming; cloudy, foggy vision creeps in over time. The traditional treatment is a corneal transplant, but a local doctor has pioneered an alternative that harnesses the eye’s natural healing power. It’s the most common reason patients undergo corneal transplant.  Fuchs’ Endothelial Dystrophy affects about four percent of Americans. The pumping cells in the inner lining of the cornea fail. “When the cells stop working the cornea becomes water logged and vision becomes blurry,” says Dr Kathryn […]

  • With veteran’s guidance, young patients connect, develop and heal

    He was on the front lines in Iraq as an army medic who swooped in to help those injured in combat. Now Joe Weismantel’s job is to play. But he plays a critical role in the lives of young patients. “Being a combat medic in Iraq and flying into different environments and picking up casualties, the more and more I think about it the more I’m like, I did what?!” Joe says.  “I did impact a positive change on somebody […]

  • Can an implant help with opioid addiction?

    There is a new option for opioid addiction in the form of a cutting edge treatment. It’s an implant that offers 24 hour relief with no need to take daily medication. WGN News were there when one of the first patient got the implant in Illinois. It may come as no surprise because of the stigma of the struggle, but she did not want to be identified on camera. But she did know how important it was to get help […]

  • WGN Special Report: Hijacked – The Opioid Addiction Crisis

    WGN’s Special Report: Hijacked – The Opioid Addiction Crisis featured several personal stories. You can see all the stories that are part of WGN’s special report here.   For more information on the buprenorphine implant – Probuphine – check out: Physician locator: http://braeburnaccessprogram.com/physician-locator/ Braeburn has been successful in obtaining third-party payer coverage for Probuphine from large and regional insurance companies, as well as coverage under Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration plans. Payer coverage varies from plan to plan and […]

  • Rhyme, reason, reading and language all part of Mr. Puc’s classroom

    NAPERVILL, Ill. — He brings unbridled and boundless energy to the classroom — and also a little rap. There’s rhyme and reason behind his technique and his students aren’t missing a beat. It’s a strategy that’s working in Martin Puc’s reading and language arts classroom at Saints Peter and Paul Catholic School in west suburban Naperville. For making a difference Puc was the recipient of one thousand dollars from Saint Xavier University’s School of Education.

  • Can a sound wave replace the ‘little blue pill’ for men?

    It’s not a little blue pill, but a pulsing sound wave. The technology has been in use for decades for medical ailments – and now a local doctor is harnessing its power to help patients boost their sexual health. Jason Solid, Gainswave patient: “I’m 49 so you feel the physiologic changes as you age. It’s hard to find a man in his late 40s that hasn’t tried some sort of ED medication.” Yuri Polyak, 50, Gainswave patient: “Everybody has issues […]

  • Which suburbs are heroin hot spots? The answer might surprise you

    Drugs on your street. When we talk about the opioid epidemic – most people think “not in my backyard.” You might be surprised how close the drug problem is and how far the product traveled to get here. This is the busiest border crossing in the world! The port of San Ysidro, just south of San Diego. Cars backed up every day from Tijuana. Sixty thousand vehicles go through — some hollowed out holding illegal drugs. “Every day, of course […]

  • Opioid pain relievers kill more than just pain: One doctor shares her struggle with addiction

    They kill the pain, but they’re killing people by the thousands. Opioid pain relievers are so abundant – there are enough in circulation for every person in the country to have one. Sometimes patients go to more than one doctor. Others order them off the internet. Whatever the means to get the pills, for some, the end result is an inescapable addiction. For Dr. Gail Basch, it started in a medicine cabinet. “I received my first opioid after having my […]

  • Daughter’s addiction leads to rapid and fatal decline

    Opioids, including heroin, hijack the brain. In our last piece, we told you how the brain is powerless to resist the pull of these drugs.  Now we show you the young girl who tried opioids and in just six months was dead. She wanted to stop using and told her sister “You have no idea what I’m going through.” She was literally hijacked by heroin. Ken Chiakas had no idea the pain behind the beautiful blue eyes of his daughter. […]

  • How prescription and illegal opioids ‘hijack’ the brain: One family’s story

    CHICAGO — For some, opioids are an effective, non-addictive pain reliever. But about 10 percent of the population is hard wired for addiction, experts say, and even casual use can quickly turn into something even more serious. As the drugs make their way through the body, they bind to natural opioid receptors on nerve cells. In the brain, they take over an area responsible for pleasurable, rewarding and reinforcing experiences. Food and sex spark the same feelings – but for very brief periods. Opioids, […]