Katharin Czink is WGN’s Medical Watch Producer.

Recent Articles
  • Taking kids from parents at the border could affect development, experts say

    The president of the American Academy of Pediatrics getting into the immigration controversy, calling the separation of children from their parents at the border “child abuse.” Children’s mental health experts say the emotional harm kids experience in such situations will have a long-term effect on their brain development. The toxic stress of being torn from stability disrupts brain architecture, which can hamper language, social-emotional bonds and gross motor skills. “If it’s under this level of uncertainly or unpredictability, the potential […]

  • How a local scientist keeps blood supply safe and flowing

    CHICAGO — Every two seconds, someone in the U.S. needs a unit of blood. WGN News takes a closer look at how scientists are working to keep the blood supply safe and flowing. John R. Hackett, Jr., is a virus hunter. He’s part of an Abbott global surveillance program that looks for rare strains of known viruses, but also hopes to detect new ones well before they invade the blood supply. “Abbott tests are used to screen more than 60 […]

  • New non-invasive procedure helps patients breathe easier

    A rapid, non-invasive procedure is helping patients suffering from nasal wall collapse breathe easier. In patients with the ailment, the cartilage around the nostril drops inward and restricts the flow of air up through the nose. It can be caused by weakened tissue, an injury or facial paralysis like in the case of a stroke. In some it’s an overgrowth or thickening of the natural anatomy. For Ryan Evans, exercise sparked his symptoms. “I’ve noticed that when I exercise and do heavy […]

  • Elementary teacher brings ‘thoughtful’ lessons into classroom

    CHICAGO — This month’s Teacher of the Month is thoughtful, kind, caring and, to her students’ delight, funny. All traits that don’t go unnoticed. “The Robert Frost poem [‘The Road Not Taken’] is a personal favorite of mine. We talk about Mr. Frost, what he meant in American literature,” Maggie Burke, Teacher of the Month, said. “We go stanzas at a time, but we have to do actions with them. And we all like doing the movements, and she does it with us,” Madeline Lynch, the student who nominated Mrs. […]

  • How to help someone after a gunshot wound, according to doctors, experts

    In just 144 days this year, there were 129 deaths in 101 mass shootings in the United States. It’s sparking a national movement born from national tragedy with a focus on saving lives. But would you know how to help someone after a gunshot wound? An AR-style firearm has been the weapon of choice by some shooters who have carried out acts of mass violence — along with handguns, and just last week in Texas, a shotgun. Tom Dorsch is director of operations at […]

  • Local researcher’s personal mission to stop the spread of cancer

    Researchers are trying to stop the spread of cancer in the body. Why cancer cells travel from one spot to another is a mystery. And treating metastatic disease is complex. But for one local researcher, it’s a personal mission to help those suffering. Northwestern Medicine researcher Dr Sui Huang’s mother died from cancer when she was 12. “I have this vengeance against it,” she said.  “If I do research maybe I find something.” She did. Under the microscope she can […]

  • Domestic violence survivor shares her journey to long-term healing

    Surviving domestic violence is no easy task but it’s possible. As we’ve listened to the voices of domestic violence, WGN spoke to one who looks back to help others look forward. Rachel Caidor, director of the Illinois Domestic Violence Hotline said they answer over 25,000 calls from survivors and their families per year. “On a given day, we’ll hear everything from a mother of three needing to flee and us helping her safety plan for her exit,” she said. “We […]

  • ‘You left me in a pool of blood to die’: Justice is slow for domestic violence survivor

    CHICAGO — Those in the trenches helping victims of domestic violence often see a singular case escalate to greater assaults. The only way to halt the cycle is for abusers to be stopped in their tracks. But the legal system doesn’t always provide a clear resolution. In Friday night’s cover story, we meet a victim trying to ease her lingering pain by speaking out. These are the voices of domestic violence. EDITOR’S NOTE: This story contains images that some may […]

  • ‘I am always conscious that I am in danger’: Domestic violence victim’s powerful words could help others

    CHICAGO — Stopping the cycle of domestic violence by bringing the dark nightmare into the light. That’s Thursday’s cover story as we speak with a victim who says she wants to tell her story to make a difference. We asked about the possible backlash from her abuser, but the woman says speaking out gives her strength — a powerful voice against domestic violence. “Every time I hear of a domestic violence shooting, I am thinking it could be me,” said […]

  • Suburban welding teacher helps spark creativity and confidence in students

    SUMMIT, Ill. — When it comes to welding, our Teacher of the Month is molding masters of the trade. Skill and creativity merge in his hands-on classroom, where students are building confidence and potential careers. Jason Smith teaches at Argo Community High School in south suburban Summit. “The more I teach the more I’m realizing that it’s really less about the welding and it’s more about getting these kids excited about something,” he says.  “And I try to spark that […]