Katharin Czink is WGN’s Medical Watch Producer.


Recent Articles
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    Magnets helping make back braces a thing of the past for some patients

    A magnetic pull on the spine to get things straight. It’s a technique doctors are increasingly using for growing patients. He shoots, swings and throws. Just like a typical 11-year-old who loves sports. Cal Sorensen, spine magnet patient: “I can play basketball and golf with it.” Holly Sorensen, Cal’s mother: “Even with the twisting with golf he can do pretty much everything.” What he doesn’t feel doesn’t hinder Cal Sorensen. But looking at an x-ray of his spine, you’d think […]

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    Concerns grow over Elizabethkingia

    Elizabethkingia and a growing threat in Illinois. We first told you about the bacteria killing in Wisconsin. Now a half-dozen victims right here in Illinois died and tested positive for Elizabethkingia. The Illinois Department of Public Health is on alert. It’s in the water, it’s in the dirt, but rarely has it made people sick … until now. Various forms of the Elizabethkingia bacteria have been linked to six Illinois deaths and 18 more in Wisconsin. Dr. Nirav D. Shah/Director, […]

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    Is this the cast of the future? Group of U of I students thinks so

    A team of engineering students set out to change the way doctors heal broken bones. It’s an invention that tackles the most common complaints about the common cast. Jason Troutner, University of Illinois mechanical engineering student: “This is our flexible, silicone, lattice mold.” It slips on like a piece of jewelry or a glove — a web-like system of interconnected tubes made from liquid silicone. But it’s not a fashion statement … it’s a cast! Jason Troutner: “Those supports will […]

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    Simulation shows dangers of distracted driving

    Distracted driving is a tragic trend. It’s the cause of nearly 80 percent of accidents. Yet so many people are willing to take the risk, especially younger drivers who have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes. In 2010, distracted driving was responsible for more than 400,000 injuries.  Performing tasks such as reaching for a phone, dialing and texting make you three to four times more likely to get into a crash. Sending or receiving a text message take’s a […]

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    Big helpers in small packages: Mini horses help bring joy to those in need

    Bigger than a dog and smaller than a pony … they’re unexpected visitors! But that’s part of their charm. Mini horses are making the rounds, bringing joy to those in need. “Here comes Mystery!” You have to see it to believe it … and even then it’s a bit of a surprise. Jodi Diegel, founder and executive director, Mane in Heaven: “People expect a dog, they don’t expect a mini horse.” Patient: “I just can’t believe there’s a horse in […]

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    Chicago teacher focus on forward thinking attitude has won him fans

    CHICAGO — Ilhan Avcioglu, also known as “Mr. A,” teaches government, history and law at Kenwood Academy on Chicago’s South Side. His student fan base is huge. Diavian Goolsby is the student who nominated Mr. A for Teacher of the Month consideration. “I like that he is open minded,” she says. “He is not bias. He makes us really think about issues we have in society and how we can make a difference.” Mr. A says he tries to connect with […]

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    Combination therapy tries to out smart cancer cells

    Cancer cells are smart – and eventually some figure out a way to dodge even the most powerful medications. That’s why finding ways to overcome drug resistance is a critical component in breast cancer research. It’s a frightening scenario for many patients fighting breast cancer.  When cancer cells grow resistant to the most common and effective treatments available – then what? Researchers at Northwestern Medicine tested a combination therapy – a common and powerful drug that targets a specific type […]

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    Dramatic journey for 4-year-old with scoliosis

    CHICAGO — Patience pays off. For a young patient with scoliosis, the curve in her spine threatened to throw a major curve in her health and ability to grow. But an old-fashioned technique with a new twist is helping her avoid surgery. Hailey Gamboa is a typical four year old. “She’s really active and does a lot,” Christi Gamboa, Hailey’s mother, says. Not much holds Hailey Gamboa back — not even the bulky armor underneath her sparkly, green sweater. “She is now wearing […]

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    WGN’s Demetrius Ivory, Erin McElroy welcome twins with help of surrogate

    CHICAGO — New life is a gift, but the joy of having babies is sometimes only possible through medical technology, and in special cases, the generosity of a third person. Children are not a given for some couples. Science gave WGN’s Demetrius Ivory and Erin McElroy their heart’s desire. This is the moment the loving couple has waited for, struggled for nearly a year for. Finally, success. “You’re five weeks and six days pregnant today,” said Dr. Eve Feinberg, Fertility Centers of Illinois. Then […]

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    February Teacher of the Month: Betsy Crawford

    This month’s honoree takes her students outside the classroom where she teaches them the most important lesson: how to be a good citizen who gives back to their community. “I try to give them experience outside the classroom so that they can see what change is needed in the world and they can be part of that change,” says Betsy Crawford, February’s Teacher of the Month. Crawford is an eighth grade reading teacher at Crete Monee Middle School. Her classroom is bright with […]

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