Katharin Czink is WGN’s Medical Watch Producer.

Recent Articles
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    ‘I think about him every day.’ Bears running back playing with purpose during ‘cleat week’

    It’s cleat week … and that means NFL players get to sport shoes with a purpose. For Chicago Bear Jordan Howard, it’s an opportunity to share a personal yet painful story … but one he hopes will change the playing field for patients battling a horrific disease. Jordan Howard, Chicago Bears running back: “I think about him every day. I know he’s always with me even though he’s not here in body, but I know he’s here in spirit. He […]

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    Help your pet prepare for the dog-gone winter ahead

    As the snow approaches and you add layers to stay warm and protect your skin don’t forget to winterize your pets! It’s only a matter of time! We bundle up to brave the elements – but our pets need extra protection, as well. When temps dip below freezing, don’t leave animals outside for longer than a quick trip to go to the bathroom. Dr Ashley Rossman, Glen Oak Dog and Cat Hospital: “Dogs can easily get frostbite very quickly.” Veterinarian […]

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    Teacher takes his students into space – without leaving their desks

    CHICAGO — Our Teacher of the Month is an outer space enthusiast who takes his students to the moon without them ever leaving their seats. They gaze among the stars with stops by, among other places, Jupiter and Mars. “My favorite thing is being excited and seeing their eyes light up over some fact they didn’t know about the solar system. They say ‘Really?’ and I feed off of that,” said Tyler Michie, who teaches Astronomy and Earth Science at […]

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    Firefighters’ fight against PTSD: Before death, firefighter makes plea to others

    In tonight’s cover story we delve deeper into the firefighter-PTSD connection. Statistically, the numbers are shocking, more than double the number of suicides compared to in-the-line-of-duty deaths. But for most, the realization of the need for help comes too late. We have exclusive details on one firefighter who gave a final call to action before he died — begging the world not to let another firefighter fall. Leslie Dangerfield, David’s wife: “This is Station 2 coming up. This was his […]

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    Firefighters’ fight against PTSD: How losing a loved one has sparked a call to action

    There is a code red for first responders when it comes to PTSD. It’s a problem that plagues our veterans and now is spilling into the streets of Chicago and across the country. Firefighters are dying and those who love them want to make a change to save lives. So for this silent killer, there is now a call to action. Medical reporter Dina Bair explores the problem and a search for solutions.   To learn more about RE;ACT 4 […]

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    Virtual tour shows loved ones of dementia, Alzheimer’s patients reality of their world

    Truly helping a loved one with dementia or Alzheimer’s begins with understanding what they are experiencing. Enter the Virtual Dementia Tour. It takes some tools to give a real feel for how the mind operates with dementia. The professionals at Senior Star put WGN News’s Dina Bair through the tour. First, shoe inserts to mimic pain associated with neuropathy and other age related disorders, then, goggles that impair vision and gloves to dull the sense of touch. Finally, headphones piped […]

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    Chicago ER prepares for increase during World Series

    It’s no game, but it does take special teamwork during the World Series for hospitals to treat the fans. Between the emotions and the libations – Cubs fans may need hospitalization this weekend. They’re flying the ‘W’ — supporting the Cubs and their fans. The emergency room at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center — just blocks from Wrigley — is bracing for a banner weekend after seeing a 20 percent increase in patients during home playoff games. Registered Nurse Anna […]

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    Math teacher inspires students with rhyme, never-give-up attitude

    Don’t let the rhyme and choreography fool you. “I will have students 10 years out come back, like, ‘Hey! Multiply the co-efficient, add the exponent.’ You can’t argue with it because it works!” said Steven McIlrath, WGN’s October Teacher of the Month. This is calculus with Mr. Mac at Austin College and Career Academy. His formula’s not only transforming the way students learn math — it’s changing the way they feel about themselves. “He tells you to set your goals higher […]

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    With rare disease threatening mother, unborn baby, Chicago doctors perform remarkable procedure to save both

    A mother and baby in crisis. A rare genetic disease threatens both of their lives. That’s when doctors stepped in and performed surgery in the second trimester of pregnancy. A frightening ordeal and tonight a happy ending. She’s precious. This is Luna Paisley – born full-term and healthy. Iyana Baker, Marfan syndrome patient: “I feel stronger, and it’s a nice story to tell her when she gets older.” Thankfully, Iyana Baker’s story has a happy ending. Iyana Baker: “My whole […]

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    New, supplemental scan can help detect breast cancer missed on mammograms

    A new breast cancer scan. Already it’s catching cancers missed on mammograms. It’s called ABUS and doctors say it’s giving them the gift they need to diagnose patients early when their cancer is more treatable. Dr Georgia Giakoumis Spear, radiologist, NorthShore University HealthSystem: “Here on these images there’s a very small little dark area that you can see. This is where I was able to find Patty’s malignancy, Patty’s cancer.” But in the exact same area on the mammogram image […]