Katharin Czink is WGN’s Medical Watch Producer.

Recent Articles
  • Like a FitBit for your skin, device works with app to helps track sun exposure

    Technology is helping to prevent cancer and protect the largest organ of the body. It’s a tool you may want to add to your holiday tech gift list. Developed by a dermatologist, the gadget My Skin Track UV Sensor safeguards the skin and alerts users to dangerous conditions. We track time, calories, steps. And now a device, smaller than a coin, can track our sun exposure. The wearable sensor developed in this Northwestern Medicine lab, with the help of a […]

  • What experts say triggers a mass shooter

    Nine out of 10 of the deadliest mass shooters had a history of threatening or committing domestic violence. More than half of all mass shootings are family or domestic violence related. Experts say mass violence grows from more targeted behavior at home or at the workplace. At Mercy Hospital and Medical Center on Monday, three people were fatally shot by 32-year-old Juan Lopez. Lopez’s first wife got a restraining order against him. He was also dismissed from the fire academy […]

  • Woman sold for sex at 13 shares her story of survival

    Thriving after unimaginable trauma. First, a young child was sexually assaulted. They escaped that torture only to find the very person who said they would help, wanted to sell them. The damage is deep, and the healing isn’t immediate when a victim escapes their sex trafficker. Angela Valenti, a sex trafficking survivor, said her sexual abuse started when she was 3 years old. She said she ran away at 12. “Men in their late 30’s I thought were my boyfriends […]

  • Chicago teen was sold into sex trafficking — and escaped

    CHICAGO — The victims of sex trafficking are from every race, religion, neighborhood and zip code. On Wednesday, we begin a multi-part series with the voice of one brave survivor from Chicago. “My mom kicked me out when I was 17,” she said. “I’ve been living on the streets since then.” Because the people who sold the teenager for sex are still at large and a threat to her safety, WGN News is not naming the teen. She’s a South […]

  • Told symptoms ‘all in her head,’ woman raises awareness about group of rare disorders

    It’s often written off as anxiety, particularly in girls. But when the symptoms are thoughtfully pieced together, a puzzling and widely unrecognized disorder is revealed. A quick check of her blood pressure is just one step in Maddie Schubert’s extensive daily routine. “This is on after multiple salt pills this morning and meds to raise my blood pressure, so this is the highest it’s ever going to get,” she said. There are exercises, and pills — lots of them. “That’s […]

  • Former drill sergeant treats students as his own to ‘push them to become better’

    CHICAGO — A former military man who devoted 21 years of his life to service is on a new mission that’s no less important: helping urban teenagers achieve and excel. From their shiny black shoes to the polished brass on their lapels, the students of the Junior Reserves Officers’ Training Corps (JROTC) at Lincoln Park High School stand tall. The commanding voice of Sgt. Jorge Villalobos fills the large room, but the drill sergeant’s heart is even bigger. “I told them […]

  • US surgeon general says opioid crisis is top priority

    CHICAGO — There are 50,000 people who will die in the opioid crisis this year alone. It’s a public health epidemic that has consumed the country, making it a top priority for the U.S. surgeon general, who came to Chicago Thursday to educate and stop the stigma. U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams and U.S. Representative Peter Roskam, whose 6th District includes parts of DuPage County—an area at the center of the opioid addiction epidemic, sat shoulder to shoulder talking strategy […]

  • Treatment offers new option to patients with blood clots in their lungs

    CHICAGO — A new treatment used to clear clots from the lungs is providing a breath of fresh air for many patients. After handling the “very demanding” work of a pipefitter for years, Mike Barr says he found himself struggling to climb even a few steps last year. “It got extremely bad where I could climb maybe five steps and I would be out of breath gasping for air. When you get that way you start wondering, ‘Is this it?’” Barr […]

  • 9 confirmed cases of polio-like illness in Illinois, but cases remain rare

    CHICAGO — We’ve been reporting about the polio-like illness affecting two children here in Chicago, nine in northern Illinois and others across the country, but how concerned should parents be about the spread to their children? Acute Flacid Myelitis or paralysis (AFM) is a rare disorder that is increasing in prevalence. The condition was first described in 2014 and doctors assumed a virus was to blame, but they didn’t know which one. Without a known culprit, there is no vaccine, […]

  • Topical version of breast cancer drug could reduce side effects, risk factor

    Local researchers hope to make an effective and widely-used breast cancer drug even better for patients with a topical version that not only stops the spread of disease, but also may help reduce a major risk factor. It goes on just like hand sanitizer or body lotion, but the gel’s purpose goes far deeper than skin. It’s an alternative form of tamoxifen, an oral drug known to help stop the spread of cancer cells. Commonly prescribed for patients with ductal carcinoma […]