Inside Gillette Blog

Big Changes Afoot on University Avenue

Posted On: 04/29/2010

If you’re driving by the hospital this weekend, you may just have to find another route!  We’re closing down University Avenue beginning late tonight until early Monday morning, as crews work through weekend — both day and night — to install the skyway that will connect our hospital with the new patient care building we’re constructing across the street.  

Here’s what you’ll see looking down University Avenue today. Come Monday morning, be prepared for a dramatically different view.

The skyway will connect to the hospital here:

And here’s where the skyway will connect in our new building:

Check back early next week to see the beginnings of the structure that will ultimately become our all-glass, enclosed skyway!

It’s Sign-up Time for Summer Camp!

Posted On: 04/28/2010

There’s nothing that says “summertime” more than heading to camp. From swimming and bonfires to exploring nature, kids of all ages look forward to the adventures that camp can bring.  Here at Gillette, we know that traditional camps can bring unique challenges for kids with special needs. That’s why we wanted to let our patients and families know about some camps that are specially-designed for children who have disabilities.  Click here for a complete list.

Which camp will you choose this summer? Are there camps we’ve missed? Leave a comment and let us know!

Eat Bruegger’s Bagels and Help Gillette!

Posted On: 04/26/2010

Are you looking for a great reason to treat your family, or your co-workers, to a warm breakfast treat? Look no further than your neighborhood Bruegger’s Bagels. This week through May 2nd, Bruegger’s stores throughout Minnesota will donate 50¢ from every purchase of a dozen bagels to Gillette.

Click here to find the Bruegger’s nearest your home or office. Special thanks to our friends at Bruegger’s, Gillette’s newest Children’s Miracle Network sponsor company, for their generous support!

Our New Building’s “Skeleton” Takes Shape

Posted On: 04/19/2010

More exciting changes are taking place on the site of our new patient-care building in St. Paul, scheduled to open later this year. The first deliveries of steel — which will ultimately serve as our building’s “skeletal system” — arrived on-site last week. (Pardon the metaphor — we’re a hospital after all!) Crews are already putting the steel in place, with a little help from the large cranes seen below. The process is far from complete. But you can already see the very beginnings of walls, and even floors, starting to take shape.

Take a look at today’s photo from Margaret Perryman, our CEO, to see what a difference 3 weeks can make. And not just to our building. The treeline above looks a whole lot greener:

Here’s a photo we shared on April 1st:

As some workers secure our steel beams, others are hard at work pouring the concrete of our building’s footings and walls. There is still a LOT of concrete yet to be poured!

Start the Countdown – Our New PICU Opens in May

Posted On: 04/14/2010

We’ve already told you about our plans to build a bigger, and a better, Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) for our patients. And we’re excited to announce that we’re less than one month away from completing construction. Crews are putting finishing touches on our PICU and installing state-of-the-art equipment that we’ll need to care for children who are critically-injured or recovering from major surgery.  

Interested in a firsthand looks at our new PICU?  We’re holding an open house on May 13 from 2:30 until 7:00 PM — and you’re invited! You’ll have the opportunity to tour our new space, enjoy hors d’oeuvres, and meet some of the families who have been touched by our trauma care.  

If you’d like to RSVP, call Gillette’s event line at 651-312-3114 or email  You can also RSVP on Facebook. Or, feel free to simply show up at a time that’s convenient for you and your family.

Here’s a sneak peek of our progress since March:

The main nurse station, strategically positioned to allow for close patient monitoring.

A patient bed and medical equipment will be added along this wall in the coming weeks.

Private rooms with glass sliding doors will allow staff to observe and react quickly, while giving patient families more privacy.

Save the Date: KS95 for Kids Radiothon Set for December

Posted On: 04/13/2010

The 2010 KS95 for Kids Radiothon isn’t until December — but we’re already gearing up for the big event. This morning, KS95’s Greg and Melissa interviewed kids representing Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare and Children’s Cancer Research Fund, the first of 14 kids’ stories we’ll share on-air during Radiothon.  Gillette patient Tyler Schell gave Greg and Melissa an 8-year-old’s perspective on living with a rare condition called osteogenesis imperfecta, or brittle bone disease.  He was excited to meet the morning show talent, whom he considers “famous people.” 

We’ll share more information about the Radiothon as December approaches. For now, let’s enjoy this warm weather!

Join us at the Capitol on April 20th

Posted On: 04/12/2010

Calling all Gillette patients and families! You’re invited to join us on Tuesday, April 20th, to meet your district’s legislator and share your personal story of how Gillette has impacted you or your child’s life. You’ll be helping legislators understand the importance of disability services — and you’ll learn how to become an advocate for yourself and the disabilities community.

We’ll offer talking points on disability services, give you tips on how to tell your story, and provide background materials on legislation. Later, we’ll join you for a lunchtime Q&A session.


10:00 AM: Welcome and introduction with Gillette Advocates in the State Office Building       

10:30 AM – 12:00 PM: Meet with your legislators and share your personal story

12:00 PM – 1:00 PM: Lunch in the Department of Transportation Cafeteria

1:00 PM: Opportunity to attend hearings or meet with your legislator if you were unable to do so in the morning

If you’d like to participate, email Nikki at to sign up for Tuesdays at the Capitol. Nikki can also set up a meeting with your legislator in advance — just let her know if you’d like her help. If you can’t make it April 20th, we’ve scheduled two more Tuesdays at the Capitol days for April 27th and May 11th

Thanks for your support. We hope to see you at the Capitol!

Night of Inspiration Spotlights 3 Special Families

Posted On: 04/12/2010

Last week’s Night of Inspiration concert featured talented local artists — from rock bands and pianists to vocal and guitar soloists — all sharing their music for a good cause. Throughout the evening, concert-goers heard firsthand from three families of children who have been touched by Gillette. The concert was free-of-charge, with attendees encouraged to make a generous donation to Gillette in lieu of a ticket fee.

Thank you to Miss Twin Cities (and talented pianist!) Kathryn Knuttila for organizing, and participating in, a memorable evening — and to the students at McNally Smith College of Music for offering up their talents to help our patients. Miss Twin Cities and other state-wide royalty are part of the Miss Minnesota organization, a longtime supporter of Gillette through Children’s Miracle Network.

Gillette guests of honor with Miss Twin Cities after the concert.

Matching crowns! Rachel, crowned a "Princess of Hope" at the Pageant of Hope last month, with Miss Twin Cities.