Inside Gillette Blog

Happy National Doctors Day from Gillette

Posted On: 03/29/2012

From improving patients’ independence to offering families a level of pediatric expertise unavailable elsewhere, Gillette physicians make a tremendous difference in the lives of the children and families we serve. In honor of National Doctors Day, we’re sharing some little-known facts about our talented physicians here at Gillette. Did you know:

  • Gillette orthopedic surgeons travel annually to Quito, Ecuador to perform complex procedures on children, and to train South American physicians in the latest surgical techniques.
  • Our pediatric rehabilitation medicine group is the largest in the U.S.
  • Gillette’s specialty care focus attracts physicians from throughout the U.S. and beyond. Last year alone, we added more than 10 new doctors!
  • We have among the nation’s largest practice groups of board-certified pediatric orthopedic surgeons.
  • U.S. News & World Report recognizes Gillette as among the nation’s Best Children’s Hospitals in pediatric orthopedics and pediatric neurology/neurosurgery.

Do you have a special message for a doctor at Gillette? Leave a comment below!

Pediatric orthopedic surgeons Jim Gage, Steven Koop and Tom Novacheck are among the Gillette physicians who perform orthopedic care in Quito, Ecuador, in partnership with physicians from around the world.


Help Us Raise Awareness for Epilepsy!

Posted On: 03/25/2012

Visit Gillette today and you’ll likely notice an overabundance of one particular color – PURPLE!  On Purple Day, the Global Day of Epilepsy Awareness, organizations in the U.S. and beyond come together to raise awareness about the condition. From employees and patient families dressed in purple to purple-colored desserts in our St. Paul coffee shop, we’re excited to join the cause. As the Twin Cities’ only nationally ranked neurology and neurosurgery program, according to U.S. News & World Report, Gillette treats thousands of children with epilepsy each year. We offer the comprehensive services and full range of specialists to treat even the most complex cases. Help us spread the word by sharing this image on Pinterest. You can also post a purple-themed photo to our Facebook page. We’ll select one lucky winner to receive an “I love Gillette” T-shirt.


PICU Celebrates 500 Days Infection Free!

Posted On: 03/21/2012

Nurses in Gillette’s Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) noticed something rather unusual when reporting to work this morning: gigantic “500” balloons adorning their circulation desk!  That’s because today marks an important milestone in the unit’s push to prevent central-line associated blood stream infections, or CLABSI.

Two years ago, our PICU joined a national collaborative of children’s hospitals aimed at decreasing the infections, which can occur among certain patients during inpatient stays. PICU nurses have led the charge to review, and improve, nursing care practices for central lines—introducing new infection-prevention products and procedures, and tracking and reporting care to a national quality database.

Since joining the national collaborative, our PICU hasn’t seen a single central line infection (and today, celebrates 500 infection-free days!)  Nationally, the CLABSI collaborative has saved thousands of lives and millions of health care dollars.  What’s next for the CLABSI team?  They’ll continue marking milestones – and sharing their practice improvements with Gillette’s other inpatient units.

Gillette nurses marked an important milestone today: 500 days central line infection free.

Meet Angela Sinner, D.O., Pediatric Rehabilitation Medicine

Posted On: 03/18/2012

Did you know that March is brain injury awareness month?  This week, we’re introducing you to one of Gillette’s newest brain injury experts – pediatric rehabilitation medicine physician Angela Sinner, D.O.  Dr. Sinner treats children who are recovering from all types of head trauma, from severe brain injuries to children who experience mild traumatic brain injuries (more commonly called concussions) resulting from sports-related hits or falls. Keep reading to learn more about Dr. Sinner. Then, mark your calendar for tomorrow evening’s Concussion Discussion TV special, on KARE 11 from 9-10 PM.  You’ll learn about the latest in diagnosis and treatment of sports-related concussions – and hear from other Gillette experts.

Meet Angela Sinner, D.O. at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare


Q. What are some of your hobbies?

A. I enjoy downhill skiing, traveling, reading and knitting.  A great deal of my time away from work is spent with my family: my husband, two daughters, parents, siblings, and extended family.  My parents frequently travel from North Dakota—they can’t stay away from their grandkids very long.


Q. Do you have any kids or pets?

A. I have two daughters, ages 4 and 1, and a third girl on the way.  We have a lot of dolls at our house!

Q. What is your favorite food?

A. I have a sweet tooth.  I love chocolate and, well, most desserts!

Q. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

A. Greece. I studied there in college, returned for a visit after medical school, and would love to return again soon. The culture, history, and natural beauty are breathtaking. We spent time in Athens, the islands, and throughout the mainland.

Q. What was your favorite subject in school?

A. Math.  I was a math major as an undergrad at the College of Saint Benedict in central Minnesota.

Q. What is your favorite musician/band/type of music?

A. Well, the most played album in my car is Raffi!  He does wonders for my kids. The second most played album is Sara Bareilles’ Kaleidoscope Heart.

Q. Do you have a favorite story/memory from Gillette?

A. Some of my favorite memories at Gillette take place on our inpatient rehabilitation unit. There are several examples of nurses or therapists using their most creative, and often silly, powers to persuade a patient to work harder or try something new, with the goal of working toward recovery and improvement. These events are often followed by rounds of applause and hugs for a patient’s accomplishments.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your job at Gillette?

A. I feel very privileged to work with the providers, nurses, and support staff that I do. Everyone is committed to providing the best care possible for our patients and supporting the dedicated families of Gillette patients. The collaborative spirit makes my work easier and a lot more fun!


Angela Sinner, D.O., specializes in pediatric rehabilitation medicine with a special interest in spina bifida, neurotrauma, and spasticity management. She received her doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from Des Moines University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine in Des Moines, Iowa. She completed a physical medicine and rehabilitation residency at the University of Minnesota Medical School in Minneapolis, and then completed specialty training at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare through a fellowship in pediatric rehabilitation medicine. She has made numerous professional presentations on topics including posterior fossa syndrome autonomic dysfunction in severe traumatic brain injury, and spinal cord injury evaluation. Her recent research has focused on intrathecal baclofen pump management as well as hypercalcemia incidence and treatment in spinal cord injury.


Vote for Gillette in Primrose Schools Family Dance-Off!

Posted On: 03/15/2012

Did you know there’s a simple way to help Gillette win $1,000…$15,000….even as much as $30,000 towards important treatments and services for kids with disabilities?  It’s as easy as voting once daily for this video, created by the Tan family of Blaine, Minn.

Through the Primrose Schools Family Dance-Off contest, families from throughout the U.S. have the opportunity to create a short home-made video, featuring family members dancing to popular beats. Each week, the four TOP videos (determined by popular vote) are selected as finalists. Today, we’re looking for your help – and your vote – to get the Tan family’s video into the finals. WHY?  Because each finalist video receives $1,000 for their local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital – in Minnesota, that’s Gillette!

And that’s not all.  During finalist voting week, which begins March 26, the Tan family’s video will have the opportunity to be named among the top three videos in the national contest.  Gillette could receive anywhere from $30,000 (first prize) to $20,000 (second prize) to $15,000 (third prize).

This week’s finalist voting wraps up at 11 PM tonight! Will you help by voting our video into the finals?  Be sure to vote from your home computer or mobile phone, because votes are tracked through your computer’s IP address.

Darren Storkamp, owner of the Eagan, Minn. Primrose Schools location (pictured with his kids, Carter and Taylor) helped kick off the contest with a school-wide Dance Party last week.

Meet Walter Truong, M.D., Orthopedics

Posted On: 03/11/2012

Q. What are some of your hobbies outside work?

A. My family comes first but I enjoy playing basketball, volleyball and tennis.  I am also trained in Muay Thai kickboxing and Taekwon-Do and hope find time to practice again in the near future.

Q. Do you have any kids or pets?

A. My son is 21 months old and runs the house.

Q. As a child, which superhero did you admire? If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

A. I always wanted to be Superman, mainly because he was able to fly.  Wind in your face, able to survey the world from above.

Q. What is your favorite book and/or favorite food?

A. Shogun by James Clavell – a fictional novel about a foreigner in Japan during the time of the samurai.  I have read it numerous times. Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls (Goi Cuon).

Q. What was your favorite subject in school?

A. If you don’t count recess, it was Gym class, followed closely by Math.

Q. Who did you admire when you were a kid?

I know a lot of people say this but I truly admired my parents the most because of the hardships and sacrifices that they endured as refugees from Vietnam.

 Q. What do you enjoy most about your job at Gillette?

The patients and families are incredibly grateful and the facilities are unmatched but the best part about working at Gillette is that everyone around me is so committed to taking care of our patients and making this place even better.  Everyone is proud to be a part of this.  Cheesy but true.


Walter Truong, M.D.

St. Paul Campus

Walter Truong, M.D., is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon who specializes in treating children who have scoliosis, cerebral palsy, various hip pathologies or orthopedic trauma. He attended Ohio State University College of Medicine before completing his residency in orthopedic surgery at the University of Minnesota Medical School. He spent his fellowship year at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, where he obtained a certificate from the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine in pediatric orthopedic surgery. He will continue participating in research through the University of Minnesota Medical School’s Department of Orthopedics and Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare’s James R. Gage Center for Gait and Motion Analysis. He has made a number of professional presentations, and he is a member of the American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons, Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America, and he is a fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons of Canada. He is fluent in Vietnamese, is married and has a young son. When he is not working or spending time with his family, he can be found either on a basketball court or ski hill.

Fast Food Choices and Healthy Eating for Kids

Posted On: 03/08/2012

Looking for healthy, on-the-go eating options for kids? We asked Cassie Bjork, a pediatric dietician at Gillette, to give her ideas. Read her post below or watch the video! If you have questions, please leave a comment on the post or the video.

Article: McDonald’s updates Happy Meal campaign
Article: McDonald’s: Apple slices in every Happy Meal

      Click the video to watch.


Fast Food Choices and Healthy Eating for Kids

Fast food choices for children have been at the center of the latest nutritional news.  In the midst of this, Gillette wanted to comment on what we consider to be healthful eating. Fast food restaurants are listening to our nation’s cry for healthier options by providing better choices, which is certainly exciting news.  With the reality of our busy lifestyles, it’s helpful to have healthy fast food options for those times when you find yourself in the drive-thru lane over the lunch hour. Yet, even with improvements in drive-thru menu options, it’s important to remember that fast food is still high in calories and fat—and should, therefore, be limited. Keep in mind that you can still eat nutritious foods when you’re in a hurry! Here are my tips for nutritious eating for yourself and your children when you’re in a hurry:

Plan ahead. It doesn’t take long to toss a few food items into a cooler before you head out the door…but it does require you to plan ahead.

Portable foods. Fill your fridge with portable foods like cheese sticks, hard boiled eggs, yogurt, fresh fruit and veggies. Pack sandwiches ahead of time—keeping in mind that they don’t need to be boring! Let your kids choose from a list of options: tuna, turkey, egg salad, chicken or peanut butter and fruit preserves (a better alternative to jelly.) If your child isn’t a sandwich fan, prepare a dish ahead of time that can be enjoyed cold, such as pasta salad or even chili. If you have access to a microwave later on, you can get more creative with foods that may be more traditionally thought of as dinner meals, such as lasagna, beef and vegetable stew, chili or a casserole. Foods like these can be made in batches ahead of time, frozen and taken out as needed. Dinner leftovers can also be saved for lunches or afternoon snacks. Whole fruits, fresh vegetables, and mixtures of nuts are portable and easy options that add substance to meals while packing in nutrients.

Keep it simple. When in doubt, focus on keeping things simple by going back to the basics of healthy eating. With the widely varied mixture of nutritional information available, it can be confusing to know what to eat and feed your kids— especially when you’re busy. When in a bind, it is comforting to know that restaurants are making positive changes to benefit the health of you and your children; however you will always have the most control when you pack it yourself.

If you have any additional questions, please contact your healthcare provider.

Cassie Bjork, RD, LD
Pediatric Dietitian

Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare

Meet Tenner Guillaume, M.D., Orthopedics

Posted On: 03/04/2012

If you’re a regular visitor to Gillette, you may have noticed a number of fresh faces in our St. Paul hospital and outpatient clinics throughout the Metro. In the last year, we’ve welcomed over 20 new physicians and nurse practitioners, all supporting specialties – including orthopedics, rehabilitation, neurosurgery and more – in which we’ve seen continued growth. Beginning this Monday, we’ll give you the inside scoop on some of our newest specialists like Dr. Tenner Guillaume.

Q. What are some of your hobbies outside of work?
A. My family and I particularly enjoy travel.  We traveled to San Francisco, Paris and Bruges, Belgium this past fall.  We also enjoy food and eating out at local restaurants.  Stereotypically, I like playing and watching sports.

Q. Do you have any pets or kids?
A. My wife and I have a 9 month old daughter named Isla and we also have a 7 year old chocolate standard poodle named Boo Radley.

Q. As a child, which superhero did you admire?
A. Superman of course.

Q. What is your favorite food?
A. So that I don’t actually have to choose a favorite food, because that would be next to impossible given that I love all food, I will go with a favorite dessert: crème brulee.  

Q. What was your favorite subject in school?
A. Can I pick two?  Biology and math without a doubt but I also liked English and creative writing a lot.  However, if you really pinned me down, I would probably go with Biology.

Q.    Who did you admire when you were a kid?
A. My father.  He was and is a very hard worker and created a very successful career for himself having moved to the US from Belgium when he was 25 years old to initially work as a prep school language teacher.  Not to mention that he is fluent in 7 different languages (English, Spanish, French, German, Dutch/Flemish, Greek, Latin).

Q. What do you enjoy most about your job at Gillette?
A. The patients.  I feel privileged that families and kids put their faith in me at what can be very trying and stressful moments in their lives, and I feel that it is in these moments that I can be someone to lean on, someone to reassure, and someone to effect positive change.  I have the best job in the world.

Tenner Guillaume, M.D., is a board-certified orthopedic surgeon who specializes in spine surgery. His professional interests include management of pediatric congenital and idiopathic scoliosis as well as isthmic spondylolisthesis. He received his medical degree from the University of Minnesota Medical School. He completed an internship and residency at the University of California, San Francisco Medical Center and a spine surgery fellowship through the Twin Cities Spine Center in Minneapolis. Guillaume has presented research, posters and abstracts and has professional publications. He is a member of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons and the North American Spine Society. He is a candidate for membership in the Scoliosis Research Society and the Pediatric Orthopedic Society of North America.