Inside Gillette Blog


Lifetime of Physical Therapy Helps Bloomington 4-Year-Old Achieve Independence

Posted On: 10/29/2012

Cora walks with help from forearm crutches, which she calls her "sticks."

Cora Gryskiewicz is a spunky, high-energy toddler who loves to “help” her mother, Paula Gryskiewicz, with anything and everything she can.  “Cora is my little turkey,” says Paula, lovingly calling Cora by her favorite nickname. “She is always on the go!”

Indeed, Cora’s busy schedule rivals that of most adults. That’s because, along with visits to her neighborhood park and playtime with mommy, Cora receives physical therapy three times per week at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, where she also sees physicians for help managing a complex disability called spina bifida.  Paula discovered Cora would have the condition, which occurs when the spine develops abnormally, when she was just 20 weeks pregnant.  It causes complications such as, in Cora’s case, hydrocephalus (fluidon the brain), clubfeet, and lower extremity issues.

When Cora was less than a day old, Dr. Patrick Graupman, a pediatric neurosurgeon at Gillette, performed surgery to close the opening in Cora’s back caused by the condition. Other major surgeries have followed—including an orthopedic procedure next week—which, along with regular physical therapy at Gillette’s Burnsville Clinic, have enabled Cora to walk with assistance of forearm crutches, which she calls her “sticks.”  Walking is an especially significant achievement because Cora has very limited feeling in her feet and lower legs.

Cora practices walking with help from therapist Stephanie Zigan.

Paula, who enrolled Cora in physical therapy at Gillette when she was just 4 months old, says that early intervention has been vital to Cora’s independence today.  She also credits Cora’s Gillette therapists, PT Stephanie Zigan and PT assistant Amanda Larson, with enabling her to succeed.  “I firmly believe that Cora is as mobile as she is today because Stephanie pushes her,” says Paula. “She uses positive reinforcement that makes Cora WANT to work hard!”

“Gillette is like a second family to us,” concludes Paula. “Everyone there is wonderful. They recognize Cora and greet her by name. I love that!”


Meet us Monday: Meet Kelley Paulson, Physical Therapist

Posted On: 10/28/2012

Q. What are some of your hobbies outside work?
A. I love spending time with family (especially my son) and at the lake. We like to golf, fish, play bean bags and sit by the campfire.

Q. Do you have any children or pets?
A. My son, Reid,  was born on July 6, 2012

Q. If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?
A. I wish I could teleport. It would save so much time and then I wouldn’t have to commute!

Q. Do you have a favorite food?
A. Tacos

Q. What’s your favorite book?
A. The Harry Potter series

Q. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
A. Australia or New Zealand

Q. What was your favorite subject in school?
A. Math or Science

Q. Who did you admire when you were a kid?
A. My sister Lindsey.

Q. Do you have a favorite type of music?
A. Oldies

Q. Do you have a favorite story or memory from Gillette? 
A. The first time I saw a patient that I’d been working with off and on for 2 years take a step with a reverse walker!

Q. What do you enjoy most about your job at Gillette?
A. I love getting to spend time with kids and work on activities to make them stronger and more independent. There aren’t many jobs that you get to play with really fun kids all day long!


Meet Us Monday – Physical Therapy Month: Chrissy Storlie

Posted On: 10/21/2012

Q. What are some of your hobbies outside work?
A. I like spending time with family and friends whenever I can. My husband and I like to get outside in all seasons. We like spending time in Alexandria, camping and hiking in Ely, backpacking in Idaho, and spending time around the lakes in Minneapolis by our house. Any kind of outdoor music is great.  I tried my hand at gardening the past few summers and realized it is a work in progress!

Q. Do you have any children or pets?
A. No kids for us but we do have a fabulous brindle boxer named Ziggy. She is our baby J

Q. If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?
A. My chosen superpower would surely be to read people’s minds.  Specifically the kids I treat – this would help quite a bit!

Q. Do you have a favorite food?
A. Favorite food is tamales or green olives.

Q. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
A. South America or the Belize Cayes

Q. What was your favorite subject in school?
A. Ceramics in high school, neuro and biology in college and PT school

Q. Do you have a favorite type of music?
A. Oh boy, I enjoy an eclectic blend….. My top five would be: 1) Stevie Wonder 2) Brandi Carlile 3) Ray LaMontagne 4)Bob Marley 5)something with Afro Cubin style

Q. Who did you admire when you were a kid?
A. My wonderful grandmother. She is a very special lady!

Q. Do you have a favorite story or memory from Gillette? 
A. It’s impossible to choose just one…..I really enjoy international healthcare work and have had a couple opportunities to do just that while at Gillette.


Gearing Up for Duluth Dance Marathon!

Posted On: 10/18/2012

Students at the University of Minnesota – Duluth kicked off fundraising for their 2013 Dance Marathon last night, with a Battle of the Bands fundraising event. The event, which pitted seven bands against one another in friendly competition, raised more than $250 for Dance Marathon, which is slated for February 15, 2013.  All Dance Marathon proceeds benefit Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

Thanks to the Dance Marathon Executive Board for signing Gillette’s Cure Pity Pledge! Mark your calendars for a night of fun and non-stop dancing for a great cause on February 15, 2013!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


At LOLTC, Comedy + Kids = Fundraising Success!

Posted On: 10/15/2012

More than 500 Gillette families, staff and supporters enjoyed an evening of live comedy entertainment last Saturday at Laugh Out Loud Twin Cities (LOLTC).  The first-of-its-kind event featured interactive games, a children’s art showcase, a live auction, and even a surprise Flash Mob dance routine.

Dr. Marcie Ward, Gillette physician, with Martin Short.

Dr. Marcie Ward, Gillette physician, with Martin Short.

As emcee, WCCO’s Mark Rosen kept crowds energized throughout the evening, which culminated in a live performance by actor and comedian Martin Short.  We’re thrilled to announce that LOLTC raised more than $250,000 for Gillette!  Many thanks to all who attended – and to our generous corporate sponsors – for making LOLTC a smashing success!

Morgan Pitzen, a Gillette patient, displayed her artwork for Becky Holst, Children’s Miracle Network associate at Gillette.

Morgan Pitzen, a Gillette patient, displayed her artwork for Becky Holst, Children’s Miracle Network associate at Gillette.

Guests of corporate sponsor Larkin Hoffman with Martin Short.

Guests of corporate sponsor Larkin Hoffman with Martin Short.


Meet Us Monday – Jane McMillan, Physical Therapist

Posted On: 10/14/2012

Q. What are some of your hobbies outside work?
A. Running, being outdoors, being with friends, playing music & song-writing


Q. Do you have any children or pets?

A. My roommates and I have a green-cheeked conure (parrot) named Robirda. She is really sweet and likes to go on walks with us (sitting on someone’s shoulder).  She loves figs.

Q. If you could choose a superpower, what would it be?
A. If I had a superpower, I would want to fly!

Q. What’s your favorite book?
A. Favorite book is usually whatever I am reading at the time.  Right now I am reading The Boy in the Moon.  One of my all-time favorite authors is George MacDonald.

Q. Do you have a favorite food?
A. My favorite food is lentil samosas or anything with curry.

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

Q. What was your favorite subject in school?
A. Usually music or science.

Q. Do you have a favorite type of music?
A. I like a variety of music.  Favorite bands include Sufjan Stevens, Over the Rhine, Joanna Newsom and Echo du Ciel.  I also enjoy folk music, bluegrass, and Celtic.

Q. Who did you admire when you were a kid?
A. “Uncle Bill”, a friend and amazing storyteller

Q. Do you have a favorite story or memory from Gillette? 
A. Participating in a fun-run last summer with co-workers and going on a therapy mission trip to Heshima Children’s Center in Kenya earlier this year.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your job at Gillette?
A. Many things! To sum it up, I love the joy it is getting to know and work with all our patients and their families, and the encouraging, collaborative work environment I encounter daily.


Chris Kluwe visits Gillette and interviews Dr. Gormley!

Posted On: 10/10/2012

Gillette welcomed a special guest earlier this week – Minnesota Vikings punter Chris Kluwe!  Kluwe visited Gillette to interview Dr. Mark Gormley as part of a documentary film to raise awareness and support for people living with spinal cord injuries.  As part of the film, which is being created by a Gillette patient family, Kluwe spent the entire day in a wheelchair!  Here’s a preview of the day’s activities. We’ll share more, including photos of our visitors joining with Dr. Gormley to sign Gillette’s CurePity Pledge, next week.


Hispanic Radiothon Raises More Than $44,000!

Posted On: 10/10/2012

Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare serves thousands of Latino children and families every year.  Last weekend brought an exciting opportunity to connect with the Twin Cities Hispanic community through our second annual Hispanic Radiothon, Radio Rey With Love for the Kids.   The event, which broadcast live on Radio Rey 630 AM, raised a record-setting $44,758 for Gillette through call-in pledges, walk-up donations and support from sponsors Land O’Lakes and Deli Express.

In a major highlight of the weekend, Gillette patient families — many whose stories were featured in pre-recorded interviews throughout Radiothon — visited the Radiothon’s on-site locations (in St. Paul on Saturday and Minneapolis on Sunday) to contribute change collected from family and friends.

Thank you to Radio Rey, Land O’Lakes, Deli Express, and the local Hispanic community for helping to make our Radiothon a success!


Meet Us Monday – Sadie Jordahl, Physical Therapist

Posted On: 10/07/2012

At Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare, we know that children and teens develop with the love, support and guidance of their families. That’s why families are integral participants in a child’s rehabilitation program at Gillette.

Every Gillette therapist is a developmental specialist who understands the effects of disabilities on a patient’s growth and development. We work as a team with primary-care physicians, community providers and other specialists to create personalized therapy plans that meet the unique needs of each patient.

In honor of Physical Therapy Month, meet Sadie Jordahl, a physical therapist at Gillette.

Meet Us Monday: Meet Sadie Jordahl

Q. What are some of your hobbies outside work?
A. I enjoy playing with my children, running, hiking, water skiing and reading.

Q. Do you have any children or pets?

A. Two children: Lauren -7 yrs, Rachel -3yrs

Q. What’s your favorite book?
A. I loved the books “Help” and “Still Alice”.

Q. Do you have a favorite food?
A. Anything Italian and homemade guacamole/chips

Q. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?
A. I would love to travel to the Tuscany region of Italy someday.

Q. What was your favorite subject in school?
A. Science

Q. Do you have a favorite type of music?
A. I love all kinds of music.  I love listening to live music.  I have been known to attend a few Keith Urban concerts in my day.

Q. Who did you admire when you were a kid?
A. I would have to say my Mom.  She is a very strong woman and has persevered through many things in her lifetime.

Q. Do you have a favorite story or memory from Gillette? 
A. I vividly remember getting locked in the stairwell with my patient and his father, when the Rehab Therapies area was located where the NICU is now.  I had only worked at Gillette for a couple of weeks and was extremely embarrassed to have to be banging on the doors with my patient’s father and calling for help.

Q. What do you enjoy most about your job at Gillette?
A. I truly love working with all the very special children we are privileged to serve.  I also love being surrounded by great co-workers who all have the same goal in mind to improve the quality of life for our patients.  This job keeps me motivated to continually grow and learn.


Imation CEO signs the CurePity pledge!

Posted On: 10/03/2012

‘At Imation, we place a special emphasis on assisting great community causes. When i heard about the pledge to help improve the lives of children who have disabilities, I immediately wanted to support it’. 

Imation is a Twin Cities-based based global storage and data security company. Our broad customer base spans commercial, government and retail markets in more than 100 companies worldwide. Our portfolio includes tiered storage and security offerings for business, and products designed to manage audio and video information in the home.  Imation, TDK Life on Record, XtremeMac and Memorex are among our well recognized brands.  Imation is committed to enhancing the communities in which we live and work, and we are proud of our employees’ dedication to volunteerism and community involvement.

 


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