Inside Gillette Blog

New Video Helps Calm Kids’ Pre-Surgery Jitters – By Cheryl Tveit, R.N.

Posted On: 04/29/2013

Finding the right words to explain an upcoming surgery to your child can be difficult. Surgery can be a stressful time for both children and parents. In fact, it is estimated that between 50 and 75 percent of children undergoing surgery develop significant stress and anxiety in the days leading up to surgery.

Fortunately, many studies have shown that adequately preparing your child before surgery can help decrease their stress and anxiety. According to one recent study, children who underwent preparation for their surgery, including tours and information provided in a developmentally appropriate format, were less likely to have anxiety before surgery and were more likely to report a positive surgery experience.

To help you and your child prepare for an upcoming surgery, we’ve created a child-friendly “Planning for your Surgery” video. This video will walk you and your child through the steps that will occur when you come in for your surgery. It stars an actual Gillette patient and current Gillette staff members in their day-to-day roles. You can view the video here: Preparing for Surgery at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare

If you have questions about your upcoming surgery, contact our Pre-Op department at 651-229-3918 or 1-800-719-4040. If you would like to schedule a pre-surgery tour of our hospital with a Child Life Specialist, please call 651-229-3855.


Kain, Z.V., Mayes, L.C., Caldwell-Andrews, A.A., Karas, D.E. & McClain, B.C. (2006). Preoperative anxiety, postoperative pain, and behavioral recovery in young children undergoing surgery. Pediatrics, 118(2), 651-658.

Perry, J.N., Hooper, V.D. & Masiongale, J.(2012). Reducation of preoperative anxiety in pediatric surgery patients using age-appropriate teaching interventions. Journal of Perianesthesia Nursing, 27(2), 69-81.

About the Author

Cheryl Tveit, RN, MSN, CAPA, is a PeriAnesthesia nurse at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

Meet us Monday – Lance Reed, R.N.

Posted On: 04/28/2013

  1. What are some of your hobbies outside work? I play drums, mostly for fun, occasionally for money.  :)   One of my groups (Goodnight Ritual) is releasing an album in June!
  2. Do you have any kids or pets?  
    I have one son; Eli, who is 21 years old.  Also, I have two kitties: Lu and Corky, and a Ten month-old Puppy named Willie Nelson that we got from a rescue shelter in October, 2012.

Meet Us Monday - Lance Reed R.N.

  1. If you could choose a superpower, what would it be? If I could, I’d be flying all over.
  2. What is your favorite book? A tie between Lord of the Rings and The Music of Failure by the late, great Minnesota native Bill Holm
  3. What is your favorite food? The kind that is raised with respect, kindness and much thought.
  4. If you could travel anywhere where would you go?  Touring through the pyramids of the world would be pretty sweet!
  5. Favorite subject in school? From grade school through college, I’ve always loved my science classes.
  6. Favorite musician/band/type of music?The cerebral part of me loves classical guitarist Andres’ Segovia, the rocker in me loves Led Zeppelin (particularly the drummer, John Bonham) Why choose, right?
  7. Who did you admire when you were a kid?  My Mom and Dad.
  8. Do you have a favorite story/memory from Gillette? I remember a patient that was stable, but not happy at all.  A surgery had been done that left the patient’s eyes swollen shut, and it seemed I could do nothing to help.  When I DID NOT hear the patient crying, I became concerned and went to the room, only to find that the patient, finally happy, watching ‘Dora the Explorer’ with fingers physically prying open one eye!
  9. What do you enjoy most about your job at Gillette? I love developing long-term relationships with patients and their families.  Soaring with them through the victories, helping to support them through tough times and long stays, while being invited into some of the most fulfilling conversations imaginable. I am also graced to have the best group of co-workers I’ve ever had the pleasure of working with.

Be Fit, Have Fun and Start Young!

Posted On: 04/22/2013

By: Krista Ash, Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

The Department of Education recently released a mandate stating that students who have disabilities should receive an equal opportunity to participate alongside their peers in after-school athletics and clubs. The Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs already have some amazing programs for children, teens and adults with disabilities, and this new mandate helps open the door even more.

The importance of involvement in sports, recreation and social opportunities at a young age is vital. Children between the ages of 4 and 6 years are actively learning the social skills that impact their whole lives.  Participation in sports and recreation activities can benefit children of all abilities by promoting the development of leadership skills, sharing, conflict resolution, and, of course, physical fitness.

Participation in sports at a young age is important for kids who have disabilities, too. Many friendships and bonds are formed through youth sports and social opportunities. Kids get to interact with other kids who share similar interests. Additionally, active children are more likely to mature into physically active adults. Best of all, getting moving is fun!

For more information, visit the Therapeutic Recreation webpage or contact Child and Family Services at 651-229-3855.

Our therapeutic recreation team encourages patients and families of all abilities to participate in sports and recreational activities.


Florida Accident Reinforces Importance of Lawnmower Safety

Posted On: 04/18/2013

By: Jennifer Laine, M.D.

This week’s wintry weather leaves most of us Minnesotans thinking fondly ahead to spring—and wishing we could do something to speed its arrival!  Unfortunately, in other areas of the country, warmer temperatures recently brought horrific news of a lawnmower accident that badly injured a Florida toddler.

Jennifer Laine is a pediatric orthopedic surgeon at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare.

As a pediatric orthopedic surgeon, stories like this are especially difficult because I see, firsthand, the consequences such injuries can have on children. Although it takes just seconds for an accident to occur, children often struggle with the aftereffects for a lifetime.

A lawnmower blade’s damage to still-developing bones and growth plates can put children at risk for limb-length discrepancies and permanent orthopedic deformities. As we just saw in Florida, children can also lose their limbs entirely.

Whether Minnesotans believe it or not, spring—and mowing season—IS just around the corner. That’s why I hope you’ll take a moment to read these important safety tips, and review them with your loved ones. Serious injuries are, fortunately, 100 percent preventable.  Let’s work together for a fun, and a safe, mowing season.

 Who Should Mow?

  • Children should be at least 12 years-old before operating any lawn mower.
  • Children are at least 16 to operate a riding mower.

Before You Mow

  • Keep children indoors while mowing.
  • Never allow a child to ride on a riding lawn mower with the operator.
  • Pick up stones, toys and debris from the lawn to prevent injuries from flying objects.
  • Never allow children to play on a lawn mower, even if it is turned off.
  • Never mow barefoot – wear shoes, not sandals.
  • Use eye and hearing protection.

While Mowing

  • Only use mowers with automatic shutdown abilities, such as those with a control that stops motion when the handle is released.
  • Don’t mow in reverse.

* These safety tips are based on the American Academy of Pediatrics’ policy statement, Lawn Mower Injuries to Children.

Meet us Monday – John Haggard, Technical Education & Development Specialist

Posted On: 04/14/2013

What are some of your hobbies outside work?

Sports and video games.  I love to watch all sports on TV, but the one I actually still play is volleyball.  I was a collegiate volleyball coach for 7 years before entering the world of training.  I was a setter in college and play in city leagues.  I still play video games…until my wife scolds me.

How long have you worked at Gillette? Do you have a favorite story or memory?

I have worked at Gillette since June of 2012.  When I was hired, my background was in adult learning and software training.  I had no medical background.  Since QCPR was a major focus of my job, I shadowed several physicians.  Dr. Tenner Guillaume was the first to allow me to shadow him.  Seeing how caring, passionate, and focused he was with the many families and children we saw was very inspiring.  That experience really made me realize the impact we can have at Gillette.  I know it made me more focused of the work I do, and appreciative of the opportunity I have at Gillette.

Do you have any kids or pets?

I have two boys.  Jack is 2 ½ and Max is 5 months.  I completely love playing with them and being a dad. I also have a 9lb dog named Doug!

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?

I worked for 7 summers in Alaska, and while there met people from all over the world.  The Australians that I met painted one beautiful picture of their home.  I have always wanted to go.  I was also an Art major in college, so Italy would be a dream to see so much of what I studied.

What is your favorite food?

Italian and Mexican are by far my favorite cuisines.  I could easily live on pasta, pizza, enchiladas, and quesadillas.

Meet Us Monday, Tom Thiegs – Education and Development Specialist

Posted On: 04/07/2013

Meet Tom Thiegs, an Education and Development Specialist at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. Tom provides training, education, and team-building to employees on a variety of topics including leadership, productivity, and personal development.

1. What are some of your hobbies outside work?

I love spending time outdoors and camping, fishing, and bonfires are some of my favorite activities.  I also love photography and travelling.

Meet Us Monday - Tom Thiegs

2. How long have you worked at Gillette? Do you have a favorite story or memory?

Next month (in May) will be my 3-year anniversary at Gillette.  I knew Gillette was the right place for me shortly after joining the team when I conducted my first training session.  The employees were so welcoming and kind.  People buy into the special work that we do here at Gillette, and that’s one of the things I love most about working here.

3. Do you have any kids or pets?

I’ve got two fantastic children, a great little dog, and a wonderful wife!  My daughter is 6-months old and my son is turning 3 this month.  My daughter is a very giggly and happy baby and my son is a whirlwind of positive energy.

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

My dream vacation is to travel to one of the islands in French Polynesia, either Moorea or Bora Bora.  They’ve got some amazing snorkeling and scuba diving in their lagoons and staying in one of those huts built over the water would be really fun!

5. What is your favorite food?

I have lots of favorite foods including pad Thai and a good omelet, but after a long winter I can’t get my mind off grilling.  I love to grill all sorts of foods, but eating some slow-cooked BBQ ribs on the deck sounds pretty nice.