Inside Gillette Blog

We’re Expanding Our Minnetonka Locations

Posted On: 05/28/2013

If you live in the western Twin Cities, you should know that Gillette now has two Minnetonka locations to serve you better.

Minnetonka Clinic

Our Minnetonka Clinic offers appointments with pediatric physicians and nurse practitioners who specialize in:

  • Craniofacial and plastic surgery
  • Neurodevelopmental pediatrics
  • Neurology
  • Neurosurgery
  • Orthopedics and spine conditions
  • Rehabilitation medicine
  • Sleep medicine

We also offer a full range of assistive technology, seating and mobility services.

Although our Minnetonka Clinic remains in its original location (in the Children’s West complex, near the intersection of Interstate 494 and Highway 62), we’re completely remodeling the facility. There’s a new waiting area, additional exam rooms, and other improvements underway.

Minnetonka Therapies

We’ve moved our rehabilitation therapies services (occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech and language therapy) to a spacious location just a third of a mile from the Minnetonka Clinic.

The beautiful new facility includes a state-of-the-art therapy gym, a therapy kitchen, and private treatment spaces. Early morning and evening appointments are available.

At Minnetonka Therapies, we also evaluate and treat patients who have:

  • Communication disorders or muscle tone issues and who might benefit from communication aids (Augmentative and Alternative Communications Clinic)
  • Trouble eating, swallowing and obtaining nourishment (Feeding and Nutrition Clinic)

All of our providers work closely with nearby physicians, therapists and other clinicians to provide care and coordinate services. In addition, we act as partners with area schools to help ensure that patients get all the services they need—close to home.

You can learn more about our Minnetonka Clinic and Minnetonka Therapies on our website:!

Gillette Kid of the Day

Posted On: 05/22/2013

Our Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare Kid of the Day is 12-year-old Malikia. Although she has Osteogenesis Imperfecta, a condition that causes extremely fragile bones, she always has a smile on her face! She has taught her family to never give up.

In Duluth, Minn., Karate Helps Kids at Gillette

Posted On: 05/20/2013

From golf tournaments to bowl-a-thons and even kids’ triathlons, our Children’s Miracle Network team at Gillette can turn most any sporting event into a fundraiser for our patients and families. The tournament, held at the Mattevi Martial Arts Academy in Duluth, Minn., was no exception. This year the tournament featured twelve teams of 83 competitors ranging in age from 5 to 60, and hailing from Minnesota, Wisconsin and even Michigan. All proceeds raised from the event benefited Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

Kevin Murphy, M.D., director of Gillette’s Duluth Clinic (and student at Mattevi Martial Arts) helped judge the competition, which raised more than $3,900 this year.

For the first time ever, the tournament—now in it’s ninth year—included adaptive martial arts for children and adults with disabilities. It also featured grand championship adult and junior Black Belt forms, adult Black Belt sparring, children colored belt forms, team/musical/creative forms, weapon and team weapon forms and open sparring. Duluth television station WDIO-TV captured the day’s activities on film.

Meet us Monday – Meet Nancy Lovaas, Physical Therapist Assistant

Posted On: 05/19/2013

Meet us Monday - Nancy Lovaas

1. What is your position and role at Gillette?  I work at the new Minnetonka Therapies Clinic as a physical therapist assistant. I have been at Gillette 11 years! Do you have a favorite story or memory? I have just enjoyed the many years of being with those who work at Gillette, in particular those at the Minnetonka Clinic. We have been a close knit team whose focus and desire is to give quality care to the patients and families we serve.

2. What are some of your hobbies outside of work? Well, these days I am busy with my 9 year old son, Breckyn and 6 year old daughter, Norah. They keep me running. I do like a good book, but takes me a while to usually finish. Love working in the yard and being outdoors.

3. Do you have any children or pets? Our family (husband Brett, son Breckyn and daughter Norah) love playing with our dog, Juno! She is a lab/terrier mix and loves to lick and jump and play catch with tennis balls.

4. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Hmmm… really anywhere! Time away from the daily chores is always welcomed no matter where I am! If I had to choose, I would pick somewhere somewhat remote and not bring my cell phone to disconnect from the world for a while… and I would bring my family with!

5. What is one fun fact about you? I am a 19 year survivor of leukemia! I have been a part of the wellness team since it’s existence. I will be doing my first individual triathlon this summer!

Bison Booties Donation Keeps Kids’ Feet Cozy, Colorful

Posted On: 05/12/2013

Thanks to a generous small business owner and a grateful patient family, children receiving surgery at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare will receive a fun surprise during their hospital stay — their very own pair of adorable Bison Booties!

Bison Booties creator Erica Hager of Bismarck, N.D., was inspired to donate the booties after hearing about Gillette from her cousin, Kendra Bachmeier. Kendra’s 15-month-old daughter, Cambria, began seeing pediatric orthopedic surgeon Tom Novacheck, M.D., after her parents noticed she walked with a significant limp. She was soon diagnosed with hip dysplasia—her left hip is dislocated completely—and came to Gillette for corrective surgery in April.

“Many children on Gillette’s orthopedic unit, like Cambria, are in body casts for weeks after surgery,” says Kendra. “Bison Booties have been awesome for her to wear during this time! The nurses even mentioned how ideal they are for kids in the hospital.”

After returning home to Bismarck, Kendra told Erica that she’d like to purchase 10 pairs of Bison Booties for Gillette patients.  But Erica provided them free of charge instead—and took it one step further. She gave her customers the opportunity to purchase a pair of booties for a child at Gillette, promising to match each donated pair.  “She truly went above and beyond!” says Kendra.

Thanks to Bison Booties customers throughout the U.S. (even Alaska!) Erica donated 36 pairs of the one-of-a-kind shoes to Gillette. Kendra and Cambria, who returned to Gillette last week for a follow-up hip procedure, presented them personally.


6-Year-Old Teaches Classmates about Prostheses and Orthoses

Posted On: 05/08/2013

At 6 years old, Elijah Brummond does everything a normal kindergartener would, from running and jumping to practicing tae kwon do. He does all of this using a prosthetic leg. Elijah’s foot and part of his leg did not fully develop while in-utero, the result of a condition called fibular hemimelia. When Elijah was a baby, his parents decided to have doctors at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare amputate the affected foot. Then, when he was just 1 year old, Elijah got his first prosthetic, giving him lifelong independence and mobility.

John Sytniak, CPO, shows students how a myoelectric prosthesis works.

As a school-aged child, Elijah’s classmates often express curiosity about his prosthesis. And, like any 6-year-old, Elijah also has questions himself. To help educate Elijah and his classmates, his mother worked with Gillette prosthetist Michelle Hall, CPO, FAAOP, to organize a one-of-a-kind field trip to experience how prostheses and orthoses (braces) are used and made. During the April 24 field trip, the students were able to do things such as trial a myoelectric prosthetic arm, make a plaster mold of their thumb and foot, walk in prosthetic legs, and take a tour of Gillette’s Assistive Technology Department, where the prostheses are made.

The boots pictured behind Elijah allowed his classmates to experience what it feels like to walk with a prosthetic limb.

As April was Limb Loss Awareness Month, it provided a perfect opportunity to raise awareness about amputees and the importance of prosthetics. It also gave the children a glimpse into Elijah’s life as an amputee and how he uses his own prosthetic leg. Students had a great day—especially Elijah, who led the way for his classmates.


Meet us Monday – Kari Kubiatowicz, R.N.

Posted On: 05/05/2013

Meet us Monday


1. What is your position and role at Gillette? I am a Registered Nurse in the Neurosciences Unit.

2. Do you have a favorite story or memory from Gillette? Hosting prom on our unit for one of our patients.

3. What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I enjoy golfing, jogging, playing trumpet in a community band and spending time with my family and friends

4. Do you have any children or pets? Not yet, although my husband is campaigning for us to get a pug named Leon.

5. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Italy

6. What is one fun fact about you? I played trumpet with my now husband in the benchwarmerz for a summer in college (a small band that walks around and plays goofy and popular songs at Valleyfair).

Join Us for Adaptive Sports Fun on May 5th!

Posted On: 05/01/2013

Mark Your Calendar for Sunday, May 5, 2013

Sunday, May 5, will be a great day for a bike ride—regardless of the weather! Make plans now to attend the Adapted Bike and Sports Expo sponsored by Gillette and Courage Center.

You’ll have a chance to:

  • See and test ride the latest adaptive hand cycles, bicycles and trikes
  • Participate in adaptive rock climbing and ropes demonstrations
  • Learn about adapted recreation offerings in the Twin Cities

It’s fun. And it’s free!

One person looking forward to the event is Tony Mliner, who has cerebral palsy. He hadn’t ridden a bike since he was a child—until he came to Gillette Lifetime for physical therapy. “We saw the bikes in the therapy room and it piqued his interest,” says Cindy Kreidler, Mliner’s aunt. “He rode through the whole therapy room with a smile on his face.”


The benefits of biking are numerous, particularly for people who have disabilities. “It will give him mobility, allow him to exercise, and help him meet people,” Kreidler says. Mliner says he hopes to increase his strength, core stability, balance, and reaction time.

“Because of my disabilities, I need a special bike that has been adapted for me,” he says. “Then I can ride successfully, safely and with greater independence.”


At least eight bike vendors will attend the expo this year, giving families a variety of bike options to try. “If you’re looking for an adapted bicycle for yourself or your child, I highly recommend this event,” says Krista Ash, Gillette therapeutic recreation specialist. She and other Gillette staff will be on hand to answer questions and introduce the most appropriate vendors for each situation.


Because insurance typically doesn’t cover sports equipment, Mliner and his family are planning a fundraiser for May 18. Gillette therapeutic recreation specialists can help Gillette families learn about grants and other funding options


12th Annual Adaptive Bike and Sports Expo
Sunday, May 5, 2013 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
Fort Snelling Base Camp
Bloomington, Minn.

For more information, contact Krista Ash at 651-312-3138 or