Inside Gillette Blog


Meet Us Monday - Supreet Deshpande, M.D.

Posted On: 08/18/2015

What is your position and role at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare? I am a Pediatric Rehabilitation physician who works closely with children who have physical challenges. I spend most of my time in an outpatient clinic setting. My normal day at work starts early. I spend my day trying to help children be their best and live as typical a life as possible despite their challenges. A special part of my work month is the neuromuscular clinic. In the clinic, I get to work with children who have muscle diseases such as Duchenne muscular dystrophy, Becker muscular dystrophy and spinal muscle atrophy. Like so many of the children I meet, the kids who have SMA are inspirational. Many learn to drive a powered chair before they turn two (I was 18 before I figured a motorbike out)! They remind me that life is fun and worth enjoying. They brighten my day as they always seem so cheerful and go about life twirling around in their powered chairs; up for any challenge life throws their way. 

Meet Us Monday - Supreet Deshpande, M.DHow did you get into health care? I was always intrigued by the human body, even as a young child (per my mother). I am told I loved to play doctor when anyone was sick or with my toys. I am not quite sure when the “games” actually became a career interest, but quite honestly, I cannot think of a time when I wanted to do anything else.

Why did you choose to work at Gillette? That is easy; it is the most caring place for kids with disabilities. I first came to Gillette as a trainee. The first month was the hardest and longest month of my career thus far. My workdays were long and the patients were unique or very complex. Despite this, I saw the staff here worked hard to help each other so the kids could get the best care possible.

What has been one of your most rewarding moments at Gillette?  This is a tough one as most every day is rewarding! I guess I would say when a very pretty young lady with long golden braids jumped in front of me and said, “hello, doc”, and I couldn’t recognize her! She was a patient whom I had taken care of after a serious motor vehicle accident. When I had admitted her after a severe traumatic brain injury, her head was shaved for treatment. She had been unable to talk or walk, recognize her family, or even eat orally. To see her progress was remarkable.

What clinical development is on the horizon that you’re most excited about? Or is there anything new and exciting in your field/specialty? Researchers are working on emerging treatments to halt, diminish, or reverse muscle and nerve damage in muscular dystrophy and spinal muscle atrophy. 

What is one fun fact about you? I used to love to drive a motorbike as fast as it would let me go in a relatively conservative town. Every head turned and frowned to see a girl driving a bike!  I was also a badminton player who competed at the University level.

What do you like to do in your free time? Read, listen to music, enjoy the outdoors and spend time with my family.

What career would you like to have in your next life, if you couldn’t be a physician? A professional soccer player who could travel the world.


Meet Us Monday - Kelly Bolf, Nurse Practitioner

Posted On: 08/10/2015

What is your position and role at Gillette Children’s Specialty Heatlhcare? I am a Certified Family Nurse Practitioner and work primarily within the physical medicine and rehabilitation realm. I have the privilege of seeing infants, children and adults at the Duluth Clinic and also provide outreach services in Hibbing, Grand Rapids and Bemidji. Outreach provides the patient and family with a shorter commute for visits, making access easier. I recently joined the outreach team and quickly realized that Gillette is an outstanding organization filled with dedicated and talented people working in the metro, and throughout Minnesota, to meet the needs of the special population we serve.   

Meet Us Monday - Kelly Bolf, Nurse Practitioner Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory?  When I came to interview for my current position, I was a bit on the fence as to whether or not I would leave my previous career of nearly 13 years. By the end of conversing with the outreach providers, nursing recruiter and clinic manager, I was sold…hook, line and sinker! The passion, engagement and strong leadership was so evident that I could not think of anything more than wanting to be a part of this very special team. I knew that I would be able to fulfill my professional and personal goals by accepting a position here.

What do you like best about working at Gillette? The patients! I love being able to connect with patients of all ages. It’s awesome to be able to talk about current events in one room with an older child and ninja turtles or Dora in the next room. I make it a goal to get a smile out of everyone I see.  Sometimes it comes easily and other times I have to work really hard to get it! I believe that oftentimes laughter really is the best medicine.

Do you have any children or pets?  My husband David and I have two boys.  Gavin is eight and Aidan is six. We had a pet fish named “Finny” once who lasted 4 days before his passing.  We have not yet summoned up the bravery to get a second pet but our boys are wearing us down on a dog.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?  I would really like to see Alaska as and do some more extensive travel abroad. I have plans to start participating in mission trips in the future and hope that these trips become a family endeavor once our boys get a little older.

What is one fun fact about you? I worked as a summer intern laborer at a Taconite mine on the Iron Range during my freshman year of college.  I shoveled taconite pellets in very hot temperatures and sprayed taconite sludge down drains with a firehose. It was just what I needed to learn about the value of working hard and also the value of a good education.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I am an outdoor fanatic! I love to sea kayak on Lake Superior and smaller inland lakes. Camping and other outdoor things such as sports with the family are right up there too! Training for events such as Grandma’s half marathon, a duathalon or 5K here and there helps me to keep in shape so I can keep up with my little guys. 


Meet Us Monday - Esther Herbert, Respiratory Therapist

Posted On: 08/03/2015

What is your position and role at Gillette? I am a registered respiratory therapist and am proud to say I have been with Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare for 26 years. My daily activities can change each day, but they mostly consist of monitoring patients on ventilators, teaching families and patients about respiratory needs and consulting with nurses, social workers and doctors about a patient’s needs.

Meet Us Monday - Esther Herbert, Respiratory Therapist Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? Some of my favorite memories are from years ago when I used to accompany our nurses and patients to events like Taste of Minnesota, State Fair or Twin’s games. It was such fun to come into work and get to go out on these outings.

What do you like best about working at Gillette? I love the atmosphere and my co-workers. Everyone at Gillette respects one another and is willing to go the extra mile for you.  

Do you have any children or pets? I have four sons: Shane 24, Eric 21, Ryan 19 and Cole 17. I also have one dog named Gizmo – she is, of course, a female because I am so outnumbered.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Australia, it’s a place I would love to explore.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work? My hobbies outside of work currently center on hockey and soccer, but I also like to take walks and hike.  I also see wine tasting in my future!


Meet Us Monday - Samantha Eder

Posted On: 07/24/2015

What is your position and role at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare? I am an Imaging Technologist at Gillette’s Lifetime Clinic. I perform imaging exams for patients and assist with the entire process – from getting preexisting images into our system to sending them out to other providers.

Meet Us Monday - Samantha EderWhat do you like best about working at Gillette? I love seeing the many things done here every day to help our patients and families.

Do you have any children or pets? I have a son named Joey (or Joe or Joseph depending on his mood) who is eight. He loves bowling, karate and swimming. I also have a dog, a cat and many fish.

What is one fun fact about you? I am an Army brat! Throughout my life I’ve lived 15 different places across the U.S. and in Germany when I was young. Until I was married 16 years ago, I moved approximately every three years of my life. I miss moving at times and seeing new places, but it’s also nice to have lived somewhere so long that I know it inside and out.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?  I would love to go back to Germany to visit the places I saw as a young girl living there. I would like to see where we lived, my old school and the everyday places we went. Plus it would be fun to take my son to the castles and other historical places.

 What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I like to garden and I do a lot of canning in the summer. I also love baking, especially for holidays. We do a lot of camping and hiking around the north shore and dream of opening our own campground one day.


Meet Us Monday - Bethann Nikolova, Radiologic Technologist

Posted On: 07/13/2015

What is your position and role at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare? I am a Radiologic Technologist II, or Rad Tech.  My daily activities can vary but my primarily responsibility is ensuring patient comfort while performing accurate x-ray exams.  I also work in diagnostic imaging and am one of two technologists that work in bone density scans (DXA).  I am also a member of Gillette’s internal wellness committee – WOW (Wild On Wellness) Committee.

Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? It is hard to pick a single memory, but I have one that always gets me through a rough day. A patient with severe clubfeet was going through a long andMeet Us Monday - Bethann Nikolova, Radiologic Technologist often painful process with external fixation devices to correct her condition.  One day after imaging her progress she looked up at me and said “Tank You, I Lubba You!”  She really didn’t speak English and it was too cute for words.  A few months later at her last appointment, I saw her playing tag with another child in the hall.  I knew there was no place else for me.

What do you like best about working at Gillette? Working at Gillette has given me the courage to say that I know I can handle anything life throws my way.

Do you have any children or pets? I have two children, Tyler is 14 years old and and EvaKate is 8.  We have a dog “Charlie” aka Charles Xavier, aka Charles Barkley, aka Charlie the goat.  We also have a fish and my daughter is currently asking what other pets we can have.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I have found I am not a good traveler but I have always wanted to go to Boston and Montana.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I mostly try to keep up with my house and kids but I absolutely love having parties. I am currently on hiatus, but am a red belt in Taekwondo and am looking forward to starting my training again and earning my black belt. 


Meet Us Monday - Melissa Pettyjohn, Ultrasound Technologist

Posted On: 07/06/2015

What is your position and role at Gillette? What are some of your daily activities? I am an ultrasound technologist at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare.  I scan the major organs of the body, veins and nerves.  The benefits of ultrasounds are that it does not require sedation and has no radiation, so it is a good option for children and people that need to be imaged often.  It’s also a “dynamic” modality showing real time motion like blood flow, stones moving, and muscles contracting.  It’s fun (and informative) to watch!

Meet Us Monday - Melissa Pettyjohn, Ultrasound Technologist Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? Getting to know my patients brings me joy. I have been scanning the same people for the last seven years. It has been great to build relationships and watch them grow!  We catch up with their latest accomplishments, challenges, and life in general while I scan.

What do you like best about working at Gillette?  Gillette challenges employees to grow and supports us as we do. That is a rare and wonderful thing! I came to Gillette as a relatively new ultrasound tech. I was allowed to develop job duties and scan protocols that best served the patients and providers.  I have also been able to work with providers to learn and develop new scans that are not commonly offered at other facilities, such as infant shoulders, intraoperative spinal canals and peripheral nerves. 

 Do you have any children or pets? My husband and I have a son, Jack, who is 12 – almost a teenager! We also have a rescue dog and cat that keep us entertained.  I am a pushover for rescue animals, if we had more room I would have adopted a whole zoo by now.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?  That changes all the time because I want to travel everywhere.  Right now, I’d love to spend time in Costa Rica.  Beaches, jungles, volcanoes – Cost Rica has it all!

 What are some of your hobbies outside of work?  I love spending time with my family and traveling when I can.  I am a voracious reader and can read 300+ pages a night if the book is interesting.  We bought a fixer-upper that needed a few more fixes than we were aware of, so that is our main hobby.  We have definitely improved our carpentry, electrical, and plumbing skills.


Meet Us Monday - Therese Krug, Imaging Systems Administrator

Posted On: 06/29/2015

What is your position and role at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare? I started at Gillette in 2002 as an X-ray Technologist.  In my time at Gillette, I’ve seen our department move from x-rays taken with film and developed in a darkroom to, today, sophisticated digital imaging.  It’s been an exciting shift!  I monitor and maintain the imaging computer systems that allow us to sync each patient’s information with our imaging equipment, document the details of each imaging exam, and track both data and results from each exam.  Gillette’s complex patient population has unique imaging needs and I consider it a privilege to be part of the team that helps meet those needs.

Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? There was a patient of Dr. Mark Dahl’s that came to Gillette from a Honduras orphanage with very severe lower extremity deformities. When she arrived, she was sad and a little withdrawn.  I performed some of her first imaging exams and she told me that the two things she really wanted to do was run and swim.  Dr. Dahl performed several surgeries and I watched her grow into a happier and more outgoing person as she gained increased use of her legs. She learned English, went to school, and shared stories of the good times with her host Meet Us Monday - Therese Krug, Imaging Systems Administratorfamily.  On her last day at Gillette, she asked me with a big smile, “Do you want to see me run down the hall?” I replied “yes” and she did just that – she ran down the hall.  She came back to me and said, “I can go swimming now too.” She gave me a hug and told me she was going home soon and would miss everyone at Gillette.

What do you like best about working at Gillette? The patients! We all face challenges in our lives, but our patients face their challenges every hour of every day.  Yet they have a great sense of humor, with a smile on their face (most days), have a new joke to tell, and they keep climbing the mountain.  We can all learn something from them.

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Switzerland.  I hear the country is beautiful.

What is one fun fact about you? I was the first female firefighter captain in my hometown county in Illinois. I am very proud of that accomplishment.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I love to cook.  I especially love to have big groups of people over for a meal and share in the friendship.  I also love to travel and have a group of friends from all over the country who travel to a new place each year. This year we are going to Hilton Head.


Meet Us Monday - Emily Syverson, Registered Nurse

Posted On: 06/15/2015

What is your position and role at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare? I am a registered nurse on the Inpatient Rehabilitation Unit. I could not imagine working anywhere else. From the doctors, nurses, therapists, social workers, etc. everyone's hearts are all in to make sure each individual child's needs are being met.

Meet Us Monday - Emily Syverson, Registered Nurse What do you like best about working at Gillette? I am inspired on a daily basis with each patient I care for and each family I meet. It is never easy seeing a child suffer, but their innocence and resilience help them overcome the struggles in a beautiful way. These kids are the toughest kids I have EVER met. They will never know the incredible impact they have made on my life.

 Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? One that stands out is when I met a patient who had injuries so severe she was told she might never walk again. But she worked hard at her therapy and proved everyone wrong!  On the day of her discharge from Gillette, I was honored to be the nurse that held onto her gait belt as she walked out of the hospital. One of her doctors played the song "Girl on Fire" by Alicia Keys – there was a lot of lot of cheering and tears.

What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I enjoy running – especially outdoors, reading a good book and meeting up with friends. I also love ice cream, so trying to find the best ice cream place in the Twin Cities keeps me pretty busy!

What is one fun fact about you? I love to travel! I have been to nine different countries for both pleasure and mission purposes. I have taken a piece of each country with me every time I have left. I enjoy the history and learning about cultures, as well as experiencing a different way of life. Through these travels I have learned that selflessness and simplicity are the keys to happiness.

As a world traveler, where would you go next? I would go to Greece. The history of the country fascinates me. Also, Santorini is said to have beautiful sunsets. I love watching sunsets!


Meet Us Monday - Elizabeth Weber, M.D., Pediatric Orthopedic Surgeon

Posted On: 06/08/2015

What is your position and role at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare? I am a pediatric orthopedist.  My specialty in medicine is focused on fixing bones and my particular focus is on the bones of children.  On some days, I run clinics in St. Paul or in satellites during which I visit with families of children who have issues with their bones.  Some of those children will require surgery for their bones and on other days, my job as a surgeon is to fix them.  I feel lucky to be in the position to help families understand what is wrong with the bone and what I can do to help. 

Why did you choose to go into health care? Why did you choose to go into health care? Prior to becoming a doctor, I spent many years in the United States Air Force as a combat pilot (pictured).  During those years, I was proud of my skills and of my service.  At the end of Desert Storm, I reflected on my time in the military and concluded that the high points were those occasions when I made a direct contribution to saving lives.  After I left the military, it made some sense to investigate my aptitude for medicine—a field I had never previously considered.  This was no small undertaking because I graduated with a bachelor’s degree in political science.   In medical school, my passion for surgery became evident immediately and the choice of Orthopedics was easy when I thought of it as a combination of architectural planning and carpentry.

Why did you choose to come to Gillette? I came to Gillette from a children’s hospital on the east coast.  I was presented with the opportunity to be part of Gillette's team and join their proud tradition of working in the oldest freestanding special needs hospital in the country.  The patient population at Gillette is among the most complex known to medicine. At the same time, the esteemed collection of surgeons preceding me who have developed the techniques and protocols to treat these children is humbling.  To be invited to practice with this group of experts and to care for these children is an honor.

 What has been one of your most rewarding moments at Gillette?  All of my moments at Gillette have been memorable.  I have the honor of working with the most dedicated, gracious, committed caregivers anywhere on earth.  The loving, welcoming environment at Gillette makes it a pleasure to come to work every day.  With patients, any child that I get to help is a blessing.  I would say that the most rewarding moments are when I bond with patients who have a chronic condition and their families. Some surgeries seem very overwhelming to kids and their families.  When I can make a connection with a family and put them at ease, not only is it very rewarding, but I have a friend for life.

What clinical development is on the horizon that you’re most excited about? One of my great passions is limb-length inequality. That’s when one leg isn’t as long as the other.  If the inequality is great enough, you can develop back pain or hip pain and disability as an adult.  There are many techniques of equalizing lengths at skeletal maturity. To me, the most fascinating technique is an implantable, telescoping nail that fits INSIDE the bone and is gradually lengthened by a magnet applied to your leg daily.  You literally make your own leg longer!

What is one fun fact about you? Aside from my years flying planes in the military, I have been a competitive dragon boat racer as well as an expert marksman.


Meet Us Monday – Meghan Munger, Research Coordinator

Posted On: 06/01/2015

What is your position and role at Gillette? I work at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare as a research coordinator. I manage our Summer Research Internship Program which introduces young adults to clinical research. Students are paired with a Gillette mentor, work on a research project, and attend twice weekly seminars on a variety of research topics. I also support the Gait and Motion Analysis Lab in their research efforts. They are a very active group of researchers at Gillette and I help coordinate their studies from start to finish. This includes organizing study logistics, conversing with patients about potential research studies, and helping to summarize study findings at the close of a project.Meet Us Monday – Meghan Munger, Research Coordinator

Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? When I first started, I shadowed many patients visiting the gait lab. It was, and still is, so impressive to learn about how they utilize motion capture technology for clinical decision making.

What do you like best about working at Gillette? There are many things I enjoy about my job. With my internship program, I love having the chance to introduce clinical research to students early in their education. My hope is that students will understand the importance of research, seek out additional training, and utilize these skills during their future careers as healthcare professionals. I also love working with the researchers in the Gait and Motion Analysis lab. These researchers are world-renowned in their field. It is rewarding to be a part of their work in influencing the outcomes of children with gait disorders.

Do you have any children or pets? I have two boys, ages 2 and 4 years.

What are your hobbies outside of work? I love to cook and be active outdoors with my family. Right now, I climb a lot of trees and play superheroes with my boys!

If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I love to travel but haven’t done much since having children. I would like to go to Turkey, which is where my brother-in-law is from. There is also much of the United States that I hope to see, including the Northwest. We have our first family trip planned and are headed to Seattle at the end of the summer. I can’t wait!


 1 2 3 >  Last ›