Inside Gillette Blog


Meet Us Monday- Meet Alison Smith, Registered Nurse

Posted On: 12/08/2014

1. What is your position and role at Gillette? I started in February of 2014 as a nurse on the neurosciences unit at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

2. Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? I have truly loved getting to know my coworkers and so many kids here at Gillette. One memorable story is when I was taking care of a three-year-old boy and he was throwing a fit about taking his meds in the morning. He loved Spiderman so I told him, "Spiderman has to take his medicine too. I'm going to go give him his medicine after you take yours." He took his meds right after that and the rest of the day was asking "Is it time for my Spiderman medicine yet?"

3. What are some of your hobbies outside of work? My hobbies are running, biking, trying new recipes, listening to country music, trying unique coffee shops (even though I have yet to learn to like straight-up coffee) and doing water sports any chance I get! Something new I've tried that I hope turns into a hobby is painting/refinishing furniture.

4. Do you have any children or pets? Nope! The family dog Zoe is still at my parents’ house.

5. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Where wouldn't I go is probably an easier question. But on the top of my list is Greece and going back to Africa. If I could live anywhere, it would probably be London.

6. What is one fun fact about you? My claim to fame is that I helped with a house for Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. I got within a foot of Ty Pennington and worked right alongside his crew.


Meet Us Monday- Meet Rebecca Jones, Outpatient Occupational Therapist

Posted On: 12/01/2014

1. What is your position and role at Gillette?  I’m an outpatient Occupational Therapist at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare’s Maple Grove clinic location.

2. Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory?  This is a really hard question because I can truly say that I drive home just about every day thinking how much I love my job.  I love wearing my I Heart Gillette shirt out in the community and having strangers come up to me with their own Gillette stories.  Probably what I love the most is the CurePity concept and watching families discover all the things their child with a disability is really able to do with use of modifications or adapted techniques.

3. What are some of your hobbies outside of work?  I don’t know if kids are considered hobbies but that is where most of my time outside work is lovingly spent- libraries, parks, pools, etc.  If I had some free time for myself I would probably fill it with organizing or scrapbooking.

4. Do you have any children or pets?  I have three girls; Alexia:  five-years-old, Amelia: three-years-old and Cora: 15 months.  I have two crazy labs that just won’t let age slow them down; Sydney who’s eight-years-old and Haley, seven- years-old.

5. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?  I lived in Australia for six months so I would LOVE to go back and visit with my friends there; however, it is a goal of my husband and mine to get to Europe someday. 

6. What is one fun fact about you?  I used to be Ms. Congeniality for my hometown of Rockford, Minnesota.  I got to travel to all the local towns and be in parades.  It was a really fun way to spend one of my last summers with my mom and friends before I became a “grown up”.


Meet Us Monday- Meet Michelle Hall CPO/Resident Coordinator

Posted On: 11/24/2014

1. What is your position and role at Gillette? I work as a prosthetist-orthotist in the Assistive Technology department at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare and I serve as the prosthetics residency director.

2. Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? This is tough as there are so many. A recent memory was the opportunity that my patient, a 7-year old boy with a below-knee prosthesis, and I had to meet Rep. Erik Paulsen twice, first in Washington D.C. and then a month or two later at the Maple Grove Clinic. I was able to provide him a tour of our clinic and it wasn’t until he saw our ATD lab that it struck him that we, myself included, actually make the orthoses and prostheses. I hope that it will help him to influence federal policy for the benefit of our patients. The other thought that comes to mind is seeing one of my patients, a very challenging above-knee prosthetics case, walk on a check socket for the first time. This was something that I was uncertain as to whether or not we would ever achieve, but had promised I would try as many times as it took to get him walking. Thankfully, we got there and he is still doing well.

3. What are some of your hobbies outside of work? My professional hobbies include volunteerism for the American Academy of Prosthetists & Orthotists, serving my sixth year on their Board of Directors as the immediate past-president for the organization, as well as volunteering on committees for the American Board for Certification in Orthotics, Prosthetics, and Pedorthics (ABC) and the National Commission for Orthotic Prosthetic Education (NCOPE). Outside of Orthotics and Prosthetics, I am an avid runner, having completed nine marathons and several shorter races, and I am a triathlete. I also love to cook and garden.

4. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I would love to travel again in Latin America. I had had the opportunity to lecture in each Argentina and Chile; I loved meeting clinicians there, learning about their lives outside of Orthotics and Prosthetics and speaking their language. It would be great to have a couple of months to travel.

5. What is one fun fact about you? My husband built a two-seater single-engine airplane which we fly around the country. We’ve had some fun adventures together in it!


Meet Us Monday- Meet Suzanne Le, Registered Nurse

Posted On: 11/17/2014

1. What is your position and role at Gillette? I am a Registered Nurse on the Orthopedic/ Surgical unit at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare
2. Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? Some of my most memorable moments at Gillette are ones when I know I have made a difference in  my patient's care.  Whether that be holding their hand before they go down to surgery, teaching a three-year-old how to swallow pills for the first time, finding comfort measures to relieve pain or watching our patients walk on their own after spinal surgery and having them say "aren't you proud?!" All of those moments remind me why I love being a nurse.
3. What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I love being outdoors and exploring the natural beauty that surrounds us every day.  In the summer I enjoy running and hiking, and in the winter I like to snowboard.  I always enjoy time with my friends and family as well.
4. Do you have any children or pets? No children, no pets.
5. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I would go to Bolivia to see the Salar de Uyuni!
6. What is one fun fact about you? I'm half Vietnamese.


Meet Us Monday- Suzanne Constantini, Manager APN/Dentistry and Orthodontia/Registration

Posted On: 11/03/2014

1. Please describe your roll in the military (for example, in what capacity did you serve in the US Military, what branch, how many years, etc.). I joined the Army Nurse Corps during my last year of college. The Army paid one year of my tuition and in return I agreed to serve three years.  I spent two years stateside working in pediatrics at large Army hospitals and I also served one year in Vietnam from March 1970 – 1971. While in Vietnam I worked in PACU, Surgical ICU and Neurosurgery ICU. This was an intense year of caring for American soldiers, allied troops and Vietnamese people who sustained war injuries. As a diversion, I took advantage of the occasions to work with children in clinics outside of the hospital compound.
2. What is your position and role at Gillette? My position at Gillette is an outpatient manager for Advanced Practice Nursing / Dentistry and Orthodontia / Registration.
3. Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? Every day I see children and their families or caregivers come for some level of service at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare. In my early career I worked in newborn ICU and often wondered who would provide the special care these children would need over the course of their lives. And now I know – it is truly very unique. So when I look at the lighted tree on the hill and watch the video of Ellie dance with her father, that is a wonder and very special.

4. What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I enjoy cooking, gardening, golfing, fly fishing and have taken up painting. Then there are times to just sit back a read a good novel.
5. Do you have any children or pets? I have a 9-year-old golden retriever named Bella. She is wonderful and spoiled.
6. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I have traveled to Scotland, England, Italy, Australia, Hong Kong and some special places in the US. I would like to go back to Italy and stay for a month.
7. What is one fun fact about you? I took up golf and fly fishing with my husband, and we are good partners at both!


Meet Us Monday- Brian Reilly, Seating and Adaptive Equipment Practitioner

Posted On: 11/03/2014

1. What is your position and role at Gillette? I am a “Seating & Adaptive Equipment Practitioner at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. My role at Gillette is to evaluate, design, fabricate, fit, adjust and repair adaptive equipment like custom wheelchair seating and other equipment that isn’t available, or needs to be modified for our patients. I’m pretty sure I have the coolest job here- I get help from physicians, nurses, orthotists, therapists, teachers, families and caregivers to create stuff that can have a profound and positive impact on the quality of life for children and adults who can really benefit from our coordinated services. Sometimes projects are simple and fun. Other times they can be very challenging and we have to try different things before we find a set-up that works. I’m so grateful Gillette gives us everything we need to get this great work done!

2. Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? My favorite memories are working with the super brave and funny kids and their parents. There is a FOX news story from a few years back that reminds me how much I enjoy my job: http://www.myfoxtwincities.com/story/20590082/gillette-childrens-seating-specialist-brian-reilly

3. What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I play guitar and sing in an acoustic Bluegrass / Newgrass folk rock band. I enjoy gardening a lot, cooking (and eating gourmet food), coaching youth sports and cheering for my favorite teams- The Wild and Syracuse Orange men’s basketball.

4. Do you have any children or pets? I have 4 children: 18, 16, 14 and 12. My dog Freida is super smart and loves to run around our backyard and wrestle. Our cat Claire is a lazy meat-loaf cutie.

5. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I want to go to a hot beach with crystal clear blue water. This winter would be great!

6. What is one fun fact about you? I’ve been to 43 of the 50 states (I followed a touring rock band around the country when I could when I was in college).


Meet Us Monday- Meet Amanda Moen, M.D., Pediatric Neurologist

Posted On: 10/27/2014

1. What is your position and role at Gillette? I am a Pediatric Neurologist at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, and take care of children with epilepsy, and other conditions of the nervous system.

2. Can you tell us a little about your education/career history? I received an M.D. from the University of Iowa’s Carver College of Medicine in Iowa City, Iowa, and completed a pediatric residency and a child neurology residency at The Children’s Hospital of Colorado in Denver. My professional interests include anti-NMDA receptor encephalitis, neuroimmunology, leukodystrophies and other metabolic and genetic neurological disorders. 

3. Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory?  As a recent hire, one of my favorite memories is my first visit to Gillette and seeing a patient come up to one of his doctors with a big smile on his face for a hug in the hallway.  It was just one of the many little things that made me really want to work here.

4. What are some of your hobbies outside of work?  I am a self-proclaimed foodie and am enjoying exploring all of the great restaurants St. Paul has to offer.  In my quiet time, I also love to knit.

5. Do you have any children or pets?  I am “honorary” auntie to my godson Theo (6) and his little brother Henry (4).  I also have a low maintenance collection of house plants.

6. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go?  I look forward one day to being able to travel to New Zealand, but will settle in the short term for my next planned trip to go whale watching in Nova Scotia. 

7. What is one fun fact about you?  People commonly come up to me and ask me if I’m from Canada.  I don’t think I have an accent, but I did grow up a mere 25 miles from the North Dakota/Canadian border.


Meet Us Monday- Dana Anderson, Speech-Language Pathologist

Posted On: 10/20/2014

1. What is your position and role at Gillette?  I am a speech-language pathologist at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare’s Maple Grove clinic. I have been with Gillette for 10 years this past summer.

2. Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? My favorite memory is when I introduced a little girl to a communication device that helped her communicate for the first time. Following the session, her mother had taken her through the drive-thru at McDonald’s and ordered her daughter juice as she always did. But, from the back seat, this little girl used her communication device to say “Sprite” over and over again. She had always wanted Sprite but never had a way to communicate that—and she finally was able to!

3. What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I enjoy spending time with family and friends, being outside, walking, and doing Zumba.

4. Do you have any children or pets? I have a 2-year-old son, a dog, and a cat.

5. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Australia. I’ve always wanted to go “Down Under” and  see the Great Barrier Reef.

6. What is one fun fact about you? I am from Iowa, and when I came to Minnesota 11 years ago to complete my internship, I never had any intention of staying here. Now, 11 years later, Minnesota is my home!


Meet Us Monday- Fayrus Abdi, Somali Interpreter

Posted On: 10/06/2014

1. What is your position and role at Gillette?  I am an in-house Somali interpreter at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

2. Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? One of the best things about my job is that I get to be part of many memorable moments. The one memorable moment that stands out the most is when one of my toddler patients had her tracheostomy tube taken out and I heard her voice for the first time and she was laughing. It left me with a teary eye.

3. What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I spend time with my two children and I love to take long walks around the lake, especially Lake Calhoun.

4. Do you have any children or pets? Yes, I have a boy named Zeynudiin (he also goes by Zeyn) and he is 4-years old. I also have a daughter, Nadifa, and she is 3-years old.

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

6. What is one fun fact about you? I like to mix my ice cream with french fries. That’s something I invented while being pregnant and I still do it today, even though I gave birth three years ago.


Meet Us Monday- Eric Flam, Seating Practitioner

Posted On: 09/29/2014

1. What is your position and role at Gillette? I am a seating practitioner at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. I am responsible for evaluating, fabricating and providing custom complex seating systems. 

2. Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? My favorite memories are from when my little brother Evan was an inpatient here at Gillette.  I remember all the nurses and therapists playing with my brother and me during his stay here. This is the reason why I work at Gillette, because I think of it as my second home.

3. What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I love to coach my children’s sports teams, go skiing with my daughter and hopefully the rest of my family this year.  I also play hockey on Wednesday nights. 

4. Do you have any children or pets? I have an 8-year old daughter, 4-year old son, and a 7-month-old lab mix. 

5. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I love to visit New York to visit my family and to eat the food.  But mostly the for the food.

6. What is one fun fact about you? I attended acting camp in  New York but I never made it big so I only do stand up for families here at Gillette.


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