Inside Gillette Blog


Meet Us Monday - Tom Novacheck, M.D.

Posted On: 03/23/2015

1.) What is your position and role at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare? I am a pediatric orthopedic surgeon and director of the James R. Gage Center for Gait and Motion Analysis. I work with our gait lab team — which includes engineers, technicians, and physical therapists — to gather information to understand problems with movement.

2.) What has been one of your most rewarding moments at Gillette?   The most rewarding moments are developing long-term relationships with children and their families. I have some families that I’ve been seeing for more than 20 years.

3.) How do you fit into caring for those who have cerebral palsy?  As an orthopedic surgeon, I focus on problems that impact a child’s bones and joints.  For children who have cerebral palsy, even when spasticity is diminished, they still can have problems with their bone and joint alignment. We want their muscles to have the best capacity that they can, so correcting a bone and joint deformity will help them with that.

4.) What are the benefits, both professionally and for our patients, in working with an interdisciplinary team?  Care for children who have cerebral palsy or other disabilities needs to be comprehensive because certain medical conditions can affect many different functions. That could be communication, it could be eating, it could be mobility, it could be problems with seizures, or learning. We offer all of those services here as part of a team in one organization. And because my colleagues and I know each other, I can trust that my patients are going to receive good care - and caring care – with any specialist they see. Then I can concentrate on what I think I do best.  And we all know that no one can be the best at everything!

5.) What innovations or advancements have you seen that benefit our patients?  Our Gait Lab is one of the best in the world and was the first to be accredited.  There are only 10 - 15 accredited Gait Labs in the country.  Accreditation indicates high quality and also dedication to patient care. Our Gait Lab also has a tremendous amount of experience. It’s one of the two or three oldest Gait Labs in the country – and certainly one of the busiest in the country in terms of the number of patients we see each year. With that comes a lot of experience and understanding of our patient population.

6.) What advice would you give a parent with a child who has cerebral palsy?  In my practice, it’s not very common that I’m telling the child or the family that “you have cerebral palsy.” They already know that, and that can be a devastating thing to hear for the first time.  From there, it’s time to pick up the pieces and say, “Okay, you know that you have cerebral palsy.  Let’s make sure you understand what cerebral palsy means. Now what are we going to do to help?” Most people gain comfort from knowledge. We try to educate, answer questions, clear up misconceptions — and because families see all of us Gillette specialists working together, they’re not getting this piece of information from this person, that piece of information from another person. They’re getting all of it together from a highly coordinated team.

7.) How and why did you become an orthopedic surgeon?  I went into orthopedics because I like mechanical things and I like sports.  However, I did not know that I wanted to work with pediatric patients. Within two weeks of starting my pediatric orthopedics rotation during my residency, I went home and told my wife, “I know what I want to do.” It was the opportunity to influence the way children grow and the opportunity to work with kids and their families.


Meet Us Monday – Jamie Welle, Child Life Specialist

Posted On: 03/16/2015

1.) What is your position and role at Gillette? As a Certified Child Life Specialist at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare I provide a number of services to patients and families. I help to reduce the stress and anxiety associated with hospitalization for children through preparation for procedures, procedural support and distraction, medical play, and creating a more relaxing environment.  I also explain things in a "kid friendly" and developmentally appropriate way. My role varies with each family that I interact with but the most important thing is advocating and providing patient and family centered care.

Meet Us Monday - Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare2.) Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? One of my favorite memories is when our entire care team worked together to overcome a number of challenges we encountered with a patient. It was incredible to watch the teamwork and communication that went into providing an amazing level of care. At the same time, the team advocated for the patient and family so they could have the resources they needed to cope with the hospitalization of their child. I was incredibly impressed with the work ethic and creative solutions the team came up with to help make it a more positive experience for the family.

3.) What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I enjoy figure skating and spending time with family. I am from northern Minnesota so I love winter sports!

4.) Do you have any children or pets? I have a boxer puppy named Belle. No kids yet!

5.) If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I would love to travel back to Europe someday. I have been to Germany, but haven't explored elsewhere. Each year I try to go to a new place.

6.) What is one fun fact about you? I have two different colored eyes.


Meet Us Monday - Nicole Williams Doonan, M.D.

Posted On: 03/09/2015

1.) What is your position and role at Gillette?  I am a pediatric neurologist at Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare.

Meet Us Monday - Nicole Williams Doonan, M.D. 2.) What has been one of your most rewarding moments at Gillette? I am lucky, because I experience rewarding moments on a regular basis at Gillette. I enjoy spending time with families and children in clinic. I have met so many wonderful and inspiring families through my work at Gillette. I am most rewarded when I am able to provide an explanation regarding a particular symptom and develop a treatment plan that may include education and reassurance, or a medical intervention for symptom relief. 

3.) How does your position fit into caring for those who have cerebral palsy?  As a neurologist, I am one of the specialists who introduce the diagnosis of cerebral palsy to a family. Neurologists also provide information to families about the cause of cerebral palsy for their child, which may include interpreting brain imaging studies or ordering new studies.  Neurologists directly manage or co-manage many of the symptoms of cerebral palsy (such as spasticity and motor delays) and neurological conditions that can sometimes accompany cerebral palsy (such as epilepsy, cognitive disabilities, attention difficulties, language delays, dysautonomia and sensory issues) by recommending medications, rehabilitative therapies, psychology/neuropsychology referrals and/or educational interventions.  Neurologists also screen for related medical conditions that may require additional treatment, such as vision impairment, swallowing difficulties, growth concerns, sleep problems or orthopedic abnormalities.

4.) What are the benefits of working with an interdisciplinary team of caregivers?  The logistics are easier for both families and providers when the necessary specialists all practice together in one medical system. At Gillette, I often consult directly with other physician specialties, psychologists/neuropsychologists, and therapists about my patients.  This results in comprehensive, higher quality care. We all evaluate a child through the lens of our specialty training and personal experiences, so children at Gillette benefit from the knowledge of multiple experts.  I benefit professionally by constantly learning from my colleagues.  If I don’t know the answer to a patient’s question, there is likely someone at Gillette who can answer or point me to someone else to ask.  We also have an amazing staff of social workers who help families access available community resources.          

5.) What advice would you give a parent with a child who has cerebral palsy? My advice changes depending on how old a child is, how early it is in the diagnosis, what the child’s needs are and the parents’ questions.  In general, I stress that children with cerebral palsy fall on a spectrum and each child is unique.  Although the symptoms of cerebral palsy can change over time, I emphasize that cerebral palsy is not a progressive or degenerative disorder.  Although we don’t have treatments that can cure the underlying brain abnormalities that result in cerebral palsy, we have many treatments to help children reach their maximum potential.  For parents of young children who have mild cerebral palsy, I might tell them “success stories” about teenagers I take care of with similar symptoms, who play basketball or tutor kids or are going off to college.  I also try to be aware of the fact that parents may have emotional struggles at certain ages or stages outside of the initial diagnostic time period, such as when their child misses certain educational milestones or social milestones (driving, prom, etc.).

6.) What are some of your hobbies outside of work? Running — often around the Minneapolis Chain of Lakes and typically running in at least one 10-mile or half marathon race each year, hiking, cross country skiing, playing piano, singing, learning about wine, baking and travel (favorite repeat vacations include Hawaii and France).

7.) What is one fun fact about you? I caught my personal best largemouth bass 21-1/2 inches (6 pounds) while fishing with my husband last summer.


Meet Us Monday - Rebecca Busch, Registered Nurse

Posted On: 03/02/2015

Meet Us Monday - Rebecca Busch, Registered Nurse1.) What is your position and role at Gillette? I am a Night Charge Nurse on the inpatient rehabilitation unit at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

2.) Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? I will always remember when one of my patients with a very serious brain injury, who had not been interactive, surprised me by spelling out “Tylenol” using sign language. She continued to amaze me, her family and caregivers as she pushed herself towards a miraculous recovery. 

3.) What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I enjoy spending time with family and friends, baking, traveling, and being outside.

4.) Do you have any children or pets? Our daughter, Angelina, is 10 weeks old.

5.) What is one fun fact about you? My other home is Tanzania. My husband and I direct a non-profit organization and run a special education center in a rural village in Tanzania.


Meet Us Monday – Heath Marvel, Music Therapist

Posted On: 02/23/2015

1.) What is your position and role at Gillette? I am a music therapist at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. As a board-certified music therapist, I use music to help patients make positive changes in behavior, level of functioning, and quality of life. This can mean many things! I often sing, play instruments, or write songs with patients to make their hospital visit and other therapies more enjoyable Meet Us Monday – Heath Marvel, Music Therapist and meaningful.  Sometimes I will play live music to help distract or relax patients during a medical procedure. Other times, especially with patients who are in our rehab unit, I will use the structure of music in interventions to cue speech, develop motor skills, and improve memory. I’ve been with Gillette since last October and love it here!  

2.) Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? Last month I sang “Shake It Off” and a few country songs with a patient who had been having a rough afternoon on the adult unit. The next day, I received a letter from him saying that his music therapy session with me was the best thing that happened that day and that it helped him feel better all day long. He also wrote that I was better than Taylor Swift, which I doubt, but it was a rewarding moment nonetheless.

3.) What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I enjoy going to movies and live music, playing drums, spending time with friends, playing board games and trivia, and checking out new restaurants. I’m also at the gym quite a bit and run outside when it’s not freezing out.

4.) Do you have any children or pets? Not yet, but I’d love to get a dog sometime soon. I grew up with black labs, so larger dogs have a special place in my heart.

5.) If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Europe, particularly England and Germany, would be awesome because of their history and culture. Thailand is a close second. There are elephants that paint pictures there.

6.) What is one fun fact about you? My cousin is the drummer for the band Limp Bizkit. No joke. I wouldn’t make that up.


Meet Us Monday - Martin McLean, Lead MRI Technologist

Posted On: 02/13/2015

1.) What is your position and role at Gillette? I am the Lead Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) Technologist at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. My role is to help prep, coordinate, and scan patients in MRI.  I also help with any questions or concerns that may come up with staff or patients regarding MRIs.

Meet Us Mondays - Martin McLean Gillette Childrens2.) Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? My favorite Gillette story was when a fellow tech and I were getting a patient ready for an MRI.  We were in our control area with the patient’s sister and their interpreter.  The young lady was carrying on and the interpreter shared that this girl thought I was my co-workers father – when in fact I was only three years older. We had a good laugh about it, and still do to this day. It’s the little things that make working with kids so fun.

3.) What are some of your hobbies outside of work? Going to Twins games, playing sports with friends and family, spending time with my wife and daughter, and pretty much anything else that involved being outside and active.

4.) Do you have any children or pets? I have a five-year-old hyperactive golden retriever named Penny, and a 16 month old daughter named Josie.  I’m hoping they will keep each other busy soon, because they have way more energy than me!

5.) If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I’ve always wanted to go to Scotland and Ireland.  At this time of year (February) I would settle for anything warm and on a beach.

6.) What is one fun fact about you? Although it’s been a while since we have done it, a friend and I enjoy brewing our own beer.


Meet Us Monday – Todd Dalberg, M.D.

Posted On: 02/06/2015

1.) What is your position and role at Gillette? I am a pediatrician specializing in pediatric pain, palliative care and complementary medicine.

Meet Us Monday – Todd Dalberg, M.D. Gillette Children's2.) Can you tell us a little about your education/career history? I received my undergraduate degrees from Minnesota State University, Mankato followed by medical school at the University of New England, College of Osteopathic Medicine.  From there I completed my residency training in pediatrics at the University of Connecticut.  I pursued a fellowship in pediatric hematology and oncology at Oregon Health & Science University and spent an additional research year through an institutional grant where I completed a masters in clinical research.  Lastly, I completed a fellowship in pediatric hospice and palliative medicine at Akron Children’s Hospital before joining the wonderful group at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

3.) Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? I was recently paged to pay a social visit to a young boy I had met on the inpt service, and when he spotted me, he took a running leap and delivered a monster hug!  It’s moments like that effectively “carry” me through the challenges we as providers face. 

4.) What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I love the outdoors, so in the winter I enjoy XC skiing, ice skating, and indoor climbing/bouldering and when it comes to warmer months I enjoy cycling, road and mountain, as well as camping, standup paddle boarding, or a simple game of bocce ball. 

5.) Do you have any children or pets? No children, but I do have two cats, Bocce and Rabbi, who behave more like dogs than they do cats (they’ve traveled some 10k miles by car, have gone camping, and will eat anything in site). 

6.) If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I would love to travel to Tibet, Mt Everest base camp (no need to risk death at 29k ft), then Bali. 

7.) What is one fun fact about you? My cousin, who’s a Marine, was a pallbearer for Ronald Regan and was the one who handed Nancy Regan the flag that draped his coffin.  Not really a fact about me, but I do like that story.


Meet Us Monday – Dennis Jolley, Vice President for Institutional Advancement

Posted On: 01/30/2015

1.) What is your position and role at Gillette? Vice President for Institutional Advancement – but few really know what that means. In short, Institutional Advancement aligns all communications, advertising, branding, community relations and fundraising into a single unit to improve consistency of messaging, awareness and support. It takes a pretty forward-looking organization to move this direction, which is one reason why I wanted to come to Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare for the opportunity.

2.) Can you tell us a little about your education/career history? I’ve spent my entire career working in health and education. I’ve had an array of jobs, from speechwriter for the US Surgeon General, to middle school teacher, to fundraiser to marketing director. I like to say that ultimately I am a misplaced cultural anthropologist – the thread through my schooling and career is that I am very interested in how our communications shape culture, beliefs and actions on both the individual and societal scale.

3.) Why did you consider coming to Gillette? There were three things that initially attracted me to Gillette: (1) I wanted to get back into child health in either healthcare delivery or advocacy, and (2) I wanted to be someplace that was very mission-driven, and (3) I wanted to be in an organization that realizes the world of communications, advertising and fundraising is changing rapidly and is willing to try new things to adapt. Once I began the interview process and learned more about Gillette’s history and mission and met the leadership team here, I knew that this was the kind of place I wanted to be a part of. I want to be able to contribute to our efforts to keep the core what makes Gillette special, while helping to transform the organization to be able to adapt and thrive in the new – and constantly changing – healthcare economy.

4.) What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I’m one of those people who has to move around a lot, so I enjoy getting out and riding my bicycle, going for a swim or even just taking a walk. That is good because I also really like good food and drink – I am loving the great restaurants in the Twin Cities – and social activities. I also enjoy art, music, movies and games  – things I can do with my family.

5.) Do you have any children or pets? I have a son, Alex, who will turn 13 in February. He’s a really great kid – he’s incredibly kind and he’s smarter than his parents (we’re just lucky we have more experience than him). Alex is in 7th grade, but attends West High School in Salt Lake City where he is doing really well with a tough course load that includes high school level Arabic and Computer Programming along with all of the standard classes. We don’t have pets because my spouse is allergic to pretty much every animal on this planet except reptiles, and they creep me out so I won’t allow them.

6.) If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? This is a hard question for me – I really love to travel and have been lucky to go to some incredible places. In terms of places I’ve never been but would like to see, I would like to tour the eastern Mediterranean – Venice through the Balkans and Greece to Istanbul – or India. I absolutely loved my time in China, Thailand and Australia and would go back to any of those places in a heartbeat. Also, the moon. That would be cool.

7.) What is one fun fact about you? I was once detained for several hours by the Chinese Army. Long story.

8.) How are you adjusting to life in Minnesota? I really love it here so far. We’ve had a few days that are colder than my native southern California body would prefer, but ultimately that’s a minor inconvenience. People have been incredibly friendly, and Minnesota drivers seem both safer and more polite than Utah drivers. I love all of the sunshine – even when it’s cold – and am excited to explore the state more.


Meet Us Monday - Jennifer Severud, Outpatient Imaging - Lead Technologist

Posted On: 01/26/2015

1.) What is your position and role at Gillette? I am the lead technologist for outpatient imaging at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare’s St. Paul campus.  I take x-rays, coordinate daily workflows/ schedules and help organize and implement x-ray protocols and procedures.  I have been here 3 ½ years and absolutely love Gillette and what I do!

Meet Us Monday - Jennifer Severud, Imaging2.) Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? I have had so many great memories but one that really stands out as a proud moment is seeing a collaboration between my colleagues and I come to life. Together, we facilitated the creation of a spine chair – which is essentially a chair that allows patients in wheelchairs to stay seated for spine x-rays. Seeing one of my patients use our spine chair for the first time during their x-rays was incredible. The parents were so thrilled at the design, safety and comfort it provided their child. This chair has helped our work and workflow tremendously.  I am so happy that it is making our patients and families imaging experience better!

3.) What are some of your hobbies outside of work? Outside of work I enjoy spending time with my family and friends.  I have a cabin in Northern Minnesota so most of our summer weekends are spent fishing, boating, and swimming. In the winter, we enjoying ice fishing and snowmobiling.  I also love Photography, traveling, Minnesota football and exercise.

4.) Do you have any children or pets? We have two little girls, Diem and Maci. We also have a Dog named Bella.  She is a Vizsla (Hungarian pointer) who is full of energy and excitement.

5.) If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? My dream destinations would be Bora Bora (or somewhere in the French Polynesia), Greece and Italy.  We are also looking forward to our first Disney World vacation with our girls.

6.) What is one fun fact about you? I have never watched an episode of the TV show ‘Friends’.  I know, call me crazy!

Editors Note: Want to hear more from Jenny? Read her guest blog post on Positive Distractions: Finding Fun in Imaging and Radiology.

 


Meet us Monday- Meet Krissy Plasch, Registered Nurse

Posted On: 01/14/2015

1.) What is your position and role at Gillette?  I am a nurse in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU) at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. I have been with Gillette for a little over six years. I started on the Resource Team when it was first getting started and then transitioned into the PICU after about two years.

2.) Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory?  One of my favorite things is when previous patients come back to visit the PICU when they are well.  It always amazes me to see how far our patients have come and to see them at their best!

3.) What are some of your hobbies outside of work?  Outside of work, I like to try new recipes and restaurants, play the Wii with my kids, travel, have dance parties with my kids, relax by the fireplace, and bowl.

4.) Do you have any children or pets?  I have an 18-year-old step-son named Devin, a 14-year-old step-daughter name Cailah, a 13-year-old son named Isaiah, and a two year-old son named Jaxson. I also have a rescue dog named Maggie Mae.

5.) If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? Soon, I will be traveling to Costa Rica with a few of my closest college friends, but I could travel anywhere, I would go to Italy or India.

6.) What is one fun fact about you? When I am cleaning my house, I love to turn up 90's music really loud!


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