Inside Gillette Blog


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!


Event Recap: Mankato Open House

Posted On: 10/16/2014

A good time was had by all as patients, doctors, nurses and community members filled Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare Mankato Clinic this past weekend to celebrate its opening. Attendees enjoyed snacks, games and unique learning opportunities, including how to operate our communication device technology works. (The device uses eye blinks to command a computerized system to speak.)

"We are so excited to be in our new location and call Mankato home,” says Meagan Crary, a nurse practitioner at Gillette. “The community has been wonderful and we look forward to getting to know them even better."

Special guest, DFL state Rep. Clark Johnson (District 19A), also stopped by for a tour. Johnson was especially interested in learning more about how Gillette will provide the best care to its patients by closely partnering with the Mankato Pediatric Clinic and Pediatric Therapy Services. He met Gillette families and encouraged us to continue to be a strong voice for our patients at the legislative level.

Gillette Mankato Clinic provides a variety of services to children and teens who have disabilities and complex medical conditions. Located on the Wickersham Health Campus, our clinic offers convenient access to care for patients who live in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. To see which doctors will work out of this clinic, click here.


Game On: Why I Participate in Extra Life

Posted On: 10/14/2014

Editor’s Note: Extra Life’s National Gaming Day is a 24 hour fundraiser benefiting Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals including Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.  Last year 528 gamers  raised $78,825. This year we hope 1,000 gamers will raise $150,000. This year’s event will be held on Saturday, October 25. To learn more click here.

By: Zachary Pligge (Pictured far left)

I first heard about Extra Life back in 2011 through volunteering at a children’s hospital. I instantly fell in love with the idea. I’ve been playing video games since I could hold a controller, and I’ve been volunteering with kids since the end of high school. It was the perfect opportunity to get involved. Who wouldn’t enjoy combing two activities they love into one big charity event! My excitement for Extra Life grew even more after I became involved with Game Informer, an online gaming community.  Each year they form a team to play on behalf of Gillette, and soon I was spearheading that team.

I’ve set two big goals for this year’s Extra Life event. First, I put my own personal fundraising goal at $10,000 and Game Informer’s team at $25,000. Last year I raised $2,000 and Game Informer raised $16,000! It might seem like I’m shooting for the moon but last year I completely surpassed my initial fundraising goals.

Second, and the more important of the two, is trying to get more people involved with Extra Life. I started promoting this year’s event back in early spring. I used the Game Informer community, as well as a few other networks to start getting people signed up and excited for 2014’s event. The earlier people sign up, the more time they have to raise money and influence people in their networks to get involved.

As Extra Life day approaches, I urge everyone to sign up for the event –it’s just so fun and easy! All you do is head over to Extra Life’s homepage, register for the event, and start raising money. After that, get ready to play video games with your family and friends on October 25! All money raised goes directly to to Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare. So sign up, raise money, and have a blast playing video games on October 25th!


Meet Us Monday- Ike Woodruff, Casting Technician

Posted On: 10/10/2014

1. What is your position and role at Gillette? I am a ortho technician in the casting room at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

2. Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? I casted a young lady for over a year and had the privilege of seeing her wear shoes for the first time in her life and she was 18-years-old at the time.

3. What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I like to draw and paint. I am also a huge Packer fan.

4. Do you have any children or pets? I have three daughters, two rabbits and a fish.

5. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I’d go to Santorini Greece or Italy.

6. What is one fun fact about you? I am a total Sci-Fi nerd!


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.


How to Make Your St. Paul Clinic Visit Easier: Part Two

Posted On: 10/01/2014

Click here to read Part One: Arriving at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.

Part 2: Entertainment and Information at Gillette's St. Paul Campus

By: Gillette’s Family Council

Gillette’s Family Council includes parents and caregivers of Gillette patients. We help Gillette promote patient and family-centered care and offer our perspectives on programs, departments, publications and projects. In short, we represent Gillette families! Through our experiences, we’ve learned a lot about making your time at Gillette as easy as possible—and we’re happy to share our top findings with you.

Find Entertainment and Information

You don’t have to stay in the waiting room when you visit Gillette's St. Paul Clinic. Here are some options.

  • Get Outside: The Peggy King Healing Garden is a great outdoor play area, right across the skyway (on the left). On nice days, it’s the perfect place to burn off energy between appointments. Get an access badge at Health Resources and Education or Information. (If your child is an inpatient, ask at your nursing station.)
  • Learn More: You can check out books, magazines, DVDs and other materials about disabilities and related issues from Health Resources and Education. Resources come in a variety of languages. You can also learn about Family Voices, Parent to Parent and other organizations that help connect families of children who have complex medical conditions.
  • Get Charged: Cell phone running low? Health Resources and Education will lend you a charger.
  • Unexpected Problem?  Health Resources and Education also has emergency supplies of diapers, formula, sippy cups, pacifiers, and needle and thread.
  • Visit Gillette on Social Media: Gillette is active on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and YouTube—and wants to connect with you. If you’d like share your story or photos about parenting a child with complex medical needs, contact Bridget Madich at Gillette.

Show the World You Love Gillette!

If you want the world to know how much you appreciate Gillette, stop by Health Resources and Education and buy an “I Love Gillette” T-shirt—or pick up one for you, your family members and your friends! They come in a variety of sizes and colors.

Get Involved With the Family Council!

Gillette is recruiting new Family Council members for 2015. You’ll serve for two years and attend once-a-month evening meetings. If you’d like to volunteer your time and provide Gillette with valuable feedback—or if you just want to learn more—contact Camille Feng at 651-312-3169 or cafeng@gillettechildrens.com.


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.


How to Make Your St. Paul Clinic Visit Easier!

Posted On: 09/22/2014

Part One: Arriving at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare

By: Gillette’s Family Council

Gillette’s Family Council includes parents and caregivers of Gillette patients (members pictured below include Jo Schifsky, Tara Swedberg, Tracy Chipman and Steve Ekeberg.) We help Gillette promote patient and family-centered care and offer our perspectives on programs, departments, publications and projects. In short, we represent Gillette families! Through our experiences, we’ve learned a lot about making your time at Gillette as easy as possible—and we’re happy to share our top findings with you. If you have an appointment at Gillette’s St. Paul Clinic, these tips will help make your visit simpler and more efficient.

Make Parking a Breeze

Did you know you don’t have to waste time searching for a parking place at our St. Paul campus? And you can save money on parking, too!

  • Valet Parking: Stop at valet parking on Level D of the Regions Hospital West Ramp, between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. If needed, valets will help you unload and show you to Registration. Then they’ll give you a claim ticket and park your vehicle. When you’re ready to go, they’ll bring your vehicle to you. And it costs the same as parking on your own!
  • Parking Discounts: Speaking of costs, stamp your parking ticket at Information and your parking will be only $3, no matter how many hours you’re here.
  • Frequent Parking Discounts: If your child is an inpatient, or if you’re at Gillette often, you can purchase a packet of five parking tickets for $10. Get them at Health Resources and Education—next to the Ginkgo Café, on the fourth floor near the skyway.

Don’t Carry It; Stow It

Does it feel as if you need another set of hands to keep track of all the items you bring to your appointments? Gillette can help!

  • Coats and Outerwear: Don’t cart your coats, boots and hats to your appointments. Check them free at Information, on the fourth floor of Gillette near Registration.
  • Lockers: Store the things you aren’t using—from snacks to extra clothing to books and other entertainment—in a fourth floor locker during your appointments. Stop at Information if you want to use a locker.

Stay tuned for Part Two: Entertainment and Information next week!

Get Involved With the Family Council!

Gillette is recruiting new Family Council members for 2015. You’ll serve for two years and attend once-a-month evening meetings. If you’d like to volunteer your time and provide Gillette with valuable feedback—or if you just want to learn more—contact Camille Feng at 651-312-3169 or cafeng@gillettechildrens.com.

 


Meet Us Monday- Anne Keenan, Supervisor-Child Life, Child and Family Services

Posted On: 09/17/2014

Test Caption1. What is your position and role at Gillette? Half of my time involves providing Child Life support to patients at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare.  The other half of my time is spent as a supervisor of my Child Life colleagues.

2. Do you have a favorite Gillette story or memory? On a daily basis, observing patients and their caregivers persevere amidst challenges is remarkable.  Our patients and families have taught me to support children for who they are and to be resilient under stress at the same time.  Other favorite memories include putting on events that bring joy to patients’ days—Cops-N-Kids, Firefighters’ Carnival, Trick-or-treating, Child Life Week, and other special events of which we are a part.

3. What are some of your hobbies outside of work? I am an avid hockey fan and have been playing on a women’s team for the past 14 years.  In the winter, if I’m not playing myself, I’m usually glued to Gopher and Wild games on TV.  Taking early morning walks, spending time with my family, and housecleaning (strange, I know) also are enjoyable in my spare time.

4. Do you have any children or pets? I have an 18-month old son and another child due mid-September.  We have a 10-year old black lab named Maggie.

5. If you could travel anywhere, where would you go? I would love to take road trips across the U.S. with my family.  There are many relatives, friends, and historic sites that I would love to visit.  Of course, visiting the ocean in the winter is also a dream vacation for me. 

6. What is one fun fact about you? I was a member of the inaugural women’s soccer team at the University of Minnesota.  Go Gophers!


Raising Spinal Cord Injury Awareness in a Kid-Friendly, Interactive Way

Posted On: 09/17/2014

Every 48 minutes, someone in the United States becomes paralyzed because of a spinal cord injury. September marks Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month—a month focused on raising awareness about the need for better treatments, research and prevention of spinal cord injuries.


Teaching people about spinal cord injuries plays a big part in this month’s efforts to raise awareness about the condition, too. Approximately 200,000 people are living with spinal cord injuries in the United States. There is currently no cure for the paralysis caused by the condition. Depending on the location and severity of their injury, the changes and challenges faced by people who experience spinal cord injuries can range from mild to severe. For many of our spinal cord injury patients—including their family members and friends who are children—understanding how a spinal cord injury affects them or their loved one can be a difficult concept to grasp.


That’s why we’ve created a new interactive educational tool called “Exploring Your Brain and Spinal Cord”. The tool—specifically created with kids in mind—features a learning module all about spinal cord injuries. Kids can interact with and learn about different parts of the spinal column. We explain how certain types of spinal cord injuries affect the body in various ways and provide useful tips for interacting with people who've had spinal cord injuries.


You can try “Exploring Your Brain and Spinal Cord” here or visit Spinal Cord Injury and Related Neurotrauma to learn more about the care and services we provide for spinal cord injury patients at Gillette.


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