Michael Holley enjoys the park

Gillette Children’s is one of the world’s top cerebral palsy (CP) centers and home to leading CP specialists, including pediatric orthopedics, neurology, neurosurgery, and therapists.

For 125 years, the doctors, nurses, and employees at Gillette have worked every day to provide the very best care for all children. This dedication has led to treatments and outcomes that have influenced CP care worldwide.

Gillette is a healthcare destination. Last year we treated children from all Minnesota counties, 41 U.S. states, and 15 countries. We see more than 4,100 patients a year for CP care. Michael Holley is one of those patients.

Families like the Holleys come to Gillette because they know our James R. Gage Center for Gait and Motion Analysis is the first ever to be accredited and is among the world’s best and busiest. Using innovative computer technology, motion analysis captures movements, muscle activity, and forces that the eye can’t see. Once a child has their gait and motion analyzed, a team of Gillette specialists meet to craft an individualized treatment plan tailored to each child.

Finding Comprehensive Care for Cerebral Palsy

The Holley family of Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, appreciates having an expert team craft a treatment plan for 10-year-old Michael.

Michael was a micro-preemie, born at just 26 weeks and two days. “The doctors told us to be prepared for the possibility that Michael could have cerebral palsy,” his mother, Louise, recalls. “As he grew, my husband, Brian, and I noticed Michael was missing milestones. We were familiar with Gillette and knew it was the place to go to receive expert diagnosis and care for cerebral palsy.”

Doctors Who Specialize

Gillette has one of the largest groups of physicians in rehabilitation medicine (PMR) and the largest group of pediatric orthopedic surgeons in the upper Midwest. These doctors are highly trained and specialize in treating children who have cerebral palsy.

Gillette was the first hospital in Minnesota to perform selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery to reduce spasticity. Gillette teams are experts in single-event multilevel surgery (SEMLS) to help with issues in a child’s muscles, bones, and joints. They perform 81% of CP-related orthopedic surgeries in Minnesota and treat all forms of CP— including the most severe.

Gillette's post-surgical outcomes are strong, due in part to the depth of its pediatric rehabilitation team. Gillette is also one of just three pediatric specialty programs in Minnesota accredited by the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF) to meet the needs of young children and adolescents seeking acute inpatient rehabilitation.

Therapists Who Care and Motivate

Gillette Children’s physical therapist Jane McMillan has a secret tool to help motivate patients to do the hard work of rehabilitation. “I find out what each child likes and their hobbies, and try to incorporate that activity into their therapy,” McMillan says.

She tapped into Michael’s love of basketball to make trying a new walker fun during a therapy session at the Gillette Maple Grove Clinic. As a result, Michael and his mother were relaxed and having a good time shooting hoops as McMillan observed how various new walkers suited Michael.

Gaining Strength and Independence

Today, Michael is working with various Gillette experts to gain strength, mobility, and independence. “The older Michael gets, the more confident he is,” his mother says, beaming. “I know he feels this way because his Gillette doctors and therapists are always positive and treat our family with respect.”

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