Micah Niermann, MD, is the new medical director for Gillette Children's and part of the leadership team steering it through some challenging times as the COVID-19 pandemic has a big impact on all health care organizations.
“The most difficult part of the pandemic has been uncertainty,” Niermann says. “We’re trying to make the best decisions quickly with the information at hand. It requires flexibility and perseverance. “
Niermann is pleased with how accommodating Gillette patients and staff have been with the changes needed to keep everyone safe from the risk of spreading COVID-19. For example, Gillette has adapted its spaces for social distancing, adopted universal masking, and is limiting and screening all visitors to ensure a safe care environment.
He says now, more than ever, Gillette is essential to the patients we serve. Timely and safe medical care is crucial for patients with rare, complex and traumatic conditions.
Patients are the center of our care
Niermann is an internal medicine and pediatric physician and was named vice president for clinical affairs and medical director of Gillette in 2019. He took over for pediatric orthopedic surgeon, Steven Koop, MD, who was Gillette’s medical director from 2001 to 2019.
Niermann was excited to take on this leadership role at Gillette because it allows him to focus on what he loves about medicine—helping patients and building collaborative relationships across Gillette.
“Our patients are at the center of what we do at Gillette. We see patients for their potential and for what they’re capable of doing,” Niermann says. “One of the most important and rewarding parts of my position at Gillette is listening and understanding the needs of our patients and staff. This gives me the opportunity to be part of a solution to help everyone accomplish Gillette’s mission. “
Niermann is proud of Gillette’s strong reputation around the world and what it offers patients. “We are internationally recognized for our expertise across specialties. In addition, Gillette’s care model fosters close collaboration with the different specialties partnered with patients and families to deliver high value care,” Niermann says.
We're all pulling for the same mission
“Gillette is unique. The vision is eloquent in its simplicity—potential realized. We look at our patients for what they will be able to do, and this is incredibly important. That’s how parents want the world to view their kids. That’s how kids want the world to view them,” Niermann says.
Family is important to Niermann in his personal life. He and his wife grew up in Kansas and have a 10-year-old son. The family moved to Minnesota for Niermann’s medical residency and he jokes there has been guilt because they were supposed to move back to Kansas after his residency. “But we love Minnesota and all of the opportunities we have here, including those outdoors,” Niermann says.
If it’s still allowed during the COVID-19 pandemic, Niermann and his son plan to get more Minnesota experiences by signing up to log roll this summer. “I heard you can try it on several metro lakes so we’re going to go for it!”
Niermann knows how difficult this uncertain time is for parents and the staff at Gillette. “Community and staff joining together is one of the hallmarks of Gillette. You see it no matter the role someone has. We’re all pulling for the same mission. We’re all focused on making sure our kids get exceptional care even during very challenging times.”