Category Archives: Gillette In the News
At 6 years old, Elijah Brummond does everything a normal kindergartener would, from running and jumping to practicing tae kwon do. He does all of this using a prosthetic leg. Elijah’s foot and part of his leg did not fully develop while in-utero, the result of a condition called fibular hemimelia. When Elijah was a baby, his parents decided to have doctors at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare amputate the affected foot. Then, when he was just 1 year old, Elijah got his first prosthetic, giving him lifelong independence and mobility.
As a school-aged child, Elijah’s classmates often express curiosity about his prosthesis. And, like any 6-year-old, Elijah also has questions himself. To help educate Elijah and his classmates, his mother worked with Gillette prosthetist Michelle Hall, CPO, FAAOP, to organize a one-of-a-kind field trip to experience how prostheses and orthoses (braces) are used and made. During the April 24 field trip, the students were able to do things such as trial a myoelectric prosthetic arm, make a plaster mold of their thumb and foot, walk in prosthetic legs, and take a tour of Gillette’s Assistive Technology Department, where the prostheses are made.
As April was Limb Loss Awareness Month, it provided a perfect opportunity to raise awareness about amputees and the importance of prosthetics. It also gave the children a glimpse into Elijah’s life as an amputee and how he uses his own prosthetic leg. Students had a great day—especially Elijah, who led the way for his classmates.
Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare is now ranked 12th in the nation for pediatric orthopedics and 39th in the nation for pediatric neurology/neurosurgery in U.S. News Media Group’s 2012-2013 Best Children’s Hospitals rankings. Last year, Gillette ranked 25th and 44th in the two areas.
Gillette occupies the largest market share among Twin Cities hospitals for pediatric orthopedics, and has one of the highest concentrations of pediatric orthopedic surgeons in the nation. Its Center for Pediatric Orthopedics is the largest such program in the five-state region. In addition, each year Gillette neurosurgeons perform more surgeries for children whose spasticity (muscle tightness) impacts their movement than any other hospital in the five-state region.
“There are many reasons we moved higher on this prestigious list, including our low incidence of surgical site infections—especially given the high volume of surgeries performed here,” said Gillette President and CEO Margaret Perryman. “U.S. News has increasingly focused on patient safety initiatives as a key component in its ranking methodology.”
The Best Children’s Hospitals rankings recognize the top 50 children’s hospitals in 10 specialties: cancer; cardiology and heart surgery; diabetes and endocrinology; gastroenterology; neonatology; nephrology; neurology and neurosurgery; orthopedics; pulmonology; and urology. Seventy-six hospitals are ranked in at least one specialty. This is the fourth consecutive year Gillette has been ranked in orthopedics, and the second it has ranked in neurology/neurosurgery.
This year, U.S. News surveyed 178 pediatric centers to obtain hard data such as availability of key resources and ability to prevent complications and infections. The hospital survey made up 75 percent of the rankings. A separate reputational survey in which 1,500 pediatric specialists—150 in each specialty—were asked where they would send the sickest children in their specialty made up the remaining 25 percent.
The full rankings and methodology will be available June 5, 2012, at www.usnews.com/childrenshospitals. The rankings will also be published in the U.S. News Best Hospitals 2013 guidebook, which will be available in August.
Whether they’re brightening a hospitalized child’s day, calming an anxious family before a surgery, or helping to navigate a busy outpatient clinic appointment, nurses play an essential role in the work we do at Gillette.
It comes as no surprise that, last weekend, three of our nurses were recognized by the March of Dimes’ Nurse of the Year Awards for their dedication, compassion, and contributions as nurses. Gail Busch, a nurse on our orthopedic/surgical unit, and Jennifer Essen, an education specialist in our surgery department, received Nurse of the Year recognition in the Pediatric and Rising Star categories, respectively. And in an exciting surprise, pediatric nurse practitioner Sarah Gutknecht was named 2011′s Distinguished Nurse of the Year! Click here for more on our Nurse of the Year awards winners.
We know that Sarah, Gail, and Jennifer’s recognition reflects the outstanding work performed daily by Gillette’s more than 250 nurses. Congratulations to our entire nursing team!
The Muscular Dystrophy Association’s Labor Day Telethon has become an annual tradition, sharing stories of people throughout the U.S. living with a variety of neuromuscular conditions. Watch the telethon this year – it airs on Sunday, Sept. 4 from 6 p.m. to midnight – and you’ll see an inspiring story from right here in Minnesota. Jayson Tibbets, 17, of Plymouth, was diagnosed at age 3 with Becker Muscular Dystrophy, a genetic disorder characterized by progressive muscle weakness. He’s been a patient at Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare since childhood, where he receives a variety of services through the hospital’s Neuromuscular Clinic.
Because Gillette’s Neuromuscular Clinic partners with the Muscular Dystrophy Association, Jayson and his family receive support from both organizations. “All parents have questions about their child, but I have even more,” says Jayson’s mother, Lynn Tibbets. That, she says, is where the partnership is especially helpful. “Gillette and the MDA come in with a plan in place to overcome our obstacles. And if there isn’t an answer, they’ll figure one out.”
With Jayson now nearing college age, the family has come to appreciate Gillette’s transition services, as well. Because most disabilities—including muscular dystrophy—can’t be cured, Gillette offers transition assistance to people who, like Jayson, are approaching adulthood. Jayson, for example, recently began receiving services at Gillette Lifetime Specialty Healthcare, our clinic for adults. Not only can Jayson receive age-appropriate care needed to maintain his independence, but he can also practice important life skills he’ll someday need. For example, the MDA Telethon’s video crew recently followed Jayson while practicing with handicap accessible kitchen appliances in the Lifetime Clinic’s adaptive kitchen.
“Jayson’s positive attitude and determination has helped him remain focused on what he can accomplish, not on his limitations,” says Jason Kelecic, director of Gillette’s Neuromuscular Clinic. “As Jayson makes plans for the years ahead, Gillette and the MDA will continue working together to help him achieve his goals.”
The Tibbets say their goal in sharing Jayson’s story is simple: finding a cure. “I tell the MDA that my job is to help beat this thing,” says Lynn. “I like to say that it’s my business to put them out of business.” Jayson agrees—and continues to inspire both Gillette and MDA staff with his positive approach to life. “Just because you have a disease doesn’t mean you have everything taken away from you,” says Jayson. “I have limits, but I can still do lots of things.”
The Star Tribune has again named Gillette among its Top Workplaces of 2011, a list of the 140 best places to work in Minnesota. This year, Gillette ranked 8th in the Top Large Companies category, which includes both public and private companies, as well as nonprofit organizations like Gillette.
So, how does the survey work? Companies choose to take part, agreeing to allow employees to take a confidential survey. Organizations are then ranked within their size group (categories include small, medium, and large employers) based solely on the employee responses.
We can’t thank our staff members enough for their hard work and dedication to providing the very best in pediatric specialty care. It’s because of their expertise, and their commitment to our mission, that families seek out Gillette from throughout Minnesota, around the U.S., and even from other counties.
Want to see the passion of Gillette staff members firsthand? Take a look at this video — featuring rehabilitation care coordinator Jill Olson, along with several other employees — telling the world how they feel about working at Gillette.
This spring is an exciting time for everyone here at Gillette — and it’s not just because our healing garden and expanded surgical suites will open in only a few weeks. Springtime also brings U.S. News & World Report’s Best Children’s Hospitals rankings. This year, we have even greater cause for excitement (and pride!) because Gillette has been ranked 25th in the nation for orthopedics and 44th in the nation for neurology/neurosurgery. That’s not all. Gillette is the only Twin Cities children’s hospital to be recognized for these two areas of care.
We’ve been providing top-quality pediatric orthopedic care since our hospital was founded by Dr. Arthur Gillette, himself an orthopedist. Today, more than 100 years later, we occupy the largest market-share among Twin Cities hospitals for pediatric orthopedics. Similarly, Gillette excels in pediatric neurology and neurosurgery services. Each year, our neurosurgeons perform more surgeries to help kids whose muscle tightness impacts their movement than any other hospital in the five-state region.
While U.S. News & World Report recognized two key areas of care, we know that all of our unique specialties and services — from orthopedics and neurosurgery to inpatient rehabilitation and craniofacial surgery — make Gillette an invaluable resource for children. And not just children here in Minnesota. Families from throughout the country — and, around the world — seek out Gillette. Why? Because we have the specialty care knowledge to remove barriers, and expand possibilities, for the children we serve.
For most Minnesota kids, today is a day for excitement, seeing old friends (and meeting new ones), and maybe a few nerves. That’s right — happy first day of school!
You may think kids staying here at the hospital are missing out on this fun day. But think again. A partnership between Gillette and St. Paul Public Schools means that children and teens who are recovering from a major surgery or traumatic injury can continue their lessons right here at Gillette. Our two classrooms are outfitted with the latest technology — including Webcams, laptops, a touch-screen computer, and a state-of-the-art SmartBoard — and are roomy enough to allow for wheelchairs, standers, and other equipment our patients need.
Patients here longer than two weeks attend school for an hour each day. Our teachers, Jennifer Monson-Gimpl and Lisa Peterson, tell us it’s often their favorite part of their day! Jennifer and Lisa work one-on-one with patients to create lesson plans specially-designed for their unique needs. They can even set up video conferences with kids’ home schools, allowing them to interact with their very own classmates!
The September issue of Minnesota Medicine, which just hit stands today, included Gillette in an article on school for hospitalized kids. Check it out here!
From Wild hockey star Pierre Marc Bouchard to, more recently, Twins first baseman Justin Morneau, it seems that concussions among pro-sports players have been in the news with growing frequency. Sports-related brain injuries have gained attention on a national level, too. Only weeks ago, the New York Times reported that deceased Cincinnati Bengals football player Chris Henry, 26, had already developed chronic traumatic encephalopathy, a progressive brain disease that’s been discovered in a number of retired NFL players.
What does all of this mean for young athletes? It’s a sobering reminder of just how serious sports-related head trauma can be — and of the importance of post-injury rest time to preventing long-term damage.
16-year-old football player Brett Pierce, pictured below with his mom and Gillette brain injury specialist Leslie Larson, C.N.P., can speak firsthand to the importance of appropriate rest time following a brain injury. Just yesterday, he shared his own experience of receiving two concussions just six months apart, with WCCO reporter Dennis Douda.
At Gillette, Brett took an easy and affordable (just $4 per athlete!) brain test called ImPACT (Immediate Post-Concussion Assessment and Cognitive Testing) that can help players, parents and coaches determine when it’s safe to return to play. Through a series of computerized exercises, ImPACT can identify changes in brain function, evaluate post-injury condition, and help track recovery. Learn more about ImPACT.
Brett’s mom, Leslie Pierce, is already working to broaden ImPACT to Brett’s entire football team. In the meantime, Brett received the news he was hoping for at his appointment today: he can rejoin his teammates at Holy Angels Academy, who are already practicing for the upcoming season.
If you picked up the Star Tribune this morning, chances are good that you noticed a front-page story about an exciting national initiative, Transforming Care at the Bedside (TCAB), aimed at increasing the time nurses spend with patients by improving organization and efficiency. You may have also noticed that our post-surgical unit, also known as 4 West, was prominently featured in the article. That’s because Gillette’s 4 West nurses were among the first in Minnesota to adopt TCAB — with visible success!
We kicked off TCAB last August, with nurses brainstorming things they’d like to improve on their unit. They prioritized the ideas and began to test them out. To date, improvements have included (but aren’t limited to) things like:
• Creating respiratory response baskets so nurses can immediately access supplies to care for patients in need of oxygen.
• Adding computers on wheels (nicknamed “COWS”) to improve nurses’ ability to practice real-time charting — entering medications into a patient’s file as soon as they’ve been administered.
• Converting a patient room into storage space for wheelchairs and other supplies, giving nurses easy access to equipment. Nurses also gained a staff bathroom, which saved them a walk away from the unit.
• Changing the way families receive patient education materials. Instead of giving out copies to each family, a patient education binder is now permanently housed in each room and encased in plastic for easy cleaning.
• Adding whiteboards to patient rooms with information like the nurses’ first name, and when procedures like x-rays are scheduled. Whiteboards even have space for families to write down their questions.
• Testing new ways to make patient “hand-offs” between nurses at shift change more efficient.
• Creating locked supply cabinets in each patient room, saving nurses trips to-and from the room for supplies — and increasing the time spent with patients.
So what does TCAB mean for Gillette? Happy nurses, satisfied families and, most importantly, more time spent at the bedside with the people who matter most — our patients.
If you missed the link to the Star Tribune article above, click here to read the story.
Here at Gillette, our employees frequently tell us how proud they are to work at an organization dedicated to not just excellence in patient care, but a positive and rewarding environment for staff, too. Our high employee satisfaction and low turnover rates validate the great things they’re telling us.
Yesterday, we received some exciting news — news so many Gillette employees have known for years — and we’re excited to share it with our friends and followers. The Star Tribune has ranked Gillette among its Top 100 Workplaces in the Twin Cities! More specifically, we’re ranked third in the Private/Nonprofit sub-group.
So how did the Star Tribune decide the rankings for its first-ever workplace survey? First, employees took a confidential survey and gave feedback on things like job satisfaction, working environment, and interaction with management. Results were decided based on employee responses and size of the organization. Click here to read the Star Tribune’s article — and see below for a sample of what our employees said about working at Gillette.
Thank you to ALL of our employees for making Gillette an amazing place for our patients, families and staff. We appreciate you!
Here are some of the things our employees shared in their survey responses:
“There is such a long-standing history of employees staying on for many years- that speaks highly of how well we are treated and how we love what we are doing.”
“Working with children with disabilities has made my journey in life a very pleasant one, knowing that part of my life’s reward is seeing a smile on a child’s face. That is just priceless.”
“I am able to work within a team of specialists and provide nursing support and gain valuable knowledge each time I work with these patients.”
“I enjoy the people I work with – I enjoy doing my job, I also feel fulfilled when I can be helpful to others. I do enjoy learning more.”