Monthly Archives: March 2010
What is a Starlight Fun Center, you ask? In a nutshell, it’s an entertainment unit that promises to bring hours and hours of fun to our patients, whether they’re waiting for a doctor appointment or staying here at the hospital after surgery or for inpatient therapy. Kids can use the Fun Center to play Nintendo Wii — there’s nearly 50 different games pre-loaded in the system — or can choose a DVD to pass the time.
Best of all, the Fun Center doesn’t have to stay in just one place. While it’s usually located on our 4th floor lobby during the day, staff can move the unit to any of Gillette’s inpatient units for evenings and weekends.
Our Fun Center’s been in our waiting room for about a month. Staff say it’s already a favorite activity for our kids! But until yesterday, we hadn’t had a chance to thank our generous friends from Cub Foods and Colgate Palmolive for donating the Fun Center to Gillette. So we held a special dedication ceremony to officially welcome the system — and thanked our visitors with a custom-made piece of patient artwork.
Calling all music lovers! Mark your calendar for Night of Inspiration, a concert benefiting Gillette, on Thursday April 8th. You’ll enjoy a variety of musical styles and instruments – and throughout the evening, hear Gillette patient families tell their inspiring stories firsthand. In return, we hope you’ll make a donation to Gillette, the only Children’s Miracle Network hospital in Minnesota. For more information, check out our e-flier:
Thanks to Miss Minnesota candidate Kathryn Knuttila and McNally Smith College of Music for hosting this special event. The date is fast-approaching, but there’s still plenty of room for you and your family. We hope to see you there!
If you’ve been watching our live Webcam lately, you’ve probably noticed a lot of changes taking place on our hillside—or, more accurately, lack of hillside and beginnings of Gillette’s new patient care building. Just two weeks ago, crews began pouring the concrete footings that will support our new building’s weight. But there’s a lot more to pour than just footings—every building needs, well, walls! This week, we’ve seen our building’s very first concrete walls beginning to take shape.
Just Like Baking a Cake?
How do you create a wall from liquid concrete? It’s kind of like baking a cake (except, a really heavy cake). First, you pour the cake batter into a pan. Then, you then stick the pan in the oven so the batter can set.
Of course, making concrete walls is a lot more complicated — but the basic idea is the same. Crews pour liquid concrete into temporary casings called forms. The forms remain in place while the concrete hardens into a sturdy wall.
Raising the Walls, Through the Lens of Our CEO
Take a look at these two photos from Gillette CEO Margaret Perryman to see how much can change in just a short amount of time.
Early Last Week:
Later That Week:
We have exciting news to share. Earlier this week, we received word that Governor Pawlenty had finished his review of the Capital Investment Bill. As he had promised, he did exercise the line item veto to remove nearly $320 million in projects from the original $999 million bill.
However, the $10 million that was included for Gillette’s surgical expansion was not cut and was included in the final law.
This news will allow us to move forward with our much-needed surgery expansion later this year. We know many of you took the time to write or call your state senators and representatives over the past few months urging their support. And in just the past two weeks, hundreds of you wrote or called Governor Pawlenty to ask for his support.
Thanks to our patient families, staff, and community advocates for all you have done, and continue to do, to support Gillette. We’ll post news and updates on our surgical expansion here, so check back often.
Did you know that kids who have disabilities can be at greater risk for developing poor bone health? That’s because issues such as feeding difficulties, inadequate nutrition, some medications, and an inability to perform weight-bearing exercise — all things that kids with complex medical needs might face — can contribute to abnormal bone growth and lowered bone density.
In the most recent issue of A Pediatric Perspective, Gillette’s newsletter for physicians and providers, pediatric endocrinologist Kevin Sheridan, M.D., explains how a technique called DXA scanning can help clinicians assess children’s bone health and recommend appropriate treatments. Interestingly, Gillette is among a limited number of clinics that offers DXA scanning that’s especially-suited for kids who have disabilities.
Change collectors representing schools, businesses, families and other groups celebrated Sunday night at the KS95 for Kids® Change for Kids private party, held at Mall of America’s Nickelodeon Universe. Party-goers enjoyed unlimited rides, met Nickelodeon “celebrities” like Sponge Bob and Dora the Explorer, and chatted with KS95 on-air personalities. The best part? Change for Kids raised more than $70,000 for Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare and Children’s Cancer Research Fund — and donations are still coming in!
Special thanks to KS95 and partners Nickelodeon Universe and M&I Bank for making this exciting event — and Change for Kids — possible! To learn more about Change for Kids, or to make an online donation, click here.
It’s a little early for April showers. But, this week, there’s a different kind of “pouring” taking place on our hillside. Crews began pouring the first of many concrete footings that will ultimately support the weight of our new building and all of its contents. These footings — a mix of concrete and steel, called rebar — will keep our building strong and stable, no matter the season.
Wondering how much concrete we’ll need for our building’s footings? To give you an idea, one truckload yields about 10 cubic yards of concrete. And our first (and biggest) footing will need an impressive 150 yards total – now that’s heavy!
It will take several more weeks to pour all of our building’s footings. In the meantime, crews are moving full speed ahead on another piece of the project — steel beams that will support the building’s interior and exterior walls. These massive beams, called H Beams, are drilled more than 20 feet into the earth. Then they’re secured with concrete. Click here to see this process in real time.
Wondering what Gillette patient Nick Nelson has been up to lately? Last week, Nick and his mom, Greta, spoke at the Minnesota State Capitol in support of a proposed prosthetic limb bill.
Believe it or not, this wasn’t the first time Nick’s spoken up for causes close to his heart. Last summer, he and Greta traveled to Washington, D.C. to meet with Senator Amy Klobuchar and other Minnesota lawmakers.
Gillette friends, families and supporters, we need your help. It’s easy and will take 30 seconds of your time.
But your support and the outcome has the potential to help thousands of Gillette’s patients for years to come.
All we are hoping is that you will take a moment to contact Governor Pawlenty’s office and let him know:
1. That you support Gillette.
2. And that you hope he will support Gillette’s inclusion in the Minnesota bonding bill.
Click here to e-mail Governor Pawlenty. Or simply pick up the phone. His office can be reached by calling 651-296-3391. Feel free to relay your message to the person taking calls there or even leave a voice mail.
To sign up to receive advocacy alerts via email, visit our Advocacy Center.
Thank you for your support!