Author Archives: Jimmy Bellamy

About Jimmy Bellamy

Social media specialist, Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota

Introducing new podcast, ‘Children’s Pedcast’

Starting today, we’re happy to share with you our new podcast, “Children’s Pedcast,” a conversation about pediatrics.

subscribe_blog“Children’s Pedcast” — “Pedcast” for short — is a weekly podcast by Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota about pediatric health information, issues and concerns, featuring guests made up of experts from Children’s, The Mother Baby Center, Midwest Fetal Care Center and other individuals connected to Children’s, including doctors, nurses, other health care experts, patients and patient families.

The show is conversational and loose with a goal of providing information and an enjoyable, entertaining listener experience.

A new episode is available for download each Monday and can be heard on iTunes (soon), Podbean, YouTube, Vimeo, all of Children’s social media channels and everywhere podcasts are available.

Episode 1: Dr. Stefan Friedrichsdorf on pain, palliative and integrative medicine

Children’s pain and palliative care clinic opens new doors

The Kiran Stordalen and Horst Rechelbacher Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Clinic opened Jan. 6 at Children's – Minneapolis.

The Kiran Stordalen and Horst Rechelbacher Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Clinic opened Jan. 6 at Children’s – Minneapolis.

With its work in the treatment of pediatric pain, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota opens new doors, literally.

Ten years after the start of an inpatient pain and palliative program, and nine years after the opening of Children’s original pain clinic, the Kiran Stordalen and Horst Rechelbacher Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Clinic, located on the fifth floor of the Tower building at Children’s – Minneapolis, celebrates its grand opening this month.

The 10,000-square-foot clinic, the first of its kind in the world, combines Children’s pain medicine, palliative care and integrative medicine services into a single space, creating a state-of-the-art healing environment for kids and their families. The clinic, named in recognition of the lead gift from Horst Rechelbacher, the late cosmetics entrepreneur, and his wife and business partner, Kiran Stordelan, furthers Children’s ability to minimize pain for patients and make their treatment, healing or hospice experience as comfortable, pleasant and peaceful as possible.

Stefan Friedrichsdorf, MD (left), is medical director of Children’s pain clinic.

Stefan Friedrichsdorf, MD (left), is medical director of Children’s pain clinic.

One of the clinic’s main features is the Snoezelen room, a controlled multisensory environment that combines sounds, scents, colors and lighting effects to stimulate and soothe patients, including those who are nonverbal, blind, hearing impaired or have cognitive delays.

Other features include a ceiling canopy of birch leaves comprised of more than 500 photos; sound-absorptive ceilings and padded, resilient floors that reduce the sound of footsteps and increase comfort for patients and clinicians; lighting designed to create a restful, intimate environment; and an interactive waterfall designed by Dr. Clement Shimizu, a former Children’s patient.

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VIDEO: Children’s Stefan Friedrichsdorf, MD, talks about palliative care.

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Images of flowers, plants and landscapes unique to Minnesota are incorporated throughout the clinic. The lobby features local artwork from nature photographer Craig Blacklock, whose images include larger-than-life birth leaves and bark, stones and plants. The sound is that of a natural environment: wind, water and bird calls.

subscribe_blogA massage room staffed by nationally certified massage therapists provides a space for CranioSacral Therapy, a gentle, hands-on approach that releases tensions deep in the body to relieve pain and improve health.

A gym and rehabilitation area with a treadmill, swing, video game system and other equipment is used to help encourage kids with chronic pain to move and exercise.

Expansion plans for the clinic, led by medical director Stefan Friedrichsdorf, MD, add acupuncture and day-treatment services for groups of children with chronic pain, and more massage therapists.

The Kiran Stordalen and Horst Rechelbacher Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Clinic officially opened Jan. 6.

PHOTO GALLERY: The Kiran Stordalen and Horst Rechelbacher Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Clinic opened Jan. 6, 2015, at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota’s Minneapolis campus.

Minnesota girl, 7, writes book to help patients

Kristina Heinlein, 7, wrote the book "Beans Brave Adventures at Children's Hospital," a story about her experience at Children's.

Kristina Heinlein, 7, wrote the book “Beans Brave Adventures at Children’s Hospital,” a story about her experience at Children’s.

Kristina Heinlein knows what it’s like to go through surgery. The 7-year-old Detroit Lakes, Minn., girl has had several procedures due to microtia, a congenital deformity where the outer ear is underdeveloped.

Q4_mighty_buttonFor the past two years, Kristina has undergone surgeries to reshape her right ear in hopes of gaining the ability to hear out of it. She has faced each procedure with bravery and enthusiasm, which made her want to share those experiences with other kids in a similar position.

What came from that was the book “Beans Brave Adventures at Children’s Hospital,” a story about Kristina’s journey at Children’s and advice for kids who will might be scared about surgery.

BOOK: “Beans Brave Adventures at Children’s Hospital” on Facebook

The Detroit Lakes Tribune wrote about the book and Kristina’s experience at Children’s. WDAY-TV of Fargo, N.D., and Moorhead, Minn., also featured a story about Kristina.

 

Children’s preemie returns as intern

Kathryn Marxen was born at 25 weeks in 1989, weighing 1 pound, 6 ounces. She is 1 week old in this photo. (Photos courtesy of Kathryn Marxen)

Kathryn Marxen was born at 25 weeks in 1989, weighing 1 pound, 6 ounces. She is 1 week old in this photo. (Photos courtesy of Kathryn Marxen)

By Jimmy Bellamy

Kathryn Marxen’s life has come full circle. Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is where it all began for the 25-year-old occupational therapy intern.

Underdeveloped lungs and vision problems were just some of doctors’ and Kathryn’s family’s concerns.

Underdeveloped lungs and vision problems were just some of doctors’ and Kathryn’s family’s concerns.

Born premature at 25 weeks at Abbott Northwestern Hospital in Minneapolis, fragile 1-pound, 6-ounce infant Kathryn immediately was brought next door to Children’s where she spent her first 10 weeks on a ventilator, refusing to give in to the obstacles an early entrance into the world can create.

Underdeveloped lungs and vision problems, including a detached retina, were just some of doctors’ and Kathryn’s family’s concerns. Later she would be diagnosed with retinopathy of prematurity (ROP) – abnormal blood vessel development in the eye. Eating became difficult, too, for tiny Kathryn, who could wear her father’s wedding ring as a bracelet, so a gastronomy tube was required for feeding.

Q4_mighty_buttonWhile staying in the neonatal intensive care unit, her organs began to fail. Kathryn said when things looked grim, her mom and dad stayed at her side and her dad would read to her, and it seemed to help.

“Dr. Ronald Hoekstra came by and said, ‘Whatever you’re doing, keep doing it,’ ” Kathryn said she was told. “It was that connection of a parent’s voice.”

Doctors performed a patent ductus arteriosus ligation to close the ductus arteriosus in Kathryn’s heart, cryosurgery on her eyes to stop the progression of ROP, gave her lung-surfactant medication, and a scleral buckle to reattach the retina in her right eye in – a surgery that was fairly new in 1989.

At 6 months, after a couple in-and-out stays, Kathryn was ready to go home for good. She continued to go to Children’s for follow-up visits until she and family moved to Beavercreek, Ore., when she was 8 years old.

Kathryn has competitively ridden horses since age 9 and took her horse to the U.S. nationals for Arabians and dressage.

Kathryn has competitively ridden horses since age 9 and took her horse to the U.S. nationals for Arabians and dressage.

Sight and double vision has been a hurdle through the years – her left eye is 20/70 while there isn’t much visibility in her right – but it hasn’t plagued her existence; she refuses to allow it to stop her. Kathryn enjoys the outdoors, including hiking and rock climbing. She has competitively ridden horses since age 9 and took her horse to the U.S. nationals for Arabians and dressage.

Kathryn received a master's of science in occupational therapy from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., in May.

Kathryn received a master’s of science in occupational therapy from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash., in May.

In college, Kathryn received a bachelor’s degree from Colorado State University in equine science and master’s of science in occupational therapy from University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Wash. She began her internship at Children’s rehabilitation clinics in September.

She also speaks to groups of high school students with disabilities and other organizations, sharing her unique story, challenges and positive, optimistic view.

“At first, I was pretty embarrassed of my story and not as comfortable sharing it,” Kathryn said. “As I grew up and got more comfortable and familiar with it, I started to realize the power of those experiences as a premature infant, even though I don’t remember them. I can connect with people through my story and provide hope.”

When she was a kid, Kathryn didn’t want to be different and refused to use magnifiers to help her sight. It wasn’t until a low-vision high school teacher told her she could be even more successful with the right tools. Kathryn realized she could do just as well as others, if not better, and that built confidence.

Her difficult start to life, she said, helped her become brave; it’s what she credits with landing her a teaching-assistant position under famed animal scientist Dr. Temple Grandin at Colorado State and her internship at Children’s.

“It’s one of those things where if you don’t ask, you don’t know,” Kathryn said. “If there’s something I want to go do, I just ask the questions that I need to ask.”

Kathryn as a child

Kathryn as a child

Some of Kathryn’s highlights as an intern include observing occupational therapists at the NICU follow-up clinic, where she got a chance to speak with Dr. Hoekstra and Lois Gilmore, who cared for Kathryn as a preemie, and walking into the waiting room on her first day to see brochures for and work done with the animal-assisted therapy program.

She has a strong interest in working as an OT in the NICU.

“It would be awesome to be at Children’s to bring things even more full circle if I held a position in the NICU, but I could see myself doing that anywhere,” Kathryn said. “That’s my long-term goal; it takes quite a bit of continuing education because it’s an advanced area of practice.”

Kathryn said having the perspective of a patient can be used to help others in a similar position.

“I realize how my story and experiences can provide that hope for the families going through that,” she said. “I can tell them, ‘You guys will overcome this.’ ”

Jimmy Bellamy is the social media specialist at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Ebola preparedness prompts teamwork, unlikely partnership

Mary Anderson, president of the American Sewing Guild Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter; Dave Overman, Children's president and chief operating officer; Lori Clark, ASG Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter publicity chair and president-elect; and Roxanne Fernandes, Children's chief nursing officer, display prototypes of powered air-purifying respirators used for training purposes.

Mary Anderson, president of the American Sewing Guild Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter; Dave Overman, Children’s president and chief operating officer; Lori Clark, ASG Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter publicity chair and president-elect; and Roxanne Fernandes, Children’s chief nursing officer, display prototypes of powered air-purifying respirators used for training purposes.

When manufacturers and suppliers of the safety equipment necessary to treat Ebola patients announced they would be judicious with where they send it to ensure its availability to those that need it, health systems across the U.S. were challenged to use critical thinking in their preparation and training plans.

As one of four hospitals — and the only children’s hospital — in Minnesota selected to care for Ebola patients, if necessary, Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota has been training while using a limited quantity of personal protective equipment (PPE) and powered air-purifying respirator (PAPR) face shields to familiarize staff.

Members of the American Sewing Guild Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter work on training PAPRs at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Inver Grove Heights.

Members of the American Sewing Guild Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter work on training PAPRs at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Inver Grove Heights.

In the event of a real-life Ebola case, Children’s would be supplied with the necessary equipment by manufacturers. In the meantime, for training and simulation purposes, a cross-functional team at Children’s that included the executive team, Center for Professional Development and Practice (CPDP), Materials Management, Lab, Maintenance, Respiratory Therapy, Safety and Security, and members of the American Sewing Guild Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter launched an effort that enables staff to wear PAPRs that create a more ideal practice or simulation environment.

The idea for mocking up PAPRs for training originated from Karen Mathias, director of the Simulation Center. On Oct. 31, Roxanne Fernandes, chief nursing officer, and Lila Param, interim director for CPDP, traveled to Hancock Fabrics in Minnetonka to find material that would work for a training PAPR hood prototype. After talking with the store manager, they were given the contact information for the sewing guild.

On Nov. 3, Fernandes emailed members of the guild, which responded within 30 minutes that they were ready to help.

“When I saw it, I thought, ‘Ooh, this is one we need to follow up on really fast,’ ” Lori Clark, publicity chair and president-elect of the Minneapolis/St. Paul chapter, said. “We have people in the guild who sew everything.”

Clark and guild president Mary Anderson visited Children’s – St. Paul that afternoon to see the real PAPRs and discuss a plan for creating 25 training hoods.

On Nov. 4, they, along with member and newsletter editor Emily Schroeder Orvik, enlisted nearly a dozen volunteers and set up sewing shop at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Inver Grove Heights, where the guild held its annual meeting and workshop earlier this year.

“In general, community service is one of the major tenets of our organization,” Anderson said. “To me, this jumped out because my grandson had an emergency appendectomy at Children’s.”

Mary Anderson wears a training PAPR created by members of the ASG Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter.

Mary Anderson wears a training PAPR created by members of the ASG Minneapolis/St. Paul Chapter.

“The fact that we can help Children’s prepare for something I hope they never have to face is a really good feeling,” Clark, whose daughter-in-law coincidentally is a pediatric nurse at another Minnesota hospital, said. “This is the most-unique request we’ve had.”

Before any sewing could be done, though, materials had to be gathered and made.

Paul Benassi, director of facilities, picked up DuPont Tyvek HomeWrap from Menards to be used as the main material for the training hoods, while Biomed engineering manager John Hendricks made 25 wooden blocks that match the weight of the air circulator worn on the belt of PPE to ensure as close-to-real-life training experience as possible.

An initial training hood was made out of the Tyvek wrap, but the material turned out to be too stiff and noisy. After making modifications to the pattern and a trip to Rochford Supply in Brooklyn Park, the group found a non-woven fabric that more closely mimics the material used for the real PAPRs.

The guild completed construction of the 25 hoods by its Nov. 10 goal.

First-year nonprofit raises more than $62,000 for Children’s pain clinic

From left: Betsy Grams, CycleHealth executive director; Andrew Warmuth, Children's physical therapist; Kristina Swenson, CycleHealth Kid Advisory Panel leader; and Tony Schiller, CycleHealth chief motivator, pose for a photo Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, during an awards banquet to recognize the $62,800 CycleHealth raised for Children's Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

From left: Betsy Grams, CycleHealth executive director; Andrew Warmuth, Children’s physical therapist; Kristina Swenson, CycleHealth Kid Advisory Panel leader; and Tony Schiller, CycleHealth chief motivator, pose for a photo Monday, Nov. 17, 2014, during an awards banquet to recognize the $62,800 CycleHealth raised for Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

The new pain clinic at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota is the beneficiary of a generous group of kids.

CycleHealth, a first-year, Minnesota-based nonprofit, raised $62,800 with its first annual BreakAway Kids Tri at Lake Elmo Park Reserve in August. Four hundred forty-six kids competed in the triathlon (swim, bike, run), with 126 children raising money for Children’s.

Members of CycleHealth’s Kid Advisory Panel, which is comprised of the group’s top fundraisers, chose Children’s as its charity partner. A check was presented to Children’s for the Kiran Stordalen and Horst Rechelbacher Pediatric Pain, Palliative and Integrative Medicine Clinic at an awards banquet Monday night in Minneapolis.

Q4_mighty_buttonThe clinic, named after late Aveda founder Horst Rechelbacher and his wife and business partner, who donated $1.5 million for the project, is scheduled to open in January at Children’s – Minneapolis.

“We wanted to be involved in a local venture,” Tony Schiller, chief motivator for CycleHealth, said of his organization. “The premise was that we’d go out and ask corporate sponsors and friends in the community to help create a new cycle of health in America by impacting kids and motivating them to do lifelong sports like running, biking, swimming – and raising money for charities. It’s not just about crossing a finish line, but serving.”

There are three spokes to the CycleHealth mission wheel: attitude, adventure and significance. Attitude represents the importance of how you think; adventure incorporates fun with fitness; and significance stresses that kids can inspire communities to solve big problems.

“We want to promote a love for sport and movement and to be healthy, as well as a kindness of heart and serving kids,” Schiller said.

Zack Novak, 11, of Minneapolis, participated in the first annual CycleHealth BreakAway Kids Tri and raised money for Children's.

Zack Novak, 11, of Minneapolis, participated in the first annual CycleHealth BreakAway Kids Tri and raised money for Children’s.

“The part that’s unique and attractive about CycleHealth is they believe in the power of kids,” said Jenna Weidner, 16, of Minnetonka, who raised $3,200 and has been fundraising for various charities since she was 8. “A lot of people are afraid to bring kids into it because of the perceived chaos, but kids are an untapped group with a lot of potential.”

CycleHealth plans to run educational, fitness and motivational programs through world-class, adventure-based events that benefit a charitable partner. Goals for the 2015 event to support the clinic include significant increases in overall participants, fundraising kids, and dollars raised.

“It was an incredible experience. Even if you didn’t win the race, it felt like you did,” said Zack Novak, 11, of Minneapolis, who raised more than $1,600 and is a member of the Kid Advisory Panel. “You feel like you did something for a purpose.”

Follow CycleHealth on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Garth Brooks visits Child Life Zone in St. Paul

Country singer Garth Brooks holds a child during his visit at the Child Life Zone at Children's – St. Paul on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. (Photo by Ali Hogan / Alberta Lu Photography)

Country singer Garth Brooks holds a child during his visit at the Child Life Zone at Children’s – St. Paul on Friday, Nov. 7, 2014. (Ali Hogan / Alberta Lu Photography)

Q4_mighty_buttonGarth Brooks was a hit during his visit to Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota’s St. Paul hospital Friday. The country music superstar, who is in the middle of an 11-day, 11-show stay in the Twin Cities, signed autographs, posed for photos and visited with patients and their families to celebrate the opening of the Child Life Zone, an in-hospital play center for patients and their siblings.

Brooks stopped by patient rooms and visited with families and nursing staff before being greeted by a parade of fans that lined his walk to the Child Life Zone. Other celebrities on hand for the event included Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph, Pro Football Hall of Famer Anthony Munoz, former Minnesota Wild center Wes Walz, Minnesota Lynx guard Lindsay Whalen and boxer Caleb Truax.

PHOTO GALLERY: Garth Brooks visits Children’s – St. Paul

The Child Life Zone at Children’s – St. Paul is one of 11 zones in children’s hospitals across the U.S. and opened in February. The first Child Life Zone was founded in Dallas in 2002 by Pro Football Hall of Fame quarterback Troy Aikman. Brooks co-founded Teammates for Kids in 1999.

VIDEO: There’s something for everybody at the Child Life Zone

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (center) and Garth Brooks are greeted by fans on the third floor at Children's – St. Paul.

Minnesota Vikings tight end Kyle Rudolph (center) and Garth Brooks are greeted by fans on the third floor at Children’s – St. Paul. (Ali Hogan / Alberta Lu Photography)

Helping kids make sense of Ebola

(iStock photo / Getty Images)

(iStock photo / Getty Images)

By Jimmy Bellamy

Your young child has seen or heard news coverage about Ebola, which has led to questions or noticeable worries from your little one. What do you do?

Mike Troy, Ph.D., LP, medical director of behavioral health services at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota, provides some helpful tips for parents confronted with questions from their kids.

Answer questions asked

“It’s important for parents to respond to what their child is asking rather than making assumptions about  what you think he or she needs to know,” Dr. Troy said. “Make sure you’re addressing your child’s concerns, talking in ways that match their development level.”

READ (from AAP): What parents need to know about Ebola

“Be honest and reassuring in a way that’s developmentally appropriate and consistent with how you would typically talk about other concerning issues,” Dr. Troy said. “For very young kids and preschool-age children, they can imagine a lot of things, so they need reassurance and basic information without excessive detail. For this age group, reassurance from a trusted adult is more important than a logical, fact-based explanation.

“Whereas a school-age child in second, third or fourth grade may need reassurance as to why they personally are safe. For these children, accurate facts and a simple, logical explanation may be helpful. You can say things like, ‘It’s hard to actually get the disease’ and ‘So far it hasn’t been detected in Minnesota, and it’s safe to go to school.’ ”

Here are a few other facts that you can share with your children if they have concerns:

  • Although Ebola is a real problem in some parts of the world, they remain safe.
  • Our health care system is among the best in the world for taking care of sick people.
  • Ebola is rare and does not exist everywhere. When cases are found, the person with the infection is taken to a safe place to be cared for so that they can get better and not make anyone else sick.
  • Ebola is difficult to spread and is not an airborne virus, unlike the common cold. It does not spread through air, food, water or by touching things like a keyboard, desk or money.
  • Doctors and scientists who know a lot about Ebola are working hard to find ways to prevent or cure this illness.

Monitor what the child sees, hears and reads

“It’s absolutely reasonable to monitor your child’s news and social media consumption,” Dr. Troy said. “Because the coverage has been pervasive and often sensationalized, it’s prudent, especially with younger kids, to limit how much they’re exposed to it.”

Make your child feel at ease

The goal for adults caring for children is to help them feel safe without needing frequent reassurance. If reassurance is necessary, then the most important thing to emphasize is how rare the disease is in the U.S.

READ: Minnesota Department of Health’s FAQ about Ebola

Jimmy Bellamy is social media specialist at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Spotlight shines on Midwest Fetal Care Center

Ian Kempel was born with an omphalocele. His story was featured on the TV show "The Doctors." You can see more about Ian and his parents, Leah and Todd, on The Mother Baby Center's Great Beginnings blog. (Photo by Jessica Person / First Day Photo)

Ian Kempel was born with an omphalocele. His story was featured on the TV show “The Doctors.” You can see more about Ian and his parents, Leah and Todd, on The Mother Baby Center’s Great Beginnings blog. (Photo by Jessica Person / First Day Photo)

Our partner, The Mother Baby Center, and its blog, Great Beginnings, are in the middle of hosting four weeks’ worth of unique patient stories from the Midwest Fetal Care Center.

Go on journeys with four remarkable families who have faced and overcome adversity under rare circumstances.

Children’s ranks among top social media-friendly hospitals

TOP75_CHILDRENS_HOSPITALSChildren’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota ranks No. 7 on the list of the Top 75 Social Media Friendly Children’s Hospitals for 2014, as selected by NurseJournal.org.

NurseJournal.org measured the social media presence of children’s hospitals in the U.S. to gauge which organizations best utilized their Facebook and Twitter accounts to connect with patients. Children’s scored 82.5 out of a possible 100 points.

Thank you to all of our followers across every social media platform for engaging with Children’s for health care news, trends, information and patient stories. And thank you, NurseJournal.org, for recognizing Children’s commitment to its patients, families and supporters.

NurseJournal.org also released its list of top 100 non-children’s hospitals.

Follow Children’s on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, Vimeo, Pinterest, Vine and LinkedIn.