Meet Elin Neugebauer, a health unit coordinator, at Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.
What drew you to Children’s? When my daughter was born with a congenital heart defect, my life changed in numerous ways. I have a degree in communication studies, and I wanted to begin advocating for children. Health care does not start and stop in the patient room, and Children’s is an amazing example of complete patient and family care. We are involved in the community in a variety of ways, and I was drawn to Children’s because of how much I wanted to be involved in our various programs.
What do you love most about Children’s? I love how Children’s encourages and provides opportunities to become involved with our families and patients outside of our daily department. Through our Making Safe Simple events, fundraisers like HeartBeat 5000, and various groups that assist with community events, education, advocacy, and policy, I have had the opportunity to be involved with Children’s in an incredibly enriching way. It has been wonderful to work with children and families in fun learning environments, and to receive additional education and training for myself on how we can improve children’s health care.
On June 22, you’ll participate in the HeartBeat 5000. Can you tell us about your team and why you’re participating? My daughter’s team is Seven of Hearts and this will be our second year at HeartBeat, first as a team. I chose that name because her first heart surgery was on July 7. Last year it was just her and I who ran in the event. I decorated the jogging stroller with hearts and pushed her while I ran. It was amazing to see all the teams gathered together, sharing stories about their heart kids, and advocating for congenital heart defect awareness and research. I was also greatly impressed with all the informational booths at HeartBeat, and I came away with a lot of helpful information and new friends. This year Maija and I will be running with a team of eight people. Every step of the event, each connection made, they are all so important to the heart community. We are advocating for our children and spreading awareness of the most common birth defect.
If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? Since I was a little girl, I have wanted to travel to Norway, Sweden, and Denmark. I grew up celebrating various Scandinavian holidays, enjoying special foods, and surrounded by numerous photos and traditional decorations. The fjords in Norway and the coastline and Nyhavn canal in Denmark are at the top of my list for sites to see.
Is there a staff member you’d like to see featured in Five Question Friday? Send your suggestion to Brady, social media specialist, at Brady.Gervais@ChildrensMN.org.