Annual Report 2011

2011 donor list

This year's annual report shares the stories and highlights of our remarkable year, from expanded programs and new construction to the little things that make a family's health care experience unlike any other.

A new collaboration

Patients like Zach – who came in
for an elbow injury – benefit from
the combined expertise that
Children’s physicians, including
Jamie Engels, MD, and Gillette
bring through the new orthopedic

Health care is a constantly changing field, with new and exciting developments happening every day. That’s why we at Children’s continually expand our programs and services to care for every child who needs our help.

We understand that the needs of a child’s body often make injury treatment more complex. In orthopedics, for example, a fracture in a growing child’s bone needs specialized attention.

A new collaboration with Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare means that Children’s of Minnesota patients now have access to the best pediatric orthopedists in the region – within the walls of our two hospitals. These fellowship-trained experts offer round-the-clock emergency room coverage, weekday inpatient consultations, and follow-up care. In most cases, clinic appointments can be made the same day.

This partnership allows each health care system to benefit from the other’s expertise and resources. While Children’s will focus on emergency care and general orthopedics, Gillette will continue to treat those with lifelong disabilities like cerebral palsy and spina bifida as well as conditions that affect the spine.


Eating disorders

Eating disorders can present a complicated array of physical and emotional challenges. Simultaneously addressing these challenges with a caring team of multi-disciplinary professionals is the best way to lead our patients on the path to healthy choices. In 2011, Children’s launched the Center for the Treatment of Eating Disorders to provide the first pediatric hospital-based program of its kind in the Twin Cities. The center offers immediate access to medical stabilization along with a cooperative focus on family needs and referring physicians for continued treatment.

* According to an NIMH-funded study published online ahead of print March 7, 2011, in the Archives of General Psychiatry.


Neurosurgery program growth

Innovations in neurology and neurosurgery have greatly improved the quality of life for children with neurological conditions, from concussions and epilepsy to brain tumors. The addition of Joseph Petronio, MD, to the neurosurgery department is one example of how Children’s is in constant pursuit of improving programs to meet patient needs. Under his leadership, the neurosurgery department is enhancing programs and expanding capabilities to help more children than ever.


Children's closer to home

Children’s now has partnership agreements with some of the finest pediatric clinics in the area – Metro Pediatrics, PACE Pediatric and Adolescent Care of Minnesota, and Northeast Pediatrics. There are also cooperative agreements with regional hospitals to provide services such as cancer and blood disorder treatment at St. Cloud Hospital and Hudson Hospital & Clinics. This unique web of Children’s health care providers and partnerships means that families can receive seamless care closer to home, minimizing the costs and stresses of travel.


New concussion clinic

Startling new research has drawn attention to the dangers of concussion in people of all ages, but especially those in children. In 2011, Children’s created its concussion clinic to address the increased need for comprehensive medical evaluation for concussion patients. The clinic offers a full battery of tests and provides individual treatment plans with follow-up care and symptom management. The demand has been so high, Children’s hopes to grow the program through additional donor support.

A combined effort

Three-year-old twins Madison and
Mylee – once preemies at
Children’s – are all smiles after
recently receiving their

Children’s presence reaches beyond our hospital walls. It’s felt in the community through health screenings, disaster response, health education and counseling, often benefiting families with few resources. It’s this ripple effect of your generosity that impacts our entire region.

With the widespread use of the measles vaccine, this painful and life-threatening disease is practically eradicated – but not entirely. In the spring of 2011, a reported case of measles in Hennepin County caused an outbreak. Fortunately, Children’s was ready.

The first steps included tracing the child’s whereabouts during the incubation period. Each person risking exposure received detailed counseling about how to minimize the spread of measles, and which vaccine or preventive medication would be right for them. Next, state and local authorities worked closely with Children’s staff to establish triage procedures and treatment protocols. In addition, Children’s staff went out into the community to spread the word about immunizations and dispel recent myths about vaccine complications.

Children’s saw the vast majority of infected patients, and hospitalized 13 of those with complications. Through a combined effort, the outbreak was contained and no lives were lost.

Even after the initial crisis was over, the Children’s team continued to address the underlying cause of the outbreak. By joining a Minnesota Department of Health task force, Children’s health professionals are helping to educate the public on the importance and facts of vaccination.

1. Easier access to WIC services

wicThe USDA’s Women, Infant and Children (WIC) program was designed to help pregnant women, babies and children under the age of five get the nutrition they need. While most WIC programs are housed in government buildings, Children’s WIC clinic is located on the Minneapolis hospital campus. WIC clients can get the counseling, food and support they need in the same place where they are getting check-ups and treatment. Making WIC services easily accessible ensures that help is getting to the people who need it most.

2. Protecting kids at home

protectingHealth care for children is about more than just annual shots and treating sports injuries. Sometimes it involves taking care of emotional and physical damage from the one place all kids should feel protected: inside the home. The Midwest Children’s Resource Center (MCRC) is called whenever a health care staff member suspects child abuse. Through careful analysis and treatment, a specially trained staff of physicians, social workers and nurses manage every case’s unique needs. MCRC also conducts trainings and outreach with law enforcement and local government officials to ensure that the public safety and health care community is knowledgeable and educated on best practices and treatments. Since more than 60 percent of these cases involve children on Medicaid, donated funds help pay for the critical services that can help these children on the path to a better life.

3. Making safe simple

flu videoPartnering with UnitedHealthcare, Children’s is educating the broader community on child safety and injury prevention. A host of public service announcements, web resources and participation in community events are helping us get the word out about “making safe simple.” The key to this program’s effectiveness is clear, direct messaging on things like car seats, helmet safety, dangerous household situations and ATV safety – in partnership with Polaris Industries. Having a presence at events like the Minnesota State Fair, and providing free car seat clinics and ATV safety training, helps us connect with people in a fun and educational way.

2011 facts about Children's


Children's fundraising results


* Reported as net revenue on the Foundation’s financial statement.
** Costs are net of funds received to support fundraising initiatives.

Thanks to gifts & grants

The neuroscience center will benefit patients and
families such as Lyla and her parents Masud and
Emily. Diagnosed with a brain tumor at age 2, today
Lyla is cancer free, following treatment at Children’s
of Minnesota.

Your generosity is why Children’s can offer the comprehensive services, world-class facilities and a unique healing environment that meets the needs of our region’s young people. Through recent and upcoming capital projects, we are continuing to build facilities that rightly match the level of care we provide.

Brain-related conditions are often the most complex and frightening of patient diagnoses. Concussions, epilepsy, brain tumors and other neurological conditions can require a team of various medical professionals, making treatment plans complex and challenging for the whole family. The new neuroscience center at Children’s – St. Paul, the only one of its kind in the region, will provide a centralized diagnosis and treatment hub to benefit everyone from patient and parent to doctor and therapist.

The design of the neuroscience center includes private patient rooms with additional space for family members. Plus, new labs, play and relaxation areas, and treatment rooms mean that one floor can meet every need. Families will no longer have to shuttle from one location to another to see various specialists. Everyone they need to see will be readily accessible.

The neuroscience center shell is built, but needs to be fully funded before work on the interior can begin. It is our hope that the center and other Children’s – St. Paul capital improvements can be completed in 2012, but we need your help to make it a reality.


1. New spaces in St. Paul

Children’s – St. Paul is experiencing a birth of its own – there is new life in new spaces, making the hospital an inviting place of health and healing. With your support, we have opened a new surgery center, new Level II nursery, new pediatric intensive care unit with all private patient rooms and a newly expanded emergency department. Gift opportunities are still available for the beautiful and therapeutic rooftop garden, designed to have flowers, walking paths and play areas.

2. Unveiling a new emergency department

Children’s – St. Paul emergency department has undergone new design and construction thanks to a generous gift from the Peter J. King Family Foundation, which supports “bricks and mortar” improvements in areas like youth education and health care. It was a fitting endeavor for this foundation to provide the funds for Children’s new emergency department, which aims to increase efficiency, decrease wait times, enhance infection control, and create an emergency experience that is as comforting and supportive as possible.

3. Fill a Room with Care

Imagine if your child or a loved one needed critical medical care. Chances are you would prefer a quiet, private room where your child and family could gather during the healing process. Through Fill a Room with Care, families and corporations are paying it forward and helping underwrite the expense of a private room and all it affords, from greater conveniences for families and increased infection control, to fewer patient moves and greater access to special equipment and medication. Just another way that your generosity creates a unique healing experience.

4. Every dollar counts

Last year, Children’s provided more than $50 million of care not covered by insurance or Medicaid. And that number will grow as state and federal dollars for health care continue to disappear. Children’s has been and always will be committed to treating every child who needs it. That’s why no gift is too small, and why every dollar donated truly matters.

5. The Mother Baby Center

With your support, we are partnering with Allina Health to build the best place to have a baby – and the best place to be a baby. The Mother Baby Center, located on Children’s – Minneapolis campus and connected by skyway to Abbott Northwestern Hospital, will integrate Abbott Northwestern’s maternity and newborn services with Children’s neonatal intensive care unit.

Leading the way

Children’s Anne Harris, (L) clinical
research coordinator, and Kris Ann
Schultz, MD, a pediatric cancer
specialist, helped establish the
International Ovarian and Testicular
Stromal Tumor Registry – the first
of its kind.

While quality and safety are always a top priority, we continue to apply bedside learning to inspire new and better ways of providing care. That’s why we’re committed to ambitious research and scientific inquiry. This has brought Children’s numerous awards and accolades, but more importantly — it gives our patients hope.

Cancer is one of the most terrifying words a parent could ever hear. Even though it is the leading cause of death by disease among children in the United States, only three percent of federal cancer research funding addresses cancers impacting kids. That’s why private funding is so important to the many health professionals who study childhood cancers.

In 2011, St. Baldrick’s Foundation gave a $330,000 grant to Kris Ann Schultz, MD, a Children’s pediatric cancer specialist studying rare tumors found in children and adolescents.

Because of the grant and funding from Hyundai Hope on Wheels and Children’s annual Pine Tree Tennis Classic, Dr. Schultz, along with colleagues from Children’s National Medical Center and Dana Farber Cancer Institute, established the International Ovarian and Testicular Stromal Tumor (OTST) Registry – the first registry of its kind.

The OTST Registry allows for collecting clinical and biological records and continued research focused on rare tumors found in children and adolescents. Forming a centralized database will help in understanding the nature of the tumors and, in turn, lead to increased survival rates.

research-programsResearch and clinical trials at a glance

Children’s clinical investigators are searching for treatments, cures and patient protocols that will help pediatric patients here and around the world. In 2011, we received more than $12 million of generous support from foundations, individuals and other organizations that enabled us to continue our research work. We boast an impressive slate of 403 active research and sponsored programs, with 204 clinical trials and 70 additional peer-reviewed publications in 2011 alone.

Path to Excellence award

leapfrogNRC Picker (NRCP), a division of National Research Corporation, selected Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota for its 2011 Path to Excellence award. One of only three recipients in the country, Children’s received this award based on achievement within categories identified by patients as most important to the quality of their care, like physical comfort, emotional support and coordination of care.

Consumer Reports

newsChildren’s pediatric intensive care units (PICU) received national attention from an unusual source: Consumer Reports. The magazine gathered 2010 data and ranked 92 children’s hospitals across the country on rates of bloodstream infection. Children’s – St. Paul PICU ranked in the very highest category with zero infections. Children’s – Minneapolis PICU earned the second highest rating having half as many bloodstream infections as the national average. This recognition highlights our outstanding staff members and their dedication to delivering the highest quality care.

Numerous Awards

When we’re not providing advanced care to our patients, our doctors, nurses and support personnel continue to learn and lead, garnering numerous awards for their work. Among them:

AwardThe Minnesota Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation honored John McNamara, MD, medical director of Children’s cystic fibrosis program, with the Angela Warner Friend of The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation Award.

Patsy Stinchfield, MS, RN, CNP, director of infectious disease services at Children’s, earned the American Nurses Association (ANA) Immunity Award, which recognizes nurses’ roles in increasing vaccination rates and reducing incidence of vaccinepreventable diseases.

Sharon Berry, PhD, a Children’s clinical psychologist specializing in child and pediatric services, received the 2011 Outstanding Service Award from the Minnesota Association for Children’s Mental Health, for her work in the children’s mental health arena.

Stefan J. Friedrichsdorf, MD, medical director of the department of pain medicine, palliative care and integrative medicine at Children’s, received a 2011 Cunniff-Dixon Award for innovative symptom management of pediatric patients, compassion and family-centered care.

The little and big things

Suzanne Ullom shares a tender
moment with her
 now two-year-old
daughter Shelby, who was born at
just 23 weeks and cared for at 
Children’s neonatal intensivecare unit.

From surgeries big and small, to cancer care and innovative pain management techniques, nobody treats kids like we do. And it’s your generosity that helps make it all possible.

What sets Children’s of Minnesota apart from other hospitals? In short, everything – from the cutting edge surgery suites, to special pediatric pain protocols, to the music and bubbles and popsicles that remind our patients to be kids and provide much needed distraction. Everything we are and everything we do is 100 percent kid-focused.

Suzanne Ullom of Bozeman, MT, knows all about the big and little things that make Children’s different. Her daughter Shelby was born at 23 weeks in a hospital that wasn’t equipped to handle a seriously premature baby. Her doctors recommended a transfer to Children’s, and understandably, Suzanne was anxious. But then her neonatologist told her, “Children’s is the best there is. If Shelby were my daughter, that’s where we would be.”

From the moment Shelby arrived at Children’s, she was ushered into a world of care specifically designed for kids. The Ullom family’s experience at Children’s was so profound that they sold their home in Montana and moved to Minneapolis, a distance of almost 1,000 miles, so Shelby could get the best care and experience. Two years later, Shelby’s condition still requires frequent visits to Children’s. “Shelby likes to do everything that other kids her age like to do,” says Suzanne. “Children’s lets her be just that…a kid.”


1. Pets and healing

CBS’s The Early Show learned about Children’s Pets Assisting With Healing (PAWH) program and spread the word about what a difference these volunteers are making in the lives of children and their families. Established in 2004, Children’s PAWH program now includes more than 25 dog teams and two bunnies that visit patients in the hospital and work with kids during appointments. PAWH fulfills requests across all Children’s campuses.

2. The little things

At Children’s, we take pride in offering a patient experience unlike any other. That’s why we use super-fast, needle-free numbing agents before starting an IV. Or pull children in a red wagon from one appointment to the next. Or keep a ready supply of popsicles on hand. It’s these little things that mean so much to kids. After all, children are the reason we’re here – and the reason you support us so generously.

3. Star Studio

Three decades ago, Children’s Star Studio began with a security camera, a puppet and lots of creativity. Today, Star Studio has evolved into our own in-house TV channel that brightens the day for kids and makes a difference in their experience at Children’s. It’s all part of our belief that arts are integral in a patient’s healing journey. And, one more thing that sets us apart from other hospitals. 

4. Emergency care

We know that kids experiencing a traumatic event do better at a dedicated children’s hospital. Thanks to community support, trauma capabilities at Children’s have dramatically increased.  Pediatric emergency medicine physicians plus new pediatric orthopedic care coverage are available at both designated Level III pediatric trauma centers. In Minneapolis, a new helipad and pediatric surgeon in house 24/7 provide children more rapid access to critical care and surgery. The best emergency care and the best emergency experts – all dedicated exclusively to kids.

5. Child life

No hospital stay is without its share of worry and stress. That’s why Children’s certified child life specialists are there for children – and their families – throughout the hospital stay. Their presence can help decrease the anxiety kids may feel while in the hospital or visiting the clinics, emergency rooms, radiology or surgery areas. They play with the patients, talk to their siblings and answer questions. Quite often, they can make the biggest impact on a family while their child is in the hospital. And, this program – 100 percent donor supported – is only available thanks to your generosity.

Results of operation


* Children’s also received an additional $10.8 million of philanthropic support for capital needs.
** Provision for renovation, equipment and new programs represents the amount associated with operating income. This amount excludes investment gains.

Children's of Minnesota 2011 five-state region

Individual patient encounters* by county

In 2011, Children’s cared for 125,782 individual patients from the five-state region. These patients represented 100% of MN counties and 64% of the counties in WI, IA, ND and SD.


* Patients are counted once, even if they visited Children’s multiple times at different facilities.
Data includes all inpatient and outpatient encounters for all facilities.

Vital statistics