Program areas at Gillette Children's Foundation
RESEARCH:Gillette research activities concentrate on clinical applications devoted to finding effective medical interventions for disabling conditions and their related effects. Research at Gillette consists of fourteen emphasis areas, all of which seek to improve the lives of children who have disabilities and complex conditions. These areas include bone health, cerebral palsy, craniofacial, epilepsy, gait and motion analysis, Legg-Calve-Perthes Disease, musculoskeletal, neuromuscular disease, pain and comfort, Rett syndrome, spina bifida, spine, upper extremities and nursing research.During 2020, there were 115 active studies underway and 88 studies were published in peer-reviewed journals and manuscripts. Following are several examples of research studies and advancements:Gillette is working to understand how the social determinants of health impact the health of medically complex children. Research is underway to evaluate the prevalence of the social determinants of health in our patient population, to identify potential relationships between the social determinants of health and health outcomes, and to improve comprehensive care management to address disparities created by the social determinates of health. Gillette is a leader in pediatric rehab medicine. Work is underway to better measure motor control following a pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI), as current outcome measures of recovery of walking ability after a TBI are indirect and subjective. The goal of this study is to test the usefulness of an objective measure of dynamic motor control to assess recovery from a TBI. Gillette is a leader in the research and treatment a rare orthopedic condition called Legg-Calve-Perthes (LCP) disease. Investigators are currently working to develop a minimally invasive animal model of LCP to better understand the etiology of this disease which will lead to work on prevention of the sequelae and impact on individuals who present with LCP. Ongoing clinical and pre-clinical studies have prognostic, diagnostic, and therapeutic implications for treatment of LCP. Gillette research teams are working to understand the impact of virtual reality as an adjunct to pediatric cast removal. Virtual reality has the potential to distract children during cast removal through suppression of both auditory and visual aspects of the procedure. The primary objective of this work is to decrease the pain experience during what can feel like an invasive procedure for children.
CAPITAL:The Foundation raises funds to support Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare's mission of providing specialized health care for children and adults who have complex and rare medical conditions. The Foundation's support allows Gillette to further its vision of helping patients realize their full potential. This includes raising contributions for improvements to capital assets of Gillette Children's Specialty Healthcare, which ensures modern, efficient and effective technology and resources are available to serve our patients.During 2020, Gillette transferred funds for capital projects related to various projects such as EOS advanced imaging, continuing support for Gillette's Pediatric Spine Institute, and further investments in 3D robot carver and related equipment.
PATIENT CARE: The Foundation raises money to support activities related to the Gillette mission. This includes offering financial aid to patients based on need, whether or not they have health insurance, and offering charity care to patients who are financially unable to pay all or part of their medical bills. Gillette evaluates each situation based on a patient's income, assets and other resources, and the hospital assists with establishing manageable payment plans (including co-pays and co-insurance). For people without insurance, Gillette charges for care in accordance with the 501(r) guidelines.If patients inform Gillette that they will have a difficult time meeting their financial obligations, Gillette helps patients in their efforts to qualify for public assistance or the Gillette charity care program. Income eligibility for the program is based on national poverty guidelines. Gillette will never turn away a family due to an inability to pay for treatment. The Foundation also provides grants to support startup and expansion for new and/or strategic patient care initiatives. This includes areas such as the Gillette Pediatric Spine Institute, which advances the care of children with spine conditions, including scoliosis. This initiative centers around three pillars: (1) excellence in clinical care and outcomes, (2) research that investigates long-term outcomes, care innovation, and knowledge translation, and (3) education of future experts in spine care.Additionally, funds raised by the Foundation support areas of Gillette operations that are unreimbursed or under-reimbursed. For example, Gillette operates outreach clinics in communities in greater (largely rural) Minnesota. However, in providing these services, Gillette incurs losses. Gillette outreach clinics offer appointments with doctors, nurse practitioners, and seating and adaptive equipment specialists. Outreach clinics also help with care coordination and education for community providers in the specialized needs of Gillette patients living in their communities. Similarly, Gillette provides a variety of services to patients through our Child and Family Services area that are unreimbursed or under-reimbursed. Child life specialists, for example, help children and families prepare for and cope with hospital stays and medical procedures. Social workers provide emotional support and help with practical concerns for families of children who have disabilities, such as ordering medical equipment and finding transportation or other resources.The Foundation grants also supported Gillette's efforts to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. Funds were used to ensure a safe and effective response for our patients, families and employees.