In a first of its kind partnership, Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare has joined United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) as its newest affiliate. Gillette now becomes the first children’s hospital to join the UCP network in the organization’s 64-year history.
The new partnership will not only help Gillette better serve its clients; it will also help those who have missed UCP of Minnesota since that organization shut down this spring. UCP’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously to welcome Gillette as UCP of Minnesota during a special meeting Aug. 14.
“We are thrilled to welcome Gillette to the UCP family,” said Stephen Bennett, president and chief executive officer of UCP. “The partnership with Gillette marks a new approach by UCP to expand our network in new and exciting ways. Gillette’s mission mirrors that of UCP, with a broad commitment to people with a spectrum of disabilities. Their reach, reputation, dedicated and accomplished team adds vast new resources to the UCP network, and we are excited for a strong partnership in the years to come.”
UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society.
“As a national leader in specialty health care, Gillette is always looking to build partnerships with organizations who provide support to children who have disabilities and their families,” said Margaret Perryman, president and CEO of Gillette. “By becoming an affiliate of UCP, we will now be able to provide our patients with even more valuable resources.”
Gillette is internationally recognized for its work in treating children who have disabilities and complex medical conditions. Its Center for Cerebral Palsy is world-renowned for its medical treatment and rehabilitation services dedicated to reducing the effects of cerebral palsy (CP) through an interdisciplinary team. The hospital was cited by the 2012 US News & World Report as one of the country’s best children’s hospitals in the areas of orthopedics and neurology/neurosurgery. Gillette serves approximately 4,000 children each year with CP at its main campus in St. Paul, Minnesota and at clinics throughout the state.
UCP is comprised of almost 100 affiliates around the world. These partners provide services such as housing, physical therapy, assistive technology training, early intervention services, individual and family support, social and recreational programs, community living, state and local referrals, employment, employment assistance and advocacy.
Gillette joins UCP as the first hospital center and points to UCP’s efforts to expand its reach through creative partnerships with organizations that provide excellence in service to people with disabilities. “This is an important day for UCP,” Bennett said. “Just as parents in the 1940s founded UCP as a response to wanting better for their children, UCP is excited to announce a partnership that expands its reach to help even more people under the UCP banner.”
The announcement is welcome news for those who have depended on UCP-MN, which had operated since 1953. Dwindling finances and a tough fundraising climate forced the group to shut down. The organization officially filed its Notice of Intent to Dissolve with the State of Minnesota in late May and closed its office in St. Paul’s in June.
One question that remains centers on the Minnesota Assistive Technology Lending Network or MATLN Program, which UCP-MN offered for years. A Gillette spokesperson said that the services Gillette will provide are still being explored. More information about MATLN will be available in the future.