Room to Grow

Gillette’s new adult-care clinic to offer expanded services

This month, Gillette Lifetime Specialty Healthcare will begin offering clinical services at a new location. The St. Paul –Phalen clinic, opening March 5th, will be twice as big as its New Brighton predecessor.

Five years ago, that pilot clinic was opened for teens and adults who were diagnosed during childhood with conditions that result in functional limitations. Although patients’ needs—and the services provided—have grown since then, the location’s size limited what the staff could offer.

“Our new larger space will support the expansion of services, such as therapeutic recreation and dietary programs,” says Ronna Linroth, manager of adult outpatient services at Gillette Lifetime.

In addition, a medical director, Robert Wagner, M.D has been added. “We are a highly collaborative, integrated clinic, where patients often get a one-stop shopping experience,” says Wagner. “Patients with a defined condition, such as cerebral palsy or spina bifida, do best receiving care with an interdisciplinary approach, where their health-care providers all are available in the same space.”

Specialized Care
Medical specialists increasingly recognize that adult patients have different health-care needs than pediatric patients. The new clinic will provide even more focused, integrated care for its adult patients, including people with cerebral palsy, spina bifida and neuromuscular conditions, as well as those seeking post-polio and young-adult services.

“Conditions that affect the entire body should be addressed by providers with a depth of knowledge,” Wagner says. “Our specialists have that depth, and are able to see patterns that allow them to ask key questions and take the proper steps to ensure the best possible care.”

An integrated approach to care goes well beyond coordinating appointments with multiple providers. The integrated-team model helps clinic staff address patients’ social, emotional and functional needs. It also includes having conversations with the patient and caregivers to create a long-term plan for the patient’s care.

Space Accommodations
While the new clinic offers many of the services available at other Gillette locations, it does so in an environment tailored to adults. For example, the clinic has the equipment and trained staff necessary to lift, transfer, weigh, and otherwise accommodate adult patients needs.

Wagner stresses that the new location improves efficiency for patients and staff. “We often have the necessary staff and resources right in the next room,” Wagner says. “For example, if we realize during an appointment that someone needs a seating consultation, we can call in a seating practitioner right then.”

The relocating also enhances the patient-friendly environment. “The new space allows us to meet the privacy needs of adolescents and young adults, and the increasing social-service needs of adults as they age,” says Carol Nelson, clinic social worker.

Closer to “Home”
Gillette also sought the benefits of having the clinic closer to their main location. “Our patients and families have a strong connection with the St. Paul clinic, and our relocation closer to the St. Paul site will improve access to other services and collaborations with specialists,” Linroth says.

The new clinic’s proximity to the St. Paul campus also might help ease the transition for Gillette patients who are moving from pediatric to adult care. “We have the luxury of continuing to see patients who have been with us as children,” Wagner says. “We provide them with the quality care they’ve come to expect—and need.”

For information about Gillette Lifetime Specialty Healthcare, call 651-636-9443 or visit www.gillettechildrens.org