After a couple of years getting things in place – and a pandemic to wait out – the new M Health Fairview positional plagiocephaly clinic is now open in Maplewood, MN, on the east side of the Twin Cities Metro area. Pediatric Neurosurgery team member Leah Kann (pictured above, left, with Orthotist Mary Denne), APRN, CPNP, was largely responsible for setting up the clinic – and this isn’t the first time she has worked hard to make her patients families’ lives easier.

“Leah, along with members from Physical Therapy and Orthotics, helped create the plagiocephaly clinic to treat babies with abnormal head shapes several years ago at what is now M Health Fairview Masonic Children's Hospital in Minneapolis,” said Daniel Guillaume, MD, MS, Chief of Pediatric Neurosurgery. “It was discovered that offering this service in Maplewood could greatly benefit many families and reduce travel requirements.”

The need for the new clinic arose when M Health Fairview merged with HealthEast in late 2019. At that point, the existing plagiocephaly clinic in Minneapolis was getting more referrals from primary care providers in the Maplewood area. Following their initial assessment appointments, patients and their families could then come to their follow-up appointments with Orthotics and Physical Therapy at the M Health Fairview Maplewood Clinic – something that made them very happy.

Leah Kann

The influx of patients from the East Side inspired Kann to create the full-service positional plagiocephaly clinic in Maplewood. Unable to find space at the Maplewood Clinic, the new location officially opened October 12, 2023, in the Maplewood Spine and Neurosurgery Center. “It will provide better access,” said Kann (pictured here). “We have a long wait list at our clinic in Minneapolis and it’s important that we see these patients on a timely basis.” If they are seen too late, there isn’t much the clinic can offer parents relative to helmets or positioning changes to alter their babies’ head shapes.

In addition to Kann, who is the head shape therapy provider for the new clinic, Mary Denne is the Orthotist who creates custom helmets for their patients, and Clare Muyskens is the Physical Therapist who works with parents on positioning their child appropriately when they sleep. The clinic is also a teaching site for Nurse Practitioner and Physical Therapy students.

There is another benefit of the new clinic, which is held on the second and fourth Thursday of the month. “When we get referrals for abnormal head shape, we do sometimes find patients who need to be referred on for surgery,” Kann noted. “If they don’t have plagiocephaly, they could have craniosynostosis, and this model gives their families better access.”