Carlsen Twins (and their Parents) a Career Day Hit

Earlier this year I was part of the team supporting Jesse and Amy Carlsen as they brought their conjoined twin daughters, Abbigail and Isabelle, to Mayo Clinic to be separated. Before they had arrived at Mayo they already had agreed to a high level of media involvement, with Dateline NBC, the Star Tribune and the Fargo Forum following their progress.

Before they arrived in Rochester, Jesse Carlsen was doing the media relations management himself. In late February he turned that over to our media relations team, so he and Amy could be open with the media without undue burdens or worries. We also coordinated with the care team to make sure the media involvement didn’t hinder the girls’ care.

In June, after the successful separation and their return home to Fargo, the Star Tribune asked Dr. Christopher Moir and Penny Stavlo, Certified Nurse Practitioner, to speak at a career day for high school students, to encourage them to consider health career. That event was Tuesday, October 17.

The several hundred students were very engaged and interested. We had a nice surprise for them at the end during the Q&A, when one of the girls asked Dr. Moir something about Amy Carlsen’s labor and delivery, so I used that as an opportunity to spring the surprise: “Why don’t you ask her? Amy and Jesse, would you bring the girls out?”

There was an audible gasp when the kids found out the Carlsens had made the trip from Fargo for the event.

Here’s a little video from the day…showing the progress the girls are making, and the intense interest of the students. At the very end you will see a dozen or so students, all with camera phones, all taking pictures.


This is the perfect example of the convergence of new media and news media. Several Twin Cities news outlets, including the Star Tribune, WCCO, KARE and KSTP were present. For a planned event, you want to send your best reporters and photographers, and in the news coverage you see some excellent work.

But the youthful cameraphone papparazzi shows that the ubiquity of electronic gadgets means there will almost always be a camera around to capture any newsworthy or meaningful event.

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Author: Lee Aase

Husband of one, father of six, grandfather of 15. Chancellor Emeritus, SMUG. Emeritus staff of Mayo Clinic. Founder of HELPcare and Administrator for HELPcare Clinic.

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