Gillette came to MHI in Jan. 2002 as the Director of the Children and Adolescent Service, and added the responsibility of Acting Clinical Director in 2003, before becoming the Clinical Director in 2004. With his new title, Gillette is currently "wearing three hats" at the MHI - Superintendent, Clinical Director, and Children/Adolescent Service director. A doctor has tentatively agreed to accept the Children/Adolescent position, beginning in January, and if that comes to pass, Gillette will have "just" two hats to wear.
Dr. Gillette's family is originally from Northwest Iowa, and he said that the family has some ties to Cherokee's former US Senator, the late Guy Gillette - though he was quick to add that it wasn't a close relationship. The doctor grew up in the Omaha area, graduating from Bellevue East High School in 1981. He received Bachelor of Arts degrees in Psychology and Chemistry from Yankton College in Yankton, South Dakota, in 1985. Gillette graduated Magna Cum Laude, and holds the distinction of being the Valedictorian of the last class to graduate from Yankton College before it closed.
Gillette went to graduate school at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha, earning his M.D. in 1989. He then did a residency in General Psychiatry at the University of Kansas School of Medicine in Wichita from 1989-1992, before accepting a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine in Albuquerque. He then set out to practice child psychiatry, ending up in Cherokee in 2002. His education had not ended, however. From 2002-2004, Gillette studied Health Care Management through the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and received a Masters Degree in that field
Gillette is married, and he and his wife Lisa have five children - ages 15, 13, 10, 7, and 5. Lisa is also a doctor and has a family practice in Sioux City. Dr. Gillette commutes daily between Cherokee and the family's home in Sioux City.
Daniel Gillette is one of four full-time psychiatrists on the staff at MHI, along with Drs. Murphy, Gupta, and Sethi.
One of his hopes for the MHI is that they can add more psychiatric staff, as well as provide psychiatric training for others.There is a shortage of psychiatrists in the entire state of Iowa, and the problem is especially noticeable in rural areas. Iowa ranks 47th among the 50 states in the number of practicing psychiatrists, and has the lowest number of psychiatrists per capita among its six neighboring states.
Because of the concern for area residents to have more access to psychiatric care, Gillette has overseen the resumption of the training program for Physician Assistants. The previous program received federal funding, but was dropped due to the loss of that funding. The revived program, a "post -graduate training in Psychiatry," will be funded directly by the Iowa Department of Human Services.
The program graduated one trainee this month, and three new trainees will begin next month. Dr. Gillette said that the program generally seeks prospective trainees who have ties to the local area , and who will probably remain in the area, after their training, thus helping to gradually alleviate the shortage of psychiatric services available to the residents of rural Iowa.
Dr. Gillette is not planning on any big changes at the MHI. He feels that they already provide the "best quality care anywhere," and have been told that several times by hospital surveyors. The continued build-up of the training program and the addition of more psychiatric staff are his immediate goals.