Heather Bergeson
Health Care Provider
Minnesota

Heather Bergeson is a sports medicine physician and pediatrician as well as the Medical Director of Pediatric Orthopedics at TRIA Orthopedic Center. She also serves as the Team Physician for the University of Minnesota Gopher women’s hockey team and as an adjunct assistant clinical professor of orthopedic surgery at the University of Minnesota. 

As a sports medicine physician, Heather enjoys caring for musculoskeletal issues in patients of all ages. She has a special interest in young athletes and strives to promote health and physical fitness at an early age. 

The majorities of Heather’s patients have arthritis, or will have arthritis at some point in their lives. Her goal has always been to keep her patients active and enjoying the benefits of exercise. Her hope is that she can help alleviate some of the pain from arthritis to improve function and the ability to enjoy life experiences. 

Having rheumatoid arthritis herself, Heather can relate to the pain, medication costs, side effects and insurance coverage issues that many patients endure. She sees the Arthritis Foundation as an important resource for her patients to better understand the disease, manage symptoms and connect with other people with arthritis. 

“My philosophy has always been ‘exercise is medicine’ and my goal is to keep my patients active and healthy throughout their lives,” said Heather, “We may have to modify things and manage symptoms and some days will be better than others, but my message to my patients with arthritis is ‘Yes, you can do this!’” 

Heather’s collaboration with the Arthritis Foundation has given her a platform to advocate for her patients and develop community partnerships to help support fundraising efforts and continue to be a Champion of YES.

Garrett Grossman
Youth Champion
Minnesota

Garrett Grossman was diagnosed with juvenile arthritis when he was only 18 months old. At such a young age, arthritis slowed down his motor skill development. He was walking at one year but soon after, he started to limp and have an unusual gait. Now, at age two, with treatment, Garrett is able to live a normal daily life. 

The many doctor appointments at first were a disruption to the family routine, but even now trips to the doctor have become normal. Still, Garrett’s parents always have arthritis in the back of their minds. They are more in tune to the health of others around him and have the reminder when Garrett takes his weekly chemo medication. 

Not long after Garrett’s diagnosis, the Grossman’s were attended the Walk to Cure Arthritis for the first time. They love to be outdoors and to exercise and feel like the Walk fits their life well. The Grossman’s know that they have a lot to be thankful for and that gives them hope. 

As a family, the Grossmans feel it is important to mentor others going through a similar experience. “We want to walk hand in hand with those who are also on this journey,” said the Grossmans, “We may have a little piece of advice that will help someone out.”