The Fair at Hennepin Healthcare offers employees 12 days of socially distant fun

Since January, Hennepin Healthcare employees have been focused on COVID-19. From emergency planning to caring for many of the state’s sickest patients, it’s been an extremely busy year so far.   

Hennepin Healthcare has always been very involved in the Minnesota State Fair and when it was canceled, a creative team planned 12 days of socially distant fun for their colleagues. There’s something for everyone – including Hennepin’s cookie jars, a quarantine photo contest, music, art, and other ways for employees to enjoy fair-themed activities during what would be the 2020 Minnesota State Fair.

Dr. David Hilden at the
Minnesota State Fair

“We’ve all been working so hard this year,” explains Dr. David Hilden, Vice President of Medical Affairs who is also serving as “Ambassador” of the Fair at Hennepin Healthcare. Many of us are missing our families and friends, are actually longing for some human contact, and are bummed out about missing our traditional end-of-summer ritual of the State Fair. Many of us haven’t seen one another for months, and many of us who have been on campus have been working around the clock caring for critically ill patients or supporting those who do. We really need a bit of frivolity to boost our spirits. And although I’ll miss standing on that WCCO radio porch doing live State Fair shows, I’m still really excited about our ‘virtual’ Great Hennepin Get-Together!”

Dr. Hilden and his co-Ambassador, Bernie the Rescue Dog, kicked off the festivities with a video that can be found along with a list of events at, where there’s also a photo scrapbook of Hennepin Healthcare memories from the Fair.

“We’re 7000 employees strong,” said Dr. Hilden. “We’re strong for each other and we’re strong for our patients and families. I really believe that. And even if we can’t walk the fairgrounds with our friends, we can still have fun as a Hennepin family. We’re all looking forward to celebrating a Minnesota tradition in our own safe, fun way.”