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Medical Marvels: Honoring Bud and Ellen, two of Minnesota’s medical pioneers

Married physicians inspire others with a lasting legacy of patient care and mentorship

When Dr. Bud Green began caring for patients with cancer, treatment options were limited. Since then, Bud has seen huge advances– after all, he just turned 100.

In 1951, he was one of the metro’s first private practice oncologists. He started the practice that became Park Nicollet. He mentored doctors and nurses.

Bud began the Methodist Hospital tradition of sharing cancer research through learning conferences. He was a key resource.

“I just liked what I did—taking care of people and being involved in the practice of oncology,” he said.

Bud and wife Ellen, also a physician, had an impact on our leaders.

Oncologist Bill Shimp, M.D., former chief medical officer at Park Nicollet, used to watch how Bud related to patients.

“I learned the traditional distance between doctor and patient isn’t always easy, or even appropriate. I am forever grateful for what he taught me about the human side of cancer care. He is my greatest medical hero.”

Bud set the stage for how patients get care at Frauenshuh Cancer Center. For example, patients don’t walk around the hospital for their care. Now all services come to them to save their energy.

Drs. Bud Green and Ellen Green with HealthPartners President and CEO Mary Brainerd

Dr. Mark Wilkowske, medical director and chair of the Park Nicollet Cancer Program, says Bud’s “inspired leadership” helped make the Center what it is. “No other cancer center is doing this.”

Dr. Ellen Green was assistant commissioner of health under Governor Rudy Perpich. She earned her medical degree at Columbia University. She practiced at the University of Minnesota. She even directed polio vaccine trials.

HealthPartners CEO Mary Brainerd was 20 when she first met Ellen.

“Ellen was the person who showed me early on what a woman leader could do in health care.”

Mary Brainerd
HealthPartners President and CEO

“It’s wonderful to be recognized for what I did for many years,” said Ellen. “I’ve been connected to Park Nicollet since it was St. Louis Park Medical Center.”

A party and dedication

Bud and Ellen had a special party for his birthday and to dedicate a room in their name.

The Drs. Bud and Ellen Green Founders Room was made possible through the Park Nicollet Foundation Love and Legacy Campaign.

Cancer experts use the room to discuss ways to improve patient care through the latest research.

But this time it was used to say thanks. Bud and Ellen continue to inspire changes in patient care.

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