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Meet Saint Paul's 'Dr. Happy Thanksgiving'

A Twin Cities doctor with a quirky name is using it to help ease stress in the HealthPartners urgent care.

SAINT PAUL, Minn. — "My name is Happy Thanksgiving Reynolds." 

No, that's not a typo or some editing mix-up. 

We are indeed talking about a physician whose legal first name is "Happy" and her middle name "Thanksgiving."

The doctor with the quirky name works at the urgent care at HealthPartners in Saint Paul, where we caught up with her last week.

"I think it's been at least in my profession in medicine [my name has] actually been a huge icebreaker."

And her patient's biggest question: How did she end up with that name?

"Well, clearly, I'm the child of hippies." 

Born on Turkey Day in 1970, inspiration came easy. 

"My parents decided I'd pick my name by when I was born.  And so, as a happy occasion, and a thanks, and a giving from God," she explained.

Happy says she did indeed have a happy childhood, with parents actively involved in social issues. "Gosh, one of my earliest memories was going to protests." 

And when it came time to decide on a career, Happy recalled, "The joke I tell, which is sort of true, when I decided to go to medical school, both my parents were like, you know, 'don't let it ruin your soul.' And, of course, I'm like, 'I'm going to be a doctor.'" 

Happy's name became another tool while practicing medicine. 

"People are scared, especially in urgent care and urgent situations. And then, if your name is Happy or you're Doctor Happy, I think it's just a moment where it's like okay."

So we had to know: What is Dr. Happy Thanksgiving thankful for in 2021?

"I think I have felt really grateful to work for an organization that has been nimble enough to respond to the changes of the pandemic," she said and then added, "I'm grateful that I get to come to work every day and work with amazing people who really care, and care about our co-workers and care about the patients that we serve."

Then the kicker:  "I'm really grateful to live in Minnesota. I mean, I love our state. Ironically my daughter is also named Minnesota." And when jaws dropped, Dr. Happy Thanksgiving couldn't help but quip, "Yea, that's right."

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