In rural Minnesota, HealthFinders Collaborative serves uninsured and underinsured residents who have limited health care alternatives. Providers at the three clinic locations – Northfield, Faribault, Owatonna – offer culturally specific services and care to patients from diverse backgrounds. HealthFinders patients have a unique set of barriers to accessing quality health care, including language, cost and transportation.
Thanks to HealthFinders Collaborative, patients can access primary care, lab work, dental care, behavioral health, preventative care and other services.
“We’re so appreciative of the support MAVEN Project provides, which has really empowered our providers,” shared Connie Jaenicke, family nurse practitioner. “Access to specialty care is our biggest challenge and having MAVEN Project allows us to provide quality care to patients who would not be able to get it otherwise.”
Jaenicke has been able to help many patients avoid outside referrals with guidance from the expert volunteer physicians at MAVEN Project. She’s also able to lay the groundwork for patients who need to see a specialist in-person, ensuring they have the necessary test results to make their first appointment as efficient as possible.
“MAVEN Project physicians have so much expertise and guide us at such an extraordinary level,” Jaenicke added.
Emily Carroll, HealthFinders Collaborative’s lead nurse practitioner, has worked at the clinic for more than a decade and despite all that experience, MAVEN Project is the first link in her bookmarks.
“MAVEN Project has given me more confidence,” Carroll said. “I can get much needed answers and reassure patients that we can develop a care plan. It’s saving patients a ton of time and money. Plus, it alleviates the stress I feel when patients can’t access a specialist. I recently worked with a patient who had only one kidney, which I’ve not encountered in the past. A consult with MAVEN Project nephrologist helped me with parameters to monitor the patient and manage their condition without over testing them.”
Providers at HealthFinders Collaborative operate in a specialty desert, where uninsured patients who want to see an endocrinologist must travel hours and front $5,000 to even get an appointment. What’s more, many of their patients come from areas with poor health care conditions and lack trust in the system, which HealthFinders Collaborative professionals work to restore.
“Our team does amazing work with the resources they have but some patients need help beyond their expertise,” Carroll added. “It’s stressful for both patients and providers, but MAVEN Project has been practice-changing for me. If I could dream up the perfect solution, this would be it.”