Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce Charitable Foundation Receives First Ever Approval from State for its Share of $3.3 Million in Dual Education Grants

Dakota County Regional Chamber of Commerce Board Member and Charitable Foundation Chairman, Mark W. Lofthus, announced this week that the State of Minnesota approved the first ever Foundation’s request for $76,000 for training for up to forty phlebotomists (blood draw professionals) working with health care members within the Dakota County Region, all training through the Dakota County Technical College (DCTC) accredited health curriculum.

“It is an honor to help the DCR Chamber of Commerce support its members in the region, by developing their employees at low cost, and strengthening the healthcare infrastructure that is so much in need right now,” Mark said. This program will be in addition to the DCR Annual Women’s Leadership Forum scholarships, offered annually.

Maureen Scallen Failor, President of the DCR Chamber of Commerce and member of its Charitable Foundation Board, added, “It is another great strength of our Chamber to have a Foundation so in tune with our mission to cultivate our vibrant communities. This Grant comes together with key Chamber of Commerce members and partners like Dakota County Technical College in Rosemount, and Infinite Health Collaborative (i-Health). The program will be low cost to our healthcare members and no cost to their employees to provide deeper, needed training.”

The Importance of Phlebotomists

Phlebotomist services is a key step of all critical medical treatment, and the DCR Chamber and Foundation uncovered a serious need in the Region with Healthcare member interviews, surveys, and analysis of State of Minnesota economic data.

DCR Chamber Member Support

The first DCR Chamber healthcare partner to participate in the Grant program is i-Health, which was formed in 2019 when Twin Cities Orthopedics (TCO) and other physician owned and led specialty practices came together to create a framework for growth and sustainability for independent practices. i-Health focuses on patient choice and the shared core principles of physician autonomy, quality, value-based care and innovation.

Kellie Krysmalski, Director of Laboratory Services with i-Health, explained “We are always looking for ways to enrich the training and job skills of our employees. Our attention to their ongoing training at no cost to them is an aid in slowing turnover as well as improvements in their personal skills. We are excited to partner with the DCR Charitable Foundation and DCTC through this important State of MN Dual Grant Program.”

Dakota County Technical College, based in Rosemount, was also anxious to partner with the DCR Charitable Foundation in the Dual Grant process. Bob Trewartha, Director of Continuing Education and Customized Training at Dakota County Technical College was an early adopter to the program and explained “The DCTC phlebotomy program is one of the College’s jewels in our healthcare training curriculum. There is such a need for this expertise and our academic staff has both important clinical and classroom expertise.”

Opportunity for More Healthcare Partners

Per Lofthus, the Chamber and Foundation will look for additional partners in the Regional health space to round out the phlebotomists that i-Health will bring into the program. The plan is to bring forty into the program within the next year. Health entities interested in learning more about this low cost program should contact Mark Lofthus at [email protected] or Maureen Scallen Failor at [email protected].

The DCR Charitable Foundation partnered with John LeTourneau in writing the Grant. Mr. LeTourneau will also assist the DCR Charitable Foundation with administration of the program. John can be reached at [email protected].

For the full 2022 Minnesota Dual Grant press release, click here:
$3.3 million in Dual Training Grants awarded to Minnesota employers (state.mn.us)

Dr. Kevin Nelson Named Chief Clinical Officer of Booming Twin Cities Healthcare Group

Dr. Nelson, a family medicine physician for 30+ years and former President of Fairview Physician Associates (FPA), will oversee value-based care initiatives for Infinite Health Collaborative (i-Health).

Minneapolis, MN (May 10, 2022) Infinite Health Collaborative (i-Health), a multispecialty practice with 2,000+ employees, has named Dr. Kevin Nelson its first Chief Clinical Officer (CCO). Dr. Nelson has a storied history as a healthcare leader in the Twin Cities. On top of serving as a family medicine physician for over 30 years with Richfield Medical Group and serving in many leadership roles for Fairview Health Systems, he recently concluded a six-year term as President of the 4,000+ provider Fairview Physician Associates (FPA) Network.

Dr. Nelson’s new role was created in response to rapid growth for i-Health. Since its formation in January 2020, the physician owned and led organization has expanded to include 16 local independent medical practices representing several specialties.

“Healthcare change continues to accelerate, and i-Health is at the forefront of innovation in terms of increasing value in the industry,” said Nelson. “Working through the quadruple aim; to increase value, we must continue to improve outcomes, enhance the patient experience, reduce the total cost of care, and improve the health of our providers. The physicians and clinics inside i-Health are some of the most talented and passionate providers in the country, they’re extremely capable. My primary role will be to help us work together and amplify our impact on the community.”

Value-based care initiatives are not new to i-Health. In late 2021, leaders from the practice’s colon and rectal, orthopedics, and women’s health operating divisions launched a collaborative Pelvic Health Therapy program designed to help an underserved population of people with debilitating pelvic health conditions. To date, the program has served over 1500 patients, and demand continues to rise.

“We’re called a collaborative for a reason,” said i-Health Board President Dr. David Holte. “Our independent model grants us the unique ability to quickly respond to patient needs and develop our own creative solutions to address complex needs in the community. Dr. Nelson has a proven track record of fostering effective collaboration amongst medical professionals, and with his leadership we’ll be able to accomplish even more as a united front.”

In addition to his role as CCO of i-Health, Nelson will continue to treat patients with Richfield Medical Group.

“It’s an honor to provide healthcare,” said Nelson. “Improving our community’s health is our passion. We are motivated to think bigger and seek better options for our patients. I’m grateful for this opportunity to continue taking care of my patients, while also helping to shape care for the next generation.”

Two Prominent Twin Cities Healthcare Practices Join i-Health

The banner year continues for Infinite Health Collaborative (i-Health), a group of physician-owned and led medical practices in the Twin Cities with various areas of expertise. The independent healthcare practice welcomed two new specialty physician groups to the organization and has seen rapid growth since launching in 2019.

i-Health’s latest additions, Adefris & Toppin Women’s Specialists, who joined effective March 1, 2021, and Endocrinology Clinic of Minneapolis, who joined effective June 1, 2021, bring more like-minded physicians into the organization who seek to empower patients to be active participants in their healthcare.

Both Adefris & Toppin Women’s Specialists and Endocrinology Clinic of Minneapolis are well-known and respected for their patient-first approaches and dedication to high-quality care. They bring decades of experience, expertise, and strong community ties in the Twin Cities area to i-Health and are excited about what the future holds.

“For the past 21 years, we have developed amazing relationships with our patients and their families,” said Adefris & Toppin Women’s Specialists owner and physician Dr. Wanda Adefris. “We are positioning ourselves with i-Health to continue offering excellent care while maintaining our autonomy. Being an independent practice is incredibly important so we can work closely with our patients in the way they have been accustomed to. We feel like the physicians in i-Health have the same values, and their goals are in alignment with ours.”

“Endocrinology is a discipline that bridges together many others,” said Endocrinology Clinic of Minneapolis physician Dr. Rebecca Mattison. “We see joining i-Health as a way to bring our expertise and collaboration to physicians from other specialties who value high-quality, patient-centered care. This will give us the stability we need in the current medical landscape, without sacrificing our independence and ability to adapt to new challenges.”

Dr. Wanda Adefris and Dr. Barbara Toppin started their Woodbury-based practice in 2000. Adefris & Toppin Women’s Specialists (ATWS) is a full-range obstetrics and gynecology practice offering holistic, individualized treatment from an experienced, all-female team of physicians. ATWS takes immense pride in providing personalized care to patients, taking the time to get to know their needs and connecting with them on a personal level. Patients are empowered to be stewards of their health and are encouraged to ask questions.

The physicians at ATWS provide treatment for a wide range of reproductive health conditions and put a strong emphasis on preventive care. ATWS has a long history of innovation, often being early adopters of new methods and procedures. ATWS is one of the few clinics in the area to specialize in miscarriage and stillbirth and has their own dedicated center. With many of the physicians and staff working together for more than a decade, ATWS embraces a collaborative culture where patients feel like part of the “family.”

Since 1972, Endocrinology Clinic of Minneapolis (ECM) has cultivated a tradition of excellence. ECM is a clinic of three Mayo-trained physicians, working together to provide the best possible care for their patients. Not always common in endocrinology, ECM’s collaborative culture is what makes it special and helps provide patients with exceptional care. Treating patients of all ages and genders, ECM specializes in disorders of hormones and metabolism.

From thyroid cancer to diabetes, ECM physicians care for patients using the latest, most innovative treatment options available. ECM also has a team of certified diabetic educators who work closely with the physicians to provide diabetic patients the best education and care possible.

Adefris & Toppin Women’s Specialists and Endocrinology Clinic of Minneapolis join Associates in Women’s Health, Burnsville Family Physicians, Catalyst Medical Clinic, Colon & Rectal Surgery Associates, Diamond Women’s Center, Gerten Urogynecology, Haugen OB/GYN, LT Proactive Care, Luong Plastic Surgery, Midwest Plastic Surgery, OBGYN Specialists, OBGYN & Infertility, Preventive Cardiology Clinic, Twin Cities Orthopedics, and Vascular & Interventional Experts.

i-Health adds Luong Plastic Surgery, growth continues in 2021

After maintaining rapid growth in 2020, Infinite Health Collaborative (i-Health) is excited to kick off 2021 with another key addition.

Luong Plastic Surgery, founded by Dr. Jacqueline Luong, is set to launch on January 4th. Dr. Luong, currently practicing within i-Health at Midwest Plastic Surgery, will have an office in Edina.

Since 2003, Dr. Luong has a history of success in helping patients achieve their goals. She is board certified plastic surgery and has a successful record of performing a wide range of cosmetic and reconstructive procedures, including surgical and non-surgical procedures.

Besides being highly trained, experienced and awarded, Dr. Luong prides herself on her patient satisfaction. She truly cares – and her patients can feel it.

With the addition of Luong Plastic Surgery, i-Health operating divisions now include multiple plastic surgery practices, as well as cardiology, colon and rectal, family medicine, orthopedics, vascular & interventional radiology, and women’s health, making it one of the largest independent multispecialty practices in the region.

Luong Plastic Surgery joins Burnsville Family Physicians, Catalyst Medical Clinic, Colon & Rectal Surgery Associates, Midwest Plastic Surgery, OBGYN Associates, which includes OBGYN Specialists, Associates in Women’s Health, OBGYN & Infertility, Diamond Women’s Center, Haugen OB/GYN, and Gerten Urogynecology, Preventive Cardiology Clinic, Twin Cities Orthopedics, and Vascular & Interventional Experts.

Healthcare practice adds two new specialty groups, independent business model shows promise during pandemic

Plastic surgery, vascular and interventional radiology physicians to join Infinite Health Collaborative (i-Health) alongside 150+ fellow independent doctors

MINNEAPOLIS (September 15, 2020) Since launching in late 2019, Infinite Health Collaborative (i-Health) has maintained rapid growth, even amidst a tumultuous healthcare landscape. The independent healthcare practice, owned and led by physicians who are not employed by traditional health systems, is expanding to add two specialty physician groups to the organization.

i-Health operating divisions will now include plastic surgery and vascular and interventional radiology, in addition to cardiology, colon and rectal, family medicine, orthopedics, and women’s health, making it one of the largest independent multispecialty practices in the region.

Midwest Plastic Surgery and Vascular & Interventional Experts (VIE) join Twin Cities Orthopedics (TCO), Burnsville Family Physicians (BFP) Catalyst Medical Clinic (CMC), Preventive Cardiology Clinic (PCC), Colon & Rectal Surgery Associates (CRSAL), and OBGYN Associates (OGA), which includes OBGYN Specialists, Associates in Women’s Health, OBGYN & Infertility, Diamond Women’s Center, Haugen OB/GYN, and Gerten Urogynecology.

VIE joined i-Health effective August 10, 2020, and Midwest Plastic Surgery will join effective October 1, 2020.

The rise of independence in healthcare

i-Health physicians focus on patient choice, and share core principles of quality care, physician autonomy, value-based care, and innovation. They are like-minded, passionate care providers who are inspired to grow, innovate, and ultimately impact change in healthcare.

By remaining independent of traditional, hospital-focused health systems, they preserve the ability to make recommendations and decisions solely based on what’s best for patients. Collectively, i-Health practices have a 98.3% patient satisfaction rating.

“We joined i-Health so our patients would have more choices and control over their own healthcare decisions,” said Dr. Michael Cumming, Vascular & Interventional Experts physician and co-founder. “After all, why go into a busy hospital when you can have the exact same highly-sophisticated procedures in our office, for a much lower cost? Most people don’t realize that independence is actually the original healthcare model. Our approach may seem revolutionary, but in reality, we’re just getting back to basics. It’s like the old days when doctors made house visits. Turns out patients usually know what’s wrong with them, if you take the time to listen.”

“We all got into medicine to take care of people, not paperwork,” said Midwest Plastic Surgery physician Dr. David Ruebeck. “We take pride in our dedication to high quality care. By joining i-Health, we benefit from economies of scale like a large system, but without sacrificing the way we treat patients. It’s exciting to join a quality organization that has proven successful in taking great care of patients and improving healthcare in a collaborative environment.”

Stay small, think big

The i-Health model was designed to be a framework for independent physician practices seeking growth and sustainability amidst a constantly evolving, competitive healthcare landscape.

According to a 2018 American Medical Association study, the number of physicians employed by systems now exceeds the number of physicians who own their practices. In many ways, i-Health was founded in defiance of this trend. The model offers an alternative option for small groups who want to stay small, but continue thinking big about their future.

Vascular and interventional radiology is a medical specialty that utilizes minimally-invasive surgical procedures to diagnose and treat a wide variety of conditions. Drs. Michael Cumming and Rochelle Wolfe founded VIE earlier this year with clear intentions to be independent from day one and provide high-quality care with an emphasis on the personal experience. VIE is the only practice of its kind in Minnesota, offering the same high-end equipment and expertise as a hospital, but in a more convenient, personal setting.

Since 1995, Midwest Plastic Surgery, led by Drs. David Ruebeck, Jacqueline Luong and Timothy Schaefer, has advanced plastic surgery as a medical specialty in the region by providing comprehensive services, including complex reconstruction, advanced cosmetic techniques and microsurgery. After 25 years, they have earned the trust of a diverse patient population, and built a strong reputation in the local community. The practice is excited to join i-Health and remain independent for the long run, so it can continue to provide high-quality care without limitations.