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.

 

Coronavirus (COVID-19): Patient Safety Message

For the practices of i-Health, the health and safety of our patients and staff is always our number one priority. With this in mind, we are continuing to closely monitor the COVID-19 (novel coronavirus) outbreak. In addition to staying in constant contact with the Minnesota Department of Health, we are staying up-to-date with the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and World Health Organization (WHO).

In an effort to keep everyone safe, we are asking patients experiencing flu-like symptoms or who have traveled from what the CDC defines as a Level 3 risk with return date in the past 14 days, to contact their i-Health practice or provider regarding their guidelines for any upcoming appointments.

We will continue taking extra precautions to provide the safest environment possible for our patients and staff. For the most recent updates and for any questions about your appointment or your care, please visit your respective clinic website or contact your i-Health clinic directly. All contact and appointment information can be found on practice websites. Please click on the any of the practice logos on the hompage to be taken directly to practice websites.

The steps to protect yourself from COVID-19 are generally the same as those for the flu:

  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, or with an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if soap and water are not available.
  • Avoid close contact with sick people.
  • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue or your elbow.
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces using a household cleaning spray or wipe.

For information on prevention, symptoms and what to do if you’re feeling sick, please call the Minnesota Department of Health COVID-19 Hotline at 651-201-3920.

Innovative healthcare practice maintains rapid growth, welcomes new specialty groups in early 2020

Local cardiology, colon and rectal physicians to join Infinite Health Collaborative (i-Health), expand clinical specialties of independent practice.

MINNEAPOLIS (January 29, 2020) Infinite Health Collaborative (i-Health) made headlines in late 2019 after launching in the Twin Cities, and growth has continued into the new year. The independent physician practice will expand to include operating divisions of cardiology, colon and rectal, family medicine, orthopedics, and women’s health.

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

PCC joined i-Health effective January 1, 2020, and CRSAL plans to join spring of 2020.

A modern approach to a timeless idea

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.

“We’re a small, independent practice that prides itself on listening and catering to the needs of each individual patient. We’re not distracted by the sometimes conflicting priorities of large organizations, and we intend to keep it that way,” said Elizabeth Klodas, MD, Preventive Cardiology Clinic physician and founder. “Joining the i-Health family allows us to remain independent, focus on our patients, and keep healthcare personal.”

“Colon & Rectal Surgery Associates has served the Twin Cities metropolitan area for over 50 years,” said Colon & Rectal Surgery Associates physician Michael Spencer, MD. “The practice is recognized nationally for its quality care, research and educational role of future physician leaders within the medical field. We feel the partnership with i-Health will provide additional resources to serve our community and allow us to continue our educational endeavors into the foreseeable future.”

In a health system, physicians are sometimes limited in the care options they can provide to patients. The i-Health model enables physician practices to remain independent, and in doing so encourages patients to be active participants in their own healthcare decisions.

“Sometimes patients come into my office thinking I’m just going to tell them what to do,” explains Krista Olsen, MD, OBGYN Associates physician. “I remind them that my job is not to tell them what to do with their healthcare choices. My job is to help lead them through those choices.”

Independent physicians and the future of healthcare

When independent practices join i-Health, the physicians remain owners in the business. This grants physicians the autonomy to always make decisions in the best interest of patients, even if it’s not in the best interest of the business.

i-Health physicians aren’t forced to send patients to specific providers or choose next steps from a drop-down menu. They can focus on listening, learning, and guiding patients to make smart healthcare decisions.

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.


About Infinite Health Collaborative

Infinite Health Collaborative (i-Health) is an independent physician practice with operating divisions across several clinical specialties. Visit i-Health.com to learn more about the specialties and services of each practice. i-Health physicians focus on patient choice, and share core principles of physician autonomy, quality, value-based care and innovation. By enabling physician practices to remain independent, and encouraging patients to be active participants in their healthcare decisions, i-Health preserves true, patient-first care. Their passionate team is inspired to create endless possibilities for growth and innovation, and ultimately impact change in healthcare. i-Health.com

About Colon & Rectal Surgery Associates

Colon & Rectal Surgery Associates (CRSAL) is one of the largest independent colon and rectal physician practices in the world, specializing in the diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment of colon and rectal diseases. CRSAL provides concentrated expertise in all areas of colon and rectal surgery, and is recognized globally as a leading academic and research institution. In 2000, CRSAL physicians established the Pelvic Floor Center as a free-standing diagnostic center in Minneapolis. It is a highly specialized, state of the art facility that offers a multi-disciplinary approach to patient care and the diagnosis of pelvic floor disorders. ColonRectal.org

About Preventive Cardiology Clinic

Preventive Cardiology Clinic (PCC) specializes in detecting and treating early stages of heart disease and helping those with known heart disease return to active lifestyles. Led by Dr. Elizabeth Klodas, this independent practice guides each individual patient toward a healthier heart by focusing on lifestyle measures – resorting to medications only when necessary. PCCMN.com

About Burnsville Family Physicians

Burnsville Family Physicians (BFP) is a family medicine practice and longtime pillar of the Burnsville community. Their dedicated team of independent providers takes immense pride in delivering high-quality care backed by decades of experience, guiding patients along their healthcare journeys, and building long-lasting relationships with generations of patients and their families. BFPClinic.com

About Catalyst Medical Clinic

Catalyst Medical Clinic (CMC) is a family medicine practice serving generations of patients in the Chaska and Watertown communities. CMC is committed to providing comprehensive, personalized healthcare for patients of all ages, building strong relationships, and being a trusted partner to patients from day one. CatalystMedicalClinic.com

About OBGYN Associates

OBGYN Associates (OGA) is a partnership of five independent OBGYN clinics providing exemplary care to women through all stages of their lives. OGA providers take pride in establishing long-term relationships with their patients based on each woman’s individual needs. OGA consists of five clinics with locations across the Twin Cities metro area: OBGYN Specialists, Associates in Women’s Health, OBGYN & Infertility, Diamond Women’s Center, and Haugen OB/GYN. OGAmn.com

About Twin Cities Orthopedics

Twin Cities Orthopedics (TCO) is committed to providing world-class service. TCO’s dedicated teams of independent physicians, specialty providers and care coordinators serve patients in clinic locations, walk-in orthopedic urgent care locations, and numerous other therapy and specialty care settings across Minnesota and western Wisconsin. Regardless of the location, TCO delivers an exceptional patient experience, backed by decades of trusted orthopedic and sports medicine care. TCOmn.com

Local independent physician practices join forces, launch Infinite Health Collaborative (i-Health).

New organization further supports local independent practices focused on patient choice and value-based care; adds women’s health operating division.

MINNEAPOLIS (September 10, 2019) – Burnsville Family Physicians (BFP), Catalyst Medical Clinic (CMC) and Twin Cities Orthopedics (TCO) are excited to announce the launch of Infinite Health Collaborative (i-Health), effective October 1, 2019. The independent physician practice will include operating divisions of family medicine and orthopedics. OBGYN Associates (OGA), a partner in the creation of i-Health, will join on January 1, 2020, establishing a women’s health operating division.

The creation of i-Health provides a framework for growth and sustainability of independent physician practices that focus on patient choice and share core principles of physician autonomy, quality, value-based care and innovation. The goal of the organization is to enable physician practices to remain independent.

“We believe independence in healthcare enables physicians to focus on each patient’s individual goals without limitations, and that’s the inspiration behind i-Health,” said TCO physician Owen O’Neill, MD. “By empowering patient choice – arming patients with the tools to make their own educated healthcare decisions – we are earning their trust, and keeping healthcare personal.”

i-Health is founded on the belief that independent physicians are at the core of changing healthcare, and are the drivers of the industry’s improvement. Physician autonomy, and that of their independent practices, allows patients greater control and choice in the management of their own healthcare options. With a value-based care model emphasizing a patient’s experience, cost and quality of outcomes, i-Health aims to evolve the delivery model of healthcare.


i-Health welcomes OGA as an operating division

OGA has successfully served a group of obstetrics and gynecology clinics across the Twin Cities. The organization’s brands include OBGYN Specialists, Associates in Women’s Health, OB-GYN & Infertility, Diamond Women’s Center, and Haugen OB/GYN. Each will continue to operate under its own brand as OGA joins i-Health alongside the practice’s other operating divisions.

“It makes strategic sense – on a variety of levels – for us to align with i-Health, considering their emphasis on patient choice,” said OGA physician Krista Olsen, MD. “We’re in a competitive industry, and it’s our duty to always keep patients at the forefront. By joining like-minded practices who value independence and innovation, we’re making healthcare better for everyone.”

i-Health is continuing discussions with other like-minded, reputable independent practices in the Twin Cities market that align with its core principles.

“At i-Health, we will continue to evolve how we approach our healthcare model in order to best serve our patients,” said i-Health board member David Holte, MD. “Whether that’s expanding available specialties, or impacting the ongoing innovation of the healthcare industry, i-Health will always strive to be an industry-leading partner to physicians and patients.”

This change and continued growth will not affect i-Health’s, or any of its operating divisions’, relationships with hospitals. There will be no modification to the brands and structures of each of i-Health’s operating divisions.