Rice County health care organization HealthFinders Collaborative hopes to double its impact within the next five years.
A $1 million check from Delta Dental Foundation of Minnesota was presented during the annual HealthFinders Collaborative gala Saturday at Carleton College to assist the organization with purchasing a building in Faribault to help accomplish that mission.
The location of the nearly 9,000-square-foot facility has not been released, pending completion of the purchase agreement.
The agreement could be finalized this spring, and move-in could take place this summer.
The facility is expected to include six dental rooms, a comprehensive lab, full suite of medical offices, mental health and addiction space and room for services HealthFinders, its volunteers and partners provide.
“When selecting a site for our new facility, we went through a pretty rigorous process and engaged more than anything our patients, board members, partners, to talk about anything from location, size, do we lease, do we purchase, what does this place look like, in a process that will continue all the way through move in,” said HealthFinders Executive Director Charlie Mandile. “And so we landed on a place that was very proximate to both partners as well as patients.”
The organization says the current 2,500-square-foot building, at 223 N. Central Ave. in Faribault, is too small. There have reportedly been wait times of months for patients to be seen.
Other benefits he said the facility will bring are “wellness activities, nutrition, exercise.”
HealthFinders is in the beginning stages of the campaign. The purchase of the new location is reportedly seen as the first step in the plan. The next step will be filling the space with patients and staff.
“Part of the appeal of the building was that it was largely ready to use, ready to occupy,” Mandile said. “There will be some renovation to the interior to move in.”
HealthFinders Collaborative was established in 2005 in rural Rice County. The organization provides medical, mental and dental care to uninsured local families covered by public assistance as well as medication assistance, patient education and advocacy and community-based wellness programming.
Last year, the organization served 1,200 dental patients, 1,000 medical patients and connected about 1,500 people with health insurance through MNsure. HealthFinders has a shared location at 710 S. Division St. in Northfield with Northfield Express Care Clinic and Sterling Pharmacy. The three-in-one hub opened in May.
Though the expanded facility in Faribault will certainly help the underserved in Rice County, HealthFinders officials say there is still much to be done.
“We know that there’s still lots and lots of unmet need in our county,” said HealthFinders Collaborative Director of Advancement Candy Taylor, “and we can tell that need by how long people have to wait for an appointment.”