HealthFinders Collaborative has received a $65,000 grant from MNSure to help people enroll in and keep health insurance that they can afford and that meets their needs.

The grant is a part of MNsure’s 2019 Navigator Outreach and Enrollment Program. Twenty-four grants have been granted to 43 community health organizations across the state, for a total of $4.2 million.

Last year, 42,000 Minnesotans found coverage with the help of organizations receiving MNsure grants. According to HealthFinders Executive Director Charlie Mandile, HealthFinders helped more than 3,000 area residents get quality, affordable health coverage.

Established in 2005, HealthFinders provides community health services at its clinics in Faribault and Northfield. Both offices are staffed largely by volunteer providers, nurses and interpreters.

With health providers fluent in English, Spanish and Somali, HealthFinders works closely with area hospitals to promote health and wellness in marginalized communities. In addition to helping families get enrolled and stay enrolled in health insurance, HealthFinders’ clinics provide basic health care for families in need.

Larger space

Earlier this year, HealthFinders received a $1 million gift from the Delta Dental Foundation of Minnesota, enabling it to purchase a significantly larger building in Faribault. The new facility, located at 1415 Town Square Lane, just east of Lyndale Avenue S, is currently being renovated to better meet the needs of HealthFinders patients. Once it opens later this year, the new facility will have 9,000 square feet of space, compared to just 2,000 square feet at HealthFinders’ current location, 223 Central Ave.

The Town Square Lane location previously housed an architectural and design firm.

At the new location, the number of dental chairs will increase from two to six, accommodating rising demand for one of HealthFinders’ most popular programs. The new facility will also have more room to provide patients with basic medical services including mental health care and treatment for opiate addiction, as well as a community kitchen for nutrition classes and a wellness room.

Mandile believes the new facility, designed with significant patient input, will enable HealthPartners to better achieve its mission of providing families with the assistance they need to live healthier, happier lives.

“We believe health happens in communities, not necessarily in clinics, and we design our programming to support patients,” Mandile said. “This has led to measurable improvements in health, particularly for chronic disease patients and supports care across our entire healthcare system in Rice County.”

Reach Reporter Andrew Deziel at 507-333-3129 or follow him on Twitter @FDNandrew.

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