FARIBAULT, Minn. — HealthFinders Collaborative now has the ability to test for COVID-19, thanks to a collaboration with Mayo Clinic Health System and an emergency COVID-19 funding grant from the Minnesota Department of Health. This testing is being offered at HealthFinders’ Faribault facility at 1415 Town Square Lane.
COVID-19 tests and health care followup will be free of charge for eligible patients. True to HealthFinders’ mission, the availability of testing provides critical access for affected underserved patients with limited health care alternatives, and who may face language barriers and transportation challenges.
Patients who are sick and experiencing possible COVID-19 symptoms should call HealthFinders at 507-323-8100 for screening beforehand. All tests will be scheduled. No walk-in testing will be available.
These efforts support Governor Walz’s “moonshot” strategy to expand testing capacity in Minnesota to as high as 20,000 tests per day.
"Testing is absolutely essential to support our community, as well as to help health systems care for this vulnerable population,” says HealthFinders’ Executive Director Charlie Mandile. “We are extremely grateful to our partners at Mayo for supporting us to make this happen."
Mayo Clinic Health System is providing HealthFinders with testing kits, laboratory services to run the tests and administrative support to register patients. HealthFinders is responsible for collecting the samples and providing follow-up care.
"We are completely dedicated to supporting the health needs of all members of our communities," says Sarah Crane, M.D., medical director for Primary Care in Southeast Minnesota at Mayo Clinic Health System. "That means finding innovative ways to integrate with our community partners to utilize the strengths of both our teams to make sure that everyone has access to the health care they need during this most challenging time. We are excited that our partnership with HealthFinders represents a model we can build on in many of our other communities going forward to reach underserved populations."
Emily Carroll, RN, CNP, HealthFinders’ director of clinical care and nurse practitioner, says that testing staff are fully masked, complete with pictures of their faces on the masks in an effort to ensure patients feel at ease. There also is drive-through testing available at the Faribault location. HealthFinders will continue to support at-home monitoring of patients who receive both positive and negative test results, with their staff of clinicians, advocates, and community health workers.
As a result of this testing, more patients in the Rice County area will now know whether or not they have the COVID-19 virus, and if they need to quarantine and notify others of potential exposure. Identifying active cases, quarantining affected patients and contact tracing is vital to slowing the spread in the greater community.
HealthFinders Collaborative (HFC), is a community health center which provides a comprehensive primary access point to health services for the marginalized families of Rice County. Through primary care, medication assistance, patient education and advocacy, and community-based wellness programming, HFC works across the continuum of wellness to collaborate and engage communities in their own health.