Open Door joins network of safety net clinics

Sep. 13—The Free Press

MANKATO — Open Door Health Center announced it joined a network of safety net clinics Wednesday, according to a release, with its CEO stating the sharing of resources will help patient care.

The health center is now part of the Federally Qualified Urban Health Network nonprofit composed of 10 other safety net clinics across Minnesota — also known as federally qualified health centers. The clinics provide health care to underserved populations regardless of their ability to pay or health insurance status.

Open Door is the first clinic outside of the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area to join the nonprofit, also known as FUHN.

"The organizational mission of Open Door has always been to increase access to affordable quality health services," stated Rhonda Eastlund, chief executive officer at Open Door. "By partnering with FUHN and its member clinics, we have the opportunity to share resources with respect to health insurance contracts, grants and quality improvement projects, training and networking, and more — all for the benefit of our patients."

The clinics share a Clinically Integrated Network, or CIN, as part of the partnership. Clinics first firmed the partnership in 2012.

Open Door is the only federally qualified health center in south-central and southwestern Minnesota providing medical and dental care. It also offers behavioral health care, caring for more than 11,000 people per year between all of its services.

FUHN Director Mary Maertens welcomed Open Door to the network in the release, stating it and the other clinics are "critical components of Minnesota's healthcare safety net."

"Rhonda's deep experience with community health clinics is an added value to FUHN leaders and a great asset to Open Door patients and Greater Mankato area," she stated.

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