Community clinic with a heart

Foundation grant helps DCFC improve health outcomes and social conditions to enrich whole person health

October 12, 2022

In its first year of giving, the Prime Together Foundation provided a grant to Dakota Child and Family Clinic (DCFC), a nonprofit health care clinic in Burnsville, Minn. that serves the needs of children and adults, regardless of their ability to pay. For 10 years, DCFC has provided high quality, patient-centric services in a caring atmosphere that is accessible and inclusive to meet the physical, social and mental health needs of all.

“It’s gratifying to see Foundation gifts in action,” said Erin Feigal, chief human resources officer for Prime Therapeutics and Prime Together Foundation chair. “We know social determinants of health influence health outcomes and have an important impact on health equity. DCFC addresses a wide set of conditions, enabling them to support the community beyond health care, reducing longstanding inequities.”

Many of DCFC’s patients have no insurance or inadequate insurance, which can create yearly out-of-pocket costs that working people cannot afford. Patients may lack access to reliable transportation, face housing, job or food insecurity, or need clothing and household items. Others are new to the U.S., encountering language or legal barriers that can make a trip to the clinic fraught with confusion and fear.

Yvonne Wirsiy, nurse practitioner for DCFC, shares her experience caring for patients with social needs barriers and how DCFC acts to overcome them.

Wirsiy helps patients manage chronic conditions like diabetes in between scheduled checkups. Recently, a Spanish-speaking patient living two cities away from DCFC walked three hours to see Wirsiy. The patient arrived feeling dizzy, and they found that her blood sugar levels were unsafe. She said she’d stopped using insulin because she couldn’t afford it. DCFC gave her food to stabilize her sugar level, switched her prescription to a generic, found her a closer/more suitable pharmacy and provided her with a ride home. She is now being seen once a week and is appreciative of DCFC’s care.

“Our staff has big hearts,” said Heather Tidd, executive director for DCFC. “During the pandemic, when many people were too anxious to come to the clinic, they suited up and made home visits to conduct check-ups and mental health checks and provide COVID testing and education.” Tidd continued, “We know our patients by name and I’m proud to say they feel safe and welcome at the clinic, which fosters a true sense of community.”

DCFC’s Mission: Care, Include, Advocate, Educate
The Prime Together Foundation grant helps DCFC go outside its four walls to conduct outreach in the community. DCFC partners with many community organizations and school districts to support its patients with services, including:

  • Mission Outreach food shelf, providing food, clothes, household items, job supports and health exams
  • Free community support groups (Need not be a DCFC patient to attend)
  • Free COVID testing
  • Free chronic disease management
  • Free mental health services

Tidd added, “It’s exciting we’re working with amazing organizational partners to enact change in our community. With funding partners like Prime Together Foundation, we’re able to help families in just about any way they need.”

In future, DCFC hopes to expand their physical space and number of practitioners and enhance mental health services with evening and Saturday appointments to be more accessible to working people. And they hope to expand mental health care into pediatrics.

Read more about the Prime Together Foundation’s inaugural grants on Prime’s Foundation webpage.

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