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Prior Lake, MN - A longstanding relationship between the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and St. Francis Regional Medical Center of Shakopee, Minnesota, has been formalized through the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding. The agreement was signed May 17, 2012, by SMSC Chairman Stanley R. Crooks and St. Francis President Mike Baumgartner.
“The goal of the agreement is to foster a relationship between us to share and maximize resources for the betterment of our members and employees,” said Chairman Crooks.
The purpose of the MOU is to establish a working partnership of dialogue, coordination, collaboration, resource-sharing, and measurable results between the SMSC and St. Francis to improve the health and wellness of SMSC members. The overarching goal of the MOU is to foster an environment that brings together the strengths, resources, and expertise of each entity to actively improve the care and services provided by both. It is the intent of the MOU to facilitate collaboration and coordination between SMSC and St. Francis.
St. Francis Regional Medical Center President Michael Baumgartner said, “History and geography have made St. Francis and the SMSC Community neighbors. Our goal now is to work together more purposefully. We are proud to enter into this commitment, which will provide better and more efficient health care for the Community.”
The SMSC provides a number of health and wellness services for its members and its employees. SMSC provides such services through its Shakopee Dakota Clinic, Shakopee Dakota Dental Clinic, Mystic Clinic, Wellness Center, Vision Clinic, Pharmacy, Mental Health Care Program, and Mobile Unit. The SMSC continually reviews the scope of its health services to identify health needs that can best be met by SMSC and needs that can best be met through external resources and providers. The SMSC Health Department centers its care around: (1) protecting and improving the health and well being of SMSC members and staff as well as supporting wellness education that benefits Native Americans in the Northern Plains Region and throughout the United States; (2) maintaining high quality care by providing creative solutions in the area of controlling health care costs for the SMSC; (3) offering a holistic concept of care that respects and supports the values and beliefs of both the individual patient and SMSC as a whole.
St. Francis has a rich tradition of providing high-quality health care for the people living in Scott, Carver, and western Dakota counties. St. Francis has grown from a small, community hospital to a comprehensive regional medical center, rapidly expanding to meet the needs of this fast-growing area. St. Francis emphasizes individual dignity in the healing of body, mind, and spirit in responding to the needs of the communities it serves. As partners with Twin Cities-based Allina Hospitals & Clinics, Park Nicollet Health Services, and the Duluth-based Essentia Community Hospitals and Clinics, St. Francis is uniquely positioned to bring top notch health care professionals together to provide the best possible health care for patients. The mission of St. Francis is to “work together to provide all people the healing experience we would expect for ourselves and our families.”
For a number of years both SMSC and St. Francis have been pursuing their missions and goals on separate, but yet often parallel paths, but only interacting and coordinating care on an intermittent and inconsistent basis as a need would arise. This has led to situations where patient care could have been better. Both SMSC and St. Francis recognize that better coordination of care will enhance the position of each entity and provide greater patient satisfaction. It is the intent of the MOU that both entities will achieve greater success in reaching their specific goals and will more effectively serve patients.
In the MOU SMSC and St. Francis agree to pursue these four mutual goals:
SMSC Family Nurse Practitioner Jane Peterson and St. Francis’ Dr. Brian Prokosch meet regularly along with other staff to develop the relationship and implement the agreement. Initial steps already underway include cultural sensitivity training for St. Francis staff, integrating electronic medical records; coordinating a patient care navigator for Community member patients who sign up for this service; credentialing and privileges for the SMSC’s medical staff at St. Francis; and an inventory of services available at both facilities.
In previous years, SMSC grants totaling $1,705,000 helped fund construction of a new emergency room for St. Francis and of a chapel and outdoor meditation area and Circle of Life Suites for hospice care for St. Gertrude’s.