Minneapolis VA Opens Primary Care ‘Super Clinic’ - Minneapolis VA Health Care System
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Minneapolis VA Opens Primary Care ‘Super Clinic’

Ribbon cutting on March 29. Pictured l-r: Sara Otterness, chief nurse, Primary Care PSL; Lisa Gunderson Assistant nurse manager; Lori Pawelski, RN, nurse manager, 4D; Director Pat Kelly; Areef Ishani, MD, medical director, Primary Care PSL; and nurse Cyndi Young.

Ribbon cutting on March 29. Pictured l-r: Sara Otterness, chief nurse, Primary Care PSL; Lisa Gunderson Assistant nurse manager; Lori Pawelski, RN, nurse manager, 4D; Director Pat Kelly; Areef Ishani, MD, medical director, Primary Care PSL; and nurse Cyndi Young. (VA photo by April Eilers)

By Ralph Heussner, Public Affairs Officer
Thursday, April 6, 2017

Minneapolis VA Medical Center has opened its first “Super Clinic” on 4D.

So what is a “super clinic?”

The new primary care super clinics were designed to incorporate the Patient Aligned Care Team (PACT) Model where a medical team of primary care providers, RNs, LPNs, and MSAs work alongside mental health, pharmacists, dieticians, therapists and other team members within the same area.

“This has promoted a team approach to support the Veterans having an individualized plan of care unique to their needs, and to ensure the Veteran can receive streamlined, timely care,” said Lori Pawelski, RN, 4D clinic nurse manager. “For example: A Veteran may come for a medical visit with multiple diagnoses and problems. The Veteran may need to see the pharmacists for medication adjustments, physical therapy for an exercise regime, and a psychologist to help cope with mental health issues. These issues can all be dealt with in the 4D super clinic.”

The primary care super clinic was designed for primary care to provide care to Veterans in various modalities such as group visits, same day visits, telephone care, and secure messaging through MyHealtheVet.

Ms. Pawelski added, “The 4D primary care clinic promotes Veterans to see alternative caregivers other than the primary care providers at times, such as seeing RNs, LPNs, pharmacists and psychologists. Veterans don’t have to go to multiple physical areas to receive their care. They can stay in the super clinic.”

Nearby, 4E and 4F primary care super clinics are under construction. They will open around December 2017, which will bring all of the primary care clinics together in a common area within the medical center.

The new clinic has 33 exam rooms that are used for various caregivers to see patients. For example, an exam room may be used by physical therapy, or occupational therapy, so the Veteran does not need to go down to rehab for their appointment. Exam rooms may be used by pharmacy residents, social workers and dieticians intermittently. Integrative mental health providers have their offices within the clinics as they are a core part of the primary care pact teams. Pharmacy is embedded within the clinics as well and they see patients within the clinics.

4D also has large procedure rooms which make it possible for Veterans who need an intervention such as from the surgery service line to provide consultative services.

The new clinic opened to Veterans in December. An open house and ribbon cutting was held March 29.

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