Executive Director, Lab Director, Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Eagan Child and Family Clinic
Kid stuff: “In pediatrics we think of play as ‘the work of children.’ It is what they are supposed to do and what they should do.”
When major revisions to Minnesota state law cleared the way for nurse practitioners to own clinics, Gretchen Moen was first in line.
Scary? Sure. But this scrappy physician’s daughter who was raised on the Iron Range and in the Red River Valley had a pioneer’s passion far bigger than fear. “When I saw that people were losing sight of what we do as medical professionals, I decided—I’m going to try.”
The trailblazing has been bumpy. “It’s very difficult to be on your own—learning how to deal with insurance companies, regulations,” Moen says. As a primary care clinic, for example, Eagan Child and Family Clinic had to adopt an electronic health record system, “an endeavor that has nearly closed the clinic more than once,” Moen says.
But the clinic stands, and 10 years later, it’s still one of the only independently owned nonprofit pediatric clinics in the state. Next year, after the prescribed waiting period for the 501(c)(3) application, it will become the only pediatric and family clinic operating as a charity. The change will help the clinic develop more solid relationships with other charities doing complementary work.
But in many ways, nothing will change. “The frog is our mascot. One of the first rooms my clinic had was a frog room, and it’s become the choice room for the kids,” Moen says. Handy Medical Supply even brought Moen a therapy frog puppet as a gift. She uses it almost every day. “When my patients are afraid, the frogs are a source of calming.”