Val Jensen, JD, is a community leader and an entrepreneur working in the areas of cultural change, leadership, diversity, and healthcare disparities. She’s a successful business consultant, and a loving wife and mother to four children. Years ago however, things were not going so well for Val. At that time she was raising a family on her own, and working fulltime at a new job. That’s enough of a challenge for anyone, but Val’s situation was complicated by a pre-existing condition. She was denied healthcare coverage by all the insurance providers because of her pre-existing condition. Val’s access to affordable healthcare and medications was critically important to maintain her health.
“Some people believe community healthcare is only for poor people,” said Val. “I know firsthand that’s not true. I had a good job yet I could not get access to the care I needed.”
When a friend recommended United Family Medicine, Val made an appointment. She found the healthcare team to be kind and caring. She even got help to sign up for MNCare health insurance. She received the care and prescriptions needed to manage her diabetes. Her longstanding loyalty to United Family Medicine – more than 10 years – includes healthcare for her youngest stepson, Mike, who had a congenital heart defect which Dr. Dave Bucher took seriously and got them the care they needed. Mike had open heart surgery this past January to fix this defect which would not have happened if not for Dr. Bucher.
“Dr. Bucher encouraged me to join the board in 2012. I served four years and ultimately was elected board chair.” As an African American woman it was critical to her that she represent so many in the community being served by United Family.
In a community clinic like ours, which is a federally qualified health center (FQHC), patients and community members serve on the board of directors. They have a voice in how the clinic is governed. This is one of the ways FQHC’s are unique in healthcare delivery.
“Our clinic is central to our healthcare,” said Val. “Dr. Bucher helped me and my family so much. Without United Family Medicine we would not have been able to get the care we needed. I believe strongly the clinic leadership is going in the right direction.”