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Stevermer joins OPS as a nurse practitioner

By Staff | May 24, 2020

Nurse practitioner Heidi Stevermer, left, and Dr. Arron Kalis, right, are excited to be working together along with Dr. Jordan Stenzel out of Optimal Performance Specialist’s offices in Blue Earth and Mapleton. Stevermer joined the business on April 1, of this year.

Heidi Stevermer was looking to make a change in her career. She had worked in Mankato as a Registered Nurse from 2003 to 2014 while working to get her Masters of Science degree in nursing. With her degree in hand she completed the work to become a licensed certified family nurse practitioner.

“I had started looking at ways to open a private clinic where patients would direct pay, or pay with cash,” Stevermer explains.

Then, as luck would have it, an opportunity arose when she went to see her chiropractor.

“I was seeing Dr. Jordan Stenzel of Optical Performance Specialists (OPS),” Stevermer says. “We were visiting and the idea of working together began to take form.”

Stenzel along with his partner Dr. Arron Kalis, and Stevermer felt their respective services would be a good fit.

“We felt the medical and chiropractic services could really augment each other if we worked together,” Stevermer comments.

Kalis agrees and offers an example of how this works.

“We understand we cannot always adjust a patient on an initial visit because maybe they are in too much pain or have inflammation,” Kalis explains. “But Heidi can see them and determine if an anti-inflammatory drug or pain medication is warranted. And then we can see about doing an adjustment in a day or two after the patient’s condition improves.”

Another example is provided by Stevermer.

“Someone may come in with sinus problems either from an infection or allergies,” she says. “While I can treat the infection, Arron and Jordan can do adjustments to help the patient’s sinuses drain better.”

Stevermer notes there are other reasons the joining of the chiropractic and medical care has been a good fit.

“We have similar philosophies. I appreciate their approach,” she says. “We like to take our time with a patient. It is not a contest to see how many people you can see in a day.”

And that philosophy has led to the way they operate.

“We do not take insurance,” Stevermer remarks. “We do not have to agree to specific pricing which third parties require. We have more local control and can set our own prices.”

She says the size of the staff has advantages.

“We are smaller, more agile,” she notes. “It takes us less time to make changes if changes are necessary.”

Adding Stevermer, who began on April 1, will allow OPS the opportunity to improve what they can offer to their patients, according to Kalis.

“We want people to be able to get better value for their health care,” Kalis explains. “The collaborative aspects of our practice allows us to offer more services at a reasonable fee.”

The trio of health care providers is looking at other ways they can work together.

“Many smaller businesses cannot afford to offer their employees health insurance,” Kalis states. “We can customize plans for individuals or small businesses to fit their needs. Maybe it is one adjustment per month and two medical visits per year; the point is we have the ability to be flexible to meet our patients’ needs.”

A personal advantage of the new job for Stevermer is her reduction in the time she spends on the road.

“I moved to Easton in 2009 when I married my husband Brad,” she comments. “I do not miss the drive to Mankato on Highway 22.”

With OPS having offices in Blue Earth and Mapleton, the mother of two is not putting on near as many miles on her vehicle.

“Arron and Jordan have been in business for 12 years,” she says. “It is nice to join an established practice.”

And, the three of them are looking forward to what the future brings.

“We did not go to school for 8-10 years each to learn how to treat people only to be told by a third party what we can and cannot do,” Kalis states. “We want to build a family type practice where we build relationships with our patients and make healthcare more affordable.”