by Dennis Dalman
A direct primary care clinic, WELL & Company, opened in Sartell Sept. 1 in the building that Sartell Family Medicine once occupied.
WELL & Company is a combination medical clinic and health spa, known as a MedSpa.
It is the second site for WELL & Company. The other, located in downtown Alexandria, was founded by nurse practitioner and Alexandria resident Saundra Lauer. That clinic opened in May 2020.
When it opened, Sartell Family Medicine was the first direct primary care clinic in the state. A DPC is one that relies on set monthly membership payments from its members. Now there are a dozen DPCs in Minnesota. The clinics do not contract with insurance companies, but they can provide “super bills” to be submitted for any insurance coverage members happen to have. Many clinic members (families and individuals) pair their memberships with catastrophic coverage insurance (lower premiums but higher deductibles) and/or cost-sharing plans.
“Our mission is to provide accessible, affordable and personalized healthcare to our patients,” said Sabrina Benning, skincare specialist and director of marketing and public relations at WELL & Company. “One thing – of many things – that sets us apart is that our clinic has a very warm and inviting presence, unlike a typical healthcare setting. We have a medical spa at WELL where we specialize in injectables, acne treatment, advanced laser therapy, skin care and more.”
WELL & Company offers member pricing and non-member pricing. Member pricing includes $80 per month for an individual, $150 for a couple, $35 for a child, no more than $250 for a family and $35 for a student. Those with memberships can see clinic staff as many times as needed, and visits can last up to an hour or more if desired.
Membership includes wholesale pricing on medications, lab and testing and for procedures.
The clinic also offers such services as at-home visits, integrative medicine, lactation consulting, weight management, smoking cessation and many other procedures.
The “WELL” in Well & Company reflects the clinic’s mission of “Live Well, Be Well, Stay Well.” The Alexandria clinic started in 2020 with a staff of three. It now has 15 employees. Her Sartell staff will number seven to start with.
Its owner/founder, Saundra Lauer, had been seeking a second location for her company and eventually bought the facility that was Sartell Family Medicine. But before the purchase agreement, she first paid many visits to the Sartell area and decided it would be an ideal place for her new clinic.
“It (Sartell) was so incredibly welcoming,” Lauer said. “I met with many individuals and health-care clinics, and there was an attitude among them all about how we can best serve collectively while supporting one another.”
Born in Las Vegas, Lauer moved with her family to Alexandria when she was in ninth grade. She graduated from that city’s Jefferson High School in 2007, then earned a degree at Moorhead State University and a doctorate degree in nursing from North Dakota State University. She worked for five years as a nurse at the hospital in Alexandria and then worked for four years as a nurse practitioner for the CentraCare facility in Melrose.
She lives in Alexandria with her husband, Samuel, and their two children – Flynn, 5; and Oden, 3.
For more information about WELL & Company, visit its website at wellandcoalex.com. The Sartell clinic is located at 2330 Troop Drive. Its phone number is 320-314-3828.
The clinic is currently undergoing remodeling. A grand opening will take place sometime in October when the remodeling project is finished.