We’re all familiar with the “Golden Rule,” or the concept of treating others as we’d like to be treated. For South Lake Pediatrics, with five clinics serving children and families in the western suburbs of Minneapolis, the Golden Rule is not just a theory but a guiding philosophy and key to success.
Started nearly 50 years ago, South Lake Pediatrics has evolved, grown and adapted to the times – from responding to shifting patient demographics and the COVID-19 pandemic to integrating mental health as an essential part of its practice. With a focus on innovation, initiative and consistent financial performance, South Lake is a great partner for Bremer Bank.
“South Lake Pediatrics is an exceptional group that does important work in the community,” said Bremer commercial banker Terese Radford. “We understand their business and provide the specialized support they need, from treasury management to easy-to-use banking systems. And with their responsiveness and sound fiscal management, they make my job easy.”
Heidi Northrup, CEO at South Lake Pediatrics, echoed those sentiments. “We’re nothing if we are not about the relationship. Not only with Terese, but the entire Bremer team,” said Heidi, who researched numerous pediatric practices before choosing South Lake for her own child’s care – which ultimately led to her running the practice. “Our relationship with Bremer has enabled us to successfully manage our cash flow as it ebbs and flows, take out construction loans when needed, and even prepare PPP loan paperwork within the first 48 hours of availability.”
Besides an unparalleled commitment to building relationships, Bremer and South Lake Pediatrics also share a focus on listening and learning. “Everyone who works here is a stakeholder,” Heidi said. “We do our best to listen to everyone’s needs and ideas. We pay close attention to our patients’ and families’ physical and mental healthcare. We put that before the bottom line.”
South Lake brings that commitment to life by conducting lengthier appointments than some of its competitors and offering same day appointments, as well as creating a culture that’s earned them a spot on the Minneapolis Star Tribune’s Top Workplace list for seven consecutive years. “We take great pride in an environment where people want to work, and we are very proud of our staff retention rate. We’ve had a handful who’ve left us, but they come back because they miss the people at South Lake,” Heidi said.
The past three years have placed extraordinary pressures on health-care organizations, including burnout and severe talent shortages, and South Lake is no exception. But with a confident veteran like Heidi at the helm, the clinic has weathered the storm. “Each of the 26 years I’ve been here we’ve had challenges,” she said. “During the pandemic, many people – including future medical professionals – paused their schooling, which has constrained the talent pipeline. At the same time, we have experienced a substantial rise in children requiring mental healthcare, which is making care visits much more complex.”
Having built a solid business partnership, Terese and Heidi agree that the key to their mutual success has been a shared commitment to a trusting, two-way relationship. “South Lake Pediatrics has a strong mission, and they hire people aligned with their Golden Rule philosophy,” said Terese. “Like Bremer, the people at South Lake truly care and want to make a difference for their communities.”
Reflecting on her quarter-century with the pediatric practice, Heidi said, “We make sure that every person is a stakeholder. We listen to what they have to say. We’ve grown and changed, but the core of what we do has stayed very much the same: treating our patients, staff and families the way we all want be treated.” Bremer also believes that’s a solid rule to live by.