As a young woman considering her future career options, Megan Haase, Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) and CEO of Mosaic Medical, knew that she wanted to find work that had meaning and involved helping others. She found herself drawn to healthcare and its many diverse and complex systems.
“Early in my career, I was drawn to improving how the system works, with a focus on aligning the varied components of the system to deliver health to communities, versus the common approach that exists with such a significant focus on ‘sick’ care,” said Haase.
While Haase was in her nurse practitioner program at Oregon Health & Science University, she had the opportunity to do clinical rotations in several community health centers. The grassroots, nonprofit federally supported health center system — with more than 1,400 organizations nationwide — offer affordable healthcare options and help increase access to care by reducing barriers such as cost, lack of insurance, distance and language for their patients. According to the National Association of Community Health Centers (NACHC), health centers are efficient and cost-effective, generating $24 billion in savings for the healthcare system annually.
“I loved the comprehensive and inclusive approach to care that I observed in nonprofit community health centers,” said Haase. “I also had the opportunity to spend several months in Mexico, living with two families and working in their healthcare system. The neighborhood community clinic in Mexico had a similar approach to care that was comprehensive, patient-centered and inclusive.”
As she prepared for graduation, Haase learned of a new community health center started by community members in Prineville, OR. Having spent most of her childhood growing up in Portland, Haase had vacationed in Central Oregon with her family and knew she would love living in the high desert. She applied and was hired as one of Ochoco Community Clinic’s (now Mosaic Medical) two initial primary care providers in 2002.
Twenty years — and a global pandemic — later, Haase reflects back on those early days with fondness.
“I loved the first few years when we were very small and in a tiny little modular building,” said Haase. “We had such a strong team, so connected to our mission and we were at the front end of what Mosaic was going to grow into over these 20 years.”
The relationships forged with both staff and patients top the list of her best memories from the last two decades. And the importance of relationships remains among her guiding principals as the leader of an organization that now has nearly 400 employees and 16 clinics across Central Oregon. It is no surprise that what she finds most rewarding about her work is the people, both employees and patients.
“I work with such amazing, mission-driven, community-minded and talented people,” said Haase. “And our patients come from varied backgrounds, with varied experiences, and they connect with our providers and teams with trust and openness.”
Holding the belief that leadership is a life-long journey, Haase shared that over the years she has had the opportunity to learn evidenced-based leadership practices to help create healthy teams and work environments. She has especially appreciated the current literature that addresses the importance of diversity, equity and inclusion in leadership, along with the concepts of trauma-informed care
Haase’s personal growth as a leader has been accompanied by the growth of the organization she leads. Mosaic has expanded across the region with a model of main clinics and embedded clinics in Prineville, Madras, Redmond and Bend. The main clinics offer integrated services while the embedded clinics are partnerships with community-based organizations such as schools, counties and housing partners.
Mosaic has also expanded the services offered to patients, including integrated behavioral health, clinical pharmacy, nutrition services, substance use disorder services, dental clinics and most recently retail pharmacies in Prineville, Bend and Madras.
“While we have been growing and expanding over the years, we have also worked very intentionally to maintain our mission-driven, person-centered culture,” said Haase. “And we have continued to think about health beyond medical care to include non-medical supports such as connection to housing, food, transportation and other needs.”
The last several years of the COVID-19 pandemic has had an impact on all healthcare organizations, and Mosaic is no exception. As a safety net health provider, Mosaic responded not only to the needs of their patients but to the needs of the community as a whole — particularly those who are underserved.
“We had four guiding principles,” said Haase. “Keep our patients safe, keep our staff safe, keep our community safe and create supports for our staff to be well-positioned to do their work in new ways at a quick pace of change. We knew it was critical to find ways to support our staff so that they had the capacity to focus on caring for our patients, each other and our community.”
Supporting staff in maintaining healthy, balanced lives is a core part of the Mosaic culture, one that Haase embraces. She and her husband, Bo, have two small children, Esme, eight and Rowan, five. They enjoy being outside in all seasons, skiing, riding bikes, rafting or spending a day at the lake.
“I think through the experiences with the pandemic, including working remotely, we have moved to thinking of work and life ‘integration’ versus balance,” said Haase.
As she considers the next 20 years for Mosaic, Haase envisions an organization that continues to listen to the needs of the community, expanding and pivoting to meet those needs as they arise.
“I also see us continuing to watch and study the healthcare landscape so we can remain innovative and progressive while continuing to provide high quality, affordable access to care for all,” said Haase. “It is such a gift to be part of this incredible organization.”
The community is invited to celebrate Mosaic’s 20th Anniversary at a musical Jamboree on Friday, September 23 at the High Desert Music Hall in Redmond. RSVP at bit.ly/JamboreeRSVP.