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Guest column in Bend Bulletin: Mosaic Medical Makes Central Oregon a better place

By Rod Ray

This fall, I was invited to join the Mosaic Medical board of directors. Little did I know, I was about to have a life experience.

Mosaic Medical is a private nonprofit, community health center, also known as a federally qualified health center, which delivers integrated primary care services to over 26,000 Central Oregon residents. It has 15 clinic locations and 320 employees throughout Bend, Prineville, Redmond and Madras — this includes six walk-in school-based health centers open to any child from birth through age 18 and embedded clinics with other partners such as affordable housing agencies and county offices.

Founded in Prineville in 2002 to serve vulnerable and low-income populations, Mosaic Medical clinics are open to anyone seeking care, with a “sliding scale” of fees adjusted to their ability to pay.

However, the “word is out” on the quality of care, and 16 percent of Mosaic Medical patients have private insurance, and 20 percent have Medicare. The model then is to provide the same high-quality care, convenience, and “integrated services” to all patients — no matter what their means.

Financially, this all works, in part, due to a government agency called the Health Resources and Services Administration.

HRSA awards grants to improve access to quality health care. This grant effectively “makes up the difference” for Mosaic so the budget will balance while offering quality health care to the financial spectrum of our population. Late this fall, Mosaic Medical passed its once-every-three-year HRSA audit with no findings — one of the only community health centers in the state to do so.

Mosaic Medical thinks “outside the box” on medical care by having integrated services like behavioral health providers, nutritionists and clinical pharmacists on-site. And by thinking further about the whole health of its patients, Mosaic recently brought oral health care front and center in the organization. It has been shown that good dental care, especially for youth, is another key factor in preventing medical issues. And, as almost all of us have experienced, dental pain and loss of teeth can majorly impact a person’s daily living and health.

In response to this need, two years ago, Mosaic opened its first dental clinic in the middle of its Redmond medical clinic and integrated dental hygienists into all its main clinics. This spring, Mosaic Medical will open a dental clinic in Bend in the same building as the main Bend pediatric and family medicine clinic near the hospital.

This brings me back to my point: right in our midst in Central Oregon, we have one of the nation’s best examples of a federal and local partnership helping solve our health care issues in the most positive way. This takes vision and leadership, a great staff, and support from the community. And finally, it takes a great board of directors. The board of Mosaic Medical is mandated to be made up of at least 51 percent patients so as to stay responsive to community needs and issues. Over the last three months, working with this group of insightful, caring board members made up of a broad spectrum of experience and situation, has been the life experience I have come to treasure.

And together, we are addressing sickness and factors that cause sickness, such as lack of nutrition, mental illness, homelessness and addiction. This is making Central Oregon a better place.

— Rod Ray serves on the Mosaic Medical board of directors and lives in Bend.

 

Mosaic Medical partners with local nonprofit, Saving Grace

(Bend, OR) – Beginning this month, Mosaic Medical will take another step toward meeting patient needs where they live. A Mosaic doctor will be making regular visits to the Saving Grace emergency shelter to provide medical care to residents. Many of these women have not been able to access medical care for some time – some may have fled directly from an abusive partner and may have been prohibited by that person from seeking medical attention entirely.

“A former client of ours had been living in a camper in a rural area prior to staying at our shelter,” said shelter manager, Ashby Rodriguez. “They had multiple, untreated broken ribs from over the years of abuse from the same partner. In fact, this is a common situation for women in a physically abusive situa­tion.”

Many women arrive at Saving Grace with their children, who may have also been unable to receive med­ical care. “In order to access the medical care that most residents require during their stay,” Rodriguez continued, “they must navigate challenges like mobility, transportation, childcare, and current injuries. Having Mosaic Medical come to the shelter to provide care to our residents eliminates these barriers and makes it far easier for them to receive the health services they need.”

A Mosaic doctor and medical assistant will provide a variety of services to Saving Grace residents, includ­ing preventative services like general exams and well-child checkups, as well as vaccinations and pre­scription medications. “Medications are often left behind when someone leaves an unsafe relationship, or someone needs a refill after staying in our shelter for a time,” Rodriquez explained.

“It’s a tremendous benefit to have community partners like Mosaic Medical, who understand the needs of domestic and sexual violence survivors,” said Trish Meyer, Interim Executive Director at Saving Grace.

“Meeting them in a safe space can make all the difference for the women and children we serve – ulti­mately leading to better health outcomes for our community.”

About Saving Grace:
Saving Grace provides comprehensive family violence and sexual assault services in Central Oregon and pro­motes the value of living life free from violence. About

Mosaic Medical:
Mosaic Medical is a local nonprofit community health center organization with primary care clinics in Prineville, Bend, Madras and Redmond. Additionally, Mosaic Medical serves the community with six school-based health centers and a mobile clinic program. We accept most insurance including commercial, OHP and most Medicare and fees are based on a sliding scale for qualifying patients with limited or no insurance.

Kids and Screen Time

Written by: Mosaic Medical Pediatrician, Dr. Rebecca Hicks

The Holidays are here and for many parents, that means time to shop for gifts.  Buying our little ones holiday gifts can be a fun experience for parents…watching your little ones eyes light up when they get just exactly what they wanted!  For very littles, it might be a wooden toy train or a sweet baby doll on their wish list. But for older school age kids and tweens, more and more of their wish lists are filled with electronics and screens.  Yes, there is no doubt, most kids like to watch screens.  And while a bit of screen time each day is probably okay for many children, we know that excessive screen time can be very harmful to children.

A lot of research has come out lately showing us that too much screen time is NOT okay for children’s developing brains.  Kids’ brains are growing and changing every day!  And the environment a child is in…their activities, their interactions with other children and adults, the games they play, the words they hear, these things are all shifting the way a child’s brain develops.  When a child looks at screens for a significant part of their day, pathways are shifting in the brain, and not usually in a good way.

For infants and toddlers, as little as 30 minutes of screen time each day can lead to language delay.  For preschool age kids, more than 1-2 hours of screen time per day can lead to decreased focus, impatience, worse memory, and temper tantrums.  For school age kids, more than 2 hours per day of screen time is associated with shorter attention spans, poorer memory, slower processing speed, and lower language skills. For tweens and teens, more than 2 hours per day of screen time is associated with lower emotional intelligence, and worst of all, excessive screen time is associated with higher rates of unhappiness, depression and even suicidality.

Every child deserves to have the best possible environment to support healthy brain growth and good mental health.  One significant step in that direction for most kids and teens, is to decrease daily screen time.  For this Holiday Season, think about gifting non electronics to little ones and share in the joy of playing with classic toys and board games instead.  And if screens do make it onto the gift list, consider having those new screens come with rules about decreased screen time on the gift tag.  A new year is a great time to re-set family rules and decreased screen time for all just might be what your family needs to have a Healthy, Happy 2019.

If you are interested in learning more about the impact that screens have on your children, I’d love to see you in clinic and we can chat through the details.  I’ve got lots of tips for easing the transition.

Click here for some great additional information.

Eat for Life

Healthcare organizations across Central Oregon are coming together to improve the health and well-being of our neighbors, friends and family members that suffer from Type 2 Diabetes. High Lakes in Sisters, La Pine Community Health Center, Mosaic Medical, and St. Charles are now offering a new program called Eat for Life.

According to the latest regional assessment by the  Central Oregon Health Council 9.1% of adults in Oregon now have diabetes, , doubling rates from just 20 years ago (Oregon Health Authority, 2015). Disparities also exist between our communities in diabetes prevalence with 13% of Crook County residents, 8% of Deschutes County residents and 11% of Jefferson County diagnosed with diabetes.

For these adults, a key element of diabetes control is self-management (diet and exercise). Eat for life is designed to support patients with uncontrolled Type 2 Diabetes. The  four month program provides education and peer support about the importance of including more vegetables as part of a balanced diet to control diabetes. Each participant receives one-on-one goal setting with a nutritionist, nurse or provider, attends cooking classes that focus on cooking healthier meals and receives a monthly stipend to a local Grocery Outlet or to Melvin’s in Sisters to purchase fresh and frozen vegetables. 

“With the price of nutritious food increasing across Central Oregon, it is great to be part of a program that alleviates the cost of vegetables for those in our community who cannot afford them. We are actively improving the health of community and I couldn’t be prouder to be part of this unique program”, says Rhonda Bourgo, the owner of Grocery Outlet in Madras. 

Eat for Life began this month across Central Oregon.  Four groups in each community are planned for the next two years.  The program aims to help patients take control of their diabetes to live their healthiest life!

Spread Fun…..Not Flu!

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that all individuals, ages six months and older receive an annual flu vaccine.  In the United States the flu season runs from fall through winter, with the peak season has occurring anywhere from November through March.

We are currently offering flu vaccines in all of our clinics for established Mosaic Medical patients.  Many local pharmacies also provide flu vaccines as well.  If you have any questions, or would like to schedule your flu vaccine, give us a call at 541-383-3005.

The Role Mosaic Medical Plays in Creating a Healthier Bend Community

If you have been in Bend for any length of time, you most likely know the name Mosaic Medical. What you may not know is the role Mosaic Medical plays in creating a healthier Bend community.

Mosaic Medical is a nonprofit community health center and it is our mission to improve the health of our community by offering the care you need, where and when you need it.

Bend is home to seven of our 14 Mosaic Medical clinics; including The East Bend Clinic, Complex Care that houses Internal Medicine and Bridges Health, and we have Family Medicine clinics embedded in Ariel Glen Apartments and Deschutes County Mental Health.  Additionally there are full service Pediatric clinics embedded in Bend Senior High School and Ensworth Elementary and we operate a Mobile Community Clinic that serves those experiencing homelessness in our community. We will be opening our eighth Bend Clinic later this spring.We also have clinics in Redmond, Madras and Prineville.

At Mosaic Medical, we are reaching beyond the boundaries of traditional medicine by bringing together multiple services within our clinic walls. Our patients benefit from a coordinated system that includes medical care, behavioral health services, dental and oral health services, nutrition services, pharmacy, substance abuse services, and more.

Nobody will ever be turned away from a Mosaic Medical clinic because of income level, employment status, citizenship, or insurance coverage and it has been that way since we opened our first clinic in Prineville in 2002.

Today, Mosaic Medical provides care to over 23,000 individuals and their families and we hear stories every day about how Mosaic Medical has had a positive impact on somebody’s life.Life can be hard sometimes.Accessing quality health care should not be.That is why Mosaic Medical is here and the result is ultimately a healthier community.