Healthy Systems | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Healthy Systems

A grassroots approach to healing communities

Court Leve

The field of medicine tends to attract two kinds of people—science lovers and do-gooders. The best healthcare providers are a little bit of both, and Dr. Divya Sharma has both in spades.

"I really enjoyed the science of medicine," Sharma recalls. "I specifically also really wanted to go into a field where I get to partner with people and with that partnership make people's lives better. And over the course of a huge part of their lives, and that's why I went into primary care."

Sharma is an internal medicine specialist as well as the medical director of Mosaic Medical's Complex Care Center, where the patients with the most complex healthcare needs are seen. Even as an administrator, she continues to provide direct patient care.

"To impact overall population care and our ability to do a good job and provide care, I wanted to be in a position to be able to impact systems," Sharma explains. "It's important to me to continue to see patients because it keeps me grounded, allows me to identify gaps, and help change the system to improve care."

Mosaic Medical is a nonprofit organization with community health centers in Bend, Redmond, Prineville and Madras that tends to the physical, emotional, social and cultural wellness of patient with and without insurance. The majority of the members of its board of directors are patients.

"I feel very fortunate to have wonderful colleagues who share the same mission—to provide quality care for people from all walks of life," Sharma says. "The best parts of my job are my patients and my colleges and my medical team. The worst part about my job is the long hours spent charting. There's a lot of paperwork."

As much as she enjoys her work, Sharma recognizes the importance of getting away from the office. When it comes to staying well in winter, aside from the standard wisdom—get a flu shot, wash your hands—she says staying active is paramount.

"The best thing we can do in the winter is get outside, get exposed to sunlight, and continue to exercise, whether you do it indoors or outdoors, at least 30 minutes a day," Sharma advises. "It's very healing for the body, soul and mind."

Erin Rook

Erin was a writer and editor at the Source from 2013 to 2016.
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