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It's the little things that count

You only have to walk around any American city to know that we have a full-blown mental health crisis on our hands. That's the bad news.

The good news is that Moda stands at the forefront of working to deal with the crisis.

Not so very long ago, communities thought they had a solution to mental health problems. Patients were encouraged to spend 50 minutes with a therapist and then were expected to get along with the rest of their lives.

These days it's a bit more complicated.

Make that a lot more complicated.

Dan Thoma, a manager of Moda's Behavioral Health services team, helped lead the charge in Oregon to pull together a group of providers and health plans willing to work together to craft solutions.

"One thing that distinguishes Moda is that rather than being dragged kicking and screaming into the world of mental health parity, we've been out front striving to make services truly available," Dan says.

He, along with Behavioral Health Supervisor, Rene Smith Sumpter, directs a team that includes four care coordinators and a case manager. They are all licensed clinicians.

Rene says the most rewarding thing about working with Dan is that he really likes, and is good at, figuring out how systems work together to create an effective solution. Dan admits that he is driven by the challenge of bringing all the moving parts together to help others.

"It's the scale of the opportunity that I find appealing," he says. "I like figuring out how all the different parts fit, how they work and don't work together. And then determining what we can do about that.

"By looking at the entire ecosystem, we're able to bring together commercial payers and providers to offer a much broader range of care. We routinely hear about people being surprised that an insurance company would actually care about them getting the services they need."

But don't take Moda's word for it. Take it from a Moda member who recently wrote one of those letters that reminds us all why we do what we do.

"I'm writing you today to express my deepest gratitude to one of your employees, Paula Trent. My family was lost in the whirlwind as we attempted to navigate through the complex world of insurance and the limited services available to meet our son's needs. If it weren't for Paula and her compassion, my family would still be in that whirlwind of getting the runaround. Your team has been a true lifesaver for our family, and for that, we will always be thankful for the great work that you do."

Then, the letter closed with:

"Please remind your Behavioral Health team that little things don't mean a lot; they mean everything."

It's words like these that remind all of us at Moda why we do what we do.

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We have exciting news to share. ODS is changing its name to Moda Health.

Moda comes from the latin term "modus" and means "a way". We picked it because that's what we are here to do: help our communities find a way to better health.

Together, we can be more, be better.

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