July 13, 2018 | Staff Stories
Mary Jo Lancaster, Revenue Systems Analyst at our Central Office, has always been a person that people can depend on. She will do anything to make life easier for those around her, making her a perfect fit for Mountain Park Health Center.
When Mary Jo was just 8-years she jumped to the rescue after her brother had a minor accident.
“My brother fell off his bike and got a little scraped up and was bleeding,” she remembered. “My mom panicked at the sight of it all so I just took control of the situation and cleaned up the wound for him.”
From that day on you could say healthcare was in her blood.
Mary Jo’s formal start in healthcare was typical. As a teenager, she volunteered at a hospital in her hometown of Ontario, Canada. This eventually led to a paid position in the operating room where she took care of whatever was needed. Those experiences had her hooked and she made the decision to attend nursing school.
Mary Jo graduated from McMaster University and worked as a floor nurse, eventually going back to the operating room. After the birth of her first child she decreased her hours to focus on her family.
Three children later, Mary Jo decided it was time to bring her caretaking skills home full-time. Her youngest son had some health issues and she felt it was the right call for the situation.
“My son spent the first part of his life with a feeding tube. When that was removed he struggled to eat,” she shared. “We would spend several hours each day trying to just keep down a meal. But I loved having all that bonding time with him.”
As her children got a little older, their family moved from Canada to Arizona. New challenges were ahead and it was important for her to be there to help her kids adjust to a new school system and an entire new life.
As her children grew older, the calling to help people never left Mary Jo. Three years ago, Mary Jo joined Mountain Park. During her time here, she has held many positions, always going where she is needed.
“I started as an operations director and helped open our school-based clinics,” she said. “I then managed our care coordinators who make it a priority to keep our patients healthy through preventive care.”
Her current position as revenue systems analyst ensures that the care our patients receive is covered by their insurance.
This flexibility has been important to us at Mountain Park and has led to her success.
“The great thing about holding different positions is that I’ve gotten to use all of my skills which is very fulfilling,” she mentioned. “At the end of the day it’s all about helping patients. That’s why I love Mountain Park and what we stand for. We treat everyone and are completely inclusive. Our integrated care model and being that one-stop shop is really phenomenal.”
It’s evident how Mary Jo feels about Mountain Park, but the staff she has led throughout the years also think she is special.
“I first met Mary Jo when she was working in operations at our Gateway Clinic,” Gloria Villa, Care Coordinator at our Central Office shared. “Having a background in nursing, Mary Jo has a lot of empathy for all our patients and has great customer service skills. She is always patient focused. She’s an asset to our company and I look forward to her being around for years to come.”
When Mary Jo isn’t at work you can still find her going out of her way to be there for people. Whether that’s turning her hobby of sewing into gifts for others or making her way back to Canada to spend time with her daughter and two brothers, that willingness to give has turned into a life dedicated to others.