30 Nov Spotlight on Staff: Q&A With Rob Schlegel
Introducing OPCA’s Financial Sustainability Manager
Name, title, and preferred pronouns: Rob Schlegel, Financial Sustainability Manager, he/him/his
What are 2-3 things we should know about you as a person? I’m a lifelong Oregonian. I grew up in Corvallis and have lived in the Portland area since college. My wife, Lisa, is also a lifelong Oregonian, and is a Nurse Practitioner at an Oregon FQHC. You might say we’re an “FQHCH” or “Federally Qualified Health Center Household”—I’ll workshop the name. We have a 15-month-old son, Alex, and he is a genuine joy. I love the outdoors, so when I have a free minute, you’ll find me climbing mountains, hiking, or fishing in the summer, cross country skiing in the winter, and running all year long.
What are 2-3 things we should know about your role at OPCA? As the Financial Sustainability Manager, my role is to help FQHCs with all things related to financial operations, regulations, compliance, and things of that nature. I also manage the CFO peer group and assist with the APCM program.
What OPCA value do you identify with most and why? OPCA values are social justice, integrity, collaboration, innovation, data driven. I identify most with social justice and innovation. What drew me to OPCA and this position was my desire to innovate and improve the payment models our healthcare system uses. As the wealthiest nation on the planet, there is no justifiable reason our system should leave so many people (let alone anyone) with such massive financial barriers to essential, accessible, and affordable care. I want to help create and mold future payment structures that not only expand care to all who need it, but also are more efficient in how those dollars are utilized.
What excites you about the work you do at OPCA? On a broad level, I’m thankful that I am in a position to work with safety net clinics where I can help them stay financially viable and ensure those patients who may lack financial access to care can still get it. I finish my work every day with the satisfaction of knowing that my work matters and has a positive impact on people’s lives. But on a somewhat nerdy note, I also love the part of my job where I get to dig into the rules and regulations, and learn about the structural details of how the public payer systems operate.
Anything else you want to share? Not to say that I’ve completely hung up my racing spikes, but I used to be a pretty competitive runner. I ran collegiately at The University of Portland and for a local club after I finished school. Some races I’m proud of are when I finished third in the old Portland Marathon, was on a team that won Hood to Coast, and helped my club win a bronze medal at the US Cross Country Championships. Although I’m not racing anymore, you’ll still see me getting a few miles in every morning before work.