It's all about the patient.
"When I go into every meeting, I always think of the chair that’s empty … as the patient, because they are so removed from these meetings that we’re having, but yet they’re the focal point of what we do so much work to try to better the experience for," said Haines, a fifth-generation Montanan. "They can't be removed from that. That s something I’ve always kept near and dear to my heart, is never forgetting about the patient. That’s what matters the most."
That outlook stems from her upbringing. Her father, a welder, and her mother, a nurse, "instilled a lot in my brother and I to give back."
That led to Montana State University-Bozeman, where she got her bachelor's degree in pre-med and health promotion. She had a chance to do operations management for hospitals, and it went well – so well that in no time she was promoted to operations management for Montana and Washington. She got her executive master's degree in health care administration from University of Washington in 2010 and while in school was a regional operations manager. She switched gears to be director of marketing for a senior care company, but Montana was calling her name.
She became the regional director for the Montana Hospital Association and Montana Office of Rural Health and Area Health Education Center. Providence snagged her three years ago.
"One of the things that I think makes her an awesome leader ... is just how she's A, completely transparent and B, wants what's best for everyone, even if it means it might make her life harder in the short turn," said Providence physician assistant-certified Jennifer Brewington. "She is probably the least self-centered person I've ever met."
St. Patrick Hospital Director of Telehealth LeAnn Ogilvie said she heard about Haines before she ever met her.
"I tripped over Jody's name a lot, as far as being innovative and passionate about rural health and access to health care in Montana," Ogilvie said. "What impresses me most about Jody is every time I spend any significant time with her, an hour in the car, I learn so much more about population health and how to provide access to health care in rural Montana. She has the ability to look at the big picture, take the pieces that are currently working, figure out what's missing and build a model of care."
Ogilvie said Haines' medical home models for western Montana "have been proposed as the standard of care across a five-state health care region." Last year, she earned American College of Healthcare Executives' Early Career Healthcare Executive Regent's Award, the youngest recipient.
"She's just going to be a trendsetter, man," Ogilvie said. "I think people are really watching her, and we’re really glad to have her."
Managing the Medical Home means a focus on population health.
"It's the idea of keeping people healthy and out of the hospital versus episodic care," Haines said. "It's really following the patient over the continuum."