Meet Michael Cochran Program Manager

Health Plans Employee Finds Support & Freedom to Find His Niche

Artist and musician. Philosopher and baker. Freelancer and policy afficionado.

These are a few words that describe Michael Cochran, Education Program manager for Samaritan Health Plans. Varied life experiences and studies provided him with the skills and knowledge for a position that brought him back to his childhood home of Corvallis.

But what drew him to apply at Samaritan Health Services?

Luck? Good fortune? As a philosophy major and former small business owner, I did not have a traditional health care education or background,” Cochran answered. “Yet, I am a second-generation Samaritan who grew up across the street from the hospital. Samaritan is deeply engrained in my formative experience growing up the child of a medical professional and engaging the delivery system over many years.”

His mother was a registered dietitian and health educator at Good Samaritan Regional Medical Center while his father worked in the Benton County government. Family conversations around the dinner table instilled a love of learning, reading, writing and knowledge. Despite this – or, perhaps because of this – Cochran attended college but left without graduating to pursue other interests.

“Even coming from a non-traditional background, Samaritan embraced my skill set and provided space to thrive as a person and co-worker to the point I’ve been encouraged to finally finish my undergraduate work while taking advantage of Samaritan’s tuition reimbursement program. This very much sets Samaritan apart from other employers,” he said. “I want to reward the faith shown in me and prepare the path for others who may be in similar situations.”

His role focuses on onboarding new employees, educational content and the implementation of sustainable education programs. Tasks range from strategic planning, policy and content development, direct training and a particular favorite: distilling Medicare and Medicaid rules and regulations.

“I have a love for policy and legal writing which really helps distill things like administrative rules or contract language into effective trainings and workflows,” he said.

As a hybrid employee, he works from the office a few days a week and from home on other days.

“My work week changes based on the needs of the organization or current projects I am supporting. I work with individuals and initiatives from across the system, from simple communications around training opportunities to supporting larger initiatives like health plans business continuity,” he said.

When asked what he enjoys or values about his work, Cochran responded:

“I appreciate the homegrown nature of Samaritan, the community engagement and the deep-rooted sense of community that informs our system’s purpose. I also see the health care industry as being a major driver of a needed cultural shift to a more mindful and inclusive culture for our country.”

Samaritan’s equity and inclusion initiative is also very near to his heart.

“Growing up in Corvallis – a university town with a sizeable cohort of international students – respect for diversity of culture, identity and experience came naturally. It doesn’t to everyone,” he said. “One very appealing element of working at Samaritan is that we are so supported in our efforts to build a more responsive, inclusive and equitable culture around access and care for our members.”

Open the Door to New Possibilities

Looking for a new job? From housekeeping to nursing and accounting to managing, there are a lot of opportunities to explore at Samaritan Health Services.

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