Registered Nurse at Teton Outpatient Services OR & St. John's Urgent Care
Mara serves this community as a Registered Nurse. Mara moved to Jackson from Denver back in 2008 leaving her work with non-profits in search of adventure in Jackson. In her first year here, Mara worked for Wilderness Ventures, leading trips for local high schoolers down to Peru in the summer. That winter, she tried out for a role as a ski school instructor, outshined by the vast quantity of pro skiers, but she ended up meeting her husband.
During the 2008 recession, Jackson had the opposite problem – easy to find housing, hard to find jobs. After working for the Amangani and the mountain for a few years, both Mara and her husband left the valley for a few years to pursue higher educational goals and came back in 2014. Mara to pursue her nursing degree, and her husband to pursue a degree in physical therapy.
Mara currently works as a Registered Nurse at Teton Outpatient Services in the operating room, and she also works for St. John’s Urgent Care. She also picks up shifts at the Teton Village urgent care, working with Jackson Hole Ski Patrol in the winter.
Beyond her full-time work helping people on their road to recovery, she enjoys supporting local non-profits and attending community events. Mara loves to help out when she can at the Teton Free Clinic, a local nonprofit mostly staffed by community healthcare volunteers. This work is important to her as it helps under and non-insured patients get primary and urgent care from doctors, physician’s assistants, and nurse practitioners. Beyond that she loves attending outdoor music festivals, all the great children’s activities around town, and building the life skills every Jackson kiddo needs whether that’s through the programing at the Children’s Museum, ski school at Snow King, or swimming lessons at Astoria.
“I feel the impact of the increased cost of housing in my work environment every day. We keep losing nurses which impacts the rest of the staff and providers who are still here, and there’s a trickle down effect on patients like longer waits for care. We get used to working more with less – it’s not like the load has gone down, if anything it’s gone up and that’s in addition to the normal volume increases we see seasonally.”
Having the ability to live where they work and recreate is super important – especially thinking about childcare. The idea that a caregiver can be stuck a county or state away when inclement weather makes it impossible to travel is a common, nightmare scenario. Many of Mara’s co-workers commute from Teton Valley, ID and Lincoln County WY, some as far as Big Piney and Pinedale, which the stress of being on the road cannot be ignored as it hits people on so many levels: mental, physical, and financial.
“My hope for the community is that the development of Affordable housing helps us retain our local workforce and local families. I hope that essential services don’t get outsourced due to the lack of housing. We have an incredible pool of talented, well educated, compassionate healthcare providers - attempting to live locally. This contributes to the amazing quality of life here in Teton County. What would our community look like if we continue to lose our healthcare workforce due unattainable housing?"