By Nate Blackford, Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville president

Championship cultures are incredibly difficult to build and even more difficult to maintain.

In Maryville and the surrounding areas, we have been fortunate to witness a number of sustained championship programs, teams and organizations. Frankly, I think sometimes we forget just how fortunate we are and how unique it is to be part of such special communities in our region.

On Saturday, we were again reminded of this fact when the Northwest men’s basketball team won yet another national championship. By all accounts, this team is special. Not only did they win on the court and receive a number of well-deserved individual accolades, but they also had a team member receive the award for having the highest grade-point average of all participants at the Elite Eight in Evansville, IN.

How does this continue to happen? In my opinion, it starts with building the right culture. The basketball team often references a simple concept that represents their “true north” – culture wins. The entire program, from players and coaches to the administration, is made up of individuals who love each other and the program and put winning above their own stats and awards. That is their culture. They understand and believe by focusing on that culture, winning on and off the court will follow.

I had the opportunity to travel to Evansville for the game with my son. It was a great father-son weekend. Immediately after the game I texted a friend who happens to be a lifelong fan of another MIAA team. I said to him, “It’s funny, winning national championships never gets old.” His response, “I wouldn’t know.”

Few communities get the chance to celebrate a state and/or national championship. Even fewer get to do it multiple times. We are fortunate. But we are fortunate because of hard work, dedication and individuals who care more about winning as a team than achieving individual success.

Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville is proud to be the official sports medicine partner of Northwest Missouri State and excited to have had two of our own, including a team physician and athletic trainer, on the bench in Evansville.

At Mosaic Medical Center – Maryville, we are honored to be able to serve championship-caliber teams and communities. Moreover, we are privileged to be able to build on the legacy of St. Francis Hospital as we continue to create a “championship” culture of our own.

Although we do not compete for championships on the court, we do receive external validation of our overall performance. Specifically, The Joint Commission, our accreditation agency, does periodic inspections of our medical center and our performance. Earlier this month, we hosted members of The Joint Commission for three days while they looked “under the hood” of our organization. I am pleased to report we received high praise from their visit.

While I do not have the space to share all of their feedback, I would like to quote from an e-mail I received from their chief operating officer.

“(Mosaic Medical Center -Maryville) has faced several challenges over the past 24 months: new ownership, a new Electronic Medical Record (EMR), and, like everywhere else, the pandemic. These folks ended up with an excellent survey report… Even more impressive was the evident teamwork throughout the organization and the clear demonstration that everyone involved is fully engaged in providing the highest quality, safest, most patient-centered care they can. It was a pleasure and a privilege to survey there.”

Our “true north” is simple – the needs of the patient come first. We are not perfect but have a great team. We are consistently striving to build and maintain a culture where our values drive our actions. In doing so, we remain focused on the patient. And all the other things follow as a result.

A common opponent we all continue to face is COVID-19. The good news is the State of Missouri will be expanding vaccine eligibility to all Missourians on April 9. Accordingly, we have now opened vaccine sign-up to everyone 18 years and older. Please visit to request an appointment or call Nodaway County Health Department at 660.562.2755. Community vaccine clinics are currently being held on Wednesdays at the Hughes Fieldhouse on the Northwest campus.

As always, we are thankful to be part of such a special community.