BANDON -- Celebrating 10 years in Bandon is a milestone for Dr. Megan Holland, physician at Southern Coos Health Clinic and medical chief of staff for Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center.
It's the longest she's lived and worked anywhere since beginning her medical career.
To be voted as the favorite physician on the South Coast by The World's 2017 "Best Of" poll is an honor on top of that milestone.
Holland moved to Bandon in 2007 and worked in private practice for five years at Bandon Family Medicine, then two years at the Bandon office of North Bend Medical Center. She's been with Southern Coos Health Clinic since it opened in 2014 and was instrumental in helping set up the clinic.
"The idea of a hospital clinic goes back to (former CEO) Jim Wathen," Holland said. "He wanted to open a primary care clinic, but for different reasons, it just wasn't the right time then. When Charles Johnston came on board, he approached me about opening a clinic on the property."
She moved her practice into a trailer next to the hospital for nine months while the new center was being completed on the SCHHC campus. When the new clinic opened, the wound and kidney transfusion care clinics also moved into the building.
Holland was excited to work for SCHHC because she feels the philosophy of the hospital aligns with hers.
"They've been extremely supportive of how I practice medicine, which includes spending more time with patients and not feeling like I have to push people through," Holland said. "It takes a lot of time to look at and really manage the complex medical issues that people have. I don't want to short-change them."
Holland takes a biopsychosocial medical approach to her patients - the idea that every medical problem has at its heart the individual's unique biology, psychology and social situations.
"You're not just treating the person, you're looking at the whole picture. It's that longevity with patients that allows you to do that and that extra time in the exam room. It's a privilege and that's what makes it meaningful for me. You feel you've helped people and at the end of the day you've made a difference."
Holland was born in Seattle but grew up mostly in Arkansas, yet still considers herself a "Pacific Northwesterner." Her family moved back to Washington and after high school she attended the University of Washington for her undergraduate degree. She then attended medical school at the University of Rochester in upstate New York, doing so as a single mother of two boys. She completed her residency at Central Washington Family Medical in Yakima, Wash., and worked on the Yakima Indian Reservation in Wapato, Wash., before moving to Bandon.
"I've told girls who were single mothers and struggling with what they are going to do that they can do anything they want to," Holland said of juggling medical school as a single parent.
She is now married to Craig Holland and they have a blended family, with Megan's two boys, Jacob and Brenden Shamloo, who both graduated from Bandon High School, and Craig's son Michael and daughter Christina. With the children grown and out of the house now, the couple is finding more time to enjoy other activities.
Holland is a travel bug and loves going on road trips, as well as hiking and camping.
"I love just getting in the car and going places," she said. "I've made a point of being in every state in the United States, either for vacations or conferences. Now I'm just working on traveling to other countries."
She also loves to read, something she often does at the Elk River, where the couple owns a trailer parked on a friend's property. It's her peaceful place and where she escapes with her dogs. Holland's favorite reading genres are fantasy and science fiction and her favorite book is "The Name of the Wind," the first book of the Kingkiller Chronicle Series by Patrick Rothfuss.
Holland sees a lot of positive growth happening at Southern Coos Hospital & Health Center. The clinic is only three years old and already experiencing growing pains. New hospital CEO JoDee Tittle has a real vision for the hospital, Holland said. A new physician, Dr. Kelly Reed, has been hired and she specializes in internal medicine. Dr. Noel Pence, who also holds a degree in internal medicine, has been hired as a hospitalist. He is the son of Dr. Stan Pence, a surgeon at SCHHC, who has an office at the clinic with Holland. A family nurse practitioner, Elizabeth Ogunnaike, has also recently joined the staff at the clinic. SCHHC is also fortunate to have podiatry available with the full-time services of Dr. Babak Baharloo.
SCHHC has also partnered with Bay Clinic to bring visiting doctors to Bandon, such as an allergist and a kidney disease specialist, and the hospital is looking at partnering for other services with Coquille Valley Hospital in Coquille and Lower Umpqua Hospital in Reedsport. A licensed clinical social worker is also being sought.
Holland is excited about the additional staff and upcoming changes, as well as new innovations in the medical field that will help her and others at SCHHC treat patients more comprehensively.
"When I told my family I wanted to be a doctor, my grandparents said 'no, you're way too soft-hearted, you'll never make it,'" Holland said. "But that soft-heartedness makes you a more empathetic physician. And it's really what makes it rewarding - walking and talking with people on their road of life."