Dr. Lynne Scannell brings more than three decades of pediatric experience
Being close to Lake Tahoe and boasting some of the best mountain biking in the state were attractive draws for Dr. Lynne Scannell to Nevada County.
But the ability to connect with patients in a rural community also scored high on her wish list.
“It’s always interesting to do something different,” says Dr. Scannell, who joined Western Sierra Medical Clinic in August 2022. “I wanted to work with a different population.”
Dr. Scannell has been in higher-income and more urban communities throughout much of her career, most recently as a physician for Scripps Medical Group in San Diego County. Western Sierra, a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC), largely serves lower-income residents in Nevada and Auburn counties.
“Families are really struggling here,” says Dr. Scannell, citing the challenges of limited access to much-needed resources to the rising cost of everyday items, from food to fuel. “I want to know how to be more helpful.”
She treats children – newborns to those 18 years old – at the Grass Valley clinic, but also meets with patients in the Auburn and Penn Valley offices once a week.
“I really love my job, and my patients,” Dr. Scannell says. “Sometimes, we have to provide the love and support. I’m a safe person for (patients and parents) to talk to, and I want to help them navigate the system as much as possible.”
And navigating the health care system can be tough.
“Resources are so sparse and difficult to access,” especially for lower-income patients in rural areas, Dr. Scannell says.
But Western Sierra has been committed to expanding services, greatly helping time-crunched patients.
Dr. Scannell brings more than three decades of pediatrics experience and will work closely with early-in-career providers at Western Sierra.
“At this point of my career, I feel like I can help teach (other providers to be) better pediatricians,” says Dr. Scannell, who will also work with physician assistant students from UC Davis receiving hands-on training at Western Sierra.
And Dr. Scannell is looking forward to learning from fellow Western Sierra providers about health care in a rural community, where specialists are often an hour away in the Sacramento region or Reno.
“When I interviewed here, the people who I spoke with sealed the deal,” she says of her colleagues’ commitment to first-rate health care for patients. “They are remarkable. They really have their hearts in this community. They are so devoted and care so much about their patients.”
It’s one of the primary reasons why she chose a career in health care.
She earned a bachelor’s of science degree at University of California, Davis, and completed medical school at Washington University in St. Louis. Her residency training was at Stanford University.
“I knew in high school that I wanted to be a doctor,” say Dr. Scannell, who was born in San Francisco and raised in Marin. Her father was a firefighter. “I’ve always been interested in health and wellness.”
It’s an interest she shares with her daughter, currently a medical student, and her niece, who is also a physician.
Dr. Scannell and her husband also have an adult son who lives in Oregon. Both of their children visit as much as possible to enjoy Nevada County, Lake Tahoe and the outdoors.
“That’s why I actually looked for a new job here,” Dr. Scannell says of applying as a provider at Western Sierra. “I wanted to live in the mountains, be closer to Tahoe, and practice medicine in a more rural environment. I love the people of Nevada County already. I’m grateful for the opportunity to work here, and hope to do so for many more years.”