Physician Assistant Marcy Pierce: ‘It’s an amazing feeling to get people the care they need’
Physician Assistant Marcy Pierce embraces her important role as a care provider in all it’s different forms.
She treats patients for a wide range of minor injuries and illnesses – from back strains and sprained wrists to nagging colds to wounds requiring stitches – in Western Sierra Medical Clinic’s Urgent Care in Grass Valley.
“It’s interesting, it’s challenging … and it’s busy,” says Pierce, who joined the Federally Qualified Health Center in February 2022.
It’s also a great fit for Pierce, who has more than two decades of experience in health care.
“I really like working with the community,” says Pierce, who can be treating a patient dealing with a bad asthma attack one moment to refilling a much-needed prescription moments later. “I want to be connected to people and improve their health.”
And Western Sierra’s Urgent Care is one of the easiest ways for residents to access quality health care and well-trained providers in Nevada County. The county has among the lowest ratios of primary-care providers per population in California.
“It can take months to get in to see a primary care provider in Nevada County. One of our roles is to address urgent health issues while patients are waiting to see their primary-care providers,” she says. “We also facilitate getting them specialty care they may need from our various departments such as dentistry, behavioral health or women’s health care. It’s an amazing feeling to get people the care they need.”
“The mind and body are so connected,” she says. “Health education can provide a sense of empowerment, and I always want to give patients the tools to take care of themselves.”
Western Sierra’s Urgent Care team will refer current patients to primary-care providers and other specialists on staff – or to other outside providers, when needed.
“I want to help people live better, happier lives,” says Pierce, who adds Urgent Care fits her career goals and traits. I strive to be a comforting presence while providing the technical care that people need. “
That combination helped Pierce who moved to Indonesia after she earned her Master of Public Health from Johns Hopkins University in spring 2000.
“I loved (Indonesia) almost instantly,” she says. “It was a gift to me to live in such an amazing, beautiful place.”
Pierce worked for several health care-related organizations while in Indonesia, from Hellen Keller International to Timor Aid.
“It was good, important work,” she says. “After more than 14 years, I was ready to come back.”
She returned to the U.S in 2014, and earned a Master of Physician Assistant from Samuel Merritt University in 2016.
“I missed doing direct patient care,” she says. “I really like working with the community and I wanted to do more hands-on health care.”
When she moved back to the U.S., Pierce considered three communities to call home – the Bay Area, where she was raised, Nevada County and a small town in Texas.
“I’ve always loved this area,” says Pierce, who was introduced to the area by a friend while attending the University of California, Santa Cruz, and earning bachelor’s degrees in biology and psychology.
“I love the natural beauty here and all the opportunity for outdoor activities,” she says. “I wanted to move somewhere with friends and a sense of community. This was my top choice.”
Away from work, she enjoys gardening, hiking, spending time by the Yuba River and traveling.
“I’m super happy here,” she says.