Casandra Southerland: Lead Patient Care Coordinator
As a patient care coordinator, Casandra is one of the first friendly faces you see when you walk into Sierra Foot & Ankle. Casandra works in scheduling and insurance verifications, which is a very challenging process. But you can count on her to help you with any question or concern you may have.
Outside of work: Casandra enjoys spending time with her children, reading books, and baking. When the weather is warm, she enjoys taking her children on many outdoor adventures.
Favorite quote: “You learn more from failure than you do from success. Don’t let it stop you—failure builds character.” – Unknown
Norma Ruelas: Patient Care Coordinator
As a patient care coordinator, Norma’s job is to ensure all our patients are seen in a timely manner and can always expect a clean, friendly, welcoming, and professional environment every time they visit Sierra Foot and Ankle!
Before joining SFA, Norma spent 8 years at a non-profit, working directly with victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. She ran the domestic violence shelter and helped connect women and children with the resources and referrals they needed to regain self-sufficiency. She has a heart for our community, especially those who are vulnerable.
A Lake Tahoe native, Norma moved to the Gardnerville area while attending high school and has remained in the Carson Valley ever since. She has two kids who keep her constantly busy! She enjoys spending time with family, the smell of the ocean, long car rides, a good cup of coffee, deep conversations … she could go on and on. Ask her sometime!
Favorite Quote: “Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day” – Alice Morse Earle
Favorite Book: The First Call from Heaven by Mitch Albom
Megan Doyle: Head Medical Assistant | Laser Technician
Megan has multiple roles in our office. As head medical assistant and laser technician, she leads the MA team in training, assisting with efficient patient flow, and quality care. She also completed Cutting Edge MLS Laser training to help maximize the healthcare benefits and effectiveness of MLS laser therapy for our patients.
One of Megan’s goals is to give you as much hope and happiness as she can during your office visit. She’ll remind you that YOU can overcome anything, and that Sierra Foot & Ankle will be there every step of the way.
Megan is a graduate of Carrington College, where she earned her medical assistant certification. Sierra Foot & Ankle is her first MA position.
Megan states, “I couldn’t ask for a better boss or mentor than Dr. Melhuish! SFA is a caring and nurturing environment; we try to make staff and patients feel like family.”
Success is a main motivator for Megan. She wants to thrive as a mother, a spouse, a daughter and sister, as well as a member of our society. She wants to succeed in everything she does now and everything she plans to do in the future.
Outside of work: Megan loves making memories with her three wonderful kids. She couldn’t ask for a better or more fulfilling pastime.
Favorite Quote: “You’ll miss the best things in life if you keep your eyes shut.” – Dr. Seuss
Ernest Covarrubias: Medical Assistant
Ernest embraces the opportunity to utilize his skills, knowledge and enthusiasm to enhance Sierra Foot & Ankle’s quality patient care!
His passion in life is to help others and has succeeded at this in whatever field or capacity he has worked. Before joining Sierra Foot & Ankle, he worked extensively in hospice settings and also as a tax agent with H&R Block. Ernest is a graduate of Everest College, where he earned his medical assistant certification.
Ernest enjoys working with the technology and advanced treatments that SFA offers our patients. Ernest states “I had no idea podiatry was so involved and so much fun. I relish learning about 3-D custom printed orthotics, laser therapy, and ultra-sound procedures.” These state-of-the-art medical practices are all available at Sierra Foot & Ankle.
When he’s not at the office, Ernest enjoys camping, long walks along the beach at Lake Tahoe, reading, and seeking out new experiences and skills to learn!
Favorite Quote: “Learning never exhausts the mind.” – Leonardo da Vinci
Favorite Book: Gulliver’s Travels by Jonathan Swift
Oscar Carvajal: Medical Assistant
As a medical assistant, Oscar cheerfully assists Dr. Melhuish with any needs that our patients would like resolved. Oscar came to Sierra Foot & Ankle after completing his college degree in biology. He has shadowed doctors, but he considers his medical assistance at Sierra Foot & Ankle as valued clinical hours before his next goal of being accepted into medical school.
Oscar’s view is that “SFA is a great environment; our patients come in and leave with a smile.”
Oscar wants our patients to know that we will do our best to fix your pain or discomfort using our knowledge, skills and expertise. He puts himself in your shoes and treats you like he would treat himself or his own family.
Respect, honor, and knowledge are three values that guide Oscar. He looks for and tries to recognize them every day in himself and others.
Outside of work: Oscar loves soccer and nature.
Current read: The Physician by Noah Gordon, book 1 of The Cole Trilogy.
Seth Fitzgerald: Medical Assistant | Marketing
Seth has two significant roles in our office as medical assistant and marketing liaison.
Seth always has a smile and a warm greeting for our clients. He lets you know we are here to help. Even when patients are having a bad day, Seth aims to get a smile on their faces before they leave. He gets a lot of enjoyment from working with patients; helping others and knowing that he is making his part of the world a better place.
About his work with Sierra Foot & Ankle, Seth says, “There is always something new to learn. In the time that I’ve worked here I have grown leaps and bounds, and I’ve become a better person. The doc is always willing to take the time to teach you something new, whether it be for our job or simply life in general.”
Seth is a born-and-raised Nevadan and holds the values of honesty, reliability, and being fair to one another as most critical.
Outside of work: You’ll find Seth doing intricate cut-out paper models and volunteering in a variety of ways at the Brewery Arts Center.
Favorite books/podcasts: Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy by Douglas Adams, and The Dark Tower series by Stephen King. Seth also enjoys Hardcore History with podcaster Dan Carlin.
Samantha Moore: IT Manager
Samantha was raised in Guatemala, where she spoke Spanish as her native language. After obtaining her BS in electrical engineering at the Monterrey Institute of Technology in Mexico, she returned to Guatemala where she started to pursue her passion for computers.
In 1984, Silicon Valley gave her the opportunity to foster her creative side in software. After many years of hard work and the sale of a successful startup company developing software for the financial industry, she moved to Nevada to pursue a quality of life.
Meeting Dr. Victoria Melhuish in 2000 was a turning point in Samantha’s life. Dr. Melhuish needed a computer guru to take her practice forward, and Samantha signed on. Samantha learned the intricate details of podiatry and our Sierra Foot & Ankle clinic working as a short-term medical assistant. With Dr. Melhuish’s guidance, Samantha has developed software to run our clinic, and provided analysis for key management decisions.
Outside of work: Among Samantha’s various hobbies, she is a very talented musician. She has been a bass player for Mo’z Motley Blues Band, and continues to jam at local venues year-round.
Mary Kay Wagner: Management Liaison
Mary Kay is the management liaison for Dr. Melhuish and multiple organizational activities needed to manage a medical practice. She coordinates activities and manages projects so Dr. Melhuish can focus on patient care and keep our patients doing the things they love to do.
Mary Kay proudly served our country as a member of the Air National Guard in Utah and Arizona during her young years. She completed her bachelor’s degree at Weber State University and earned her master’s in public administration from Northern Michigan University.
In 1991, Mary Kay planted her roots in Carson City, recognizing this was a wonderful community to raise a family. She retired from a rewarding career with the State of Nevada in 2018 and brings an abundance of skills and expertise to help manage our practice.
Outside of work: Mary Kay participates in an active lifestyle which includes running, biking, swimming, skiing, hiking, and gardening. She adopted a pup a few years ago as a good reason to keep her active. When she isn’t on the move she enjoys reading, quilting, and watching a good movie or Netflix series.
Favorite book(s): The Obstacle is The Way by Ryan Holiday; The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr; Boys in the Boat by Daniel James Brown.