Kimberly Jasso: Medical Assistant | Laser Tech
Kim grew up in Sparks, Nevada in an area where she felt a strong sense of community. She was impacted by hardworking people, such as her parents and educators, who taught her to always give 100% effort towards anything she commits to.
Kim graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno where she studied Molecular Microbiology and Immunology and Human Development and Family Sciences. She has prior experience working with patients as a volunteer medical interpreter and patient safety at Renown Regional Medical Center.
About her work with Sierra Foot & Ankle, Kim says, “Working at SFA is unlike any other work experience or environment I’ve been a part of before. I like talking to established patients and getting to know them. I like how every staff member goes above and beyond to do what is best for the clinic. Dr. Melhuish provides an environment that promotes growth and learning and her trust in our abilities makes us all eager to come to work. I enjoy working for a doctor as intelligent and caring as Dr. Melhuish; she is a great mentor.”
Outside of work: Kim likes lifting weights; my little brother is a bodybuilder and going to the gym together and holding each other accountable is how we bond. She loves traveling and when traveling was restricted, she got back into learning and playing musical instruments. She also enjoys volunteering as a medical interpreter because it helps her improve her Spanish, learn more about the medical field, and help others.
Favorite Podcasts: Kim likes exploring crime podcasts; they have gained popularity within the past year, so she feels like this genre has something to offer for everyone. She also likes listening to “GroSeries: An MCAT Review” because it allows her to passively study things like the digestive system while driving to work or doing her makeup.
Alyssa Bernal: Patient Care Coordinator | Medical Assistant
As a Medical Assistant at SFA, Alyssa wants to help our clients get on their feet again. She says, “It can be very discouraging to participate in a favorite activity and feel discomfort and pain. I am here to do whatever I can to help patients get back to, and keep doing, what they love to do.”
Denisse graduated from the University of Nevada Reno, with a Bachelor’s Degree in Community Health Science with an emphasis in Public Health. Coming from a macro level of care to a micro and individualistic care is really fun to see and learn from.
About her work with Sierra Foot & Ankle, Alyssa says, “I love getting to know Sierra Foot & Ankle patients and seeing how everyone goes above and beyond for their care. I enjoy learning every day and helping patients on their journey to a better lifestyle. Our doctor is willing to stop and teach everyone in the office, including patients, so we ALL understand the care provided. It allows me to become better every day in my personal growth. Every day is a new experience, truly something to cherish.”
Alyssa moved from San Bernardino, California to Gardnerville, Nevada when she was 10 years old. Growing up in the close-knit Carson Valley community instilled hometown values of how “community comes together to help a neighbor.”
Outside of work: Alyssa could not imagine NOT looking out my window to see the Sierra Nevada Mountains. I love hiking, exploring the outdoors, or having an easy day in the park with my partner and son. I enjoy playing silly games, watching bad reality shows, like Love is Blind on Netflix, and going to the gym.
Favorite Podcasts: Alyssa enjoys listening to ‘Am I the A**hole, Crime Junkie, Morbid, Two Hot Takes” podcasts
Favorite Books: My Sister’s Keeper by Jodi Picoult. Revolution by Jennifer Donnelly.
Kristy Swirczek: Patient Care Coordinator
Kristy considers herself a True Nevadan. She was born in California but moved to Nevada at a young age and was raised in Carson City where she grew to love the outdoors.
Kristy comes to Sierra Foot & Ankle with over 20 years of experience in the medical field. As Patient Care Coordinator, Kristy oversees insurance and patient billing. Kristy states, “I like helping patients with “the unknowns” when it comes to financial issues. “Most patients’ main concerns are how much will I owe? What will my insurance plan cover?” Kristy is compassionate when it comes to patient care, “I want our patients to feel they receive excellent medical care as well as to feel at ease financially.”
What I like about Sierra Foot & Ankle is the use of cutting-edge technology to improve patient care. Kristy comments, “I get excited for our patients when it comes to new treatment types that greatly improve their quality of life.”
Outside of work: When she’s not working, Kristy enjoys horseback riding, fly fishing, camping, and spending quality time with loved ones.
Favorite Quote: “A Happy patient makes Happy practice”.
Taylor Collins: Medical Assistant
Taylor grew up in and around Reno and Sparks. She completed her Bachelor of Science in Biology from the University of Portland, in December 2021. While completing this degree she focused on a pre-med track and worked as a Medical Scribe for Portland Sports Medicine. Taylor feels this previous work set her up well for working at Sierra Foot & Ankle because the experience not only built her patient-care skills but also the patient care was primarily mechanical which she feels helps her better understand the mechanical issues that are often seen at Sierra Foot & Ankle.
As Dr. Melhuish’s medical assistant, Taylor sees herself as “a bridge between doctor and patient. I greet patients and bring them to the exam rooms and prepare them to see the Doctor. I am often an information bank, not only absorbing what patients are reporting but providing information and answering questions to the best of my knowledge. I also like the hands-on work with patients and building my own relationships with them, which is very rewarding.”
Taylor continues, “I really enjoy how much Dr. Melhuish teaches us as medical assistants. It really shows that she is just as much interested in our success and our journey’s as future healthcare providers.”
Taylor values hard work, helping others, and respect. “I feel incredibly fulfilled with helping others, there are so many people in this world and one of the most impactful things that we can do one for another helps each other. Specifically, in the medical field, this does not come without serious hard work and having respect for all of those who you encounter.
Outside of work: You will find Taylor camping, traveling, spending time with Kona-puppy, and making new recipes she finds on Pinterest or TikTok.
Favorite Podcast: National Park After Dark
Favorite Book: When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi
Favorite Quote: “Today is the first day of the rest of your life.”
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.