Alyssa Pina: PCC Department Head - Patient Care Coordinator
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.”
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.
Brennan Pott: Medical Assistant
Brennan grew up in a house with a big backyard and access to the Sierra Nevada mountains, so ”I spent a lot of time outdoors, especially at Sand Harbor on my mountain bike! For several years, I lived in a house with four generations of my family!
I spent so much quality time with my grandparents, parents, and younger brother which is a big reason that I decided to pursue gerontology in college and medicine overall. I’ll be the first of my family to become a physician or even be in medicine.”
Brennan received a bachelor’s in biology with a minor and undergraduate certificate in Gerontology (study of aging and older adults) from UNR. During his last year at UNR, he worked with the School of Public Health providing community-focused dementia education, building resources for people living with dementia and care partners, and ensuring that everyone’s contributions are heard. Brennan has worked with Eagle Valley Children’s Home as a Respite Worker, providing quality in-home care to kids and young adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Brennan has also volunteered with Carson Tahoe Health in the Emergency Department, Cancer Resource Center, and Sierra Surgery.
As for what he loves about Sierra Foot & Ankle, “I have a focus on my own well-being and activity, I enjoy helping others become and stay active. I want to be able to work with patients and help them achieve the ability level they want, especially regaining the ability to be active again. I want to make an impact through compassionately and respectfully helping our clients achieve positive health outcomes.”
Outside of Work: Mountain biking and swimming. “I’m getting into road biking and running since I did my first triathlon in June 2023. I hike and backpack, and especially enjoy sleeping in a hammock under the stars instead of a tent. I know a lot of fun cooking recipes, I’m a big fan of breakfast-anything in the skillet. My top breakfast recipes have been sheet pancakes with blueberries and chocolate chips, hashbrowns with eggs and bell peppers, or banana bread oatmeal.”
Favorite Books: Dune, by Frank Herbert. The Martian, by Andy Weir. Lord of the Rings, by J.R.R. Tolkien
Favorite Quote: “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us” – Gandalf in Lord of the Rings
Isabella “Izzy” Valentine: Medical Assistant
Izzy grew up in Folsom, a small suburb outside Sacramento, CA. She remembers living close to Folsom Lake where she loved going for a swim, walking the trails around the lake, and the joys of growing up with an older brother and two wonderful golden retrievers.
Izzy played softball for the University of Nevada, Reno while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in biology. As a collegiate athlete, Izzy also brings personal traits of hard work, determination, and how to be an active team member to our SFA Team.
As a medical assistant, Izzy states, “I love building relationships with our patients and assisting them, along with the Doctor, to achieve positive outcomes. I love the team environment at Sierra Foot & Ankle where we all strive to work as a unit to ensure our patient’s needs are met. As a member of the SFA Team, it is our job to assist patients with getting back to their normal routine and activities.”
Outside of work: “I enjoy reading. I enjoy exploring new trails and hikes in Reno and Tahoe areas. I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, and I love to bake all kinds of desserts.”
Favorite Books: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah, Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier, and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
Favorite Quote: “You must be the change you wish to see in the world.” – Mahatma Gandhi
Isobel Whitehead: Medical Assistant
Isobel was born in Kingston upon Thames, southwest London, England, but moved to Lafayette, California, when she was very young. She and her family lived in Lafayette until she was nine, then moved to a small town outside of Paris, France. The family hopped back over the pond after a couple of years, returning to California where Isobel remained stateside to finish high school and college.
Isobel received a bachelor’s degree in biology from the University of California, Santa Barbara. During her studies there she participated in stem cell research. She also brings work experience as a physical therapy aide, a caregiver, and a medication technician.
Isobel feels confident that her “strong background in science gives her an edge when learning about podiatric treatments and exactly how the treatments work to help our patients.”
As a medical assistant at SFA, Isobel says, “The best part of working at Sierra Foot & Ankle is the culture of growth and learning encouraged by Dr. Melhuish and my coworkers. We come to work open to learning from one another and wanting to improve. I love how Dr. Melhuish prioritizes everyone in the clinic to understand the condition and treatment– from the medical assistants to the patients themselves.”
Outside of work: “On a perfect weekend, I get time to embroider, cook a delicious dinner, go on a run, go thrifting, and spend plenty of time outdoors with my dogs. Because of my English background, my favorite thing to eat is a Sunday roast of roast beef, baked potatoes, and Yorkshire puddings!“
Favorite Podcast: Morbid
Favorite Books: The Twilight Saga, Harry Potter books, and the Bridgerton series.
Favorite Quote: “Variety is the spice of life” – late 18th-century Proverbial saying
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; Whole Brain Living by Jill Bolte Taylor.