Fort Bragg, CA – Mendocino Coast Clinics (MCC) is pleased to welcome the return of nurse practitioner Faith Simon to their pediatric team. Simon began her career as a pediatric provider more than 20 years ago, mentored by revered local pediatrician Dr. Bill Mahon. In 2011, Simon and the rest of the pediatric practice joined MCC. Now, after a few years away, Simon is pleased to return to Mendocino Coast Clinics where their philosophy of practices matches her own.
“I moved to the Mendocino Coast from Brooklyn. My young children went from riding the subway to receiving 4-H training on how to show a chicken at the county fair,” Simon explained. At that time, Simon was a new nurse practitioner, but she had already been a nurse for 20 years, working primarily in obstetrics and emergency care. Although she was ready for a change, she could not have known how deeply she would fall in love with her new community. She has been caring for patients here ever since.
“Now, I’m supporting new parents who were my patients when they were children. It’s fun to see how their lives have evolved and to help them as they transition into and through parenthood,” she said.
Simon fashioned her style of practice after Dr. Mahon’s, one in which the provider is totally present in the moment and who talks directly to patients, regardless of their age. She said, “I get down to eye level and ask kids how they’re doing. Kids are so cool, and they will tell you a lot if you listen.”
Simon defines health broadly, recognizing the interdependence of physical, social, and emotional factors. When invited, she participates in her patients’ Individualized Education Program (IEP) meetings through the schools and remains available to parents to help them with their child’s developmental and behavioral issues.
This integrated approach to health and wellness is part of why Simon is returning to Mendocino Coast Clinics. “My heart has always been with community clinics. It’s the right model for health care, a model that blends medical, behavioral, and dental care,” she said. “I’m looking forward to having more support for my patients at MCC, where they provide lactation education, nutrition consultations, psychotherapy, and more. And I’m especially pleased to be working there under Lucresha Renteria. She is a thoughtful, effective executive director who has the community’s best interests at heart.”
Simon noted that MCC’s strong relationships with community partners will also benefit her patients. When families face housing or food insecurity, their physical and emotional well-being suffer. MCC not only provides medical treatment, but also encourages its providers to refer patients to community partners who can help address the social determinants of health when appropriate.
Simon is deeply embedded in the community. She served as a board member for Safe Passage for more than a decade and currently participates in committees that advocate for child safety and health, including the Child Action Committee, a subcommittee of the Mendocino County Policy Council on Children and Youth, and on the Child Death Review Committee that reviews the circumstances when children pass away to identify and address any worrisome trends.
Simon begins seeing patients at MCC on May 19. She says she would like to work for several more years, and in that time, to help the current pediatric team recruit and mentor the next generation of providers. “Working with children every day is such a joyful way to spend life. I would like to share what I’ve learned and to make sure my patients and eventually their children continue to have the care they need and deserve here on the coast.”
Renteria said, “We’re so happy to have Faith back as part of the MCC family.”