Given the current nationwide doctor shortage, MCHC Health Centers is especially proud to announce the arrival of family physician Dr. Kelly Tracey, an experienced provider who specializes in women’s health and preventive medicine. Dr. Tracey will primarily serve patients in Lakeport.
Prior to joining MCHC, she worked at a community health center in Phoenix, Arizona, but she is no stranger to California, having worked in Oroville, Colusa, Oakhurst, and Clovis. She said she chose MCHC both because she wanted to return to California, but also because the people there stood out in such a positive way.
“Everyone was so nice and really community-focused,” she said. Dr. Tracey was looking for a health center that fit with her philosophy of practice, that is, a place where providers are encouraged to listen deeply to patients, and where treatment plans are based on what is best for patients given their current needs and abilities.
“Patients don’t do very well with a one-size-fits-all approach,” she explained. “Some patients can tolerate several medications at once, while others might do better with one medication along with changes to their diet and exercise routine.”
MCHC Chief Medical Officer Dr. Matthew Swain said that Dr. Tracey’s commitment to connecting with each and every patient and her focus on each patient’s unique needs and goals makes her a great fit at MCHC.
Dr. Tracey said she takes a holistic approach to medicine, starting with her patients’ specific complaints and then asking questions that allow her to understand the whole story. She tries to help patients feel comfortable, so they can be truthful and share information that allows her to get to the root of the problem.
“I have worked with people in all walks of life. I’m a good listener and after so many years in medicine, it’s clear to me that everyone is just trying to do the best they can. My goal is to help them be healthier and feel better,” she said.
She noted that this is a particularly difficult time for some people. “In this post-pandemic world, people are dealing with a lot. In some ways, things are tougher now than they were. People are having to adjust to a new reality where COVID is never going away,” she said.
She embraces the model of care at federally qualified health centers such as MCHC, where medical, dental, and behavioral health care are all provided under one roof. She said enjoys working with other healthcare providers to support patients–she also enjoys MCHC’s team approach within each discipline.
At MCHC, patients are assigned to a healthcare team made up of medical providers, nurses, and support personnel with everyone working to support the patient. To qualify for federal funding, MCHC is held to strict quality standards, and the team approach helps ensure that high level of quality.
“I like working at FQHCs because they’re so organized. Everyone works together to meet the standards,” Dr. Tracey said.
When Dr. Tracey is not working, she enjoys spending time outdoors hiking, walking, and whenever possible, spending time with animals—mostly her own, but if she runs into you walking your dog, she will certainly stop and say hello, greeting you with a subtle Southern accent reminiscent of her upbringing in Oklahoma, where she completed her medical training at Oklahoma State University’s College of Osteopathic Medicine.
MCHC Health Centers includes Hillside Health Center and Dora Street Health Center in Ukiah, Little Lake Health Center in Willits, and Lakeview Health Center in Lakeport. It is a community-based and patient-directed organization that provides comprehensive primary healthcare services as well as supportive services such as education and translation that promote access to healthcare.