Dr. Julia Katsuura, has joined our primary care team at Little Lake Health Center. Dr. Katsuura, board certified pediatrician, graduated from Albert Einstein College of Medicine in Bronx, New York, and subsequently completed a three-year Pediatric Residency at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine.
MCHC’s Chief Executive Officer, Rod Grainger, shares his thoughts on this addition to the team, “I am very excited to now be able to offer Pediatrics at our health center in Willits. This will be the first time in our thirty-year history, that we have hired a pediatrician at this location. Our wonderful family practice nurse practitioners and physicians do see some kids as part of their practice, and now we can grow our services there to also include newborns and younger children, thus meeting the needs of even more community members.”
Dr. Katsuura is a Northern California native, having grown up in San Jose and completing her undergraduate degree at UC Berkeley. Starting in college, Dr. Katsuura engaged in volunteering efforts which fostered her desire to continue focusing on reaching out and helping others in need. Through a program called the Suitcase Clinic she worked as a student volunteer with the homeless population of Berkeley, CA, and before long assumed a leadership position where she taught the course material designed to prepare future students to effectively work with the underserved.
She worked at UCSF prior to medical school as a Research Assistant in the transplant department, collecting samples and working with patients. This was her first exposure within healthcare to the pediatric population, as there were children on the unit in need of transplanted organs to thrive. This work sparked a passion that years later inspired her to become a pediatrician.
Dr. Katsuura reflects on her decision to become a pediatrician, “It is the specialty that best fits my personality. During rotations in medical school, where I spent time in various areas of medicine, I discovered how much I love working with kids and families, finding a way to jointly create a plan that best benefits each child’s growth and development.
Upon graduation from her Pediatric Residency, Dr. Katsuura continued at the University of Tennessee as Chief Resident for an additional two years. This prestigious position is offered to a graduate who has demonstrated clinical excellence and a propensity to teach. During that time, she oversaw resident physicians and medical students and engaged in lecturing and writing papers.
Dr. Katsuura has had additional experience prior to moving to Willits, as a Newborn Hospitalist and seeing pediatric patients in her office in New York City. It was during this time that COVID entered the United States and New York City was an early hot spot for the virus. Many of the families in her practice were afraid to leave their homes. To address this concern, she provided medical care via telemedicine or in the homes of local patients. Her support included COVID testing for neighborhood families so that these children could return to school safely.
However, living and working in New York was never her long-term plan. Dr. Katsuura and her family had hopes of returning to Northern California, where they had been coming every summer for the past several years to visit family friends in Mendocino County. “It was always our dream to move to and work in Willits. We were drawn to the natural beauty of this area where you can step outside and feel like you are surrounded by nature.”
Dr. Katsuura has two children of her own thus she understands the many questions and concerns that parents may have. I feel confident in answering “the mommy questions” that are not necessarily taught in medical school or residency such as practical sleep advice or addressing behavioral concerns. Having worked in a Pediatric office in Ukiah for the past year, she is ready to be closer to home and to serve the local Willits community.
Dr. Douglas, Chief Medical Officer, states, “The practical knowledge, clinical experience, and warm personality of Dr. Katsuura, makes her a wonderful addition to our
primary care team at MCHC and we are looking forward to serving this community together, for many years to come.”
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. Learn more at www.mchcinc.org.