Little Lake Health Center Welcomes New Providers

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July 2014

Little Lake Health Center (LLHC) is pleased to welcome a new doctor and two new mid-level providers to its medical staff. Dr. Walter Jensen is a physician, board-certified in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Medicine, who is returning to medicine because he missed seeing patients after retiring. Chad Eventide is a Physician Assistant who spent his first two years of practice in Laytonville at Long Valley Health Center before leaving his commute behind to work closer to home in Willits. Erika Gary is a bilingual, bicultural family nurse practitioner who just finished her medical training and appreciates LLHC’s commitment to culturally competent care.

Dr. Jensen joins LLHC after retiring from a critical care practice in La Jolla, California. While he did not want to continue working in a high-pressure hospital environment, he realized after retiring that he wasn’t ready to give up medicine. He now sees adult patients at LLHC, and is enjoying the slower pace of medicine in Willits. When he is not caring for patients, he takes time to read, work on his current novel, play tennis, or enjoy his grandkids. He has already published a novel titled, Their Unbridled Rivalry.


LLHC’s new midlevel providers are on the other end of the career spectrum. They bring the expertise that comes with being so recently trained and the enthusiasm of those who enjoy putting their expertise into practice. Eventide sees patients at LLHC and works as a midlevel provider in a hospital emergency room on the weekends. He enjoys caring for pediatric patients, as well as adults, and is active in a medical mission organization called Physician Assistants for Global Health. Eventide developed an interest in medicine after attaining a liberal arts education and working in the publishing industry. He began by volunteering at San Francisco General Hospital. He then became an Emergency Medical Technician (first responder) in San Francisco. This led to his decision to pursue an education as a Physician Assistant at Duke University. On the personal side, Eventide enjoys hiking and camping, as well as performance juggling (you may have seen him in the Fourth of July Parade). He is married with a four-year-old son.

Finally, Gary is a nurse practitioner who finished her medical program at Samuel Merritt in Oakland in December of 2013. Gary says her heart always pulled her in the direction of helping others. “As a kid, I would play imaginary games where I was a nurse,” she said. “But, being an FNP isn’t for the faint of heart.” While she has reconciled her childhood dreams with the reality of a challenging career, she says she takes each day “patient by patient.”

She focuses on open, honest communication with patients, which she can achieve whether they speak English or Spanish. Gary believes patients appreciate medical providers who are good listeners, and feels this is an area where she excels. “I feel like I’ve found my calling. I’m living my truth,” she said of her choice to become a nurse practitioner, and to care for patients at LLHC because it is a Federally Qualified Health Center devoted to caring for the community’s most vulnerable people. 

For more information about LLHC, visit www.littlelakehealthcenter.org or call 707-456-9600. LLHC is owned an operated by Mendocino Community Health Clinic, a local non-profit organization providing access to health care for all.

Next: Little Lake Health Center in Willits Now Open Saturdays for Urgent Care →