Physician Assistant Paul Hupp Joins Mendocino Community Health Clinic’s Medical Team

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June 2012

Ukiah, CA – Recently, Physician Assistant Paul Hupp began seeing patients at Mendocino Community Health Clinic’s Hillside Health Center. A Physician Assistant is considered a mid-level provider with an expertise level between a nurse and a doctor, and MCHC—like many healthcare organizations—depends on mid-levels to increase its capacity to treat more patients.    

Paul Hupp and his wife Debbie searched carefully before choosing Mendocino County as the place to raise their three children. Debbie Hupp, a registered nurse, grew up in the small town of Mokelumne Hill in California’s Gold Country and Paul Hupp spent most of his childhood between Kansas and Taiwan. Most recently, however, they had been living in Orange County, California.

“We wanted a more grounded community,” Paul Hupp said. “We liked the values promoted on the clinic’s website so when we were on vacation in Mendocino, I called to see if I could stop by.” He said he especially appreciated MCHC’s commitment to excellence and the Patient-Centered Health Home initiative. After meeting with MCHC staff, it was clear this was a good fit on both sides.

After a couple months on the job, he says, “It’s a great work environment. Everyone works together as a team. My patient isn’t just my patient. We’re all looking out for each patient, from the front desk to the MAs [medical assistants] to the nurses.” 

According to Assistant Medical Director Justin Ebert, PA-C, “Paul has a combination of attributes that are a benefit to our community. He blends medical knowledge, compassion and a solid sense of core values that are reflected in his demeanor and patient care.  He is a pleasure to work with.”

Hupp’s journey into medicine was as intentional as his choosing MCHC. For years, he taught history and special education, but experiences earlier in his life had planted a seed that eventually led him to become a physician assistant. As a young man, he backpacked through Southeast Asia and spent some time in Calcutta in the late 1990s.

“It felt like a war zone. I had never seen poverty like that,” he said. He worked in Mother Teresa’s Home for the Dying for three days, an experience that shaped his thinking and his future goals, eventually motivating him to change careers and join the medical field.

He now feels he is where he is meant to be, caring for patients, surrounded by a team of skilled, compassionate professionals, and in a community that allows he and his wife to enjoy a slower pace of life in a beautiful natural environment where they can hike and play with their children outdoors.

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