Mission Viejo clinic team celebrating expansion of primary care

Julianna Ramirez PA-C (4th from left) and Share Ourselves Mission Viejo clinic team members celebrating the recent expansion.

One Physician Assistant’s journey from student to compassionate healthcare provider at Share Ourselves

“We are just the starting point, not the end of the line. We can help get patients on the right path to improving overall health and quality of life,” said Julianna Ramirez, PA-C (Physician Assistant, Certified). Julianna is a firm believer in the power of an integrated approach to medicine and primary care. Understanding the social determinants of health, from education to food insecurity and social inclusion and beyond, helps us know how to best treat patients so they can control food choices, improve their stress levels, and enhance overall well being.

Julianna completed her master’s degree in social work from Cal State Fullerton in 2016 and went on to study to become a physician assistant at Keck Medicine of USC. She did her senior rotation at Share Ourselves in 2021 where she got to experience all sides of medicine, from seeing patients to shadowing in the pharmacy and OB care. “This taught me what primary care is and how to be creative in treating patients without insurance or facing financial barriers.”

Through this experience, Julianna knew she wanted to work in family medicine. She yearned for opportunities to grow and develop new skills and felt called to see the patients at Share Ourselves. In August, 2021, Julianna started working full time at the Mission Viejo clinic.

Primary care at Share Ourselves at Mission Viejo

“The patient demographic we see comes with its own challenges and rewards, but the best part is to see them leave the clinic feeling both physically and emotionally better,” said Julianna. At Mission Viejo, the staff treats their patients like family. If a patient has a birthday near the date of their appointment, the team prepares and signs a birthday card for them. One patient even sent a card in return, thanking them for being so kind.

By treating patients with dignity and respect, the team creates a safe and inclusive environment. “Our role is to help patients make confident choices regarding their health,” Julianna said, recognizing that patient education serves as the foundation for long-term success.

The Mission Viejo clinic serves a community that is often overlooked. There are many elderly people living in the area and low-income families living in a high-income area. These patients have been neglected by the health system, whether they lost their job and insurance or are navigating Medi-Cal and Medicare for the first time. Despite popular belief, there is a big need in Mission Viejo and South OC and Share Ourselves is here to serve this community.