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Close-Knit Care

Oakleaf Clinic-Southside Medical lets patients know their providers

From newborn babies to the grown-ups who care for them, Rachel Pierce, family nurse practitioner for Oakleaf Clinics – Southside Medical (714 W Hamilton Ave.), loves working in pediatrics.

“Just to see all the development and the changes,” she gushed.  “It’s really fun to see the parents grow with their kids; their knowledge and understanding changes.”

Pierce began practice with Oakleaf in February, following work in urgent care, surgery, and in-patient family medicine.  She feels that working in a smaller, more personable clinic makes for a friendly, cooperative community of caregivers.

“It really is fun to see parents grow with their kids; their knowledge and understanding changes.”-Rachel Pierce

“Some people prefer a larger practice, others prefer more of a close-knit community type practice,” Pierce said.  She works with Michael J. Smith, MD, and Jennifer Olson, FNP, to provide care.  “This one’s more close knit. A lot of our patients know all of us and we know them.”

One of the advantages of the small staff is that even if a family’s regular doctor is unavailable for a same-day appointment, patients will still work with someone they know and trust.  Oakleaf offers same-day appointments and 24/7 phone support to patients whose symptoms don’t require a trip to the office.

Pierce works with Jennifer Olson, a family nurse practitioner who specializes in women’s care, and with Dr. Michael Smith, who specializes in pediatrics and internal medicine.  Together, they are able to care for patients from birth and onward, making them an easy choice for households with patients of all ages.

“It’s seriously a family-patient centered care,” Pierce said.

Part of that patient-centered care is encouraging healthy habits in daily life.  Pierce especially loves teaching parents and young children about My Plate, a successor to the food pyramid that promotes eating primarily fruits and vegetables, whole grains, and a low-sodium diet.  As children reach the age where they can become picky eaters, she encourages parents to introduce new foods casually and teaches them tricks for getting kids to try new things.  Pierce also recommends ways to cut back on screen use, especially by getting outside in the colder months to orchard and other activities.

She provides this level of investment in children, parents, and even grandparents, discussing healthy habits for older patients such as using appropriate mobility aids in the winter, and reaching out for help in maintaining driveways and other icy surfaces.  Strong family support systems and neighborliness are as integral to good health as eating right and regular doctor visits.

Checkup Checklist

  • Decide what kind of physician you want to see.  Do you prefer a male or female? Doctor or NP? Do you prefer to work with someone younger or someone with more experience?
  • Prepare a list of questions or concerns to discuss with you or your child’s physician.
  • Complete release of information paperwork with your past healthcare providers.
  • Check with your insurance company to find an in-network physician.
  • Bring any paperwork you need your physician to sign, including daycare eligibility, sports physical forms, or school medication paperwork.
  • Bring vaccination records

Oakleaf Clinics – Southside Medical provides high quality, personalized medical care in a comfortable, family-friendly environment.  They help you choose a healthcare provider who is right for you, and make your well-being a priority.  To learn more, visit or call (715)830-9990.

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