Leon Koenck, Physicians Assistant (PA-C)
Leon joined the RCMS team in early 2010. He brought with him his love of the outdoors, and years of emergency medicine experience, primarily from Colorado and Alaska. He has worked in Mountain Search and Rescue, Air Medevac, and as a paramedic prior to becoming a Physician Assistant (PA) in the MEDEX program at the University of Washington in 1991. Most of his PA career has been in rural and remote sites where he learned to work with resources that were available. Sometimes weather would prevent a medevac for 3-4 days from a rural site, so he learned to be innovative. This remote experience is why he was recruited to the Mendonoma Coast, and the remoteness is what attracted him.
As a solo provider in a rural area we may be called on to deliver emergency childbirth, to helping with end-of-life transition, and all aspects of our human experience in between. Having limited resources had me looking at, and experiencing, what is now called integrative medicine. “I always asked myself how was it done when medicine wasn’t available?” Whenever it fits, I enjoy educating on natural approaches to healing and health, and sharing my experiences and observations of my 46+ years of working in the medical field.
My training and life experiences have been in emergency medicine. My rural experiences opened my eyes to the fact there can be many methods of moving our bodies into a healthy state. By being proactive in our health we can often prevent or lessen the need for medical interventions. In emergency medicine sometimes we have minutes, or even seconds to intervene. I train and study continuously. My life has been committed to helping people live an life that is pain and disease free. Once someone has to deal with a disease state, I try to lessen it’s impact while always striving for improvement. A positive mindset is critical to being healthy, so I also spend time on educating on our communications with each other. Understanding we don’t see things the same, or that by looking through another’s ‘personality lens’, can help with healing relationships and ultimately our health. Living in this complex world, and the trying times, requires us to recognize our thoughts and reactions (stress) have a direct effect on our physical health.
In my current new role overseeing operations as part of a leadership team, I see that building relationships within our medical teams and our community as being essential and intertwined. Integrating medical care, dental care, behavioral health, and other specialty care requires resources that can be challenging in a rural location. Our community continues to show their love and support of our mission. I appreciate everyone I meet, and the many I have never met, that step up and help support us. The road may be bumpy, and at times the fog thick, but I believe that through dedication and perseverance, we can collectively build a family medical center that can support the multitude of needs of everyone.