It was on a volunteer medical mission in the Peruvian Amazon in 2011 that Tiffany Brackus had a life-changing experience.
The people there lived with so little and would wait for hours to see health care providers. They were grateful to receive even basic medications to help in their care. “It was just so amazing to see people living with dirt floors and holes in their roofs and chickens wandering around in their kitchens,” she says. “It just really impacted me.”
Tiffany, who was nearing the completion of her RN degree at the time, decided she wanted to continue her studies and become a Family Nurse Practitioner. She felt a strong need to help people who needed it most.
She says she has since come to realize that many people closer to home also have difficulty accessing health care, especially in rural areas, and she wants to change that. “I just wish everyone — every man, woman and child — had the same opportunity,” she says.
Tiffany believes providers should work together with their patients to find the best course of action. “The patient and I should be a team,” she says. “I feel like it’s my job to tell them what their options are, and we come to a decision together. I don’t want to be a person who says, ‘You should …,’ and shakes a finger.”
She says she puts an emphasis on being proactive and is very interested in ensuring women have access to preventive care. Osteoporosis, for example, can be a problem especially for women as they age, and so she emphasizes the importance of a calcium-rich diet and supplements. Diabetes and cardiac care are other areas that also require preventive steps.
“I’m very passionate about prevention and wellness,” she says.
Nursing is a second career for Tiffany, who grew up in southeast Idaho and started out in the Human Resources field. After raising her children, she decided to go into health care. She graduated from Boise State University and then went on to earn her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Gonzaga University.
After working in Idaho and Washington, she moved to be near the Oregon Coast, where she and her husband honeymooned. They like to go crabbing, walk on the beach and curl up by a fire and watch the waves roll in.
In January 2021, Tiffany started at Coquille Valley Hospital, where she works in the adjacent Primary Care clinic, as well as the Wound Care Center.
She says the hospital and clinic play a vital role in the care of residents. “It’s really an important resource for the community, and I like being a part of it.”