Heather M. Penny, MD
I speak: English, Spanish
My gender: Female
Where I practice
A native Oregonian, I was born in Ontario and grew up in the Willamette Valley. During my third year at Oregon State University, I made the decision to become a physician. At the time, I was getting my degree in nutrition and volunteering at a medical clinic in Albany, and I was excited about a career that would allow me to interact with people on a daily basis while simultaneously using the science side of my brain. In my journey to become a physician I worked and studied abroad in Central America and Mexico, worked at a homeless shelter, and spent a year doing direct caregiving at a nursing home. Each experience prepared me to see life from other people’s perspectives, which continues to affect how I practice today.
About my practice
I enjoy providing care to families, individuals, and children. I believe that when I get to know your family as a whole and find out what makes you unique, I can better focus on prevention and quality of life. Early on, we might talk about breastfeeding, starting food, or vaccinations. With teenagers, I try to assist in the transition from parent-driven health decisions to good self-driven decisions that will carry on into adulthood. Often, this means letting a teen tell the story instead of the parent. With adults, I work to tailor care to each person who walks in the door. I treat chronic diseases such as diabetes and high blood pressure with the same goals: quality of life and preventive care. While chronic diseases can be scary, we have effective ways to make members feel better. With senior patients, individualized care is even more important, whether we are treating arthritis to improve activity or discontinuing a medication that causes a side effect. Whatever your age, I want to be available to listen and help you have a clear understanding of your health and treatments. I will be available to help you manage in times of bad news and also will be there to help you celebrate your successes.
How I thrive
I thrive by being around good people--including my family and friends. Laughing, sharing meals, and the little things in life are most important to me. I like to stay active with my family, which can mean chasing my two kids around a park or going for walks in the neighborhood. We enjoy getting out and exploring what Oregon has to offer and being tourists so close to home.