Updated: Apr 5
Dr. Jessica Ayres, left, seated, reviews patient charts with Practice Manager Megan Patrick between appointments at the Susquehanna Wellness Clinic. Ayres is now accepting new patients who may be seen at the clinic, or during in-home visits.
CLEARFIELD, PA. – On a Thursday afternoon, Dr. Jessica Ayres reviews patient records on her laptop, making notes on current medications and conditions being managed for the person she is about to see.
“I like to do as much of this work on the computer as possible before the patient comes in,” she says. “When I’m in the exam room with them, I want them to have my full attention. I want to look at them, not at the computer screen. If I have to make a quick reference of something, that’s fine. The majority of the time, though, I need to be engaged with the patient.”
Ayres explains that offering full attention to those in her exam chair helps to establish trust, and opens two-way communication, much better than a strictly clinical approach.
“In family practice, you need to have trust. It’s important to build relationships. I need to get to know patients,” Ayres explains. “You can tell a lot by body language. You need to keep people comfortable or else they may not truly express what they’re thinking or feeling, or what their concerns are. If you don’t have that information, you can’t offer all of the help they need.”
Ayres refers to this approach as “old fashioned, hometown medicine”. Something she laments has been largely lost in modern society, but something she is inspired to champion in the 21st century. Her roots take her back to a time when it was more common.
“My grandfather was a family doctor in Tyrone. Everyone knew him and trusted him in the small-town setting. We would go to the grocery store and people would be showing him their feet, or asking him questions at a restaurant,” she laughed. “He was a small-town family doctor going all the way back to the 1950’s. He was always making house calls and always willing to help people.”
Ayres credits her grandfather’s impact with getting her excited about medicine, saying, “I was inspired by how he helped people, and I always thought the work just seemed so interesting.”
The house calls Ayres saw her grandfather make are something that particularly excites her about her work at the Susquehanna Wellness Clinic. The clinic is one of few medical providers left that still offers in-home visits.
“I love that we’re able to offer in-home visits,” Ayres says. “It circles back to good, old-fashioned family care. We visit people in their homes, personal care homes, shared housing. When people can’t get out for a variety of reasons, they are so happy to have us come to them.”
Ayres attended Clearfield Area High School and was the valedictorian of the graduating class of 1997. She is a doctor of osteopathic medicine, having attended Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster, PA where she earned her bachelor's degree in neuroscience. Following her studies at Franklin and Marshall, she attended Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine where she continued her studies in Biomedical Sciences. Ayres received her Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed two years of residency training in internal medicine at PCOM and ultimately transitioned into and completed training in family medicine at PCOM.
Following her medical schooling, Dr. Ayres began her professional career as a primary care physician in Curwensville, PA in 2017 before joining the SWC team.
“I love working for this clinic and Mature Resources,” Ayres says. “We have the ability to do so many things that go above and beyond for the patients, like same day appointments, home visits, in-home prescription management and vaccinations, and so many things that just help people in the community. It feels good to help people and have an impact. I know it sounds cliché, but it’s true. I really leave here every day feeling good. I’m so glad this is what I get to do every day and where I get to come. It really doesn’t even feel like work.”
Though Ayres finds great satisfaction in molding her patient-centered approach to methods that would make her grandfather proud, she’s not quite ready to embrace everything about the good old days. She laughed, “My grandfather? People would pay him with eggs, or vegetables, or artwork. That part has changed quite a bit.”
Dr. Jessica Ayres is accepting new patients at Susquehanna Wellness Clinic at both Clearfield and Frenchville locations. Same-day appointments are available. Call 814-765-2695 for an appointment, or email email@example.com. Visit https://www.mrswc.life/ for more information.