Meet the Staff: Cierra Gritzinger, CMA — Patient Care Coordinator

Cierra Gritzinger joined us at BioDesign Wellness Center in the summer of 2019, intent on completing her Medical Assistant externship. After the successful competition of that important medical credential, she was invited to join the BioDesign team officially.

She soon became a Certified Phlebotomist and currently serves as our Tampa functional medicine practice’s Patient Care Coordinator. In that position, Cierra works with both patients and our medical staff to ensure effective, organized, and seamless care.

She sets up labs, orders tests, and makes sure our patients have a clear understanding of their plan of care.

We asked Cierra to tell us a little about her career and give us some personal tidbits about her life. Here is what she had to say:

BIODESIGN WELLNESS CENTER: What did you do for work before joining us at BioDesign?

CIERRA GRITZINGER: I started working in Early Childhood Education while I was in high school, and I continued doing that for about eight years. Once I had my son, I decided I didn’t want to go back to working in education.

Instead, I started working at the telecommunications and mass media company Spectrum as a billing analyst. I loved working customer service, but I didn’t really feel like I was “helping” people, which is what I love to do! Someone told me about a Medical Assistant program, and I’m so happy that I just went for it because today I am working here, and in January 2021, I start nursing school.

BDWC: Where did you grow up, and what did you want to be when you grew up?

CIERRA: I grew up in Ruskin, Fla., when it was just orange trees and tomato fields. There is so much more there now. Growing up, I always wanted to be a storm chaser with the United States Air Force, but because I could never make the weight requirements, that didn’t happen.

BDWC: Why did you choose to come to work for BioDesign?

CIERRA: The truth is, when I started out as a Medical Assistant, I didn’t know what I wanted to do or where this career would lead me. I wanted to do my externship here and then apply to Moffit Cancer Center. Little did I know when I started here that my true calling was in Functional Medicine.

BDWC: If you could tell new patients one thing about BioDesign Wellness — either to prepare them for their first visit or something they’d benefit from knowing — what would it be?

CIERRA: If I could tell them anything, honestly, it would be to trust the process. When patients come to BioDesign, it is sometimes the last resort for them. They are desperately looking for help and seeking answers.

It can be overwhelming, so as long as the patient can relax a little bit and trust the process, everything else has a better chance of falling into place.

BDWC: If you moved to Sesame Street, who would you want as your neighbor and why?

CIERRA: I would like Elmo as a neighbor because he is always happy and optimistic. Elmo is the character that always puts a smile on someone’s face when they’ve had a bad day. And his little high-pitched voice just makes everyone laugh.

BDWC: Do you have children?

CIERRA: I have a son, and his name is Kamden Kile. He loves Dragons and coloring!

BDWC: What’s something most people would be surprised to know about you?

CIERRA: Most people are surprised by my age. People tend to assume I am much younger than I really am.

BDWC: If you could eliminate one food so that no one would eat it ever again, what would you pick to destroy and why?

CIERRA: Chitterlings! I think the why is pretty obvious. I just can’t wrap my mind around the fact people actually think intestines of a hog are tasty. 

BDWC: Please tell us about your hobbies or interests outside of work.

CIERRA: During the summer, I spend a lot of my free time by the water, where I’m fishing, beaching, boating, or crabbing. If water’s involved, count me in! During the winter I craft a lot. I make party invites and other party décor.