Leah Umnitz is a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner through American Nurses Credentialing of Oregon. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Portland, and her Family Nurse Practitioner's master's degree at Gonzaga University.
Prior to owning Paulina Peak Family Healthcare, Leah worked in several areas including Primary Care, Cosmetic Nursing, RN in surgical/medical, oncology, cardiology, bariatric and orthopedic specialties. Leah was also a Nurse in the United States Air Force where she served as a Captain.
When did you know you wanted to get into health care?
I was always drawn to helping people one way or another. When I was in high school, one of my mentors suggested nursing. I knew as soon as they said it that’s what I wanted to do!
After I received my bachelor’s degree, I joined the military and served in the Air Force for 4 years, active duty. I started in pediatric oncology taking care of kids with cancer and worked in general pediatrics also. When I became a master of all trades, they would float me in the hospital and I would go to the ER, the ICU, the bariatric clinic, same-day surgery, and worked on the surgery floor as well.
Where were you stationed?
At Travis Air Force base in Northern California.
What brought you to Central Oregon?
I was pregnant with my son, and I wanted him to grow up in Central Oregon. I grew up in Oregon and went to high school here. I missed home and wanted to be close to family.
In addition to family healthcare, Paulina Peak also offers other specialty medical services. What got you into medical cosmetics?
After I graduated nursing school with my master’s degree, I’d worked all kinds of specialties. I used to float the floor at St. Charles. When I was in the Air Force, we did cosmetic surgery. It was a teaching hospital at Travis and the residents had to learn how to perform surgery on healthy individuals so they would be able to treat those who were wounded in war. The patients were always so gracious, and it was a whole different world. Having cosmetics experience is what got me hired at Bend Dermatology, and from there I learned about Botox and fillers.
Paulina Peak also offers Bio-identical Hormone Therapy, which is increasingly in demand. How did you first learn about it?
I was at a cosmetics conference in Las Vegas and I was walking by a booth and the lady there asked if she could tell me about hormones. I wasn’t that interested, but I knew a lot of women needed something to help with their hormones during menopause. This lady told me her testimony and I thought, if there was any truth to what she told me, about how amazing the results were, I wanted to learn more! Her husband started talking about how her libido was so great and how their intimate relationship blossomed, and about how she could sleep again, and how she’d lost weight. I thought, “I would love all those things too!” I asked if I was a candidate and they said yes I was, and it went from there!
(You can read more about Bio-identical Hormones or take the questionnaire to see if you’re a candidate.)
What do you love most about being a nurse practitioner?
I love the capability of helping people. Getting someone the help and relief that they need, there’s no other feeling like that!
Hobbies and Fun Facts
What do you do in your free time?
I have French and English bulldogs and I enjoy spending time with them. My husband and I love to go mountain biking and hiking; we love the McKenzie River, it’s our favorite place to go to during the summertime. I like to work out also, and am getting back into that. I go in phases and kind of switch it up; right now I’m into running, then I might go back into yoga, then weight lifting.
What do you like best to do with your kids or as a family?
We do a lot of outdoor things, hiking, camping, and all the Central Oregon festivals and events.
We volunteer and do a lot with Christmas Family, gathering things for those in need. I also volunteer frequently at my daughter’s elementary school, especially for her field trips.