Highly Trained, Tenured Staff

Marisa Woods, RN

Registered Nurse

Marisa Woods has worked as a registered nurse (RN) at Serenity Knolls since June 2021. After growing up in Marin County, she studied Psychology, Spanish, and Native American Studies at UC Davis before completing UCSF’s advanced practice nursing program and earning her Master of Science (MS) degree in 2011. She has been a bilingual (Spanish/English) registered nurse and certified public health nurse since 2009, and a nationally-certified family nurse practitioner (FNP-C) since 2011.

Marisa’s lifelong passion for helping others—particularly the most underserved among us—led her into the nursing field where she has continued her mission to deliver high-quality care to those in need. While practicing family medicine for five years as a nurse practitioner—first at La Clínica de la Raza in Pittsburg, then at One Medical in Greenbrae—she treated a wide range of acute and chronic medical conditions and provided general health promotion and disease prevention services using a holistic, patient-centered, and evidence-based approach. By attending to the complex biopsychosocial needs of children, adolescents, adults, and seniors, she gained invaluable knowledge and skills that strengthened her foundation in nursing and prepared her for a variety of professional roles.

Prior to her work in primary care, Marisa spent two years volunteering at the Women’s Community Clinic in San Francisco where, as a nurse, she provided a range of reproductive health care services to vulnerable women and girls. That job—together with her previous experiences as a bereavement support group facilitator, teaching assistant, tutor, camp counselor, and international public health worker (Ecuador, Costa Rica)—taught her how to successfully educate, motivate, advocate for, and partner with diverse clients to overcome barriers to care and promote positive change.

After grappling with and healing from some serious health conditions of her own, Marisa began searching for a new career path—one that would enable her to use all of her strengths, including the lessons she has learned from her personal journey as a patient. This vision ultimately brought her to Serenity Knolls where, as part of the nursing team, she compassionately and diligently cares for clients undergoing medical detox while also attending to any physical or mental health concerns that arise during residential treatment.

Marisa believes the patient population at Serenity Knolls is wonderfully unique, and she stands in awe of each person who seeks rehabilitation and recovery services. She understands it takes an extraordinary amount of courage to ask for help—to abandon maladaptive coping mechanisms, form healthier habits, confront painful truths, and choose a new way forward. As someone who has done this work herself, Marisa knows how challenging it can be—and how worthwhile and liberating it is in the end. Everyone deserves to heal and grow—to find and cultivate an oasis of peace within themselves. And everyone can begin anew.

For Marisa, Serenity Knolls is a magical and hopeful place, and it is an honor to work there, doing what she does best: treating patients with kindness and respect; offering high-quality, safe, and individualized care; listening to and advocating for clients; and educating residents about self-care practices, medications, substance use disorders, and other medical conditions. She genuinely believes in each one of her patients, knowing that with the right tools, support, and motivation, anyone can recover.

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