A native to northern California, Marcia Wertz is the married mother of three children. Marcia received her BSN degree in 1982 from the University of San Francisco. Specializing in the care of neonates, Marcia spent her first 12 years in nursing in the Intensive Care Nursery at UCSF, expanding her role as charge nurse, emergency transport nurse, and preceptor. It was in the ICN that Marcia first conducted a clinical research study and published its results. Pediatric clinical research then became the focus of her nursing career.
Marcia received her Masters degree in clinical research management from the UCSF School of Nursing in 1999, after which she managed the Stanford University site for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation's Therapeutics Development Network. Certification as a Clinical Research Coordinator by the Association of Clinical Research Professionals followed in 2002. At this time Marcia returned to UCSF to manage the Glaser Pediatric Research Network site, where she coordinated several medical studies in a variety of pediatric disciplines, one of which concerned overweight adolescents.
Seeing the rising obesity problem as an outward sign of policy failure and wanting to help work toward a solution, Marcia began doctoral studies in Nursing: Health Policy, at UCSF in 2004, focusing on the issue of adolescent overweight.
Marcia is a UCSF Graduate Division Health Sciences fellow. She is a doctoral student representative and the newsletter editor for Sigma Theta Tau - Alpha Eta Chapter. She is a member of the American Nurses Association. As the 2007 recipient of the Miriam M. Powell and NEF General Fund scholarship, Marcia will continue her studies at UCSF. Over the next year Marcia plans to embark on her dissertation research: a qualitative study of the factors contributing to overweight among teenagers, within the context of family and high school environments in which they dwell.