Saturday, August 18, 2012/lk
The divide between western medical practice and eastern health strategies may be a step closer to harmony with the opening of a new integrative medicine practice under the leadership of Erin Martin, D.O., M.P.H.
The newly opening TrueMed Institute, located at 506 Cascade Ave., will provide patients a combined perspective on healthcare, according to Martin. A visit to the new facility confirms this is no ordinary doctor’s office.
Take, for instance, the teaching kitchen placed at the center of the consultation rooms.
“Everything is connected. Our minds are not separated from our bodies,” said Martin in a recent interview on her practice philosophy. “I take a western approach and look at other approaches as well, including osteopathy, ayurvedic and Chinese medicine, acupuncture and naturopathy.”
Trained in a more “functional” western medicine model as a doctor of osteopathy, Martin hopes to expand on preventive interventions instead of simply treating diseases “downstream.” Martin had worked in Hood River before as a primary care provider with La Clinica Del Cariño.
“I just completed a two-year fellowship at the University of Arizona with the Center for Integrative Medicine, under the directorship of Dr. Andrew Weil,” said Martin. “It was amazing; life-changing and career-changing for me.”
According to Martin, this fellowship has led to new goals in her practice, including expanding the western practices beyond procedures and pharmaceuticals — including offering nutritional cooking classes in her office.
“I want to help patients become part of their own healthcare and take ownership of their care.”
Martin is joined in the new practice by her husband and business partner Casey Weeks, a certified health counselor, who will work with patients through nutritional and lifestyle counseling.
Working with other local primary care providers, Martin hopes to provide consultations to referred patients as well as for walk-in individuals. She hopes to serve patients with chronic disease as wells as high-performance athletes.
Reporting that her typical consultations with patients will involve initial meetings between 60-90 minutes, Martin sees her interventions as comprehensive across disciplines.
For the elite sports enthusiasts she and Weeks hope to assist, the focus will be on assessing body composition and targeting nutrition for high-intensity performance.
Weeks and Martin know a bit about that side of their practice on a personal level — both are triathletes themselves.
“In our culture, getting older is equated with getting sick,” said Martin. “I don’t believe the two are synonymous.”