About the “Functional Medicine PA”

I am a Physician Assistant/Associate who started working in the field of functional/integrative medicine in 2003, but grew up receiving care from an integrative doctor (who I eventually worked for prior to becoming a PA-C).  I have training from over 15 organizations in this “specialty”, and am an IFM Certified Practitioner.

Like many in functional/integrative medicine, I have had my own health challenges that mainstream medicine couldn’t address well, including thyroid autoimmunity, women’s health challenges, GI issues, and environmental illnesses.  However, I do not attribute supplements or dietary changes as what have been the game changers in improving my health, and it is a continued journey to find ways to address stress (my biggest flare-trigger), support sleep, and address other factors that impact health.

I currently practice functional medicine through Parsley Health.   As a PA-C, I’ve worked with various start-up clinics that focused on diabetes and metabolic syndrome, lifestyle medicine, and corporate wellness.  After working with an established functional medicine clinic in Austin, I realized there was a need for high quality, cost-effective care.  I was frustrated with the over-reliance on supplements, expensive unvalidated testing, and the lack of good evidence-based medicine.   I couldn’t find any place like this, so I started my own clinic at the beginning of 2019 .

In December 2020, despite a successful practice, I hit burnout as a business owner.   My decision to join Parsley Health was solidified when I learned that they not only focus on a less-is-more approach and making functional medicine more affordable, but they also utilize health coaches to help patients have an accountability partner to implement treatment recommendations.

I can address most symptoms/conditions, but I particularly enjoy focusing on what I call the G.A.M.E. changers (Gut, Autoimmunity, Mitochondria, Environmental), helping those with unrelenting fatigue, anxiety, insomnia, gut issues, and “brain fog”.  When I’m not seeing patients, I’m reading articles on PubMed (yes, I’m a geek!), working on creative ways to support my patients (blog writing, videos, etc), managing a private Facebook group exclusively for PAs and NPs (PAs and NPs in Functional/Integrative Medicine), learning carpentry and gardening, and taking walks with my dog Lu.

I believe Functional Medicine goes beyond its definition of the pursuit of the root-cause of disease.  Functional Medicine is “smart” medicine that involves using cutting-edge resources in a personalized approach, while forming a partnership with people to get to truly know a patient and what is driving health.  I work with patients to seek and find the sources of dis-ease, to create health through medical wisdom, empathy, and dedication.

In my experience, food and lifestyle are the foundations of optimal health.  If someone does not share this belief, it is very difficult to truly help.  Food can be used as medicine, but when the body is afflicted with something that food cannot fix, we need to treat the cause. This is why functional medicine is so great – we have access to up-to-date scientific information to find the causes, and utilize prescription medications, herbs, supplements and more for treatment.  My years of professional and personal experiences have taught me that infections and toxins are often at the source of an illness in about 25% of our population.  As a result, I focus on thoroughly evaluating the gut and optimizing pathways of detoxification, and am passionate about helping people who have been told they are “unlucky” or that they are “just getting older”.

I want to make a difference in the world of medicine, and I do this by inspiring and educating people on how to thrive.  I hope my work in the clinic and outside of the clinic is contributing to the development of a world where everyone can understand that attaining great health is more than pills and procedures.  Being healthy involves effort – health is a journey, not a destination.  My wish is that everyone can experience great health and happiness.