The healthcare world is changing right before our eyes. That change is evident, even right here in Jefferson City! We are excited to take a deeper look into Integrative Medicine, Direct Primary Care and CBD by talking to three business owners directly responsible for evolving healthcare in our community.
Dr. Jennifer Su, MD, FACOG
Whole Health JC
2712 Plaza Dr, Jefferson City
Dr. Su practices integrative gynecology in a direct patient care micro-practice model of medicine. She is a co-owner with her husband Dr. John Lucio, DO, FACHE of Whole Health JC, Inc.
What is integrative medicine?
Oftentimes people know about “holistic,” “complementary,” “natural” and “alternative” medicine, but they don’t know what “integrative medicine” is. Integrative medicine requires traditional allopathic medical training that combines not only holistic and alternative medicine tools but also medical knowledge from many other medical trainings some of which are chiropractic, Ayruvedic, and Eastern medicine. And all of this is evidence-based medicine.
It is so fulfilling to see patients take control of their health by getting the tools they need to be in control of their health and wellness and to help their other doctors have successful prevention, resolution or stabilization of their high blood pressure, anxiety, diabetes, infertility, reflux, dementia, etc.
Why did you choose integrative medicine over traditional medicine?
After being in practice for 20 years, I was like a lot of physicians that noticed that patients are not satisfied with their health. They leave our offices with the same unspoken worries: “I don’t want to get Alzheimer’s Disease like Mom.” “I am so afraid to get cancer like my brother.” “I wish I didn’t have to take my anxiety pill.” They may have been given a good checkup or been told that they don’t have cancer, but they don’t leave with any tools to help themselves be a whole person. They usually feel frustrated because another medication has been prescribed, or they feel rushed and aren’t given any practical tools to help themselves keep from getting sick again.
After my second year in a row of having debilitating arthritis, two hospital visits for pneumonia and developing an irregular heart rhythm, I went to see Dr. Chris Link. (Since my cardiologist and primary care doctors found nothing serious with me, I thought that Dr. Link would be a good next step to see why at the age of 45, I felt so very old). He discovered that I had severe allergies to gluten and kidney beans and was deficient in several vitamins. Within one week, I felt 100% better. In fact, after the next visit, I didn’t even need to see him anymore. A couple of months later, my husband told me that Dr. Link had graduated from the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine (now known as the “Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine”) and that we could apply to get in. We both applied, were accepted and graduated together with the spring Class of 2019.
Is integrative medicine a growing medical model in the U.S?
It is definitely growing in the U.S. Since the inception of the Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine in 2004, it has grown into a huge international community of skillfully trained integrative physicians and allied health professionals. Our founder, Dr. Andrew Weil has a hope is that in the future: ALL medicine will be “integrative.”
DIRECT PRIMARY CARE
Dr. Jeff Teeter, DO
Titan Health: Direct Primary Care
3121 Emerald Ln., Ste. 800, Jefferson City
Dr. Jeff Teeter is the first physician in Jefferson City to bring direct primary care to the community.
What is direct primary care?
Direct primary care, or DPC, is an affordable healthcare option where patients pay their physician directly, without the need to send claims to insurance providers. This is in stark contrast to traditional fee-for-service practices that hope insurance companies will reimburse for the services physicians provide to patients. It also takes out the guesswork for the patient, questioning if insurance will cover something or “allow” them to receive the care they deserve. With DPC, you simply pay a monthly membership fee that provides you with direct access to your physician, and easily accessible care the moment you need it, not 6 months down the road.
What made you want to begin your own direct primary care clinic?
After a year of general practice in Florida and two years of residency-based practice through Capital Region, I began to see just how broken our healthcare system is, for all parties involved. I grew tired of the ever-escalating documentation requirements and ever-growing need to see more and more patients in a day for the exact same compensation. This is not only unfair to the physician. It isn’t fair to the patient who only gets to see their doctor for 5 to 10 minutes, because they have to go on to see 30 other patients in order to keep the practice alive. That isn’t quality health care! That doesn’t give you enough time to breathe, let alone weigh in and think about your patient’s disease process.
I first heard about direct primary care while in medical school and honestly didn’t give it a second thought. At that point, I was still naive to the true workload and paperwork required to run an effective medical practice. I thought: “Insurance is just the way it’s done. Why buck the system?” As I learned the reality of the situation and became fed up with it, I started doing more research about DPC. During this research, I ran across a DPC practice run by Dr. Josh Umbehr called Atlas MD. I decided to reach out to him with my questions and he invited me to visit his practice in Wichita for a day. I was blown away by the quality of care and the relaxed nature between him and his patients. At that point, I was hooked and started navigating the legal and start up requirements to begin my own DPC practice! Thus, was born Titan Health: Direct Primary Care!
Is direct primary care a growing medical model in the U.S.?
Yes. As you well know, people are getting fed up with rising health care costs, unchecked inflation on medication prices, and insurance companies that are charging more and more while covering less and less. Because of this, not only are patients looking for alternative ways to obtain quality medical care, doctors are looking for alternative ways to practice medicine. For these reasons, there has been a surge of DPC practices opening around the United States and patients are flocking to their doors. As this model gains popularity in new areas, such as Jefferson City, more and more individuals see the value of a DPC practice and seek it out instead of traditional clinics or hospital-based practices.
3702 W. Truman Blvd., Ste. 200, Jefferson City
In 2018, Congress legalized hemp, which also includes products like CBD. American Shaman is among one of the first CBD retailers to open in Jefferson City.
Why did you decide to start your own CBD business?
Our family discovered CBD while dealing with our own health problems. My dad, Charlie Pingleton, wanted to get a Harley and ride to every state, but his wrists and hands hurt. He eventually came across CBD and he has had amazing results with it. I also found relief from my fibromyalgia through CBD.
How fast is the CBD trend growing trend in the U.S.?
CBD is a fast-growing industry, mostly due to the fact that people are wanting a more natural form of pain relief. We consistently receive doctor referrals and even have doctors as customers.
What does the future of CBD look like?
We hope that CBD can become regulated so people can know exactly the ingredients in what they’re taking. American Shaman is 3rd party tested, which further verifies its status as being a safe and high-quality product. We have customers that had been buying what they thought was “CBD” on Amazon and learned from us that Amazon’s policy prohibits the sale of CBD, so what they had actually received was likely hemp oil. So, CBD regulation is very important to us.
What ailments does CBD treat?
We have customers that come in looking for CBD for all different needs like PTSD, ADHD, high blood pressure, neuropathy, arthritis, anxiety, migraines and tobacco addiction. We try to provide a large selection of products that can fit into anyone’s budget and lifestyle. We sell tinctures, lotions, and even bath bombs. We carry products appropriate for people who are just discovering CBD and also for the long-time user.
We’re also excited to start carrying products made not only from CBN but also CBG, the mother cannabinoid. At American Shaman, we use nanotechnology, which makes the CBD very small so your body can absorb it better and you won’t need to take as much.