Date: Thursday, September 10th
Time: 6:30 – 8:30 PM
Meet and greet: 6:30 – 7:00 pm
Interactive lecture and questions: 7:00 – 8:00 pm
Discussion among attendees: 8:00 – 8:30 pm
Group: Integrative Practitioners
Russ Greenfield, MD and I at Drumstrong
The Integrative Practitioner meetup group has been meeting since about 2006.
I started this group because I wanted to meet practitioners in the Charlotte area for referral purposes. I like to get to know other practitioners, learn what they do, and get a feel for their personality so I can appropriate referrals for the children and families with whom I work.
The group consists of medical doctors, PhD’s, registered nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, naturopathic doctors, chiropractic doctors, ayurvedic doctors, acupuncturists, homeopaths, vibration/acoustic therapists, massage therapists, religious leaders, energy healers, yoga teachers, writers, chefs, organic farmers, business executives, lawyers, and other practitioners interested in wellness.
The ultimate purpose of this group is to discuss various approaches to maintaining health, and/or optimizing health. We place a strong emphasis on evidence based methods of healing. We always welcome new members and input. Currently we meet at my office in Myers Park – Towers Office Building – 725 Providence Rd, Suite 208, Charlotte, NC 28207.
Healers and MDs Meet at Same Table
Charlotte Observer (North Carolina)
April 22, 2008
Written by Karen Garloch
“Over a sushi lunch in South End recently, I watched a health care network that gave me hope. A dozen Charlotte-area practitioners – including two pediatricians, a pediatric nurse, a homeopath, two naturopaths, an acupuncturist and a “core body healer” – talked about the need for more disease prevention and less “disease management.”
This group envisions a world where “integrative medicine” is the norm. Where practitioners recognize the importance of Western medicine’s surgery and drugs but also value Eastern medicine’s emphasis on energy balance, stress reduction, mindfulness and natural healing.
“Sooner or later it’s going to happen,” said Dr. Chris Magryta, a Salisbury pediatrician. Magryta is one of four Charlotte-area doctors who have completed fellowships with Dr. Andrew Weil, the world-renowned integrative medicine guru based at the University of Arizona.
(See Weil’s Web site: www.drweil.com.)
Others are Dr. Kathleen Russo, one of Magryta’s partners at Salisbury Pediatric Associates; Dr. Russell Greenfield, star of Harris Teeter’s TV ads about wellness; and Dr. Bridget Bongaard, of NorthEast Internal and Integrative Medicine in Concord.
Integrative medicine hasn’t had the best track record in the Charlotte-area. For example, Greenfield led Carolinas Integrative Health for five years until he resigned last year, frustrated by the slowness with which prevention and alternative therapies were being adopted by traditional medical practices. The center, owned by Carolinas HealthCare System, has since closed.
This private lunchtime gathering of holistic healers was pulled together by Dr. Sheila Kilbane, a Charlotte pediatrician who wanted to get to know more “alternative” practitioners. “If I’m going to refer people, I want to know who I’m referring to,” she said. Kilbane gave a talk about “traditional” allergy testing that led to a “non-traditional” discussion of dairy products.
Wanda Baker, a pediatric nurse, recalled how her youngest child’s eczema and colic disappeared within days after Baker, who was breast feeding, stopped drinking milk and eating dairy products. Heads nodded.
“By far, dairy is the biggest player,” said Matthews naturopath Michael Smith. “Dairy is a nightmare,” Magryta agreed.
Since completing his Weil fellowship, Magryta said, “I’ve changed my whole practice.” He spends more time teaching parents about good nutrition. And he recommends fish oil for its omega 3 fatty acids. “I’d love it if every kid took it every day.”
What was so inspiring was the respectful way in which the MDs and the non-MDs treated one another. Bring up alternative medicine with most docs, and you’ll see eyes roll.
But when homeopath Naomi Zeskind and acupuncturist Deleon Best said most of their allergy patients are able to stop taking drugs, the medical doctors at this lunch didn’t scoff.”