January 18th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 3
Health Hub ahead of the curve in integrative medicine
Crowsnest Pass Herald Front Page
Anna Kroupina Photo
Top left to right: Curtis Stevens, Counsellor & Hypnotherapist; Shannon Burton, Receptionist & Nutritionist; Cara Bannick, Natural Health Practitioner; Sarah Nurcombe, Registered Massage Therapist; Tina Pedersen, Office Manager; Samantha Buckle, Administrative Assistant and Dr. Rita Wendrich, Traditional Chinese Doctor. Bottom left to right: Laura Rankine, Physiotherapist; Dr. Martha Rokeby-Thomas, Traditional Chinese Doctor; Dr. Sarah-Dash Arbuckle, Founder & Naturopathic Doctor and Kaylee Plewis, Receptionist.
Missing: Dr. Lindsey Paterson, Chiropractor; Cheryl Cann, Reiki Master; Warren Smith, Registered Massage Therapist and Kelsey Yeliga, Registered Social Worker & Counsellor
Pass Herald Reporter
After moving four times in 13 years, the Health Hub is decidedly very happy at its current location in Coleman along Highway 3.

“This has been my vision for 20-plus years,” says Dr. Sarah-Dash Arbuckle, naturopathic doctor and the Hub’s business owner, adding that business has quadrupled since the relocation from a basement space in Blairmore. “The highway has made the biggest difference for us. If the highway moves, I’ll probably rebuild and start again.”

The clinic and health food store offers the services of 11 accredited practitioners, the biggest team that Arbuckle has employed to date. Six treatment rooms are shared between physical and movement therapists, natural medicine professionals, mental and emotional therapists, and energetic and spiritual specialists.

But since moving to this location in March 2016, the Health Hub has shown that it’s more than just a clinic; it’s a wellness portal for patient-centered integrative medicine and healthy food options.

“That was my goal all along. I wanted a one-stop-drop for patients who wanted all those services,” says Arbuckle. “It’s the only hub of multiple practitioners with a multi-disciplinary clinic or team [in the region]. I really like this concept and I think none of us could survive on our own. The only way we can make this work is as a team.”
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A 2009 study published in Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing titled “Integrative medicine and patient-centered care” defines integrative medicine as having “a reaffirmation of the importance of the therapeutic relationship, a focus on the whole person and lifestyle—not just the physical body, a renewed attention to healing, and a willingness to use all appropriate therapeutic approaches whether they originate in conventional or alternative medicine.”

The study adds that “it comes from a growing recognition that high-tech medicine, although wildly successful in some areas, cannot address the growing epidemics of chronic diseases that are bankrupting the US domestic economy, and that health promotion and prevention are vital to creating a healthier society.”

Although complementary medicine has existed for thousands of years – and you’ve probably even employed it in some form –Arbuckle says that practitioners in this field still struggle to be viewed as legitimate, despite coming a long way in recent years.

“We’re finally recognized by the federal government,” she says. “We’re included in the health practitioner’s act now.”

For Arbuckle, however, this type of medical practice that integrates conventional and hollistic health care options to address health and healing is the way of the future.

“I love that we’re bridging the two,” she says. “We’re blending ancient folklore medicine with evidence-based, scientific validation. And we’re using lab data to validate the changes that our supplements make in people’s physiology. That’s so encouraging.”
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She adds that building a team of like-minded individuals that can work well is imperative to the success of the model. Luckily, that’s an area where Arbuckle isn’t struggling.

“We all play well in the playground. We coexist really well and it’s a fun place to work and brainstorm,” she says. “If we have a case we’re having difficulty solving, multiple heads are always better than one.”

Arbuckle highlights that everyone on her team is trained and certified, designated by their professional college and they all carry malpractice insurance. Validating her practice has unquestionably been Arbuckle’s biggest barrier in her business succeeding.

“Unless you know how rigorous our training is, a lot of people assume that we take weekend courses or that it’s online and that we don’t have really good accreditation, but we do,” she says. “We have certifying bodies, we have colleges that check and make sure that we’re fulfilling our protocols. We have to stay on top of research.”

Arbuckle herself trained for 10 years. She completed an Honours degree in psychology, wrote her thesis on midwifery care, considered studying various specialties in holistic medicine and complementary care until deciding on naturopathy. She then became certified as a naturopathic doctor with the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto.

“I had to work on cadavers,” she says. “I had to identify organs and nerves and muscles within a cadaver.”

The next hop for the Health Hub will be expansion, both in their practitioners, and the foodstuffs offered, like offering frozen food items that can’t be found at big-box grocery stores in the area.
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January 18th, 2017 ~ Vol. 87 No. 3
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