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Featured Forum Comment: Christy Lee-Engel, ND, LAc on Collaboration in Clinics PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Weeks   

Forum Feature: Christy Lee-Engel, ND, LAc on How to Make a Center Truly Collaborative

Christy Lee-Engel, ND, LAc has been part of one of the Seattle area's most significant
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Christy Lee-Engel, ND, LAc
  integrated clinic and collaborative care ventures, One Sky Medicine. The hard-knocks of making that initial financial model work led to a realignment of much of this collaborative group as One Sky Wellness Associates where Lee-Engel currently practices.

Lee-Engel is also a Bastyr University faculty member and is providing leadership in their highly regarded summer CAM Camp, through which MD, DO and nursing students are given a month-long intensive in CAM. Lee-Engel responded to the IBN&R Forum question, posed by "Sophie," regarding experience in researching and fostering collaboration in an integrative clinic setting.
 


"You wrote:

'... but I also think that attitude and the more micro-level analysis might be more useful at uncovering what is going on, and what should be going on, and how can we make it happen so that this centre is truly integrative.'

"I don't have any good theory advice for you, but from the 'micro level' of personal experience I can whole-heartedly second the emphasis on 'relationship, relationship, relationship' as the foundation of healthy integrative care.


"I can whole-heartedly second
the emphasis
on 'relationship,
relationship, relationship'
as
the foundation of healthy
integrative care."
 

  
"The clinic I am part of has a similar mix of disciplines as the one you propose to study. Ours also has a level 'point of entry' field - that is, the NDs and MDs are not gatekeepers, and patients enter in through their relationship with any of the care practitioners.

"Some patients work with only one of us, but many patients see two or more of us (varying combos: MD, ND, DC; or LAc, psychotherapist, ND, etc.). For us it has been so helpful and even essential that we spend a lot of time talking to and learning from each other (and from our patients, too, of course). We share office space and all the practitioners meet regularly together once a month (and irregularly at all kinds of times).

"We also consider the relationship aspect between patients and admin staff (reception and billing) to be a crucial part of the experience of healing -- every relationship in the place has the capacity for harm or healing, just like in the rest of the world!


"Like learning more than one language,
putting some rigorous study time into
  more than one discipline enlarges one's  
way of seeing the world and increases
one's respect for other views."
 

"It also turns out that a number of us are cross-trained and identify with more than one discipline in some way. (I'm an ND-LAc, my partners include a DC-LMP, an MD-acupuncturist, an MD trained in shamanic practice and naturopathic medicine ...) I think that, like learning more than one language, putting some rigorous study time into more than one discipline enlarges one's way of seeing the world and increases one's respect for other views.

"Good luck to you!"

Christy Lee-Engel, ND, LAc
One Sky Wellness Associates
Seattle, Wa
http://www.oneskywellness.com 

Note: Lee-Engel's clinic is looking for a "compatible MD." Asked what that means, she said: "Someone who will love us and who we can love back." Check the website and if interested, contact Christy at


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