RMH has launched an integrative medicine practice in Harrisonburg, offering a unique approach to primary care that combines traditional and non-traditional medicine and therapies.
RMH Integrative Medicine, located at 1931 Medical Avenue, is a primary care practice with an enhanced focus on wellness and prevention.
“What makes this practice unique is our ability to use the best of conventional and complementary therapies to address the patient’s healthcare needs,” explained John Wenger, D.O.
, the principal provider for the practice.
Complementary therapies may include osteopathic manipulation, acupuncture, mind-body therapies, massage, guided imagery and yoga. Community practitioners of these types of therapies will serve as resources, said Dr Wenger.
“Our community offers a wealth of expertise in complementary therapies, and we will offer our patients options that already exist in our community rather than try to duplicate them,” Dr. Wenger explained.
The practice will serve as a resource to other community healthcare providers as well.
“Many patients and their primary care physicians are interested in how integrative medicine can improve patient outcomes,” explained Kay Harrison, vice president, Business Development for RMH. “This practice will not only provide primary care services to patients who select Dr. Wenger as their provider, but will also serve as a resource to the local medical community on integrative medicine options. There is a lot of interest in these modalities, and our patients and medical staff have been supportive and interested in how we can further address this.”
Dr. Wenger joined the RMH Medical Staff in 2009 and was in practice with RMH South Main Health Center
before deciding to join RMH Integrative Medicine. He graduated from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his internship and residency at Altoona Hospital Center for Medicine in Altoona, Pa. He is board-certified in family medicine.
“When I chose to pursue a career in medicine, I was drawn to the philosophy of osteopathic medical training as it brought something extra to the practice of medicine,” he noted. “Osteopathic physicians are trained to practice a ‘whole person’ approach to medicine, treating the entire person rather than just the symptoms.”
His interest in integrative medicine developed through his interactions with the Ohio State University Center for Integrative Medicine during his years as a family physician in Ohio. After moving to Harrisonburg, he chose to pursue formal training in integrative medicine. In 2012 he completed a two-year fellowship in integrative medicine with the University of Arizona.
“I learned about nutritional health, botanicals and dietary supplements, mind-body medicine, and complementary and alternative practices,” he said. He also learned integrative approaches to women’s and men’s health, pediatrics, mental health, gastrointestinal disorders, cardiovascular disease, respiratory, cancer, and much more.
A key aspect of integrative medicine is the physician-patient partnership, Dr. Wenger said. “I believe that patient and practitioner are partners in the healing process. We take into account all the factors that influence health, wellness and disease, including mind, spirit, body and community.”
Services offered in the practice include treatment of acute and chronic conditions, nutrition counseling and the development of individualized treatment plans. Treatment plans include comprehensive wellness exams and consultative visits to help patients achieve their wellness goals.
“An important defining principle in integrative medicine for patients to be aware of is that responsibility for wellness and disease prevention falls largely on the individual,” Dr. Wenger emphasized. “The healthcare provider is a partner in that process, and working together, healing can be achieved.”
RMH Integrative Medicine represents an innovative approach to patient care that meets an identified community need, say hospital officials.
“RMH is proud to support this leading-edge clinic and the new spectrum of care that Dr. Wenger brings to our community,” said John McGowan, president of the RMH Medical Group. “Integrative medicine's approach to care delivery involves every aspect of a person's health: physical, spiritual and emotional. It uses a balanced combination of traditional interventions and evidence-based complementary therapies. This personal level of care has been shown to provide beneficial effects on specific disease conditions and overall wellness and longevity.”
RMH Integrative Medicine is open 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. The office is closed daily from 12:30-1:00 p.m. To schedule an appointment, call 540-564-5400.