At Virginia Mason (Seattle, WA), East meets West as the medical center launches its integrative medicine service line that combines modern traditional medicine with the centuries-old wisdom of natural therapies to provide a balanced, holistic approach to good health.
The Center for Integrative Medicine at Virginia Mason has partnered with experts at the Bastyr Center for Natural Health to offer a variety of adjunct therapies on Virginia Mason’s main campus in the First Hill neighborhood of Seattle and at Virginia Mason Bainbridge Island Medical Center. These services now or soon will include:
- Advice on nutritional supplements
- Herbal therapy
- Diet modification
- Mind-body techniques such as mindfulness, guided imagery and visualization
- Naturopathic medicine
- Therapeutic massage
“Integrative medicine focuses on the whole person and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, health care professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing,” said Astrid Pujari, MD, medical director, integrative medicine. She is board-certified in both internal medicine and in integrative medicine and has extensive experience with integration of nutritional, herbal and mind-body therapies and Western medicine. Dr. Pujari has worked with Virginia Mason in Primary Care and in other capacities for the past 17 years.
“Integrative and naturopathic care, as well as acupuncture, have a long history of successfully treating many health conditions, from the common cold and flu to chronic conditions such as diabetes and hypertension,” added Jamey Wallace, ND, executive director of clinical training and chief medical officer at Bastyr Center. “Bastyr Center has been offering preventive and natural health for families in the Seattle area since 1980, and we are thrilled to be partnering with the Integrative Medicine team at Virginia Mason to expand the reach of our holistic care to their patients.”
As a medical specialty, the integrative medicine model of health and wellness brings together evidence-based conventional treatments and adjunct or complementary approaches, such as acupuncture, massage and naturopathy, in coordinated way to benefit patients. It emphasizes noninvasive treatment and the importance of a wellness-focused partnership between the patient and his or her primary care provider.
“At Virginia Mason, we’ve always understood the importance of caring for the whole person,” said Ingrid Gerbino, MD, chief, primary care. “The addition of the mind-body-spirit therapies of integrative medicine builds on that understanding and will elevate the quality of the overall patient experience. Our primary care providers look forward to coordinating care plans for their patients as appropriate with our integrative medicine providers.”
Virginia Mason plans to add integrative medicine at its Bellevue Medical Center in 2019.