This surgeon would prefer not cutting you | ParkRecord.com
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This surgeon would prefer not cutting you

by Andrew Kirk, OF THE RECORD STAFF

Dr. Thomas Rosenberg, of the acclaimed Rosenberg Cooley Metcalf orthopedic clinic says he doesn’t have a doctor of his own. There’s no one he goes to with aches and pains to write a prescription. He’s sold on the idea of preventative medicine.

Staying healthy is a fraction of the cost of seeking medical care for problems that could have been avoided. Furthermore, the current system of medicine is unsustainable and will soon go bankrupt, he said. Real health reform in this country will require an emphasis on preventative medicine.

He said he is doing his part by operating ProHealth Lab at the Park City Medical Center, a new specialty clinic offering a holistic approach to health.

After all, the original vision of the Summit County Health Foundation a decade ago was to create a health campus at Quinn’s Junction, not a "sickness campus," he said.

This is a healthy community that cares about wellness. Intermountain Healthcare (IHC) is also committed to that goal, so what better place to begin a revolution in treatment? he asked.

ProHealth Lab, which is a not-for-profit entity separate from IHC but leasing 1,400 square feet within the hospital, has a goal to "empower each individual to realize his or her optimal health."

It does this through three approaches: surveys, tests and physical evaluations. This information will be converted into a "ProHealth 100 Score."

The survey evaluates lifestyle. Blood tests can check for nutritional deficiencies and other problems; one called the hsCRP test can measure inflammation in the body. Most problems from heart failure to joint soreness are caused by inflammation. The hsCRP test can tell patients if they’re at a healthy level, explained physicians assistant John-David Ethington.

Lastly, the physical tests measure height, weight, blood pressure, pulse, body mass index waist circumference, skin folds, breathing, strength and flexibility.

Armed with this information, patients can go about solving their own health problems with a holistic approach, Rosenberg explained.

It’s not uncommon for a physician to tell a person they need to lose 30 pounds and lower their cholesterol. People can leave the appointment feeling lost and hopeless. The holistic approach of the ProHealth Lab can be that connection from realizing there’s a problem, to engaging a solution, explained Emily Fisher with the clinic.

For that reason, ProHealth Lab isn’t interested in offering professional Yoga classes there are plenty of people in the community to do that. They’re interested in helping patients see what Yoga can do for them, she said.

Rosenberg became interested in prevention when he noticed drastic differences in the tissues of his patients while performing knee surgery. He saw 60-year-olds with the bodies of 40-year-olds and 60-year-olds with the bodies of 80-year-olds, she said.

Even though wellness treatments have little in common with orthopedic surgery, the differences in patients’ health fascinated him enough that he became an expert in holistic treatment as well, Fisher said.

Ethington added that the clinic is about taking a realistic view of what needs to be done for better wellness.

"We all know what we need to be doing, but we forget," he said. "This is for anybody interested in their own health."

According to Fisher, Rosenberg has created a prototype that they hope will be modeled after. He’s not interested in creating franchises.

"Many things in health care are a business; that doesn’t motivate me," Rosenberg said. "I want to do whatever it takes to shift to a preventative-health paradigm."

Rosenberg said ProHealth Lab is about more than promoting wellness, it’s about self determinism.

"Can you separate health from freedom?" he asked. "You should have the freedom to be optimally alive."


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