By Janet Goetze
For the Hollywood Star News
Dr. Lori von der Heydt, a naturopathic physician, began her practice shortly after graduating from the National College of Natural Medicine.
Today, the clinic offers acupuncture, massage, counseling and an art therapist in addition to naturopathic medicine. Once referred to as “alternative medicine,” these disciplines are becoming accepted in integrated health care systems, said Dr. von der Heydt.
The independent practitioners working at Beaumont Health Care include Andrine de la Rocha, a licensed massage therapist who joined the clinic 16 years ago. Carla Welker a licensed social worker, arrived more than 10 years ago.
Jen Conjerti, a licensed acupuncturist, and Kyra Plume, a licensed massage therapist, each have been at the clinic for three years. Sally Giles, an art therapist who offers services one day each week, arrived earlier this year.
The clinic’s clients often tell her they appreciate the accessibility to their practitioner and the individualized care provided, said Dr. von der Heydt. For instance, patients are greeted by the practitioner because the clinic doesn’t have a receptionist. Dr. von der Heydt and de la Rocha do home visits when necessary.
“Being a multi-disciplinary clinic,” the doctor said, “collaboration is fostered, especially for complicated cases where many skills are necessary.”
In addition to patient care, Dr. von der Heydt and other practitioners have helped build community in the Beaumont-Wilshire area and they encourage reading.
The literary support comes from a pie safe in the clinic’s waiting area. The pie safe was built by von der Heydt’s father, but it doesn’t have dessert. It has free books of all varieties for the taking.
To support the community, Dr. von der Heydt was an early member of the Beaumont Business Association, and other clinic practitioners joined her and others in developing Fremont Fest.
“And we infused more life into the whole day by bringing in the first stages for local musicians and performers,” Dr. von der Heydt said.