Why are Primary Care Providers so Important by: Julie Foster Family Nurse Practitioner in Portland, Oregon

Why are Primary Care Providers so important?

Here are a few things that set PCP’s apart from other health care providers: Primary Care Provider’s are trained to treat the entire person, physically, mentally and emotionally. PCP provide healthcare for all ages, from infants to geriatrics.

PCP’s get to know their patients and their preferences. We make sure to keep your family situations and job pressures in mind when it comes to providing you well rounded health care.

Your PCP will build a trusting and lasting relationship with you, and work together with you to meet your goals.

At Pohala we have the best kind of PCP’s medicine offers:
Family Nurse Practitioners and Naturopathic Physicians 💼.

Together we have nearly 70 years of experience to manage all your health care needs.

Schedule with any of us!
Julie Foster FNP
Donna London FNP
Vera Vos FNP
Lisa Del Alba ND
Paresh Shelat ND

Call (503) 572-4196

We want to get to know you!
DO NOT FACE YOUR LIFE CHALLENGES ALONE.

Donna London Family Nurse Practitioner in Portland, Oregon

 

Donna London MSN, FNP-BC is a Board-Certified Family Nurse Practitioner originally from the Midwest where she obtained her undergraduate degrees in nursing and healthcare administration (1988 and 1998 respectively).

Her desire to become an advanced practice nurse developed as a result of her growing knowledge that there were thousands of Americans who didn’t have access to basic healthcare services, due to a shortage of primary care providers. It was at that time that she felt a deep responsibility to be part of the solution to fill the gap in underserved areas and for those patients who lack access to quality health care. 

Donna later attended Oregon Health and Science University’s RN to BS nursing program where she graduated summa cum laude. She continued on to get her master’s degree in Maryville University’s Family Nurse Practitioner program. 

Donna enjoys partnering with patients to meet their wellness goals including preventive care, managing chronic diseases, women’s health, men’s health and well child checks and sports physicals.

While she enjoys working with a variety of patients and health care issues, she especially enjoys working with perimenopause and menopausal women, successfully assisting them as they begin to transition from one stage of life to another one. She believes this can be a transformative and exciting period in the lives of women…if an individualized approach to managing their physical and psychological needs are addressed.   

Donna provides an integrative approach to patient care, combining traditional/conventional and alternative/complementary as appropriate. Following a patient centered care model, she is committed to providing care that is respectful of individual patient preferences, needs and values.

She has a passion for helping her patients achieve their wellness goals and believes a life well lived involves developing and maintaining a healthy mind, body and soul…regardless of the state of health or “illness” a patient is in. 

In her spare time, Donna enjoys traveling, singing jazz, home decorating and spending time with loved ones. 

 

Please contact Pohala Clinic to visit Donna London.

Chronic Pain Management with Julie Foster Nurse Practitioner in Portland, Oregon

Pohala Clinic Client Julie A. Fast talks about working with Julie Foster for chronic pain management help.

“Managing chronic pain is more than medications. It’s about lifestyle changes and helping a person find natural ways to exercise and work with the pain in order to have a functional life.” 

 

I’ve worked with nurse practitioner Julie Foster as my primary care physician in Portland, Oregon for over ten years. During this time, she has helped me through a variety of sport related injuries that eventually led to a problem with chronic pain.  With her help, I have regular body treatments from various processionals,  have worked on my diet and eventually got my pain under control.  Julie’s advice is always specific. We talk about sleep and natural treatments. We use homeopathic remedies and acupuncture and well.

 

She reminds me that what I put in my body will be reflected in how my body responds to injuries. I know this and am working on it daily.

I want to share my story with others who are looking for help with chronic pain so that they can hopefully work with Julie in finding a plan that works in all areas of life.

Chronic pain is with me daily. I know that without my own way of dealing with the ups and downs of energy I experience depending on my pain levels, I will have a tough time in life.

 

Do You Need Help with Chronic Pain? 

We all need a plan to help us get on with life, even when the pain makes it difficult to get out of bed. I consider myself half way through this journey of getting my body back to where it was before I had my biking accident. This is something I love about working with Julie Foster. She gives me time. There is no judgement when I tell her I’m still having trouble with sugar and there is always a celebration when I am able to better follow her advice. Her patience with me has allowed me to find help for chronic pain that got me out of my special anti gravity chair and back in the world.

 

Julie taught me that chronic pain can have a life of its own. I need to be aware of what is real in my body and what is being created by my overloaded brain.  Julie often says, “The body and mind often trade off. The mind gives us trouble and when we have this figured out, the body then sends us a message that there is still more work to do. Eventually, balance happens when the mind and the body are healthy at the same time.”

 

This is my goal. Julie allows me to be human.  When I am not able to follow the diet in a way that I know will help, she reminds me that the next day is another chance to make better choices. This has allowed me to learn more about what I need. My weight has stabilized and I am now working on finding an eating plan that helps with the pain in general. This includes the following:

 

  1. Night shades such as tomatoes and chili peppers cause an immediate flare in my body. Stopping my favorite Mexican and Thai dishes has not been easy, but for now, I am very conscious of my night shade intake and it is helping greatly.

2. Movement. Chronic pains tells us that we can’t move. This is rarely the case. Even someone like myself with multiple injuries can move.

3.  White sugar.  Julie once said to me, “Julie, the fat that is created on the body from sugar consumption becomes its own organ. It can become yet another source of pain.”  When I am free from white sugar, even for a week, my pain levels go down greatly.

4. Medication pain management.  My goal is to be pain medication free.  To do this, I continue to work with Julie and the other practitioners in my life who are helping me change my diet and work on my specific injuries.

Without Julie, this would be too overwhelming. With her, I am reminded that I can get my body healthy again. It takes a team and Julie is an important part of that team.

 

 

Julie A. Fast

 

To book a time with Julie Foster or one of our Pohala Practitioners, please call the Pohala Clinic and let the receptionist know that Julie A. Fast referred you!

 

The Creatures that Live in Our Bodies from Vera Vos, Family Nurse Practitioner

Vera Voss

by Vera Vos

One of the most fascinating and significant biological discoveries of this century is that we are not alone in our bodies.

Human bodies are made up of approximately 37.2 trillion cells. There is an estimated 100 trillion microorganisms (single celled creatures) that live on and within us, about 3 times more cells than our own bodies! Whole ecosystems of microorganisms live in every part of our body – skin, brain, liver, lungs, etc. The ecosystem that gets most talked about is our gut microbiome (the collection of microorganisms that inhabit our gut), which when all dumped together on a scale weighs about 2 Kg and consists of at least 1,000 species of bacteria, not to mention viruses, fungi, protozoa and archaea. Two thirds of our gut microbiome is unique to us as an individual, like our finger print.

Why is this such a big deal? We still have lots to learn but all the microorganisms in our body and, maybe, especially our gut microbiome have a huge influence on our health. They are major contributors to digestion and largely responsible for extracting nutrients from food. They spearhead the production of certain vitamins like B and K and play a major role in immune function. The surprising thing is how much influence they have on today’s most common disease processes.

Due to changes in our food supply and other factors, certain strains of microorganisms are increasingly common in the human gut and may be associated with weight gain and obesity, cancers, autoimmune disorders, and mental health, especially depression, anxiety and autism.

Considering obesity is associated with increased risk for heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some cancers, arthritits, and many other chronic diseases, the unique make-up of our own gut microbiome is very significant to our health.

So how do we maximize the health of our gut microbiome, and, coincidentally our own health? Obviously eating a healthy diet is most important. I recommend 70-80% or more of our diet be whole plants – vegetables, fruits, legumes, nuts, seeds and whole grains. Buying organic, local and seasonal or growing your own is probably best and adding lots of fresh herbs and spices, wild mushrooms and fermented foods creates a favorable gut environment for healthy microbes. There are more non-gluten grains available than ever before and sprouted, organic wheat products may be tolerable for those sensitive to wheat gluten.

If you would like to learn a whole lot more about how our microbiome influences our health and how to cultivate a microbiome that helps us thrive, check out the program below:

Click here to watch a video on how we are interconnected and the power we have to heal from within.

Please call our Pohala office if you would like to make an appointment to talk about gut health.

Vera

Julie Foster Accepts Executive Committee Chair Position for the Nurse Practitioners of Oregon / Independent Practice Business Owners Group

A note from Nurse Practitioner Julie Foster:

I accepted the Executive Committee Chair position for Nurse Practitioners of Oregon / Independent Practice Business Owners (‘Wow, that is a mouthful) this month.

With our difficult to navigate healthcare system in the United States,  I am passionate about practicing medicine that is personalized and humane. Being in private practice and owning my business for 12 yrs has allowed for freedom around this process. All of the providers at Pohala are also independent providers.

Collectively we share the vision of a healthy planet with healthy people.

When I went out on my own,  I answered an inner calling  and found myself in the position of being a health care provider and an entrepreneur. Many nurse practitioners and natural providers are also in the business of medicine. 

I have learned and grown endlessly. I love medicine and discovering all the ways we HEAL as individuals and as the collective.

Nurse Practitioners are smart, emotionally strong and as warmhearted as needed during the most wrenching life events for those we serve.

This new position with the Nurse Practitioners of Oregon / Independent Practice Business Owners Group allows me to stay in touch with the changes in our health care world.  It is my goal to give back to the community and work with fellow nurse practitioners to create healthy individuals and communities empowered to live into their purpose.

🌺

Julie 

Portland Family Nurse Practitioner Vera Vos on Science, Medicine and Spirituality

Vera Voss

Vera Vos, a family nurse practitioner at Pohala Clinic talks about the intersection between spirituality and medicine. 

I am passionate about science. I love how science requires us to be rational and unbiased and I am always amazed how perfect science is, like the symmetry of shapes that repeat themselves in patterns in animals, plants, and the landscape. The language of science is mathematics and when we can figure out the right numbers, so much is explained. At the same time I value my spiritual side. We think that science and spirituality are divergent but most often they come full circle to join each other.

I did a course in mind body medicine at Harvard with Herbert Benson, one of the pioneer researchers to discover the physiological benefits of meditation. Since that time, I have had my own meditation practice. This practice helps me listen better and empathize with others.

I think my love and respect for science coupled with a practice that requires me to stop judging, valuing and, essentially, thinking and just be in the moment helps me gain a deeper understanding of my clients physically, emotionally and spiritually.

Please visit our Pohala Clinic contact page to book an appointment with Dr. Vera Vos.

Family Nurse Practitioner Vera Vos in Portland, Oregon Shares her Journey

Vera Voss

We love the diversity of our practitioners at Pohala Clinic.  The goal is to provide a variety of integrative and functional medicine practitioners who offer specific talents in order to fit individual client needs.

In this post,  Vera Vos talks about her path to becoming a family nurse practitioner in Portland, Oregon, her medical philosophy and how she approaches her work with new clients.  The compassion and enthusiasm Vera shows with all of her clients shines through when she talks bout her practice.

A Journey from Research Biologist to Family Nurse Practitioner

Before becoming a nurse practitioner, I was a research biologist doing field biology to determine health of animal populations. I found that disease and decreasing populations of animal species was always related to the health of their environment. After becoming a mother and experiencing first hand how human infants are so much like any other infant in the wild, I had an epiphany. We are like all other animals in that our health is also very much related to our environment. At that point diabetes and heart disease were on the rise as well as mental health problems.

I was passionate about helping people understand how our human culture and environment in many ways sabotages health (bad food, lack of movement, distractions, etc) and how to change personal habits to overcome those obstacles.

How Dr. Vos Works with New Clients at Pohala Clinic 

The first time I see someone, I like to listen to what they have to tell me. Of course I ask about past medical history, medications, etc, but mostly I ask them what they value about their own health and what they would like to change. Beyond physical health we talk about challenges and rewards in their personal lives related to family, social group and work as well as what brings them pleasure and what is difficult. I really get to know clients that way and this helps me see the bigger picture besides just their pathophysiology.

Views on Western and Easter Medicine

I don’t think of it as one vs the other. There are things to be learned and appreciated in both. I think the problems in western medicine stem from the stranglehold of financial stakeholders, not from the science itself. It’s the stakeholders that have preempted everything except pharmaceuticals and surgery to solve dis-ease. Unfortunately, this bias has resulted in managing disease instead of targeting and eliminating causes. Eastern medicine offers more options, but the emphasis is still on medicinals, usually plant based.

I have learned that most of what ails us comes from the outside. There is nothing wrong with us as human organisms. In fact, the more I learn about human biology and physiology (and we are not even close to knowing everything) the more amazed I am at the perfection of us. My goal is to use the best that I know of both western and eastern medicine coupled with mindfulness to quiet the “monkey” mind to help clients structure their lives to promote health and happiness.

When it comes to patients, I like all kinds of people of all ages. That’s why I’m a Family Nurse Practitioner. I love seeing kids because there is so much potential there to support healthy growth. But I also really like adults, both men and women as we work through issues together over time.

Vera Vos Hours at Pohala Clinic 

Monday and Tuesday all day and specific Friday mornings by appointment.

Please visit our Pohala Clinic Contact page to book an apportionment with Dr. Vera Vos.