February, 2013 |
Paradigm Health Group
Leaders in innovation
By: Angela MacNeil, MSc, ND
IHP is proud to introduce Paradigm Health Group, a 2000 square foot integrative medicine clinic in Calgary, Alberta. Dr. Jason Ahlan and Dr. Trevor Hoffman founded Paradigm after working together at the Integrative Medicine Institute of Canada (IMI), a collaboration amongst medical doctors, naturopathic doctors, dentists, and other healthcare professionals. When IMI closed its doors in 2007, these highly enthusiastic naturopathic doctors opened Paradigm with the vision that “by doing what we love, taking care of our patients one at a time, we can translate that to a positive experience for all.”
Dr. Ahlan and Dr. Hoffman recognized that successful individual naturopathic practices can be extremely difficult to establish. Believing that “there is power in numbers”, they opted to build a strong medical practice comprised of six naturopathic doctors with different backgrounds, strengths, and specialities, who are each held to the same level of excellence. Paradigm offers comprehensive care to patients that strongly consists of in-house cross-referrals. In an attempt to provide patients with the best care possible, Paradigm realizes that practitioners must sometimes acknowledge when another practitioner can provide superior care, especially considering the broad range of services offered, including prolotherapy, photoactivated platelet rich plasma injection therapies, nutrient IVs, chelation therapy, ozone therapy, ultraviolet blood irradiation, neural therapy, and mesotherapy. On the horizon, services offered will also include ultrasound guided injection therapies and adipose derived stem cell therapies. Numerous programs are offered that address stress, sleep, cancer, sports medicine and performance enhancement, pain management, autoimmunity, Firstline Therapy (FLT), allergies/sensitivities and related disorders, and detoxification. Detailed descriptions of these services and programs can be found on Paradigm’s website (http://www.paradigmhealth.ca). Paradigm strives to offer a wide variety of therapies in an effort to address numerous patient needs.
In addition to the naturopathic doctors, the clinic boasts an amazing network of 15 in-house/affiliated medical doctors with different specialities, and a broad referral network that includes chiropractors, massage therapists, physiotherapists, and holistic nutritionists. This network has contributed immensely to Paradigm’s success and the practitioners feel very fortunate to have these ties.
An effective networking strategy employed by Paradigm is the attendance of medical conferences; this serves to further the knowledge base within the clinic while simultaneously increasing contacts. In recent months alone, Paradigm practitioners have attended prestigious conferences world-wide, including the Restorative Medicine Conference, the Ironman Hawaii Sports Medicine Conference, the American College for Advancement in Medicine, and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Medicine. Since naturopathic medicine is a rapidly expanding field, staying on the cutting edge of research requires training from experts around the world. Admittedly, these conferences are costly to attend but the practitioners note that the education, improved experience, and expanded network they confer are priceless and have had tremendous impacts on the practice’s success.
In addition to a strong focus on continuing education, Paradigm is represented at the Canadian Institute of Natural and Integrative Medicine (CINIM), a registered charitable organization that conducts scientific research in complementary/alternative medicine (CAM). CINIM was the first of four Canadian institutions to become involved with the United States Consortium of Academic Health Centres for Integrative Medicine whose membership includes 51 highly esteemed academic medical centers and affiliate institutions, including Harvard, Yale, and the Mayo Clinic. Dr. Ahlan is one of only three naturopathic doctors in this collaboration, representing the University of Calgary Medical School. CINIM was developed in response to public demand for information about alternative therapies and access to these therapies.
Several of Paradigm’s practitioners are also involved with the Pure North S’Energy Foundation, a non-profit initiative that focuses on the delivery of innovative preventative and integrative health and wellness strategies. Pure North includes a comprehensive team of expert health and dental care professionals including physicians, naturopathic doctors and nurses that travel throughout Canada providing first-rate personalized services to populations who cannot afford integrative medicine. At last count, this funded program has taken the team to multiple sites internationally, seeing almost 15,000 patients from the firefighters in the Slave Lake disaster, to the Native American communities in Inuvik, to the off-shore oil sites in the North Sea of Scotland. Paradigm’s practitioners also belong to a wide array of boards and advisory councils that include Winsport Canada, Hockey Canada, Alpine Canada, Bobsleigh Canada, The Calgary Flames Hockey
Club, College of Naturopathic Doctors of Alberta (CNDA), and the Competancy Committee for Restricted Activities for the CNDA.
Paradigm offers patients a broad range of evidence-based diagnostic tests to verify clinical diagnoses and treatment of various health challenges. Diagnostic testing is offered from Rocky Mountain Analytical, Doctor’s Data, PharmaSan Labs, NeuroScience, Genova Diagnostics, Metametrix, and Meridian Valley. Paradigm practitioners consider themselves fortunate as the majority of their patients receive blood work through affiliated medical doctors as part of diagnostic work-ups. The clinic also offers a dispensary that features the best products from a variety of companies, including AOR, Douglas Labs, Metagenics, Priority One, Restorative Formulations, Bioclinic Naturals, BioMed, Genestra, Vitanica, Pascoe, and Heel.
When Paradigm was established, a focus was placed on billable square feet so that all 10 treatment rooms are full at all times. As a business model, Paradigm focuses on maximizing efficiency, running approximately 100 intravenous treatments per week and seeing roughly 60 patients per day. Paradigm has also fully transitioned to electronic medical records (EMR) and despite the large financial investment and steep learning curve, this has opened many doors for the clinic. Although patient records are paperless, all new patients receive a binder that outlines the clinic’s comprehensive referral network, patient expectations, and success stories. Believing that marketing starts at home, Paradigm attempts to offer services of value, and this means taking care of each and every patient first. Consequently, word of mouth is Paradigm’s most powerful marketing tool.
IHP is thoroughly impressed with the success Paradigm has achieved and is thankful that we were given a glimpse into this cutting edge practice. A nice way to conclude is reiterating a statement from Dr. Ahlan: “[you] must follow what you love, by doing that you will always be successful.”