Becoming a Patient
Thank you for choosing the Holistic Healing Center, the offices of Dr. Debbie Bernstein, Kirsten Hamilton RDN, LDN, FMNS, Debbie Garlits BS and Susan Czarecki FMCHC. Our scheduling policies have been developed to reduce wait times for initial appointments. We have forms that need to be completed and submitted prior to scheduling your appointment.
Filling out the forms is the first step in becoming immersed in the Functional Medicine process. As you fill out the forms, it gives you an opportunity to look at what factors may have contributed to where you are now with your health and well-being. You will also be asked questions regarding what has worked for you in the past and your willingness to do what it takes to move forward. All this gathering of information can lead to insights that support your healing and give us as a team the opportunity to support you in your goals for optimal health and well-being. Plan on the forms taking a total of approximately 45 minutes to an hour depending or your medical history or concerns.
There are 2 options available: Electronic Forms which expedite the process, and those that are printed and filled out as a hard copy and dropped off at the office, emailed or mailed USPS.
OPTION 1 – Electronic Forms
This option allows you to complete the forms online. This method is to simplify and reduce the time you will need to spend on filling out the forms. With this option, each individual form has to be completed in one sitting before you hit the submit button. Once you complete the form and hit submit, we receive notice that your form has arrived. It’s that easy! This method works using all devices as well as your standard computer and is HIPAA compliant.
OPTION 2 – Downloadable Fill-in PDF Forms
This option is for those who would like to handwrite the forms and drop them off or send in via HIPAA compliant email or USPS.
Your first visit:
The day of your visit you will meet with Dr. Bernstein and then with Debbie, the Patient Advocate. Generally, the first visit lasts between an hour and an hour and a half. During the initial visit, the majority of the time is focused on gathering a thorough Functional Medicine history and discussing your reasons and goals for seeking treatment. In the later part of the visit, if time allows, the treatment approach is discussed and various options for further testing options and lifestyle modifications are reviewed initially by the Doctor and then by the Patient Advocate in more detail. In general, you will meet with the Integrative Functional Nutritionist if it is considered in your best interest, either as part of your first visit with the Doctor and/or after meeting with the Doctor.
When in person, we ask that you bring the actual nutritional supplements and medications you are currently taking. If not in person, we find taking pictures of the front and back of the bottle with the ingredients works well. Prior to the first visit and all subsequent visits, send copies of recent x-ray results, laboratory studies and pertinent doctor’s findings via our secure email.
The Patient Advocate will provide you with more information about testing options and educational materials regarding lifestyle modifications the Doctor considers important to your treatment plan. The Integrative Functional Nutritionist’s role is to support you with the implementation of the dietary recommendations made in coordination with the Doctor. We also recommend our Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach for support with developing and maintaining new lifestyle modifications.
In order to best serve you, you will receive an email asking you to update your medication and supplement list with any changes to your medications, supplements, herbals and all over the counter medications as well as any changes in recreational drug use via our secure email. Also, prior to your visit, send copies of any new recent x-ray results, laboratory studies and pertinent Doctor’s findings via our secure email.
Functionally oriented follow-up visits usually last between a half hour and forty-five minutes and are spent reviewing health concerns, reviewing test results and fine-tuning treatment plans and lifestyle modifications which then are often reviewed again with the Patient Advocate. Shorter time slots are available for straight forward problem focused visits.
The goal in treatment is to use natural means whenever possible and medications only if medically necessary. A functional and holistic approach to the patient is taken. Dr. Bernstein coordinates with the Patient Advocate and in many cases the Integrative Functional Nutritionist and Functional Medicine Certified Health Coach to implement dietary modifications, nutritional and herbal supplements, exercise prescriptions, hormonal balancing and stress reduction techniques as the first lines of treatment.
Please call our office at 215-794-7880 and we will be happy to assist you with getting started with the Holistic Healing Center practice. The office is open Monday thru Friday 9:30 am to 5:00 pm.