An EPIC Mission: Taking Back Our Health

Dr. Jason Bradley, EPIC founder

I started EPIC Functional Medicine Center almost 20 years ago, in October 1999, with the unrealistic goal to “heal the world.”

Today, I describe our goal here at EPIC in a much more personal way: to empower us all to take back our health, one community at a time.

We’ll be doing this in two key ways:

• by devoting even more of our efforts to public education and filling the void of Functional Medicine that still exists throughout the Midwest, and

• by pioneering virtual care.

Functional medicine has come into fruition since I founded EPIC in 1999. It used to be dismissed – and for good reason. It focused almost entirely on simply replacing pharmaceutical medicine with whatever natural medicine was the equivalent. As we grew from our infancy, functional medicine changed. Today, it’s all about approaching lifestyle, food and environment with an applied science and laboratory medicine approach.

Functional medicine is now a respected field, focused on digging into the causalities of suffering and dysfunction.

We’ve found that people’s health legitimately improves when we dig into those causalities. “Another day, another miracle,” is how I genuinely describe my feelings almost every day at EPIC.

EPIC was originally the Washington Street Wellness Center.

We see amazing recoveries so often, we’re not even fazed by them anymore. They’re just the expected norm at EPIC now. And when I see these new norms, I’m almost back to that original EPIC mission statement: what can we do to heal the world?

In the coming months and years, EPIC is moving strongly into a community-centered model. We’re striving toward giving not only our clients, but also the broader public, the knowledge, information, and resources they need to live a long, happy, and healthy life.

We’ll provide more community and group experiences for the public – like my monthly public education talks at Natural Grocers! February’s theme is “Love Your Heart” and happens 2 p.m. Sat., Feb. 17.

We’ll be expanding our team of coaches and clinicians, bringing you even more experts in the fields of nutrition, healing movement, stress relief, and positive thinking. We’ll be bringing you more of the latest breakthroughs in addressing the root causes of disease and discomfort, rather than merely masking the symptoms with more medications.

EPIC will also pave many paths in virtual care, expanding our online presence.

Here’s why: in this country, four out of five people suffer from at least one chronic health condition. That’s a staggering 250 million Americans who have “something” wrong with them.

Think about the “care” those people need and deserve. Divide the number of hours available in a day, and the number of medical providers available. No wonder people typically get just five or seven minutes with their doctors – and that some have to wait months and months to get those “ultimate” five minutes.

EPIC is now at 113 Wright St., Iowa City.

There’s a shortage everywhere.

Couple that with fewer and fewer people going into medicine because of all the problems with health care, such as insurance and Medicare, etc. … you’ve got a disaster, the very disaster we find ourselves in right now.

At EPIC, we’re stepping in with a community and group model for virtual care. This means:

• Facebook groups like the OWL (Optimal Wellness Lifestyle) group

• Online office hours

• Video-conferencing

• Group physician meetings

• Remote care

All of these help us, at EPIC, to pend even more time with our clients.

In these settings, we can all share more information. Jimmy, Jane, and Sally will all undoubtedly have great individual questions. But alone, none of us would know all of the questions to ask. Together, in a group online setting, we can learn from each other and the questions that others ask. In these settings, the sum or outcome is always greater than the whole of its parts.

The other piece of virtual care: it saves time for our clients. Fewer clients have to travel to the clinic, or take time off work. Scheduling can be more flexible: we can jump online and talk as doctor and client for 15 minutes here and there as needed.

Our view at EPIC is, we have to do all we can to deliver seamless care – and that means leveraging technology to the client’s advantage.

This brings us back full circle to the EPIC mission. We’re really working to disempower that five-minute “ultimate” visit with your traditional doctor, and return that power back to each one of us. At EPIC, you’re a partner in your own health care journey, not just a consumer in the health care process.

As always, I’m honored to be here to help you take back your health.

And have an EPIC day!