A “coalition” is defined as an alliance for combined action – and that seemed to be exactly what the doctor ordered when doctors Craig Stoller and Sue McCreadie began forming a group of “like-minded” practitioners in the Ann Arbor area.
The Ann Arbor Wellness Coalition, which first met in September of last year, is a group of healthcare practitioners representing multiple disciplines.
“Together we empower individuals and families to achieve optimal health and wellness,” says Dr. McCreadie, a local holistic pediatrician. “We are committed to improving the health of our community through education, outreach and innovation.”
The group’s vision is to create a healthy community that moves well, eats well, communicates and thinks well, living life to the fullest at every age and stage of life.
Dr. Stoller says the group also is about “creating resources.”
“I think what you will find with all of our practitioners is we all think service first,” he said. “When a patient comes through our doors our first thought is how can we best serve this patient. And by having this great network of practitioners I know and trust, I will be able to better serve them. We are providing our patients something they can benefit greatly from.”
The group began in September with just four members and seven members, which they like to call “And so it Begins.” Word quickly began to spread – like a HEALTHY virus in the air. Soon, there were 20 at a meeting, then 30 and now almost 50 members attending the monthly get-togethers.
The roster of doctors includes a wide variety of specialties including medical, osteopathic, chiropractic, naturopathic, homeopathic, dentists, psychologists, dietitians, fitness trainers, yoga instructors, health and wellness coaches, colon hydro-therapists, pharmacists and hypnotherapists.
Dr. Stoller, DC, who owns Align Chiropractic Center on East Stadium in Ann Arbor, has always believed the body was designed to be healthy if proper function is restored and maintained through balanced structural alignment. After practicing in Farmington Hills for 10 years, Dr. Stoller spent time in Vermont to learn advanced chiropractic with an emphasis on posture, neurology, and the relationship between the two in respect to good health, structural correction, and peak performance.
“There are chiropractic doctors in the group and even within chiropractic doctors we have three in the coalition and they all practice in a different way,” says Dr. McCreadie, who also is a patient of Dr. Stoller. “So there are multiple different disciplines within chiropractic practices which a lot of people don’t even know exists and they are very different.”
Doctors McCreadie and Stoller are the “founders” of the Ann Arbor Wellness Coalition.
“It began when Craig and I started talking about our practices and we were introducing each other to like-minded practitioners in the area that we knew,” Dr. McCreadie says. “He would tell me there was someone I needed to meet and I would tell him about someone I knew that he needed to meet so eventually we decided the best way to meet everyone would be to start a coalition.”
The feedback they kept hearing as the group began to grow was about the energy and positivity and caring everyone had for their patients and how they were approaching health care.
“I think at times we practitioners can feel disconnected and alone trying to help people outside the box,” Dr. McCreadie said. “Each one of these practitioners has kind of left their tribe in a way and have kind of gone beyond the traditional boundaries of how to help people heal and that can sometimes feel pretty lonely. A big part of what the coalition does is bring all of us together. You can really feel the energy in the room. It’s very positive and upbeat with good humor.”
Dr. Stoller defines “outside the box” as anything that is not traditional medicine.
“People, especially in Ann Arbor, are inundated with what I call mainstream health care,” he said. “But there are times people are just frustrated with what the health care system is providing or they are not getting the results or answers they want. I think everyone in this group looks at the body as the whole system. Holistic healing looks at how the whole body is affected by somebody’s lack of good health.”
Kate Jurevicius, a licensed speech therapist providing evidence-based, private speech and language therapy services to the Ann Arbor and surrounding area, is a member of the group.
“AAWC has been an amazing support system and resource for me as I’ve launched my private practice,” says Jurevicius, owner/founder of Communicate With Kate. “When I put a question or ‘ask’ out to the group regarding one of my business goals or an area where I feel stuck, I always get such great feedback and input from the group.
“I’m finding these practitioners to be so thoughtful, experienced, creative and supportive and I count myself lucky to be a part of the group. Personally, I’ve also found great practitioners to meet the unique needs of my own family.”
And that’s a big component of this group. Being able to recommend another doctor based on knowledge and experience, not hearsay.
“The networking is one of the highlights of the meeting each week,” Dr. Stoller says. “We pride ourselves in our ability to network, and with the Ann Arbor Wellness Coalition we are able to bring it under one roof. In my practice, I have my specialties but I don’t do everything so it’s nice to have other practitioners I can recommend. And it’s nice to know that the people I am sending them to I can trust and that I know them and that they will be taken care of.”
Dr. McCreadie agrees.
“There is a big difference between ‘well, I heard Craig is good so go to Craig’ to really knowing who he is and about his path and his ideals and his experience,” says Dr. McCreadie, a board certified pediatrician with a degree from Wayne State University who did her residency at the prestigious Children’s Hospital in Detroit.
“I help kids who either are on medication or want to get off medication or there is no medication that fixes their problem,” she says. “The labels they would fall under include allergies, asthma, ADD, ADHD, anxiety, autism – and these are just the A’s. The way that I help them is that I systemize their nutrition and their supplementation to help them rebalance.”
A healthy and happy life is what the Ann Arbor Wellness Coalition is all about.
“We want people to have vibrant health and wake up and feel energized and ready to hit the day,” Dr. McCreadie says. “This is something I don’t think traditional medicine offers.
“We also meet outside the meetings and set up one-on-ones with people whether in your office or their office or at a coffee shop and that’s where you really get to know someone, their history, their path.”
The group is planning on putting together educational events open to the public in the near future.
For more information on the Ann Arbor Wellness Coalition, log onto: https://www.annarborwellnesscoalition.com/
READ Liza Baker’s AAWC guest column: https://weloveannarbor.com/2018/04/15/aawc-sole-food-to-soul-food-nutrition-for-the-body-mind-and-spirit/