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Spotlight: Vida Integrated Health

by Meredith Victor Castin

The idea was forming in Dr. Kris Sasaki’s head for awhile. Despite a stellar track record with patients, there was always that last 10-20% of folks who weren't getting better. The ones whom he’d refer out to other practitioners, then never hear from again.

In 2013, he decided to change how he practiced. Dr. Sasaki launched Vida Integrated Health, a new type of patient-focused integrated wellness clinic. Vida is not a medical physician’s office. Not a POPTS. Not a chiropractor’s office, although he is a board certified chiropractic sports physician®. Vida is a true integrated health clinic, where each and every patient is seen as a whole person, with unique treatment needs. Where the input of a nurse practitioner is as important as that of a physical therapist. Or that of a physician.

Have you ever heard of grand rounds? If you have, you likely conjure up images of a large room at a hospital, filled with MDs, DOs, Psychologists, and nurses. Grand rounds usually means acute care and, despite the name, these meetings are generally dominated by physicians.

But Dr. Sasaki’s dream was to enable every patient who walks in the door to receive interdisciplinary care from as many health professionals as possible. This helps to prevent patients from slipping through the cracks, and dramatically reduces the number of patients leaving his care, wondering why they are “unfixable.” Instead, patients feel like they are part of a team that actually cares about their well-being. Part of a family.

Each and every patient who enters the clinic receives interdisciplinary care, including grand rounds, where various healthcare professionals are able to weigh in with their perspectives.

And it’s working. He started with one clinic in Seattle, WA, in 2013, and has grown Vida steadily, following with a clinic in Everett, WA. In October, 2016, Dr. Sasaki opened the third Vida branch, located in Bellevue, WA.

He is proud that Vida regularly hosts trainings by various medical professionals, most recently, physiotherapists from Australia.

He adds, "We offer generous continuing education reimbursements, and we encourage our team to attend as many courses as possible, so they can provide the best possible care to our patients.”

Mentorship is important at Vida. Therapists are encouraged to learn from each other, and from other disciplines. "Learning is an ongoing process," says Dr. Sasaki.

Dr. Sasaki has created what he feels to be the ideal blend of practitioners in his clinics: 2 physical therapists, 4 PTAs, 1 naturopath, 3-4 chiropractors, 2 acupuncturists, 4 massage therapists, and 1 nurse practitioner (or MD/DO). “It’s a model that is working for us,” he states, adding, “But we’re growing. Our patients are thrilled, and we need to keep up with the demand.”

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