Redefining Healthcare in Our Small Town

by | Dec 2023

FOR DECADES, the worlds of modern medicine and holistic health practices stood divided, their discussions creating an uneasy tension. The clash between these two ideologies, often viewed as opposing forces, has been a longstanding narrative in the realm of healthcare. Yet, in recent years, a transformation has unfolded as these seemingly divergent approaches have begun to harmonize, giving rise to newfound perspectives on wellness. This newfound integration provides a proactive approach to healing for individuals grappling with various health challenges. 

In this small town, tradition meets innovation, especially in the healthcare field. Kim Roberts, a local pharmacist, has a unique approach to health. She seamlessly intertwines modern medical and herbal practices with a deep-rooted commitment to finding the true sources of illness. 

Roberts is not your typical pharmacist. Her unconventional path is precisely what sets her apart in the world of healthcare. 

Trained as a traditional pharmacist, Roberts’s journey toward holistic health began with a personal health crisis that left her puzzled and determined to seek answers.

“I randomly got sick, and nobody really knew why,” she explained. 

“ I became exhausted. And I had seen an integrative functional medicine provider who did a bit of a deeper dive and just tried to figure out what was going on. And come to find out, I was in heart failure. It has since been resolved completely. But I’ll never forget when I checked myself into the hospital, and they told me. I was just devastated.” 

Her quest for understanding led her to study integrative functional medicine, where the focus shifts from treating symptoms to uncovering the root causes of health issues.

Roberts reflected on her unique approach, “Although I love being a pharmacist, I think in the United States, our focus is too much on prescription drugs solving our issues rather than really taking a deep dive into the root causes of what’s causing our illnesses.”

Roberts’s journey into holistic healing doesn’t mean she’s turned her back on traditional medicine. 

“I still practice as a traditional pharmacist at times,” she said. 

Her approach is about embracing the best of both worlds, recognizing the value of prescription drugs while acknowledging the limitations of a system that often prioritizes them above all else.

One of the key themes in Roberts’s approach is the importance of going back to basics. She believes many practices and habits from decades ago are critical to a healthier life. Roberts values simple activities like walking on grass with bare feet (“grounding”), reconnecting with nature, and allowing children to play freely without excessive technology.

When asked about the intersection of holistic health and traditional medicine, Roberts acknowledges the challenges and opportunities. 

“It’s interesting because sometimes holistic health and traditional medicine don’t cross paths very well,” she explained. 

“But we are slowly progressing into new territory, and we’re getting to the root of those issues.”

What sets Roberts apart is her commitment to bridging gaps. She collaborates with other healthcare providers and offers complementary approaches to patients seeking answers beyond what conventional medicine can provide. She insists that patients should be seen as more than just a collection of symptoms and medications.

“For a lot of people, they have hidden traumas that are a hindrance for them getting well. It’s a whole mind-body-spirit situation we need to look at.” 

Roberts’s holistic approach extends to various aspects of health, including nutrition. She underscores the importance of understanding individual food sensitivities, acknowledging that many commonly consumed foods can be inflammatory for some individuals. 

“Let your food be your medicine,” she said, echoing the wisdom of Hippocrates.

One of the most touching stories Roberts shares is about a patient who struggled with infertility for years. Through a combination of holistic approaches, supplements, and hormone balancing, Roberts played a crucial role in helping her patient realize her dream of becoming a mother. This heartwarming success story serves as a reminder of the transformative power of holistic healthcare.

Roberts was recently honored by the Tennessee Pharmacists Association as the recipient of the 2023 Tom C. Sharp Pharmacist of the Year award. This recognition was given to her based on her outstanding contributions to the pharmacy field and her exceptional performance as a clinician, colleague, advocate, and mentor. 

As Roberts continues her journey in holistic health and pharmacy, she exemplifies the essence of hometown healing. Her work goes beyond the prescription pad, empowering individuals to take charge of their health and leading them on a path to complete healing — mind, body, and spirit. Roberts’s story is an inspiring example of the potential for transformation when traditional and holistic approaches unite, providing an avenue for those seeking hometown healing. GN 

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