Functional Medicine

Our Functional Medicine practice is a science-based personalized healthcare
approach that assesses and treats underlying causes of illness through
individually tailored therapies to restore health and improve function.

By actively listening to your history and mapping your personal story to a timeline, we are able to identify predisposing factors, triggers and events that shift the set-point from health to illness.

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What Is Function Medicine?

Functional Medicine addresses the underlying causes of disease, using a systems-oriented approach while engaging both patient and practitioner in a therapeutic partnership. It is an evolution in the practice of medicine that better addresses the healthcare needs of the 21st century. By shifting the traditional disease-centered focus of medical practice to a more patient-centered approach, Functional Medicine addresses the whole person, not just an isolated set of symptoms.

Functional Medicine practitioners spend time with their patients, listening to their histories and looking at the interactions among genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors that can influence long-term health and complex, chronic disease. In this way, Functional Medicine supports the unique expression of health and vitality for each individual.

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Why Choose Functional Medicine?

Our society is experiencing a sharp increase in the number of people who suffer from complex, chronic diseases, such as diabetes, heart disease, cancer, mental illness, and autoimmune disorders like rheumatoid arthritis. The system of medicine practiced by most physicians is oriented toward acute care, the diagnosis and treatment of trauma or illness that is of short duration and in need of urgent care, such as a heart attack or a broken leg. Physicians apply specific, prescribed treatments such as drugs or surgery that aim to treat the immediate problem or symptom.

Unfortunately, the acute-care approach to medicine is ill equipped to address complex, chronic disease. In most cases, the model does not take into account the unique genetic makeup of each individual and does not allow time for exploring the aspects of today’s lifestyle that have a direct influence on the rise in chronic disease in modern Western society; critical environmental factors such as stress, diet, and exposure to toxins. As a result, most practitioners are not adequately trained to assess the underlying causes of complex, chronic disease, nor to apply strategies such as nutrition, diet, and exercise to both treat and prevent these illnesses in their patients.

Systems-based care and strong therapeutic partnerships are required to address the dysfunctions that arise when genetic susceptibility, environmental exposures, and unhealthy lifestyles intersect—as they do in varying ways for most people. Functional Medicine is designed to meet just this challenge—to help practitioners and patients recognize, manage, and prevent the interconnected web of dysfunction that is at the foundation of chronic disease.

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Together as a team, we can attain a better understanding of your health concerns and progress you to a new level of optimal health with Functional Medicine.

Contact Us Today To Set An Appointment

Our Functional Medicine treatment plans are individually tailored and focus on finding the root cause of symptoms. By creating a partnership with patients’ and using nutritional/ lifestyle medicine, we believe that optimal function and vitality can be attained.

Some of the advanced testing and many of the supplements recommended are not commonly utilized in traditional allopathic care.  Many of the supplements we recommend are derived from natural food and herb sources and produced in medical grade nutraceutical laboratories.  Since they are not considered actual “drugs” these supplements are not FDA evaluated or regulated and may not always be universally accepted as evidence-based medicine.

In addition, because Functional Medicine examines physical complaints utilizing a multi-factorial approach, many of the therapeutic interventions are not easily simplified down and proven in double-blind randomized controlled studies as is often used in drug research. That being said, the medical community is increasingly recognizing the complex interplay of numerous interconnected physiological and emotional factors that ultimately result in a physical symptom/complaint. We are also realizing that the side effects and adverse interactions between therapeutic drugs can often be worse than the symptom or disease it was designed to treat.

This Functional Medicine approach to reaching optimal health requires a broader and more inclusive examination of one’s health history and physiology. We strongly encourage patients to discuss results and recommendations with their personal practitioner before implementing new treatment plans. The information provided on our website, blog, and social media including links, videos, and downloadable material is for educational purposes only, and is not intended as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment for your specific complaint.

Prior to your initial appointment:

Contact our office at 608-233-2378 to set up an appointment or fill out this contact form. All that is needed initially is your name, date of birth, e-mail address, and phone number. You will then receive an e-mail from no-reply+support@livingmatrix.com, where you will be directed to electronically fill out necessary intake forms on a HIPPA compliant, cloud-based application. 1-3 business days after the forms have been completed and electronically submitted, you will receive a phone call to set up your initial appointment. You may have additional electronic forms to complete prior to your initial appointment.

Please be sure to fill out all intake forms as completely as possible within 1 week after receiving them via e-mail.

Collect and bring to your initial visit all lab results/imaging performed in the last year.

Your First Visit

At your initial visit, I will discuss my observations based on your intake forms and ask for further clarification when needed. The key to functional medicine is treating each person as an individual and getting to the root cause of health problems. That generally entails a detailed conversation about your current state of health, health history, family history, diet, lifestyle habits, etc. I may also perform a physical exam involving the mouth, skin, nails, and body composition measurements. I will discuss with you potential treatment approaches which may or may not include laboratory workups. This visit will last approximately 60-90 minutes and is primarily an information gathering and sharing session.

More Information Needed

I will make some recommendations at this time, however, if further lab testing is necessary and/or if a physical exam is performed, then most advice will be deferred until after lab results are in and there has been time to thoughtfully consider your entire case.  Lab testing will be an additional cost.

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Your Second Visit

A second visit is generally scheduled 1-3 weeks after the initial visit. However, if lab work is recommended we will wait until after receiving the results to contact you to set up a second visit. Any physical exam findings from the initial visit will be discussed in detail as well as your lab results at your second visit. This includes what may be causing your health problems and what supplementation (vitamins, minerals, herbs), diet, and lifestyle changes may be needed, as well as any or other medications that may be appropriate.

Additional Visits

Further follow-up visits are usually scheduled in approximately 4–8 weeks from this visit to evaluate progress and make any adjustments in your care. Follow-up visits last approximately 30-60 minutes. How often you see me after that will depend on why you are being treated.

Who will I discuss my Functional Medicine plan with?

Joanna Hutchins

Joanna Hutchins PA-C, MPAS,
Functional Medicine practitioner

Joanna is a 2004 graduate from the University of Wisconsin-Madison Physician Assistant Program. She received her master’s degree in Physician Assistant Studies from the University of Nebraska Medical Center in 2007.  In 2015, she received additional specialty certifications from the American Council of Exercise (ACE) for both Fitness Nutrition and Orthopedic Exercise.  She is currently enrolled with the Institute for Functional Medicine’s certification program and plans to be a fully certified Functional Medicine practitioner in late 2016/early 2017.

She currently works with Dr. Ann Stanger as a Functional Medicine practitioner as well as Dr. John Rogerson in Orthopedic surgery. Joanna takes pleasure in spending time at home on Lake Waubesa with her husband Luke, and her children Max and Lexi. Her most enjoyable outdoor activities are waterskiing, and spending time on the pontoon boat with friends.

Will my insurance cover my Functional Medicine Evaluation and Treatments?

We have found that insurance companies do not reimburse practitioners at a reasonable rate for preventive/wellness services that are provided with Functional Medicine. Rather, insurance is heavily invested in reimbursement for more conventional health care services such as prescription medications, physical/occupational therapy, and surgical procedures.

Our Functional Medicine evaluation and treatment approach focuses on finding and treating the underlying upstream causes of your symptoms and is very time intensive. An initial Functional Medicine visit is 60-90 minutes of one-on-one time with a practitioner and additional time is spent researching and creating an individualized treatment plan. Therefore, we will not bill insurance directly and payment in the form of cash, check, MasterCard, or Visa will be required at the time of service. Initial visit fee is $275 and follow up visits are $125.  We can provide an invoice of your services if desired. Joanna is unable to see Medicare/Medicaid patients currently for Functional Medicine, however Dr. Stanger is available for these patients.