Trinity Healthcare Medical Center is leading Ocala into the future of medicine using education, prevention and empowerment.
Dr. David Kuhn, M.D., founded Trinity Healthcare Medical Center to combat the methodology of what he calls “old-fashioned medicine,” reflexively treating patients’ illnesses with prescription after prescription.
“For the last 50 years, medical training for doctors has focused largely on the use of pharmaceutical interventions and drugs as the primary treatment of an illness or health condition,” he explains. “It is generally the same education that every M.D. receives. However, to me, modern medicine requires more than just a refill at your local pharmacy. It starts with developing a trusting relationship with your patient. There are certainly conditions that will require medications, but I believe that it is imperative to take the time to address a patient’s level of emotional stress, and its impact on their physical health and well-being. I feel that patient care is compromised and incomplete unless you adopt a more holistic approach to your practice of medicine.”
“The focus must shift toward prevention and the basic care and maintenance of the human body,” says Dr. Christina Oliva, DNP, ARNP-C. “If we listen to our body and treat it well, it will treat us well.”
“Only 10 to 20 percent of people need to be on medications because science has yet to provide us with an alternative that is effective in treating their condition,” Dr. Kuhn says. “The majority of patients, if willing, can restore their body’s health and vitality through the integration of proper nutrition, exercise and stress management. It wasn’t until I began practicing independently that I realized what authentic health really meant.”
When you walk through the doors of Trinity, it becomes apparent that a patient’s experience will transcend far beyond any conventional doctor’s office visit that consists of diagnoses and prescriptions. From the lobby and beyond, Trinity looks nothing like your typical white, sterile medical office, thanks to their warm décor and gentle lighting. The doctors do not use computers in the exam rooms, as they prefer face-to-face interactions with everyone they treat.
“You’re going to find that your fears are heard and questions are answered,” says Dr. Oliva. “Your concerns regarding your health, no matter how complex or vague, will be investigated. I want to make sure every avenue is explored and that I do everything in my power to help you.”
“We like to take the opportunity to empower patients to be their own cure,” agree Dr. Kuhn and Dr. Oliva. “It’s important to know how the human body works and that it has an innate ability to heal itself. A natural approach to medicine, to me, is returning a person’s lifestyle to the way a human body was designed to live. I’m working on behalf of a person’s body. Patients must be fully educated about their condition so they can make truly informed decisions about their care. If a patient does not have a thorough understanding about their symptoms or condition, we have not done our job as a medical team. No one wants to be sick, and every day we are given an opportunity to choose health. If you treat the person and not the disease, you always win.”
“It used to be that doctors would make a house call, so they would gain invaluable insight into a person’s environment and way of life. It’s impossible to do that anymore, but it’s not impossible to truly get to know your patients. It’s about asking the right questions and, more importantly, listening to your patients answers,” Dr. Kuhn says.
Trinity Healthcare isn’t only affecting change in Ocala. Dr. Oliva recently received the 2015 Barbara Lumpkin Advocacy Award. This prestigious award was granted for her commitment to expanding nurse practitioners’ rights and the improvement of health care for patients across the state of Florida.
“This is a huge honor,” Dr. Oliva says. “I’m very humbled to be given this award by the Florida Nurses Association. I just hope people watch my film.”
Dr. Oliva hopes the award garners attention for her documentary, Florida Nurse Practitioners: Activating Advocacy for Change. Florida is the most restrictive state for nurse practitioners.
“Unnecessary restrictions and outdated legislation are costing tax payers millions of dollars,” she says. “There are counties in our state that currently have no practicing medical doctors, and it is the patients who are suffering. To date, there is no evidence that validates the restrictions imposed on nurse practitioners. They are excellent medical providers and have proven their value to the future of health care.”
Dr. Kuhn and Dr. Oliva want everyone in the community to know they are welcome to make an appointment at the center, no matter their preferred method of treatment.
“I’m a medical doctor, not a naturopath, but I do fall somewhere in the middle,” Dr. Kuhn explains. “I practice a blend of traditional, evidence-based medicine along with functional medicine to identify the root causes of a disease. I focus on nutrition, stress, exercise education, stress management and emotional health.”
His efforts to improve his patients’ lives have not gone unnoticed. Dr. Kuhn was given the “Compassionate Doctor Award” from vitals.com.
“More than being just welcome, patients here will be remembered and cared for even when they’re not in the office being seen,” Dr. Oliva says. “I am someone who genuinely cares for my patients. When you come see me, and you walk out, I think about you. I think about you when I’m at home or when your labs or imaging come in. I consider it a privilege to be trusted with someone’s health; it’s a very big responsibility that I do not take lightly.”
Many patients can attest to the difficulty of finding compassionate doctors, but at Trinity, they can have two. Dr. Oliva and Dr. Kuhn see many of the same patients and often collaborate on the best possible treatment plan. They could not do this alone. Candace Norton, the practice administrator, is instrumental in ensuring the best possible patient care. She manages an exceptional team of medical assistants, referral specialists and front desk staff that operate with exceptional work ethic and patient advocacy.
Trinity Healthcare Medical Center also focuses on accessibility, usually securing patients an appointment within 24 hours. Patient phone calls are always returned, and their medications are promptly filled upon request. Dr. Kuhn says it’s part of making Trinity Healthcare Medical Center feel like home and helping patients achieve their highest quality of life.
“We genuinely enjoy helping people,” he says. “We find nothing more rewarding than making them smile when we have helped guide them out of a dark place. How could we ask for more than that?”