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Spotlight: Alpine Community Acupuncture

FBN recently spoke with Chad Lambert,  who owns  Alpine Acupuncture with his wife, Christina.  The business uses a community acupuncture practice style, which enables the Lamberts to treat a greater number of community members.  The business is located in Sunnyside and offers a sliding scale to people seeking treatments.


Why did you decide to open this type of business?

Well, we had been practicing for quite a few years in an integrated practice setting.  One of the things we struggled with was creating access for patients to get the care they need.  Patients would come in for treatment, and see benefit fairly quickly, but couldn’t afford to continue care due to cost.  Insurance coverage for acupuncture (and chiropractic, for that matter) is fairly limited, especially in Arizona.  So people were often paying fully out of pocket for acupuncture.  When Christina found out about the community acupuncture practice style, it just made sense to us.  More people could access care.  People who had always wanted to try acupuncture but couldn’t afford it, now could.  Additionally, people who needed multiple visits could actually afford to get them and finish their treatment plans.
What makes community acupuncture different is that we treat in a group setting in recliners.  Rather than using one room for only one person, patients share the room and are charged sliding scale between about a quarter to half of the price of a typical visit.  We charge a sliding scale of $15-35 per visit, patients pay what they can afford.  We never check people’s financial information.  The sliding scale is there to make sure people can afford their care in the amount and frequency they need.
Most people have heard of acupuncture, but not everyone is familiar with it.  Could you please describe it?

Acupuncture is a healing method that has been in use for at least two thousand years.  There are 14 main meridians, pathways throught the body, that carry energy and information.  When these become obstructed, poor health can occur.  Blockages in certain areas of the meridians generally correspond to certain health problems.  We use needles to free up the blockages to restore health.

What is your business philosophy?

Our business philosophy is simple.  Give high quality, affordable care to whoever needs or wants it.  We love our job, we love to serve people, and to see them get better and improve their health.

What are the biggest challenges in your business?

Getting the word out.  We are approaching our 1 year anniversary of practicing in Flagstaff, so we are still fairly new in town.  Figuring out how to let people know about our clinic in a new area has been a challenge.  No one wants to choose their health care provider out of a phone book.  Word of mouth advertising is best.  Of course that takes time, especially when you’re new.  Our patients have been so helpful in giving our information out to their friends and co-workers.  Most of the growth we have seen over the past year can be attributed to our wonderful patients using their time and effort to help build our little clinic.  One of the things that has been so great is that our patients develop a sense of ownership in our clinic.  We offer something different, and our patients are invested in making sure that our clinic survives, and even beyond that, thrives.

What is something about your business people would find surprising?

It’s a lot more like a living room than it is like a doctor’s office.  We never wanted to have the stark, brightly lit, white clinical feel of a typical doctor’s clinic.  It’s hard to feel relaxed in an office that looks like a hospital.  I think that can be an impediment to care in and of itself.  We want people to be very comfortable in our office.

Is your career today what you always envisioned for yourself?

Well, yes and no.  We always knew that we would end up working together, and that’s what we’ve done since the beginning.  However, when you’re in school you envision a theoretical office with a theoretical patient base based on what you were taught in school by people who don’t practice and probably never did.  They all have their agenda as to how they think we should act, think, and practice.  Much of that doesn’t translate to the real world.  However, what we’ve discovered is the version of practice that we’ve developed is better in some ways and better suits our personalities.  We like people and we get the opportunity to meet and take care of all sorts of people, and that’s really great.  We are good at what we do, but we have no interest in being some kind of authority figure or idealist.  We help people with real world health problems in the context of their life as it is.  We create access to care for people who need it.  We go to work every day, but it doesn’t really feel like work.  That’s probably better than what we envisioned.

Chad Lambert, DC, FIAMA

Christina Lambert, M.Ac.OM, L.Ac

Alpine Community Acupuncture & Chiropractic

2029 N. 4th St. #2

Flagstaff, AZ 86004

928.863.8300

www.AlpineCommunityAcu.com

AlpineCommunityAcu@gmail.com

 

(Just thought I’d include our info at the bottom here in case you needed it or wanted to include any of it.)

 

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