By Lorelei Lawson
The health care industry is growing, changing, and evolving every day. In this age of highly specialized providers, many people are searching for the personal touch for primary health care, and now there is a new option for the Hattiesburg area that promises to bring a fresh approach to its patients — the Legacy Health Center.
Lynda Avery Colbert, an advanced practice nurse with more than 17 years’ experience, primarily in family practice medicine, is bringing her experience and training in integrated health care to the forefront with her new practice in Hattiesburg.
“Many of my patients are looking for a more natural approach to health care,” Lynda said. “They are looking for the root cause of the problem, not just wanting to treat the symptoms.”
Lynda specializes in chronic fatigue syndrome, depression, hormone imbalance in men and women, fibromyalgia, and gastrointestinal disorders, but she enjoys helping people suffering from any health problems with her understanding of most disease processes.
The Road to Legacy
Legacy Health Center became a dream for Lynda after more than 20 years in the health field, with 17 of those as a board-certified family nurse practitioner. She had been victimized by chronic fatigue syndrome since her early 20s and began searching for alternative health options to resolve her medical issues. That led her to Orlando, Florida, where she entered the Fellowship Program of the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine (A4M), and where she also trained with world-renowned integrative physician, Dr. Don Colbert. This is where she began pursuing her in-depth education in integrative medicine in 2008. Since then, she has also become a Health Practitioner Diplomate with the American Board of Anti-Aging Health Practitioners, an advanced fellow in Anti-Aging, Regenerative, and Functional Medicine with the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine.
After some life changes, she took time off before working at a pediatric clinic, then at a practice in Jackson, which meant a 90-minute commute. Shortly afterward, she felt that it was time for a change. “I felt spiritually led to open my own practice,” Lynda said. “It was very rewarding to make that decision to get out of a traditional family practice into integrative medicine, a way to treat the whole person and not just the condition.”
With the assistance of private partners, a practice manager, and a collaborative physician to review all her charts, the Legacy Health Center was born.
A Fresh Approach
At the Legacy Health Center, Lynda strives to enhance the joys of life and ease the discomfort of the aging process by treating diseases, and promoting wellness, minimizing the effects of common diseases and syndromes, and in some cases, eliminating or reversing them all together.
Lynda has firsthand experience with the problems that illnesses can cause for her patients. She lived through years of chronic fatigue that was not helped by traditional medicine. “My sister experienced some of the same symptoms, but chose conventional medicine as her choice of treatment instead of integrative and the results were fatal. She died Jan. 10, 2009. My clinic is dedicated to her memory and the struggles that people encounter when trying to find answers to their health concerns,” stated Lynda.
“I’ve been the mom who’s too tired to make dinner,” Lynda said. “I’ve been so depressed and so tired at church I wanted to curl up on the pew and sleep five minutes into the service. It all stemmed from a hormone imbalance, which led to a hysterectomy. Now, my muscle strength is better, my weight is normalized, and to be pain-free is very rewarding. It’s why I choose to practice medicine this way. I know if my body is not in balance, if I don’t eat well, with lots of fresh fruits and vegetables — I don’t feel well. I was diagnosed with chronic fatigue syndrome at 23, and it wasn’t until I started looking at my own lab levels, to see if they were off, that I even had the energy to exercise.”
One obvious benefit of her decision to pursue integrative medicine is in Lynda herself. After making her own journey back to good health through integrative medicine, she lost about 50 pounds along the way. Her clients have proof of those benefits each time they visit the Legacy Health Center.
Taking Time, Changing Lives
Having felt frustrated with the lack of patient care she was able to give due to government and insurance company regulations, she began working on her plans to open a health care center where patients could voice their concerns to their practitioner.
Her focus is not just preventative care, but viewing her patients’ health in respect to all facets — physical, mental, emotional, spiritual, environmental, and social. She measures her success by knowing her patients’ quality of life has improved for them and their family; therefore, she offers her clients more time, more attention, more options and an alternative to the healing process.
“We’re going toward more supplemental treatments to bring about hormonal balance,” Lynda said. “I can perform hormone pellet implants, prescribe transdermal patches, pills or creams. I use prescription drugs when I think they are necessary, but often it only requires bringing the body back to its balance, which may be achieved without prescribed drugs.
Besides hormonal supplements, Lynda also offers nutritional supplements, vitamins, minerals, herbs, amino acids and fatty acids to help her patients feel better and get healthier. This process often includes lifestyle changes.
“My approach is more about lifestyle changes and trying to get most of our nutrients from our naturally nutritious foods,” Lynda said. Health coaching is an important part of assisting my patients to identify and change areas in their lives in order to become healthier. It’s all about a better way to do things. How to fit exercise into a busy schedule. How to eat healthy on the go. How to de-stress.”
Begin Your Journey
If you are not feeling as well as you once did, or if you are tired of being told, “you’re just getting older,” a visit to Lynda at the Legacy Health Center could be the first step to a happier, healthier, more active life. She will take the extra time to listen actively, ask the right questions, and really get to know you before recommending a course of treatment and lifestyle changes to get you back on track.
The initial consultation will be 45-60 minutes, which may include comprehensive lab work. Their office includes a beautiful, but very comfortable lab for their patients to have lab work performed or even to receive intravenous therapy. Afterward, you will be given information to log on their secured patient portal to complete a detailed questionnaire. On your first follow-up visit, a preliminary treatment plan will be given and any questions or concerns will be discussed. The treatment plan may include diet plans, lifestyles suggestions, prescription changes, laboratory results, and a date for a possible follow-up visit. Most follow-up visits will be to discuss your lab results and to modify your individualized treatment plan. Common areas of focus during visits are nutrition, hormone deficiency, pre/post menopause evaluation, inflammatory disorders, dietary counseling, chronic fatigue assessment, bone density, and stress reduction. Some of the tests performed at the Legacy Health Center include:
Some of the symptoms treated include:
- Neurotransmitter testing
- ALCAT food intolerance testing
- Adrenal tests (Cortisol & DHEA)
- GI (Gastrointestinal) function tests
- Hormone testing for men and women
Conventional Medicine vs. Integrative Medicine
- Andropause (male menopause)
- Brain fog
- Cognitive decline
- GI complaints
- Low libido
- Panic disorders
- Weight issues
Lynda stated, “Conventional medicine can treat many diseases, but sometimes neglect the key components of healthy life styles. We truly understand that healing involves not just physical recovery, but includes returning to mental, emotional and spiritual well-being. Our focus is on treating the whole person.”
To get started, you can visit the website at www.legacyhealthcenter.net
for a look at all the services Lynda and her staff offer, as well as fill out a contact form if desired. You can also call to set up an appointment at 601-620-0370. The practice is located at 16 Bellegrass Blvd. in Hattiesburg off Hwy 589.
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