Greater Peoria Metro Area, IL

Working with the community... for a healthier community.

Practicing Wellness in Pekin


By Lori Lovely

It began with one man’s vision. In 2001, Volkan Sumer, DO, established a small family practice in Pekin with the goal of becoming a premier provider of outpatient health care. In order to fully attain that goal, he has expanded services, brought in additional providers and moved to a new facility in March 2013 that accommodates more patients.

ICPR Family Practice delivers a professional, compassionate approach to caring for patients. Dr. Sumer and the other providers work as a team with the patient to create an optimal treatment plan. ICPR providers Tonya Dennison, FNP (family nurse practitioner), Vickie Styninger, PA-C (certified physician assistant), and Cory Sharp, PA-C, embody the ICPR philosophy.

ICPR Family Practice sees patients for everything from colds and flus to wellness exams, osteopathic manipulations, and diabetic care, says Jen Herchenbach, RMM, practice manager. Expanded services include in-house physical therapy; Sumer Wellness & Spa; the KNAP program; in-home sleep studies to treat restless sleep, sleep apnea, sleeplessness and inability to stay asleep; well-baby visits; physicals for school and sports; on-site X-rays; in-house lab work; immunizations and vaccinations; pulmonary function studies and an on-staff respiratory therapist.

The wide variety of programs offered in-house in Pekin sets ICPR apart from others, Herchenbach believes. “Our patients don’t have to go from place to place for different services. They like getting everything done at one location, right here in their own
town: Pekin.”

Convenience extends to office hours. ICPR schedules appointments until 7 p.m. three nights a week to accommodate work schedules.

Diabetic Program
A registered nurse works with ICPR’s providers to help patients with questions after diagnosis. Diabetic consultations teach patients how to control and manage their blood sugar through glucose monitoring, meal choices and carb counting.

Herchenbach says the nurse also helps the patient with coordination of diabetic care, such as getting insulin pumps, scheduling eye exams, and knowing when testing is required. ICPR utilizes the i-Pro, a tiny glucose sensor inserted under the skin to continuously monitor glucose levels. The recorder, which is about the size of a quarter, lays flat against the body, recording glucose levels to provide information about glycemic patterns that will help improve diabetes treatment and balance glucose levels.

Knee Arthritis Program
Approximately 10 million Americans suffer from osteoarthritis of the knee. “Dr. Sumer has helped a lot of patients with knee pain,” Herchenbach indicates. Often caused by “wear and tear” from common activities, osteoarthritis affects athletes, people with a family history of arthritis, and those who spend a lot of time on their feet.

Severe osteoarthritis of the knee can be treated with knee replacement surgery. However, Dr. Sumer likes his patients to consider exhausting all conservative and natural treatment options before considering surgery. In many cases, the KNAP program can be used as an alternative to surgery. The program has kept patients like 55-year-old Kevin McMillan active. Now that he’s no longer dealing with knee pain that had been getting progressively worse over the years, he is once again able to ice skate after completing the treatment.

Similarly, Peggy Palumbo, who has done a series of injections every six months since 2010, is able to play golf without pain. She says the program gives her stamina.

The knee arthritis treatment program combines hyaluronan replacement therapy to cushion and lubricate the joints with a personalized physical therapy program designed by on-site staff physical therapist, Doug Anderson. Usually, the program consists of five weekly injections, Herchenbach says. “Injections along with physical therapy is best because it enhances muscles with strengthening and mobility.”

Physical therapy exercises to do at home between visits can further extend the effects of treatment.

Physical Therapy
Anderson, the physical therapist on staff, has been helping people overcome pain for 28 years. “He’s a fun, optimistic, out-of-the-box thinker with an outlook that is uplifting,” Herchenbach describes.

He develops personalized plans to treat the back and neck, hips, knees, foot and ankle, headaches, stroke rehabilitation, carpal tunnel, vestibular and balance, neurological disorders and more.

Anderson and his team work closely with the medical providers to be sure that patients experiencing pain get the maximum results.

Sumer Wellness & Spa
Merry Sumer, PA-C, and wife of Dr. Sumer, believed that Pekin and the surrounding area needed a relaxing place where people could go for optimal, anti-aging skin care, pampering spa treatments, and wellness-related services. “Following Dr. Sumer’s vision, Merry started a medical spa to expand the practice into aesthetic medicine,” Herchenbach says.

Merry works with her staff consisting of Mel Hosbrough, licensed esthetician, and Abby Mahrt, licensed cosmetologist, to bring additional insight and skill to each treatment plan.

Non-surgical procedures include Botox cosmetic for wrinkles and Juvederm dermal fillers for lines and volume loss, as well as various exfoliation treatments to improve skin tone, texture, and lighten spots,” says Merry.

“We are the first [provider] locally to offer one of the most intense therapies for scarring, lines, stretch marks, and pigmentation,” She adds. Her program is a highly customized “natural rejuvenation” treatment that provides results similar to those of a fractionated laser without the downtime or removal of skin. This treatment involves creating and infusing growth factors, which are key to building healthier and younger looking skin. “Our patients love the results they are seeing with these treatments!”

Relaxation and therapeutic massage round out the spa’s offerings. Sumer Wellness & Spa also offers The Extreme CHANGE weight loss program, a 10-week “launch pad” for a healthy lifestyle.

Merry concludes, “We only sell what we personally believe in and use ourselves. Many of our patients want to maintain their natural beauty as they age and we will help them every step of the way.”

Keys to Success
ICPR Family Practice’s philosophy focuses on individualized care that is all-inclusive. Family members are part of the patient’s care, Herchenbach states, and all the staff at ICPR takes the time to get to know patients and their family members.

Patients are invited to take an active role in their health care, encouraged to ask questions and enabled to make changes so they can live healthier lives. Sumer considers his relationship with the patient a partnership for better health.

“He will discuss options for a healthier life and help patients reach their goals,” Herchenbach elaborates. In fact, she adds, all the providers at ICPR are dedicated and giving. “They’re focused on providing the best quality of care so patients can reach their most optimized health.”

That is part of the reason ICPR has many long-term patients. “Dr. Sumer and the staff are compassionate,” Herchenbach says. “They care.”

It’s clear that Dr. Sumer listens to his patients. As medical director and owner, Sumer is responsive to their needs, which is what led to the expansion of the practice and the addition of specialized services. To ensure that principle continues, a very selective hiring process is in place to guarantee that new employees fit with the culture and contribute to the family atmosphere established by this growing family practice.

ICPR Family Practice treats patients in every aspect of life, from birth through geriatrics, all under one roof.

ICPR Family Practice, ICPR Physical Therapy, and Sumer Wellness & Spa are part of the ICPR family. As they continue to grow and expand services, their patients’ health and well-being remain their top priority.

For more information or to make an appointment, contact ICPR Family Practice at 309-347-4277 or visit They are located at 3400 Griffin Avenue, Pekin, IL.

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