What Makes the FLIGHT™ Study Unique?

One of the central features of the FLIGHT™ Study is to facilitate collaboration among health and medical professionals from different disciplines.

Why is this collaborative process important? It is important because no one health or medical discipline (nutrition, Western medicine, psychology, neurodevelopmental therapeutics, Chinese Medicine, etc.) has all of the answers. We know that each discipline, and each unique practitioner, brings unique insights and knowledge that the other does not have.

What if we could get all of these skilled human beings from across disciplines to talk to each other? To collaborate in the service of one patient? What could be learned, shared and understood?

Since there is no single software system or even well-defined existing process for facilitating this type of collaboration, we built a process into the FLIGHT™ Study. Each step of this process needs to be carefully managed and documented. This is why we have recruited the best of the best to help facilitate this dialogue and collaborative work.

Our FLIGHT™ Study Team is unique in that collectively, they represent trainings and skillsets from across a wide range of health and medical disciplines. What’s more, our Medical and Scientific Advisory Board, representing over 40 different disciplines and types of training, contributes their knowledge to this process too.

Three members of the Documenting Hope FLIGHT™ Study Team that are deeply involved in the management of each child participant’s clinical program and the facilitation of the transdisciplinary collaboration include Dr. Heather Tallman Ruhm, Josie Nelson and Amy Mercury, and we’d like to tell you a little more about them.

Medical Director, Dr. Heather Tallman Ruhm, and Programs Director, Josie Nelson, work as facilitators of care for the FLIGHT™ Study participants.

Program Associate, Amy Mercury, offers direct support for each family and for the research team.

Each FLIGHT™ Study participant works with a team of local clinicians, including a functional medicine doctor, a functional dentist, nutritionist and a set of specialized clinicians that change depending on each child’s specific needs, but this local team is guided and supported by our FLIGHT™ Team.

In addition to coordinating all study activities (lab tests, physician and therapy visits, intervention plans, etc.) one of the core responsibilities of the FLIGHT team is to facilitate dialogue and communication among local clinicians, with a goal of sharing knowledge and learning across disciplines and practice areas.

Here is a little more about each team member:

DR. TALLMAN RUHM, Medical Director, is a Board-Certified Family Physician whose primary focus is whole-person health and patient education. She draws on her conventional western training along with insights and skills from functional, integrative, bioregulatory and energy medicine. She believes in the healing capacities of the human frame and supports the power of self-regulation to help her patients recover and access vitality.

Dr. Tallman Ruhm was born and raised in Montana. She graduated from Montana State University and later the Kennedy School of Government at Harvard where she received a Master’s in Public Policy. She attained her MD degree from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine and completed her Family Medicine Residency in Colorado and Alabama.

She has practiced ambulatory medicine from Coast to Coast, first at the Whitaker Wellness Institute in California, and later multiple integrative clinics in New England. She served as a college professor for over a decade where she taught Pathology and Foundations in Complementary Health and Wellness, a course she co-designed.

Dr. Tallman Ruhm is a sought-after public speaker who currently maintains a part-time private practice in Southern New Hampshire.

JOSIE NELSON, Programs Director, is the founder of Integrative Health Strategies and one of the chief architects of the Documenting Hope studies. She is a certified health coach, an ethicist, an advocate, and a lifetime student of holistic health. With a skillful mix of insight and analysis, Josie consults on a wide range of integrative health matters and helps her clients navigate a health landscape that is so saturated with quick fixes and conflicting points of view that discernment can be difficult.

Josie’s skill set includes the ability to work with children and adults on personalized nutrition and supplements, functional laboratory analysis and lab review, applied nutrigenomics, emotional and spiritual dimensions of chronic illness, and an understanding of physiology that helps her identify when specialized assessments might be warranted.

Josie’s areas of study also include five element theory, energy medicine, and internal arts. She has practiced Qi Gong since 2008, is a student in Damo Mitchell’s classical school Lotus Nei Gong School of Daoist Arts, and was certified to teach material from the school’s curriculum after completing a 2.5 year intensive teacher training in the fall of 2017. Before Josie trained to be a health practitioner she studied history, philosophy, religion and ethics while on a path to a doctoral degree at The University of Chicago, receiving degrees from Georgetown University and The University of Chicago Divinity School.

AMY MERCURY is an Upledger Institute trained Craniosacral Therapist (CST). She began her CST career at the Osher Clinical Center for Integrative Medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston and now has a private practice specializing in concussion, prolonged-concussion syndrome and other TBI’s.

Amy holds certificates in Digestive Health from the Ann Wigmore Institute for Natural Health and in Permaculture Design. In addition to her therapy practice, Amy is a health-profession consultant who blends her knowledge of natural health and wellness with her tech-savvy business acumen to develop sustainable, conscious-based companies. Amy graduated from Brandeis University and lives in Western Massachusetts.

The FLIGHT™ Study Team is busy supporting several families through their clinical program and rigorously documenting the transdisciplinary dialogue, mindfully extracting pearls of wisdom and new health and healing insights to share with you all. Stay tuned for more updates coming out of the FLIGHT™ Study.

You can find previous posts about the FLIGHT™ Study here.

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