On our Primary Care/Internal Medicine side we take great pains to make sure correct diagnoses are made and that our patients are given the tools needed to be partners in their own health care. In our Primary Care Gym we offer Trainer-Run/Physician supervised Group Exercise Classes designed to improve strength, reduce pain, improve balance and endurance while reducing your risk of developing diabetes, high blood pressure, strokes and heart attacks. For those who already suffer from any of these chronic illnesses.
Our Mission is to mentor and provide the tools and knowledge to our patient’s enabling them to successfully make healthy solutions for life. We offer individually structured exercise programs in which weight loss is not the goal. The program is designed to reduce morbidity and mortality from Diabetes, Hypertension and Cardiovascular disease. The exercise program aims for risk reduction by improving blood pressure, blood sugars and improving lipid profiles, all of which improves your overall health.
My Primary care practice provides these essential elements in the management of acute and chronic medical problems; as well as promoting and providing guidance for a healthy disease-free life. Our holistic approach to medicine pairs comprehensive disease management with lasting lifestyle changes. This winning combination successfully reduces the incidence of acute and chronic diseases; prevents and minimizes damage from existing disease while improving your sense of well being.
How It All Began
I’m Dr. Ruth Freeman, Internal Medicine. I have a vision for the future of medicine. I have the experience and the platform to make our medical system work better for patients and for doctors. As Doctors, we start out with great intentions, but we become overworked, unhappy and jaded as we are forced to comply with the restraints placed on us by our current medical system. Over the past twenty years, I have seen a marked shift downward in the quality of medical care in our region. I have put together a plan for a sustainable model which will allow doctors to spend more time with their patients thus improving patient outcomes while maintaining a healthy work life balance.My background
As a freshman at the University of Georgia at the tender age of 16, I had already chosen my path to medicine. I graduated with a B.S in Biology then went on to earn my Doctor of Medicine from Howard University College of Medicine. I completed my Internal Medicine Residency at the Montefiore Division of Albert Einstein in Bronx New York. I spent the first two years after residency working first in the ER at Montefiore Medical Center then at Saint Francis Hospital in Grand Island, Nebraska.
I spent the first 18 years of my Internal Medicine career working as a Primary Care Physician for large multi-specialty groups. Because of my excellence in managing complicated patients, I attracted some of the sickest patients to my practice. Though undaunted by the complexity of these patients, making time for such patients within the time constraints that the industry demanded proved challenging. I lived everyday with the fear that something important would be missed. I spent hours after the patients were gone reviewing their charts to ensure that nothing was missed. I was constantly under pressure from management but I refused to compromise. Though I was well aware of the negative financial impact seeing fewer patients would have on the practice, the safety and health of my patients had to take priority.“The maximum allowable”
The time constraints placed on Primary Care doctors is directly, though not totally, related to the value insurance companies place on our time and our skill as Primary Care physicians. Many insurances do not compensate a Primary Care Physician for additional time spent to care for a complex patient. Insurance plans have fixed amounts that they pay to physicians for a single visit. The cap per visit is deemed “the maximum allowable.” If a primary care physician needs an hour for a complex patient, the physician will often be paid no more than if the patient was seen for no more than 15 or 25 minutes. It is impossible for a Primary Care practice to survive on insurance reimbursements alone particularly if the practice contains more complex patients. Adequate staffing and time with patients are required to provide safe and excellent care. Many Primary Care practices survive by reducing the visit lengths and by operating with less staff than is needed.How It Happened
Looking back at the trends in medicine over the last twenty years, doctors, particularly those in Primary Care, have moved away from private practice to join large multi-specialty groups. Gone are the days when we lamented about the cost of malpractice insurance. There are now greater financial burdens. For example, every physician must have an electronic medical record system. To get on the most popular system in this region, even though I am solo, I would need $120,000.00 to acquire the system. Once acquired, the system costs $75,000.00 yearly. These and other soaring cost have made the solo practitioner extinct. Unless a Primary Care Physician had an additional source of income, it was imperative that we become employees of one of these large institutions. Sadly, the result has been a marked reduction in the quality of care provided in the primary care setting. For physicians, the time constraints can be harrowing. Physician burnout rates are high, particularly for doctors that truly care.I thought of retiring
I reached that burnout point in August of 2016. For eighteen years, I refused to stay within the time constraints dictated. The increased hours and the stress of caring for patients under those conditions took their toll. In the summer of 2016, I decided to retire from medicine.
As I prepared for a new career, my plan was sabotaged by a longtime patient of mine, Paul Anthony Morrier. His words were simply, “Don’t quit on me. I need you. You saved my life.” At that moment, I realized that, with all the skills I had amassed and with my years of experience, I was more valuable than ever.
I could have accepted another six-figure salary with yet another multi-specialty group. Instead, I decided to go against the medical industry grain by opening my own practice. I was determined to find a way to give my patients the care they needed and deserved. I knew my impact on the world of medicine would be far greater if I was able to do all I thought best for my patients. Paul became my friend and mentor. For the next 2 years, under Paul’s guidance, we built Dr. Ruth Freeman and Well Beyond Pain. We created a place we could be proud of. Within these walls, I can practice medicine the way it should be practiced, with excellence.The Primary Care Gym
In addition to providing our patients with excellent medical care, the clinic houses a gym that offers supervised exercise sessions. By providing my patients with an effective program to improve their health, I have expanded the scope of my influence on positive outcomes. There is no single medication that can take the place of a healthy diet and an effective exercise program. An exercise program with the right amount of “the right kind of exercise” saves lives, reduces the incidence of heart attack, stroke, diabetes, hypertension and mitigates damage for those who already suffer from such issues.Helping patients with Chronic Pain
The third arm of the practice, Well Beyond Pain, will roll out at the end of this year. This program is dedicated to those who suffer from chronic pain. Our clinic will be a place where patients suffering chronic pain will be treated with dignity. We will pair Exercise, Nutrition, Techniques in Mindfulness and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for chronic pain. We will help those who suffer from chronic pain to regain the lives they have lost. The key to success is to provide these particularly vulnerable patients with a readily available, comprehensive support system. We will target additional long-term goals for chronic pain suffers. Being sedentary increases the risk of heart attack, stroke. diabetes and hypertension. Risk reduction for this particular population will be addressed as well.Enter Group Exercise Classes
Our Primary Care Clinic opened on May 1st of 2018. I am glad to be back. The joy I have been met with has been overwhelming. The new addition to the practice, Group Exercise Classes began on August 11th, 2018. Classes are conducted by our certified trainers. I am thrilled at the improvements I have seen in our patients already. The improvements in strength, mobility, reduction blood pressures, and pain reduction have occurred more quickly than I expected.
Though I have always encouraged my patients to exercise, without our supervised Group exercise classes, it typically takes patients 6-8 months to see significant reductions in their blood pressures. In only 3 months in our program, patients have seen marked improvements in their blood pressures. Some results were so good that we could lower blood pressure medications significantly. Patients have also reported measurable improvements in strength and mobility. One of our patients who had not been able to walk up a flight of stairs unless both feet were brought to the same step, reported that she was able to walk up stairs normally for the first time in many years. Our patient who suffered a stroke a few years ago is now strong enough to help with his transfers from his wheel chair. When I met him many months ago, we needed two people. Even then, we struggled to transfer him to the exam table.Our Team and Goals
The practice has grown simply by word of mouth.
I hope that my venture will inspire other good doctors to take a chance on themselves for the sake of our patients. Together we can restore the heart and soul to the profession I love.
Dr. Ruth Freeman
Dr. Ruth Freeman, MD
After almost twenty years of practice in large multi-specialty practices, I decided to start a private practice. I did so at a time when it was thought that Primary Care Physicians could no longer maintain insurance based private practices. The cost of providing medical care in the primary care setting had overshadowed insurances, thus reducing reimbursements because of the size of the facility. Defeat was not an option.
I was determined to build a practice that would allow me to spend the time I feel is necessary to provide excellent care for my patients. To hear and address their complaints and understand their situations. I was able to follow yet another passion of mine by incorporating "The Wellness Program" and "Well Beyond Pain." I take immense pleasure in helping patients achieve life style changes needed to reduce illness and improve quality of life.
My passion and commitment to making a difference in this community has never been stronger.
Sara Pedersen, DCS
Director of Clinical Services
NSCA Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist
I am a goals oriented personal trainer. With my deep knowledge of the fitness industry, I will help you attain the results that align with your goals. Being an NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist, I help my clients reach their health, fitness and lifestyle goals with emphasis on proper form for injury prevention backed by the importance of exercise science.
I strongly believe that I am here to help clients live a higher quality life and fitness helps boost your self confidence to live a healthier daily lifestyle.
AFAA Certified Personal Trainer & Group Exercise
Fitness is something you earn.
The benefits to name a few are strength, endurance, flexibility, body fat loss, improved cardiovascular health, improved functional living and most importantly, self respect. The confidence you gain is the bonus of weight training and anyone can do it. You can change the shape of your body to be the best for you
My name is Koreen, and I have been a group exercise instructor for over 20 years. My experience and strengths align with proper form and functional fitness by developing core strength. Every person is unique and your exercise program will be as well. I look forward to working with you.
Cheri Soraparu, MS, CCN
Certified Clinical Nutritionist
I’ve always had a passion for learning about the human body and how nature, our environment, and even our thoughts affect our health and well-being. I absolutely loved learning about nutrition and biochemistry, so I obtained my master’s degree and became Board-Certified as a Clinical Nutritionist. I stay current with the latest nutrition research and frequently participate in continuing education and scientific symposiums.
I am dedicated to helping others achieve their health and wellness goals and I look forward to supporting you though your nutrition and wellness journey.