Let the healing begin
BASALT Anew medical center that the founder says will combine an unparalleled blend of Eastern and Western approaches to health and healing is within months of opening in Basalt.Dr. Dave Jensen and his wife Dee are constructing a 30,000-square-foot building that will house their Institute for World Integrated Neurocenters. The institute will open in early 2008 just to the south of the Midvalley Medical Clinic on Highway 82.The health institute and independent clinic will complement one another rather than compete, he said.The center will offer a mind-boggling array of services for both treatment and prevention of medical problems. It will feature alternative types of medicine, like acupuncture and Chinese herbal remedies, and more mainstream medical treatment, like doctors of osteopathy, orthopedics and neurology.The centers approach is based on Jensens philosophy that medical patients are demanding more consumer- based or education-based medicine these days. People want to be informed, he said, and they want to have multiple options for dealing with a medical issue.For example, a person dealing with cancer might seek a blend of both Eastern- influenced practices and a standard medicine approach.Im bringing the best of the best to one location in the Roaring Fork Valley so (patients) dont have to go to the city, Jensen said.He believes the valley is the perfect place for such a center because its natural wonders promote fitness. Jensen, a chiropractor, has operated wellness centers in the valley for 12 years. His practices in Holland Hills and Glenwood Springs attract professional athletes and celebrities to the valley, he said.He settled in the Roaring Fork Valley after first considering Sun Valley and Jackson Hole. He thought the Roaring Fork Valley presented the greatest opportunity for growth.His practice currently features 48 practitioners. That will swell to 100 in the new center, including everyone from physical therapists and yoga instructors to medical doctors.The integrated approach to medicine, which will be a 50-50 mix between Eastern and Western at the center, is the model Jensen said he has thought best for a long time. Only a privileged few, such as professional athletes, have enjoyed easy access to that type of care under one roof.Jensen was a sports chiropractor on the medical staff of the Dallas Cowboys football team right before moving to the valley in 1995. He also has worked for the U.S. Olympic Team. Those experiences showed him the possibilities of integrated care. The Basalt center represents the realization of the Jensens vision and dream. He said the center will be the first of its kind in the U.S. Dee has worked for several years on the business and marketing side of the health institute.The $8 million project is funded by Alpine Bank and a special program through the Small Business Administration. The Jensens didnt seek private investors because they didnt want to compromise their vision. Nonetheless, the center is a viable business approach, he said.Each of the three floors in the center is 10,000 square feet. The first floor will house offices for doctors and chiropractors, as well as a spa. The second floor will feature a large lecture hall, a gym, physical therapy areas, space for yoga and Tai Chi classes, and a childrens learning center.A big part of the centers mission focuses on preventative medicine and wellness.Medicine is the have-to part. We should be the want-to part, Jensen said.There will be a huge want-to factor for golfers. The special program at the center will allow golfers to play 18-holes on 250 digitally simulated courses. But its not just fun and games. Jensens staff will work with clients to avoid injuries and tap the most of their physical abilities in their golf game.Its really making you a healthy golf player, he said.The third floor of the center will have four affordable housing units for staff and four apartments which will be rented to out-oftown patients. The free-market units will come with a health concierge who will do everything from organize hikes up a 14,000-foot mountain to shuttle clients to a golf course.The roof of the structure will be turf from recycled rubber from tennis shoes that provides a surface suitable for classes. A geothermal system will provided an estimated 80 percent of the buildings energy. Jensen hopes that additional green steps make it self-sustaining by 2010. Local architect Patrick Stuckey designed the building and the general contractor is B&H Builders.Jensen hopes to expand his integrated centers to Miami and Hawaii after establishing his practice in Basalt.He isnt shy about dreaming big.Our motto is were going to change health care, he said.Scott Condons e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.