It was just by chance that Heather Turnpaugh became involved in her husband, Dr.Chris Turnpaugh’s chiropractic business, but together, the couple has grown the practice to what it is today.
Chris has been practicing at Turnpaugh Health and Wellness Center for 20 years. Heather came to work as the office manager when Chris was involved in a bicycle accident. Previously a French teacher and stay-at-home mom to their children, Heather used her college background in business to lend a hand. “I came in and took over, thinking it would probably be temporary, but honestly, working together and each of us managing a different side of the business, it’s been great. He takes care of the patients and then doesn’t have to worry about anything else.”
Heather takes care of everything else, from helping expand the practice to managing the day-to-day operations. “All of the finances behind a business of this size needed to be addressed and I very quickly became the business manager too, and then we needed someone to do human resources and now I do that too and business development. I quickly realized that this was a whole lot more than being an office manager, managing the everyday operations and its growth and finances and patient interactions, my role naturally grew into being Chief Operating Officer.”
Four years ago they relocated the practice to Mechanicsburg to accommodate additional doctors. The business has grown from five people to a whopping 35 today. “It went from just Dr. Turnpaugh and another part-time chiropractor to now we have eight doctors, two massage therapists, an acupuncturist, two full-time phlebotomists, a psychotherapist, an IV nurse, two clinical assistants, we have a health coach, nutritionist on staff, and then clinical assistants, billing assistants, new patient coordinators, myself and other staff to help run everything.” Heather says that in their previous location on Carlisle Pike, there was already a year-long wait list so they knew they needed to expand and bring on other practitioners.
“We found some really good talent, really good caring, compassionate, functional-medicine minded doctors,” says Heather. “The business has really just grown organically by word of mouth. We put a lot of time and heart into our business.”
At the heart of their practice is the phi-losophy of treating the whole patient. The doctors, including Cynthia West, MD, Regina Smith, DO, ABIHM, Jessica Herzog, MD, ABIHM, Lynn Panattoni, PhD have varying backgrounds from pediatrics to internal medicine. One is even on the medical marijuana registry, so the center sees patients for chronic pain and fatigue issues. Additional the center offers hyperbaric therapy, IV therapy, massage therapy, chiropractic. “Really at the core,” says Heather, “all the doctors do the same thing, try to figure out the root cause of the patient’s disease.” As part of this strategy, each new patient has a sit down with a doctor for an hour, followed by another hour meeting at their second appointment. “They ask a lot of questions other doctors aren’t asking and then make recommendations based on re-ally comprehensive individual blood work.” All new patients at the center also see the nutritionist or health coach to help them with their diet and lifestyle. Additionally, everyone also sees Dr. Panattoni, the functional psychotherapist. “Because we really think there is a huge psychological component to being sick for so long. It’s not therapy, but to see if you have any barriers at home and find out how can we support them through this process.”
Interestingly enough, twice a month, Dr. Turnpaugh practices out of a Lan-caster location they opened to better accommodate their Amish and Mennonite patients, who would normally need to hire a driver to visit the center. “It’s about trust and mutual respect. I love going down there, the phone doesn’t ring, they’re so kind.”
What Heather is most proud of is the team they’ve created, “doctors who are kind, compassionate and extremely cutting edge and progressive in their clinical assessment.” Focusing on health care rather than disease care, the demand for appointments shows they have their priorities in the right place.