"Health is a large word. It embraces not the body only, but the mind and spirit as well; and not today's pain or pleasure alone, but the whole being and outlook of a man."
- James H. West
Frequently Asked Questions
What is integrative medicine?
Integrative medicine is a healing-oriented medicine that takes account of the whole person (body, mind, and spirit), including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative. For more info see integrative medicine.
What’s the difference between the terms alternative, complementary, and integrative?
Alternative therapies are described as those used instead of conventional medical treatment, whereas the term complementary describes treatments that are used in conjunction with conventional medical treatment. Integrative medicine combines the best practices from conventional, complementary and alternative therapies, resulting in a complete and well-rounded health care paradigm.
It is our hope that in the future we will have no further need for these labels, and these concepts, definitions and approaches will simply be known as “good medicine.”
Does this replace conventional treatment?
Integrative medicine is a blend of both paradigms, and is meant to co-exist with conventional treatment plans. Our medical directors are both MDs with a background and training in conventional medicine, as well as integrative approaches, and have a keen understanding of how to successfully merge the strengths of both.
How do you choose your therapies?
The integrative approach involves applying a rational framework at all times, and presenting treatment options that have been proven safe and effective based upon current research and findings. You can be assured that our practitioners will strive to use natural and less invasive therapies whenever possible, while at the same time ensuring that important and proven conventional treatments are not excluded.
Is my privacy protected?
We follow the BC College of Physicians and Surgeons, as well as the BC Medical Association guidelines for the protection of your privacy and personal health information. This means we have extensive physical, electronic and administrative security safeguards in place. We also have strict company policies regarding privacy, and thorough training procedures to ensure adherence to these policies.
None of your programs are quite right for me and my health needs. Can you develop something to suit me?
Absolutely! Our goal is to discover the best way to address your specific health concerns. If that means developing a personalized plan apart from our programs, we would be happy to work with you to do that.
Do your MDs practice as conventional family physicians?
We offer integrative care with a focus on prevention. This involves whole person strategies which include the following components: education, movement & fitness, nutrition, mind/body, and other complementary therapies. As such, our MDs operate as integrative physicians, offering consults, assessments and ongoing integrative care. While they do not operate as family physicians, they will work in conjunction with your family physician, or other healthcare practitioners to provide the best possible care.
Are your services covered under MSP?
Integrative medicine consists in large part of preventive medicine counselling, which is currently not an insured service funded by our provincial health plan. Our main goal is to demonstrate the effectiveness of this model so that one day we may evolve the system to ensure access to preventive services, regardless of financial status.
To that end, we are structured as a non-profit organization, and are in the process of creating a fund to help subsidize the cost of our services (criteria and application procedures to come). We also offer extended payment plan options for comprehensive programs.
Should our MDs provide any medically necessary diagnostic and treatment services apart from our specialized preventive programs, MSP will be billed for those services. The fees charged by Connect Health are specifically for integrative programs and services with a focus on prevention, and do not guarantee access to insured services.
Are your services covered by my extended health plan?
Some of the fees for our services may be covered under your extended health plan, and reimbursed by your insurance carrier. We strongly advise that you contact your insurance company directly to confirm coverage. When doing so, enquire about key phrases such as "physician-based risk assessments," "wellness coverage," and "alternative therapies."
Are your services tax deductible?
Many of the services provided by our health care team qualify as tax deductible medical expenses under Canada Revenue Agency legislation. For a detailed list of eligible expenses, see their website at www.cra.gc.ca
Can I attend workshops and seminars if I’m not a patient?
Yes. Our goal is to openly share information from the growing field of integrative medicine, which includes the specialized knowledge each practitioner brings from their respective disciplines. We want our centre to be a community resource; a place where you can access up-to-date information, gain practical tools, and receive personalized support.
Do I need a referral from a doctor to come to Connect Health?
No referral is required. We welcome anyone to our centre.
What is your cancellation policy?
We require a minimum of 24 hours notice for cancellation of appointments. For anything less, full fees will apply.