InspireHealth offers integrated approach

The non-profit health services provider will open a clinic in Abbotsford in June 2013.

  • Apr. 6, 2012 8:00 p.m.

InspireHealth, which dubs itself a world leader in integrative cancer care, will be opening a clinic in Abbotsford a year from now.

The non-profit health services provider is expanding into five new centres, including Abbotsford, with the local centre scheduled to open in June 2013.

Dr. Teresa Clark, a physician with InspireHealth, was at the University of the Fraser Valley Abbotsford campus on Monday night to offer a free public talk about disease prevention and integrated health care.

Integrated cancer care focuses on health and healthy lifestyle by engaging people in their own health care through nutrition, exercise, and emotional and spiritual support in conjunction with conventional cancer treatment.  Patients improve their quality of life, decrease the risk of cancer recurrence and increase survival.

“There’s so much patients can do for themselves to increase their chance of survival,” she said, “rather than feeling like a passive recipient of health care.”

InspireHealth will help cancer patients know the level of exercise and type of diet that is optimum for them. In a classroom setting, they can take cooking classes to learn to prepare the foods they need, take yoga classes for exercise, or learn meditation to help bring down their stress level. Clients can take an unlimited number of classes.

“They (patients) improve in their outlook,” said Clark. “We see that transformation happen.”

Clark said InspireHealth gets measureable results across the board. For example, she said advanced age patients with stage four lung cancer generally have a life expectancy of one year. Patients in that demographic who access InspireHealth live three years.

“It does help every cancer,” said Clark. “And there is no downside.”

The Vancouver InspireHealth clinic has been operating since 1997, but is considered to offer a new approach.

Sadly, cancer prevention information and integrated cancer care options are not mainstream knowledge. As recent research shows, only five per cent of North American cancer survivors are meeting experts’ recommendations on diet, physical activity and quitting smoking.

Because of the fast growing population in the Fraser Valley the health ministry directed InspireHealth’s expansion to Abbotsford.