As a pre-med student back in college, I remember drawing a picture in my notebook. It was a building that offered a number of services – what we now call a true health and wellness facility. This is where the idea for Natural Healthcare Center originated – with a notebook doodle.
I spent the first 10 years of my career working for others when I began my mission to find a building to create my idea. After convincing the bank to lend me a lot of money even though I was pretty broke and they threatened to take my house if things didn’t work out, I purchased Atlantic Chiropractic Center in Long Branch, the company and the building.
For the first two years, I worked seven days a week. After the office closed, I worked on construction projects until midnight or later, replacing outdated equipment, removing every last remnant of sea foam green that seemed to cover every wall, and remodeling the empty second and third floors.
Thanks to a strong faith in God, the unwavering support of my wife, Stacy, and Patty the office manager guiding the ship, I was eventually able to develop and implement my vision of a true health and wellness facility for the community. This vision has always been driven by our core values – a real passion for what we do, consistency in how we do it, and outstanding customer service.
Over the years, I’ve faced my fair share of professional and personal challenges. Hurricanes and blizzards. Employee sickness. Patient funerals. The passing of my Dad. However, these challenges, along with so many happy and heartwarming experiences, continue to fuel my passion for what I do and reaffirm my original vision for creating a place to help others.
The emotions I’ve felt when seeing a positive change in a blood test, or a patient regaining function after years of physical difficulty, are difficult to express in words. Seeing people’s reactions during speaking engagements through our Wellness At Work program has been moving and inspirational. Giving our wonderful patients hope of a better life through an integrated approach to healthcare, and helping them turn that hope into reality, is beyond rewarding.
Building an exceptional team of more than 20 to help me operate Natural Healthcare Center has been an incredible experience. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded by such passionate professionals – those who have been with me since day one – Patty and Brian – as well as remarkable team members like Coral, Melanie, Leigh, Lisa, Dr. Hostnik and Dr. Coetzee, who have joined the team during the last five years.
And, of course, during the past 10 years, my wife, Stacy, and I welcomed three sons into the world, joining our two daughters. There is no greater source of joy or pride in my life than my wife and five children. Without Stacy, Natural Healthcare Center would not exist.
What’s in store for the next 10 years? Short-term, we’re giving the Natural Healthcare Center building exterior a facelift beginning this month. Look for second floor renovations to be completed by the end of the year, along with new fitness programs, a new Natural Healthcare Center website, and a few surprises that I can’t reveal just yet.
As for long-term goals, our core values of passion, consistency and customer service will never change. We plan to grow my By Design radio show and bring Wellness At Work presentations to a national audience in order to impact the future of healthcare and prevent costly chronic illness and disease.
I also want to spread the Natural Healthcare Center method to new practices. My lifelong mission is to help prevent chronic disease by changing the face of healthcare and how it is delivered. We’ve already begun the movement locally, and we plan to take this movement across the entire country.
As we close out the first 10 years and look forward to the next 10 years, I want to thank everyone – family at home, family at Natural Healthcare Center, colleagues, patients and friends – who have contributed to bringing my notebook doodle of a true health and wellness facility to life.
During this year of the family and beyond, I hope you’ll continue with me on this journey to help people feel better, function better and live as many healthy, disease-free years as possible.
Dr. James Proodian is an accomplished chiropractic physician and health educator who founded Proodian Healthcare Family of Companies to help people feel better, function better, and live longer. His expertise for the past two decades has been in physical rehabilitation, and he has successfully established himself as a spinal specialist. In his practice, he advocates the science of functional medicine, which takes an integrative approach to treating patients by addressing their physical, nutritional, and psychological needs. Alarmed by the escalation of complex, chronic illness in our country, Dr. Proodian has been speaking to companies and organizations through his “Wellness at Work” program since 1994, motivating thousands of people to make positive lifestyle choices and lead healthier, more productive lives. He can be heard weekly on his radio program, “Proodian Healthcare By Design,” on Tandem Radio.