“Knowledge about health is the key to survival,” said LaConya Robertson, a nurse practitioner and key member of the Clark-Brown Family Care Clinic. She illustrated her point with a story. A woman came to the clinic because of a leg wound that wouldn’t heal.
When Robertson unwrapped the leg, she found the wound was deeply infected. This new patient thought her leg was doing what it was supposed to do because she’d never been told any different. Many of us, Robertson said, are walking around with serious health issues because we don’t know any better. Closing that understanding gap is one of the main objectives of The Clark-Brown practice.
Dr. Cheryl Clark-Brown first became interested in medicine as a little girl. Both her parents had cancer and she accompanied her mother to specialist appointments at MD Anderson. She knew then she wanted to do something in medicine and at first considered nursing as her mother was a nurses aide. As Clark-Brown got older, she realized she wanted to be the one who gave directions to nurses and patients. She then decided to become a doctor.
For years, Dr. Clark-Brown worked in the large clinic system, but didn’t like the time limits placed on patients. She decided the only way to give the kind of care she’d gone to medical school to provide was to open her own practice.
it’s about educating that patient on lifestyle, diet, and everything.
In 2009 she opened a clinic in East Austin, not far from where she was born. Her aim was to not only treat patients, but to educate them, so that they could make positive life changes. “It’s not just about passing out medications,” Clark-Brown said, “it’s about educating that patient on lifestyle, diet, and everything.”
More than a 100 patients a day seek out the Clark-Brown practice, many because they want more natural ways to treat health issues. The medical team uses a combination of eastern and western approaches to care. Probably the most visible sign of the Eastern method is the presence of acupuncturist Anne Cusick. She works primarily to help clients manage pain, but explains that acupuncture can also address sleeping issues, poor digestion, stress, anxiety, and depression – all conditions that can accompany pain.
Nurse practitioner Jonathan Escobedo joined the practice earlier this year. One of the things he likes about the practice is has time to build a rapport with each patient, so he gets a better understanding of their needs and how to help them. He emphasizes the importance of learning your family’s medical history and getting regular screenings. “Go to the doctor,” Escobedo says,” not because you are sick, just come because you need to know your health status.”
Dr. Clark-Brown’s office is currently accepting new patients. Representatives from Clark-Brown will conduct health screenings on-site during Soul Food Truck Fest on Saturday, September 30 from noon to 5:00 pm at Freedom Plaza, at the George Washington Carver Museum, 1165 Angelina Street.