Dr. Heidi S. Puc is founder and physician owner of Integrative Medicine of Central New York (IM of CNY) in Chittenango. IM of CNY specializes in integrative adult and healing-oriented medicine.
By Barbara Pierce
Q.: What exactly is integrative medicine?
A.: Integrative medicine describes an approach to patient care in which the practitioner and patient are in a partnership to promote healing in the patient. It is care of the person as a whole; we look at the whole person and evaluate all the factors in his or her life that affect health and well-being, such as stressors at home and at work, diet, lifestyle, level of physical activity, sleep, and social and community connections.
We try to find the root cause of disease and the obstacles to healing. When a patient comes to us, we listen to their story, review prior records, examine the patient, and order appropriate testing. Then we formulate a treatment plan in the context of that person’s life.
Treatment may include many different modalities, both from conventional medicine and natural interventions. We bridge the natural and conventional. Treatment may or may not include medication, and it could include dietary changes, physical activity, herbal supplements, mind-body or energy therapies, and others.
Q.: When you founded IM of CNY in August of 2018, what was your vision?
A.: My vision was to create a safe, comfortable environment for patients, where their story is heard in a non-rushed fashion and where they are a offered a holistic approach to care.
We offer a setting for people to be active participants in their care that empowers them to tap into their own inner healing. We place a high priority on giving each individual our undivided attention during his or her visit, and the office environment has been carefully crafted to be a place of nurturing for patients.
At IM of CNY, we shift away from focusing on the disease to focusing on the person as a whole, as all aspects of mind, body, spirit and community affect our state of health.
Q.: What are the main things you would like the community to know about IM of CNY?
A.: IM of CNY specializes in integrative adult medicine consultations. We focus on Lyme disease treatment, integrative oncology, integrative prevention and wellness visits, medical marijuana consultations for New York state qualifying conditions, as well as integrative nutrition holistic health coaching.
We offer oral herbal supplements in our office and nutraceutical and antibiotic infusions in our infusion room, based on recommendations made during consultations. We also offer complementary therapies including reiki, pranic healing, CBD oil, essential oils, and meditation.
Q.: How did you become involved with integrative medicine?
A.: I practiced conventional medicine after I completed my fellowship in adult oncology and hematology at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, specializing in cancer and blood disorders.
After I had a personal experience with reiki and meditation, I became interested in integrative medicine. I trained through the Scripps Clinic in California, followed by a two-year integrative medicine fellowship with Dr. Andrew Weil at the University of Arizona. Weil is considered a pioneer in the field of integrative medicine.
For a while, I combined integrative medicine with my oncology practice.
Taking a leap of faith, I left conventional medicine to practice integrative medicine in Albany, where I became trained in the management of Lyme disease.
I then decided to bring my knowledge and experience back to my community by opening up my own integrative medicine practice in Chittenango.
Q.: What are you most passionate about?
A.: Living my truth in all ways, and doing what I am passionate about, which is integrative medicine. So, I guess I am passionate about living my passion!
Q.: Is there anything else that you would like people to know about you or IM of CNY?
A.: We at IM of CNY are here to serve the Central New York community in a very unique way: to always listen to the patient’s story, offer therapies beyond just the conventional, and to be the catalysts for the patient’s healing.
I have so much to be grateful for at IM of CNY, with a team of amazing people who all have a passion for serving our patients in the practice of integrative medicine. I see patients in consultation, and am excited that two physician assistants are now working with me, Angelica Martin and Dina Schnellinger, who I have personally trained.
I am also excited to announce that we soon will be starting to offer Clear Mind Center Neurofeedback treatment for a variety of cognitive and brain disorders.
Editor’s note: Puc and her staff at Integrative Medicine of Central New York are accepting new patients. They are located at 1386 state Route 5 West, Suite 203, Chittenango, New York and can be reached at 315-741-5774. See https://www.imofcny.com for more information.
Birth year: 1964
Current residence: Manlius
Education: Bachelor of Science degree, The Sophie Davis School of Biomedical Education at the City College of New York (a combined college and medical school training program affiliated with Mount Sinai School of Medicine); medical degree, Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York; fellow in medical oncology-hematology, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York; medical internship/residence in internal medicine, Cornell University Medical College Affiliated Hospitals of the New York Hospital and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, New York
Personal: Engaged, three children
Hobbies: Meditation or anything spiritual, hiking outdoors especially in the Adirondacks, camping, and enjoying my family and pets (two dogs and four cats)