Beebe Celebrates Its 100th Year with a Look Back

Submitted by Cheyenne Luzader, MS, Coordinator of Integrative Health

Happy New Year! 2016 marks the 100th Anniversary of Beebe. The hospital in downtown Lewes was founded in 1916 by Dr. James Beebe and Dr. Richard C. Beebe. The Beebe family has grown and so has the healthcare system, which now spans more than seven locations across Sussex County.

Beebe has always been a progressive-minded hospital and strives to remain on the cutting edge of evidence-based medicine.

In 1997, Beebe started the first integrative medicine department on the Eastern Shore, aptly called the Department of Integrative Health and Wellness. I was hired to develop and coordinate the department with Barbara Starr, MSN, Director of Women’s Health, as director and Dr. Steven Berlin, as medical director. At the time, there were very few hospital departments for integrative medicine in the country. The concept was very cutting edge. The purpose was to specialize in the integration of modern medicine and complementary and alternative health practices with an emphasis on wellness and disease prevention.

In the past eighteen years, the trend has caught on with other hospitals on Delmarva following Beebe’s lead.

At the National Institutes of Health, the National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine just last year changed its name to the National Center for Integrative Health.  The department at Beebe has followed NIH guidelines as a practice model.

Our main services have been education, both public and professional, and individual health assessment for pain and stress, and counseling for lifestyle changes. The outpatient and inpatient components of the department include chiropractic, acupuncture, massage therapy, biofeedback, meditation, yoga, tai chi, qigong, aromatherapy, guided imagery, touch therapies, and an herbal specialist. Beebe was the first hospital in Delaware to offer the services of chiropractors, acupuncturists, and massage therapists to inpatients.

A special program to help patients with anxiety before surgery called Stress-Less Surgery was also introduced. The program offers stress and pain management techniques, aromatherapy and acupressure for post-surgical nausea and acupuncture detoxification protocol for smoking. An herb and supplement website is also provided for patients to understand the interactions with surgery and medication.

Numerous self-help classes for patients and the public are offered to help people learn about alternative therapies. A newsletter is published every six months to help inform staff and patients of the services. The department offers conferences periodically on topics of interest. Over the years, Integrative Health has formed and sponsored two support groups; one for fibromyalgia and one for chronic pain.

IH hosts many graduate interns from colleges and universities, including Wilmington University and The George Washington College. They have gone on to become counselors, nurse practitioners, and one has become a doctor. There have also been educational programs for nurses and physicians to earn professional credits. Each year, I talk to the students at the Margaret H. Rollins School of Nursing at Beebe about Integrative Stress and Pain Management and work with students on an individual basis.

The department offers a massage clinic monthly for staff and helps staff individually on stress and pain issues.

The Beebe Auxiliary Gift Shop sells items, such as CDs and DVDs, promoted by Integrative Health for patients, family members, or visitors to use at home.

As many as five volunteers at a time help provide the numerous services of the department.

In 2015, with the Affordable Care Act, the entire country is taking notice of wellness, prevention and lifestyle changes. Beebe has been a pioneer and leader in the field of integrative health. It is exciting to note these accomplishments as we move into 2016 and celebrate Beebe’s 100 years of caring.

Cheyenne Luzader, MS, has been coordinator of Integrative Health – Complementary and Alternative Medicine at Beebe Healthcare since its inception in 1997.  Integrative Health specializes in stress and pain management. Cheyenne has a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling with experience in mental health and addiction therapy. She is trained in Mindfulness- Based Stress Reduction, Biofeedback, Hypnosis, Neuro-Linguisitics Programming, Emotional Freedom Technique, Meditation, Biofeedback, Acupressure, Reiki, Therapeutic Touch and Hawaiian Healing methods. She is an herb information specialist, tobacco treatment specialist and a state licensed Acupuncture detoxification specialist.

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