Press Room
Reflections By the Executive Director On a Healthier Model of Healthcare
Saturday July 1st, 2006

When I walked into True North in December 2005 I was excited for what was to come. Having spent most of my career in traditional health care, I was interested to see what this integrated model – what this "healthier model of healthcare" -- was like from the inside.

What I have gained in the months since I arrived is an even deeper understanding of the challenges in our current health care system. My belief in the value of integrative health care has also deepened. In my own life, I choose a holistic approach to health care – seeking out and working with providers who want to look at the whole person. I think we all need providers who understand that a patient is not simply another productivity unit but rather a complex person. Providers who understand that a patient is part of a population at large but also a person with individualized mental, physical and spiritual drivers that impact his or her health and wellness. I am convinced that True North’s model enriches the health care experience for the patient and practitioner alike by putting practitioners of different disciplines together, providing an integrated health record (IHR), and allowing enough time for learning and sharing to happen between the practitioner and individual patient.

In getting to know the mission of True North I have been pleased to see that True North strives to "walk its talk" on all levels – between patients and practitioners, between practitioners of different disciplines, and with our research to identify those areas where our integrated model is the superior alternative as well as those areas where we must reinvest our time, energy and spirit to further improve the delivery of health care.

There is no question that the issues in health care – especially regarding access and funding – are complex. True North continues to work to find ways to make our integrated model of care even easier to access. In fact, we have spent a great deal of time reviewing the matter of insurance and have returned to our core beliefs that patients having time with practitioners is the best way to ensure that the whole person is addressed and that insurance can be a barrier to patient and practitioner holistic sharing and learning.

My colleagues here at True North tease me about my love of data and how important it is to obtain as we seek information and knowledge. What they don’t always see, is that their need for data – albeit often of a different kind – is what drives their desire for more time with their patients. As practitioners, they know that the whole story – in other words, all the data – is essential to help them get to the root of the patient’s concern. As a consumer of health care, I have come to learn the same thing that I know as a businessperson – in order to gain true knowledge and make wise decisions, you must go to the source and you must spend time gathering data to ensure understanding from multiple perspectives.

My hope for True North in the next year is that we attain true knowledge from you our patients, our customers and our friends and that we provide ample opportunities and channels to listen to your voices as we continue to improve our model. We are working to improve our internal processes but we also need to hear from you who have chosen to join us on this path to a healthier model of healthcare. We want to make it easier for you to access superb quality health care, and make it easier for you to work with your insurance companies, your employers and additional funders of your health care, in order to maximize your returns, while not compromising what we believe is the best value for your health care dollar. On behalf of the entire True North circle, I welcome your feedback, your input, and your suggestions. You can call me at 781-4488 or reach me at I look forward to hearing from you.


Thomas H. Dahlborg
Executive Director

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