Medicine + Movement: A Visit to STAT Wellness
A chic but comfy green velvet arm chair — it was the last place I’d expect to have blood drawn for a lab test. And it was one of the many reasons why I fell for STAT Wellness during a recent visit.
In early 2019, STAT opened its West Midtown Atlanta doors. The concept behind the business is unique and simple: medicine + movement. What this means is that under one roof, you can find personalized medical care, nutrition and health coaching, fitness training, and a physical therapist.
I met the founder, Kristin Oja, at an event a few months ago. And after having lunch, she invited me in for a medical consultation and a fitness class. (So, yes, my experience at STAT was primarily complimentary — more on that later.) A little about Kristin… She has a doctor of nursing practice, masters of science in nursing with a family nurse practitioner focus, and is a registered nurse. Kristin is also a fitness teacher, which is something that we bonded over from the get-go.
When it comes to caring for patients — which she’s done in Atlanta and beyond for more than six years — her approach focuses on uncovering the root cause of illness and disease. So, prior to my consultation, I filled out an extensive questionnaire that asked about lifestyle, diet, environment, etc.
I arrived at STAT on a rainy day and immediately loved how open and cleanly designed it was. The fitness space is filled with the latest equipment like TRXs, Bender balls, kettlebells, and more. And Kristin has paid attention to detail everywhere you look. In the bathroom, there are hair ties, mints, and other products you might need to freshen up. In the waiting area for consultations, there’s tea and coffee available in cute little STAT-branded mugs.
For my consultation, Kristin took me to her office, which didn’t feel like a doctor’s office — it felt like I was chatting with her in her living room. Thankfully, I don’t really have any serious health issues. So, we focused on topics such as dealing with my acid reflux and my interest in looking into what foods might be causing sensitivity in my body.
With that said, Kristin prescribed me a holistic blend of herbs to try for my acid reflux, which I currently treat with the occasional TUMS. (I’ll provide an update in a few months on whether they’re a fit for me.) And we decided to draw blood for the food sensitivity test. (BTW, I did choose to pay for both of these myself, as they were both things I was very interested in trying.) The icing on the paying-attention-to-detail cake was the cozy chair in the room where they draw blood. Kristin said the goal was to create a space that didn’t feel like a doctor’s office. And I’d say, “mission accomplished.”
After the consultation, I headed to the fitness space to take a class. (STAT offers Strength, Stamina, and Stability group fitness classes, as well as personal and small group training.)
I took a Stamina class with Toni that kicked my butt (as in my legs were sore for two days). We did drills like speed skaters and Spider Man pushups with the Gliding Discs under our feet for brief intervals, for 45 minutes. I’m so used to being the one coaching with a stop watch, I forgot what a great workout these types of classes are!
Recently, my general practitioner closed her practice. Friends, I think that seeing Kristin and her team might be the direction that I go in vs. finding a traditional GP. Sure, it’s a bit more expensive (because she’s not on my insurance’s preferred provider list). But, I can use my health savings account for visits and lab work, so that helps. Also, I feel comfortable with Kristin — and I like an approach to my health care that incorporates holistic treatments with traditional medicine. I’m thinking that STAT may end up being a long-term wellness “fit” for this belle, so stay tuned for more about this journey.
Regardless, I’m now waiting on the results to my food sensitivity blood work. So, stay tuned for an upcoming piece on the website filling you in on whether you should invest in the testing or not!