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How Did Community Acupuncture Start In Stuart?

In 2004 Dr Frank Ervolino was a staff physician at Jupiter Medical Center’s prestigious Mind/Body Institute in Jupiter, Florida. He was also on the Florida State Department of Health’s Board of Acupuncture as well as the Federation of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine Regulatory Agencies (FAOMRA) and the Legislative Committee of the American Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (AAAOM). During this time he was involved in many national aspects of professional acupuncture.

In 2007 he attended the AAOM convention in New Orleans which was notable in that it was one of the first conventions held in the town post hurricane Katrina. During this convention two female attendees asked for a few minutes of his time to tell him about a new movement in acupuncture in the U.S. called community acupuncture which started in 2001 in Portland Oregon at Working Class Acupuncture with Skip and Lisa Rholeder. It was a new concept to this country but borrowed heavily from the way acupuncture was done in Asia. Treat many people per hour at prices that the bulk of the population could afford. Dr. Ervolino knew that there was a recession coming on in full swing and that not only would the populace not be able to afford medical care, but that many acupuncturists would not be able to afford their practices in the adverse economic environment. Community Acupuncture sounded timely and exciting for the profession.

Upon returning to Stuart, Dr. Ervolino was in the midst of raising two children, starting a consulting business and trying to adjust to the changing economic times. It was in 2008 that he attended an introductory course held by Skip and Lisa on how to open a community acupuncture clinic. It was extremely inspiring and he recommends anyone who wants to open such a clinic to attend one of these workshops.

In 2008, with $1200, he started Treasure Coast Community Acupuncture (TCCA). The clinic was open 1 day a week and his first patient (Roberta Procter) came in for a treatment while he was still painting the walls! The clinic turned a profit in it’s first month and grew slowly till it was open 4-5 days a week. In 2010 he invited another acupuncturist to work there named Hillary Heidelberg and the clinic continued to grow.

In 2012, Wendy Limber who founded Solutions Center for Healing in Stuart, invited  TCCA to Join Solutions at a new location, 555 Colorado Avenue. The new collaboration was called Soulville. During this time the website address for the clinic was www.stuartacupuncture.com, but that would change when Hillary Heidelberg left to start her own clinic in 2013 that is now in south Stuart and called Stuart Acupuncture. The new website address for TCCA became www.stuartca.com or www.stuartcommunity.com and they remain so to this day.

In 2014 TCCA performed over 5,000 acupuncture treatments on 2,000 patients. It has become a launching pad for new acupuncturists and massage therapists to learn about how to run a successful healing arts business. Acupuncturists who have worked at TCCA have gone on to start 4 clinics of their own in Florida. Dr. Ervolino has helped to start 4 community acupuncture clinics in Florida. The whole community acupuncture movement in Stuart has been a wonderful experience in that we help create jobs, and we provide services to the community at prices they can afford. We are thankful to the Medical doctors of Stuart who have used our clinic as a community resource for the patients as well. We look forward to the years ahead. Thank you Stuart!

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