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The History of Community Acupuncture in Stuart and Port Saint Lucie

The year was 2007 and Dr Frank Ervolino, a Naturopathic Doctor and Acupuncturist was at a national acupuncture convention in New Orleans. The convention was special in that New Orleans was still recovering from Hurricane Katrina and the AAAOM acupuncture professional organization was one of the first major conventions to come to New Orleans post-Katrina. At that convention Dr. Ervolino was approached by two young women who asked him to listen to a new idea that they thought would have a big impact on the medical care of the American Public. They then told him about Community Acupuncture and it was not hard to listen to their compelling story. They told him an acupuncture practice could charge 50-75% less than current acupuncture treatment prices and still be able to provide the practitioner with a financially successful clinic while the patient got treatments at prices they could afford. The key was to treat many people at once. They told him how the practitioner would only get better as an acupuncturist because of the amount of people they were seeing and how 85% of the general population could afford treatments at $20-40 per treatment while only 8% could afford consistent treatment at $100 per treatment.

The concept was intriguing to Dr. Ervolino so when the Working Class Acupuncture (WCA) group came down to Sarasota to teach a class on CA he was quick to sign up and learn how to start one of these clinics. In 2008 Dr. Ervolino opened Treasure Coast Community Acupuncture (TCCA) on U.S. Highway 1 in Stuart in a run down building. The first patient was Roberta “Bobby” Proctor who showed up while the clinic was still being painted and not yet open. She had heard about the clinic and wanted a treatment right then and there! Dr. Ervolino obliged here. The clinic saw a steady group of patients from then on. The clinic was open one day a week at first, but that did not last long. Soon it was open 5 days a week with many days when people stood waiting in the small waiting area. In 2010 TCCA added it’s first associate acupuncturist, Hillary Heidelberg to accommodate the rising patient population. In 2013, TCCA was approached by Solutions Center for change about joining forces in a new downtown site at 555 Colorado Avenue. Wendy Limber, the founder of solutions wanted to have a large multi-disciplinary clinic where people could come to bring positive changes to their lives on a mental, emotional, spiritual and physical planes. It was then that Soulville was born. Since then TCCA has done almost 20,000 treatments. TCCA is a pure CA clinic, not a Hybrid clinic where you are enticed to come for the low cost clinic, but with the intention of luring you into the higher priced one-on-one services. TCCA is now open 6 days a week and remains committed to serving our community by giving people access to care at prices they can afford.

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