Introducing the Center for Healthy Living at the OBH

By on January 7, 2019

Meet The Center for Healthy Living team: pictured left to right are Donna Jones, LPN; Denise de Pedro, NBC-HWC; Sarah Kershner, BSN, RN; Alison Carras, CMA; Leah Wood; Jaclyn Hall, RD; Marielle Silk, FNP; Christina Bowen, MD; and Robin South, BSN, CMSRN.

Achieving personal health goals may often seem out of reach, but it’s proven that having a support system can really make a difference. That’s why The Outer Banks Hospital created The Center for Healthy Living. Specializing in helping you to meet your goals as they relate to your health and well-being, the team is trained to offer personalized care and encouragement in a positive and inspiring setting.

While the Center doesn’t replace your primary care physician, we do work closely with your doctor to help you make positive changes in your life. Introducing The Center for Healthy Living Think of The Center for Healthy Living as your wellness specialist. If you need knee surgery, your primary care provider would send you to an orthopedic specialist. If you need help with a lifestyle change or support that will greatly improve your health or quality of life, your primary care provider may refer you to The Center for Healthy Living.

Related: Straight talk from the doc

There are many reasons people need personalized help to achieve these goals. Maybe your surgeon has told you that you need to lose weight or stop smoking to be eligible for surgery. Perhaps you need help learning how to plan meals as a newly diagnosed diabetic. Or it could be that your stress is so overwhelming that you worry about being able to take care of your family.

At The Center for Health Living, we use lifestyle and integrative medicine to help you restore and maintain your health. We inspire you to consider implementing small changes in diet, exercise and stress management to further improve your chances of achieving success.
Success story: Getting back to what she loves

What’s holding you back from finally reaching your personal health goals? Call your primary care physician for a referral to The Center for Healthy Living today. You’ll feel better just making the call and our team will encourage you every step of the way to a healthier, happier you.


Dr. Christina Bowen, Integrative and Lifestyle Medicine Physician

Watching The Center for Healthy Living come to life is so encouraging because it truly demonstrates The Outer Banks Hospital’s complete commitment to our community’s health and well-being.

As an integrative and lifestyle medicine practitioner, I’ve learned that incorporating complementary therapies into the healing space can help improve a patient’s health outcome and quality of life.

Some of the therapies offered at the Center focus on:

  • Improving nutritional habits
  • Developing a safe exercise plan
  • Quitting smoking — for good
  • Learning to cope with stress, anxiety and other emotional concerns
  • Encouraging better sleep
  • Modifying drinking habits
  • Discovering how to manage a newly diagnosed chronic disease such as COPD or diabetes
  • Managing symptoms caused by cancer and/or chronic disease
  • Focusing on spirituality or on what brings you joy.

Working in partnership with your primary care or specialist doctor, we can help you to navigate the path to health and wellness.

I’m proud to be a part of the team at The Center for Healthy Living. More importantly, I look forward to inspiring members of our community to achieve their goals so that they may live their healthiest life.


Karen Lurie decorating her Christmas tree in December.

Martin’s Point resident Karen Lurie knew it was time for a total knee replacement. Due to severe pain, she had been unable to do the things she loves for quite some time, like decorating her Christmas tree.

When she met with her orthopedic surgeon, he agreed, but he gave her an assignment before surgery could be scheduled. He wanted her to lose weight. “He recommended a special diet, but it wasn’t long before I realized that I couldn’t stick to that,” recalled Lurie. “I needed carbs,” she said, laughing.

It was then that Lurie made an appointment with Dr. Christina Bowen. She had heard Dr. Bowen speak at a Lunch and Learn event about nutrition and healthy living and Christmas 2018, Karen Lurie is able to decorate her tree. thought following her guidance might be a better way to try and lose the weight.

“Dr. Bowen was a real cheerleader for me,” said Lurie. “She suggested the type of foods to eat and when to eat them…she never criticized me.” By taking Dr. Bowen’s advice, Lurie was able to give up candy, cookies, cake and alcohol. “Today, I don’t have the urge for those things,” said Lurie with a smile. “It’s so rewarding.”

Lurie actually exceeded her weight loss goal with the advice from Dr. Bowen and had knee replacement surgery in August 2018. “My whole life has changed,” said Lurie. “I have more strength to do things.”

The past few years, Lurie’s Christmas tree was bare because her knee hurt and her weight was too much for the ladder she used. That’s no longer the case. She climbed the ladder and adorned her tree this past December…and it was beautiful.

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