In her first year of medical school, Dr. Manya Helman knew she wanted to be a family physician. She followed George Drake, a family physician from Ohio, and was inspired by how he interacted and treated his patients. After completing her residency at the Oregon Health Sciences University, Dr. Helman followed Dr. Drake’s lead and opened a solo family practice.
After initially opening in Silverton, she relocated to Salem to serve the greater need here. “Salem is a really fortunate area. There are specialists, family physicians, there are facilities that are really uniquely excellent, and there’s a sense of working together—which I really like.”
After enrolling with different insurances, she realized the time, energy and cost it took to maintain dealing with insurances was too much. In 1999, she pursued the next best step she saw for her patients—using direct primary care.
In direct primary care, the patient has one fee a month, similar to a gym membership, and like a gym they can come in or can be requested to come in as often as the patient needs. “It’s makes life much easier, [and] it simplifies the economics. Obviously, there are bills to pay in business, but there’s no need to link it to a visit,” Dr. Helman added.
“This way, people don’t hold off on coming in.” Patients have the freedom of skipping the internal concerns and back-and-forth that can often happen when navigating the difficulty of getting a doctor’s appointment. With direct primary care, Dr. Helman hopes to avoid seeing a respiratory infection turning into pneumonia because they were seen and cared for early.
It’s All In The Name
“Wellness and Recovery sounds corny, but in a sense it’s exactly what I want to do. We’re all recovering from something—whether that’s the stress of our professional career, the drain of being a parent and trying to work at the same time, an addiction, or whether it’s from a diet, it’s all recovery. We not only want to get over the illness, but we want wellness. We want you to be really well.”
The other benefit the name provides the clinic is the veil of anonymity for patients. “No one will know what a patient comes in here for. You walk through our door and you could be coming in for addiction therapy, or just a check-up.”
The Road to Recovery
Dr. Helman is deeply invested in the neuroscience and genetics behind addiction. “My belief is that the genetics behind addiction are actually wonderful. They were genes and processes in the brain that helped that person survive, and those are exactly the qualities that will make someone great in business, or a great employee…and when we educate about the risk, maybe no one who is at risk will get exposed to an addictive substance.”
The other half of Wellness and Recover of Salem is, of course, recovery—from both addiction and chronic pain. Dr. Helman is Board certified by the American Board for Addiction Medicine.
The addiction recovery program includes touching on four components; biological, psychological, social, and spiritual. An assessment is required, and if patients are not a good match, the clinic will be open to them for continued treatment after they’ve completed the first steps toward health.
Wellness and Recovery is also a friendly to busy schedules. For a simple monthly fee, businesses can sign their employees up for basic care and know they have health access whenever they need it.
To learn more, visit their website at https://drmanyahelman.com/
or visit the clinic at 3000 Market St. NE, Suite 258, Salem, OR 97301.