When I was 5 years old, my family moved to central Italy. I began to have trouble seeing details, reading words, and judging distances.
My parents took me to an Italian eye specialist, where we discovered that my right eye was practically blind. He instructed them to cover my “good” eye with a patch, give me painful eye drops every night, and not hold out much hope that anything would improve.
I spent a year bumping into walls and seeing the world through a foggy lens. And for the next 20 years, I wore a variety of glasses and contact lenses… but nothing really helped.
Rather than focusing on my limitation, I reached out to other people who were suffering too. I found creative ways to recognize faces, read words, see colors, and write stories to express what I was going through. This challenge made me want to put myself in the shoes of others who are limited as well. (Check out my series on self-imposed challenges here).
My desire to fix problems and to improve the patient experience eventually led me to the healthcare field, where I have worked as a Data Analyst, Privacy and Risk Officer, and served on several corporate leadership teams.
Integrative Medicine: A Perfect Fusion
I believe that modern medicine is wonderful.
At the beginning of my professional career, I worked for a world-famous eye surgeon and underwent LASIK surgery, which corrected my vision from near-blindness… to better than 20/20. It was like a miracle to be able to see so clearly.
But in many other situations, modern techniques did not solve my medical conditions. I started to try alternative treatments like chiropractic, natural herbs, movement therapy, and deep breathing. In many cases, these non-conventional therapies provided significant healing—at times, even better results than with surgery and pills.
Integrative Medicine is the perfect combination of conventional and alternative treatments because it provides:
- Respect for both modern techniques and natural healing methods
- The use of an evidence-based scientific approach
- A focus on bringing patients the best possible outcomes.
I believe that listening, looking at problems with a structured approach, and stepping into discomfort with curiosity are all important to creating lasting change.
Personal Struggles and Miracles
There were many times where I could not find relief from conventional medicine and instead sought natural health practitioners:
- Pain as a Teenager. As an adolescent, I had intense, labor-like pain every month. My gynecologist did not take my symptoms seriously… so I suffered in silence for years. It wasn’t until I delivered my first baby that a midwife “held space for me” and acknowledged that my pain was valid.
Unlike some conventional physicians, natural practitioners tend to spend more time empathizing with their patients’ suffering. (Read my 3-part series on pain here)
- Home Birth. While pregnant with my first baby, my obstetrician refused to review my Birth Plan and instead told me that “every woman needs an episiotomy.” So at 31 weeks pregnant, I hired a home birth midwife.
All three of my children were born peacefully at home, and I am a strong advocate of home birth.
- Artificial Food Dye Sensitivity. One of my children is sensitive to synthetic and artificial food dyes (Red 40, Yellow 5, Caramel Color, etc.), which are shown to be a serious safety risk (see this Forbes article).
Food is fuel. The closer we get to the original source, the healthier we’ll feel.
- Naturopathic Insights. Several of my family members have greatly benefited from the help of naturopathic physicians, who generally spend twice as much time with patients (40 minutes) than conventional practitioners (17 minutes).
Naturopaths tend to look for big-picture issues that could be causing symptoms, rather than recommending a quick solution.
- Chiropractic Relief. A car accident and sport-related IT band injury left me with crippling back and leg pain. It wasn’t until visits with chiropractors that I finally experienced immediate relief from spinal manipulation and therapeutic massage.
Alternative therapy can solve problems that conventional medicine cannot.
In conversations with skilled and passionate physicians, they often tell me about feeling trapped and overwhelmed about how to prioritize and clarify their goals. Many doctors are embarrassed to admit that they didn’t know how to calculate their profit margins or to run a business that maintains healthy growth.
I hated seeing physicians struggle to achieve their business goals. The same incredible people who dedicate their lives to relieving suffering for patients… were actually suffering in silence themselves.
So I developed simple tools to recognize and fix the most critical problems a running a healthcare practice, as well as free events to learn more increasing your risk intelligence. I also offer consulting services to healthcare practice owners who want more clarity and direction for their business.
More About My Background and Work
I have an undergrad degree in Communications, a master’s degree in Health Information Management, and have a thriving career as a consultant to natural health providers around the world.
In 2014, I launched LaConte Consulting, a consulting firm that focuses on serving the needs of natural health practitioners.
My clients come to me when they:
- are unable to create structure and maintain control of internal processes,
- feel like their practice goals are out of sync with the day-to-day reality, and
- wonder if they are making the right strategic decisions.
(Here is my LinkedIn profile; you can add me as a contact while you’re there!)
My services include a Discovery Session, 1-on-1 Coaching, an In-Depth Analysis, Strategic Risk Program, and Customized Projects. Check them out here.
Unlike some consultants, I don’t believe in using a “bandage approach” to solving problems. Instead, my approach is to offer practice owners a structured framework to make better decisions, see risks before they happen, and achieve their ultimate goals.
In my opinion, it is important for every leader to find value by…
- hearing the voices of employees,
- experiencing useful pain and discomfort,
- stepping into past business experiences, and by
- recognizing the ways we may subconsciously hurt others.
Fun Facts About Grace
- By the time I was 9, I had moved 10 times (mostly to and from Italy, where I lived from age 4 to 9-1/2).
- That means I’m a Third-Culture Kid, since the majority of my childhood was spent outside my birth country.
- As an adult, I moved 11 more times in twelve years but am now happily settled in the Pacific Northwest.
View this post on Instagram
I learned the proper #FirstNations names for our local volcanic mountains today: Mount Saint Helens (on the L) is actually “Loowit.” Mount Adams (on the R) is actually “Klickitat.” These names are significant to First Nations tribes, who lived here long before the area was discovered by explorers from the West. I have decided to start calling these beautiful mountains by their native names out of respect and honor to those who lived here first. #MountSaintHelens #MountStHelens #MtStHelens #Loowit #MountAdams #MtAdams #Klickitat #MountHood #pnw #pnwmountains #pacificnorthwest #pnwoutdoors #pacificnorthwestseismicnetwork #cascaderange #cascades #nativenames #nativelanguage #nativeland #firstnation #firstnationspeople #volcano #volcanoes #dormantvolcano https://www.oregonlive.com/travel/index.ssf/2017/02/the_native_names_of_pacific_no.html
- My favorite pastime is to read books about business (“The E-Myth Revisited” by Michael Gerber), personal development (“Nice Girls Still Don’t Get the Corner Office” by Dr. Lois P. Frankel), and design (“The Not-So-Big House” by Sarah Susanka).
- Cooking healthy, delicious foods is a passion of mine. Check out my Instagram feed for pictures of delicious foods here in the Pacific Northwest.
- One of my other passions is to observe honeybees, red wiggler earthworms, and other creatures who inhabit my garden. (You can see these beauties in my Instagram feed as well.)
- I gave birth to each of my 3 children in home births and am a breastfeeding and babywearing advocate.
- I’m a continuous student of many disciplines including multiple intelligence (especially in children), minimalist living, color theory & going gray, and understanding the dangers of artificial food dyes.
- In 2016, I co-hosted the popular podcast Theme-Addicts with Andy Sokolovich. Here is my initial interview with Andy, and the first episode we did together.
- My favorite movie is “The Hunt for Red October” starring Alec Baldwin, James Earl Jones, Sean Connery, Scott Glenn, and Sam Neill; based on Tom Clancy’s 1984 novel.
“I am not field personnel—I’m only an analyst!”
–Jack Ryan in The Hunt for Red October
image: Paramount Pictures
- Favorite quote: “Success is walking from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” – Sir Winston Churchill
- My top 5 StrengthsFinder talents: Focus, Activator, Ideation, Input, and Futuristic.
- My Myers-Briggs (MBTI) personality is INTP, which is one of the rarest types for a female.
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