Integrated Health Care at the Core of Family Values

The mission of University of Western States (UWS) is to advance the science and art of integrated health care through excellence in education and health care. Since the university’s inception in 1904, generational ties have connected alumni and their families toward the pursuit of integrated health care.

The UWS motto, for the good of the patient, exemplifies the decision-making process of UWS graduates and the care they provide. At the heart of this care, the whole-person health perspective is valued and it is common to see our graduates working alongside other practitioners such as naturopaths, massage therapists, nutritionists, clinical mental health counselors, athletic trainers and more.  

Recent UWS doctor of chiropractic graduate, Sierra Ambrose-DeLapp, DC, (class of 2019) is just one example of our graduates working closely on an integrated health care team. In fact, she is working alongside her mother, Dr. Satya Ambrose at Sunnyside Collaborative Care in Happy Valley, Oregon.

delapp family at graduation
Dr. Daniel DeLapp, Dr. Sierra Ambrose-DeLapp, Dr. Satya Ambrose

Dr. Ambrose is an acupuncturist and naturopathic physician who has been in practice for more than 40 years. She was co-founder of the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine (OCOM) where she currently teaches classes in nutrition, biochemistry and pediatrics. Her care leans heavily on her passion for the overall prevention of illness and spreading knowledge that empowers patients’ lifestyles.

Dr. Sierra Ambrose-DeLapp’s father, Dr. Daniel DeLapp, is a chiropractic physician, a licensed acupuncturist and a naturopathic physician. He has been an attending physician in the UWS clinic system for more than 30 years. In his practice he emphasizes natural therapies such as manipulation, massage, nutritional and herbal remedies with physical rehab and lifestyle modification as foundational care.

The family raised their children on a 24-acre organic farm and while they lived healthy lifestyles and shared their values with their children, Dr. DeLapp and Dr. Ambrose never pushed their children into the medical field.

“The best piece of advice I received from my parents is to never stop learning, to always love and be kind to everyone,” said Dr. Sierra Ambrose-DeLapp.

“Sierra naturally gravitated toward health care,” said Dr. DeLapp. “She was fortunate to be in a program in high school called CAL (Center for Advanced Learning). The program allowed students to explore their personal interest.”

Once Dr. Sierra Ambrose-DeLapp knew that she wanted to pursue a career in the medical field, integrated health care, as modeled by her parents, was her chosen route.

“When I was in school, I envisioned being able to make connections with my patients,” said Dr. Sierra Ambrose-DeLapp. “I envisioned working alongside with other medical professionals and having a community that was centered on health and happiness. It is a blessing to be able to get people out of pain by just using my hands and teaching them ways to get out of pain themselves so they do not need to take medications.”

Valuing a love of lifelong learning was another tenant that Dr. DeLapp passed along to his daughter. He gives the same advice to current students as well.

sierra and daniel delapp

“My biggest piece of advice to students is to enjoy learning, because it never stops,” said Dr. DeLapp. “Be sure to study hard, but also practice your hands-on every day. When I see patients get better from the intern care, it’s the most rewarding part of the job.”

From forging her own path in the medical field and making a name for herself and the care she provides, Dr. Sierra Ambrose-DeLapp is proud of the education and support she received from the UWS community, including her parents.

“The most valuable thing I learned from my time at UWS is that we are all here to help each other,” she said.  “Trust in all that you have learned. Sometimes, it’s easy to forget how much you take in and how much you really have to offer patients. I have learned that there is always something you can do, even if you cannot heal everyone.”

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