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Ruthan Brodsky Contributing Writer
Franklin’s Slade home offers the perfect setting for new practice.
A historic home in Franklin has attracted a holistic medical practice.
“Our daughter, Kathy, had always dreamed of conducting her pediatric practice in a home rather than an office building so that her patients and families would feel comfortable and have a less stressful experience,” said Joan Simon of Franklin.
“When she told us the Slade house in Franklin was on the market and perfect for her medical practice, my husband, John, and I immediately offered to partner with her and her husband in the purchase. We enjoy doing things with her and this was a great opportunity.”
Among the first priorities for renovation was to brighten the external color on the 1860 historic house across from the gas station in Franklin. Franklin Holistic Medical opened its doors this February with a growing team of four professionals.
Dr. Katherine Erlich, M.D., of Franklin received her medical degree at Michigan State University College of Human Medicine and completed her pediatric residency at William Beaumont Hospital. During her first 11 years as a board-certified pediatrician, she worked with a large pediatric practice.
Influenced by her father, Dr. John Simon, D.V.M., a holistic veterinarian in Royal Oak for more than 50 years, Erlich realized that so much of what she did was just treat symptoms rather than the underlying causes of the problems.
“I became frustrated with how little I could help my patients,” she said. “I knew there had to be more I could do. During the next few years, I read many books, attended conferences and shadowed successful holistic doctors to learn what was working for them.”
In 2009, she left a large conventional pediatric practice to open her holistic pediatric practice at the Center for Holistic Medicine in West Bloomfield. Today, Erlich sees patients at that office and at Franklin Holistic Medical.
“I was drawn to Dr. Erlich because of her broad toolkit to keep kids healthy,” said Jessica Tobin of West Bloomfield. “Patients benefit from conventional medicine and other modalities when appropriate, including homeopathy, herbal remedies, and supplements. Whether our child suffers from a chronic illness or an ear infection, it’s comforting to know she will take a holistic approach, and our children will receive the best of all worlds under her expert care.”
Erlich and her co-author Kelly Genzlinger are updating their very popular book, Super Nutrition for Babies (Fair Winds Press, 2012). “This new edition will have all new recipes and new information about topics — some of which I didn’t have the guts to publish in the first edition,” Erlich said.
Robert “Robbie” Simon, also influenced by his father’s holistic practice, recently returned to his hometown of Franklin following 17 years of education and training in Florida and California. He joins his sister at Franklin Holistic Medical.
After graduating from University of Michigan with a B.A. in Asian Studies, he attended the Barbara Brennan School of Healing, a four-year program in energy healing, and then graduated from Yo San University in Los Angeles, where he earned a master’s degree in traditional Chinese medicine. He also teaches martial arts, specifically Chi Gong.
“My philosophy is that while we all have to age, we don’t have to grow old doing it,” said Robert, a licensed acupuncturist and clinical massage therapist. “I use a variety of therapies that reduce pain, improve body functions, eliminate symptoms of allergies, and help clients use the natural healing power of their bodies.
“My objective is to reduce and eliminate pain,” he explained. “I often combine herbal solutions with acupuncture to stimulate a patient’s immune system or use manual therapy with acupuncture to locate the source of a patient’s back pain and then manually work on a specific group of muscles. Manual therapy refers to any method in which I use my hands such as osteopathic, myofascial release, passive join mobilization and cranial sacral therapies.”
He also sees patients at the Center for Holistic Medicine and will begin teaching Chi Gong (similar to Tai Chi) at the Jewish Community Center in late spring.
Jill Skurnowicz, N.D., of Bloomfield Hills, and Anat Shlagman, a traditional naturopath of West Bloomfield, are also practitioners at Franklin Holistic Medical. After working as a nurse in surgical and cardiac intensive care, Skurnowicz was certified as a nurse anesthetist, working in anesthesia at Beaumont Hospital for 17 years.
“During that time, I became interested in autism and other neurodevelopmental disorders and the treatments used for improving patients’ health,” says Skurnowicz, whose general practice provides diet and nutrition counseling, hydrotherapy, homeopathy, botanical medicine, detoxification treatment and pain management for patients of all ages.
“I jumped at the chance to have an office at the Slade house because the environment reduces patients’ anxiety levels, which usually means we can get better health results.”
Born in Romania, Anat Shlagman earned her B.A. in health services and business management from Ben-Gurion University in Beersheva, Israel. Moving to Michigan in 2004, she became a Reiki master and holistic practitioner and, in 2014, graduated as a traditional naturopath from the Naturopathic School of Healing Arts in Ann Arbor. She specializes in helping patients learn to relax using a combination of reflexology, castor oil packs, abdominal massage and energy work.
“As a mother of three, I realized that to maintain a healthy lifestyle, it is more productive being relaxed than being perfect,” she said.
“All our practitioners view the body as a whole with the goal of creating balance to aid healing,” Erlich said.