Providing a Proactive Approach to Health: Thurow Primary Preventive Healthcare
Apr 30, 2014 06:07PM
● By Sheila Julson
Sharon Thurow, a family nurse practitioner and the owner of Thurow Primary Preventive Healthcare, took a life-altering detour when she met her husband, James Thurow, an electronic technician serving in the United States Navy. While she dreamt of becoming a professional flutist as a young girl growing up in Milwaukee, she also had a strong interest in archaeology throughout her teen years.
“I had no interest in medicine at that point. Learning about civilizations had always interested me,” Thurow remarks. “I was all set to go to Israel for a work-study program to pursue archaeology.”
Once the couple married, military life required them to move frequently. During this time, Thurow reconsidered professions and felt that nursing would be a good fit. “I’ve always had an interest in caring for people, and nursing seemed like a good, stable field to get into,” she recalls. “While it wasn’t something I had initially considered, once I got into the field, I found that I really loved it.”
Upon returning to Milwaukee, Thurow enrolled at Deaconess School of Nursing. After graduating in 1987 with a bachelor’s degree in nursing, she began a career as a registered nurse at Columbia St. Mary’s Hospital, where she worked in the coronary care and intensive care units.
As she immersed herself in the medical field, Thurow discovered great rewards in helping people. A decade later, she returned to school to pursue her Master of Science degree, graduating from Concordia University, in Mequon, in 1999. Wanting to share her knowledge and experience with others, Thurow became a graduate assistant, providing clinical instruction for the registered nursing program for one semester. This led her to obtain a minor in teaching. She then taught nursing classes at Marquette University, in Milwaukee, and she is now part of the adjunct faculty for the nurse practitioner program at Concordia University, in Mequon.
After working as a nurse practitioner in several different departments at Aurora Health Care, in Milwaukee, Thurow felt compelled to reach for new heights. “I realized that I needed to be my own boss,” she says. She formed Thurow Primary Preventive Healthcare in 2007, where she proactively applies holistic and evidence-based medicine and preventive education in a primary care, family practice for ages 1 and up. “Patients see us for anything from wellness checks to chronic illness management,” notes Thurow. “We offer annual physicals and women’s wellness exams, and collect lab samples on site. Walkin appointments are available for acute care assessment and treatment.”
For the first year, Thurow operated as a one-woman team, handling administrative and business duties, as well as patient care. Business grew, and a year later, Thurow hired a lifestyle coach, a medical assistant, an office manager and a receptionist. Nurse practitioner Rachel McCauley, a former student of Thurow’s, joined the practice in March. McCauley is a good fit, according to Thurow, because the two are like-minded in terms of personalities, standards for patient care and empathy toward patients.
Although most of Thurow’s business referrals come through word of mouth, she has noticed an increase in public desire for options other than symptom-managing prescription drugs that only mask ailments. She explains, “While today’s medicine is getting better, it is set up to react, instead of being proactive. My goal is to help patients have a good quality of life. I base my decisions on how I’d want my own family treated. You have to treat the whole person, including the mind, body and spirit.”
As part of her focus on prevention, Thurow is certified through Metagenics to offer its FirstLine Therapy program, which focuses on underlying causes of illnesses and educates patients to make long-term dietary changes. “It encourages a gradual switch to unprocessed foods,” Thurow describes. “It’s not a quick fix, but rather a long-term change for health.” She has recently added Revision Skincare, a line of medical-grade skincare products.
On the first Monday of every month, Thurow volunteers at the Bread of Healing Clinic, a free community clinic in Milwaukee, founded by physician Barbara Horner-Ibler, M.D.
Thurow expresses satisfaction about her place in her career, business and life: “I’m very blessed. I can have my cake and eat it, too. I get to take my time with a patient, and I can practice the way I want. I get to know the patients, their families and what’s going on. It plays into their overall health.”
Thurow Primary Preventive Healthcare is located at 216 N. Green Bay Rd., Ste. 103, in Thiensville. For more information, call 262-242-3966 or visit ThurowPrimary.com.