Local Practice Provides Patient-Centered, Integrative Care
Writer / Christy Heitger-Ewing
Photographer / Brian Brosmer
For 10 years Lexi Yoo worked in large hospital networks, and during that time she continually saw that the traditional health care model was not serving patients well.
“Patients were in and out with the doctor within five minutes,” says Lexi, a double board-certified nurse practitioner in the areas of family and pediatric medicine. “There was really no sit-down explanation.”
Three years ago, she set out to break the mold of traditional medicine by opening Yoo Direct Health, a kind of concierge medicine practice that focuses on functional and integrative medicine.
“We do a lot with gut health, thyroid health and hormone therapy,” says Lexi, noting that a big part of what they do falls into anti-aging and preventative medicine.
Lexi emphasizes that gut health in particular is critical to good health, as the gut is the center of the universe when it comes to the body. Gut health involves balancing out the ecosystem of the gut, looking for infection, reducing inflammation and feeding the body what it needs.
“If your gut isn’t right, your immune system won’t be right, your sleep won’t be right, your thyroid won’t be right,” Yoo says. “When we fix the gut, a lot of other things get better.”
Yoo, born and raised in northwest Indiana, graduated from Purdue University, received her master’s degree from IUPUI, and completed her post-master’s work at the University of Massachusetts Boston. The gold standard of functional medicine is the Institute for Functional Medicine, and that’s where Yoo is trained.
After a tremendous first year of patient growth, Lexi needed help in order to accommodate the expansion of her practice. Some of these key staff members include Haley Cook NP, a board-certified Family Nurse Practitioner. She brings her experience in family medicine and is currently training in the School of Applied Functional Medicine. She is also trained in BIOTE method.
Another face patients have come to know very well is Stacy Rawlings. She is a certified health coach and is another key individual in the functional medicine model. She works specifically on nutrition and lifestyle recommendations made by the providers. She helps the patients make goals in order to see long-term sustainable success.
Yoo Direct Health not only practices functional medicine but also provides extensive non-surgical aesthetic options. Carmen Puckett is one of the certified nurse injectors who is not only trained in injectables but also performs a wide range of services to include HydraFacial’s, chemical peels, microneedling, and IV Vitamin Therapy. She is also a certified Zo Skin Health consultant which is medical grade skin care that is considered one of the top of the line in the aesthetic community. The front office staff includes Skylar Rawlings, Janet Blumling, Leanne Wheeldon, Debbie Mohn and assisting the providers in the back are Erin Lung MA, Jamie Owens RN, and Mindy Shupe RN.
A good portion of Lexi’s clientele is made up of health-conscious individuals who want a more personalized approached to their health care. Rather than treating symptoms, Lexi focuses on the root cause by doing a thorough workup, coupled with an individualized plan of care to include diet, lifestyle and alternative options.
According to Lexi, she sees varied pockets of patients, including those with autoimmune conditions and also what she calls “the lost women’s population.”
“Unfortunately, the traditional model of health care for women is either, ‘You’re pregnant and having babies,’ or, ‘You’re done with that phase of your life,’” Lexi says. “There is a huge population of women who do not fall under either of those categories and they need somewhere to go with their problems. That’s where we shine.
“We capture that population who doesn’t really have a health care advocate for them,” Lexi adds.
Lexi co-owns Yoo Direct Health with her husband Min Yoo. Together the couple has three children, twins Diego and Delilah, 11, and Ella, 3. Min joined Lexi this past year to help with all of the business operations so she can focus more on patient care. He runs the day to day operations, financials and future expansion of Yoo Direct Health. He brings experience in finance and accounting, as a certified project manager, and holds a Master’s in Business Administration.
“I love that we can put both of our passions in the same business and build something amazing that we can both be proud of,” Lexi says.
Yoo Direct Health does not take insurance, but that doesn’t mean it’s not affordable. An individual will pay an annual membership fee of $125, and a family will pay $200. A general follow-up visit is $75. The direct-access pay model gives patients membership to the practice and grants them access to advanced testing, more diagnostic workshops, and specific tests that aren’t available in a traditional practice. It also provides them with access to medical-grade supplements.
In addition, Yoo Direct Health offers a number of aesthetic services such as injectables like Botox, filler, hydrafacials, microneedling, platelet-rich plasma therapy, and PDO thread procedures, which are similar to non-surgical face liftings.
A patient’s initial appointment is extensive, so that Lexi may gather their entire health history as well as their health goals.
“I ask them what the top three things are that they hope to achieve with me,” Lexi says. “We set clear expectations of each other.”
It’s personalizing medicine and customizing it to what the patient needs and wants to get out of their health care. Lexi also educates her patients through social media by posting educational videos via YouTube and Instagram. For instance, following a diagnosis, Lexi will go over the patient’s labs with them and then provide a link to her podcast that has all the info they’ll need to know.
“They can Google their condition and will be flooded with information that will only serve to overwhelm them,” Lexi says. “This way they have access to a 20-minute video that will supply them with what they need to know. It saves a lot of time.”
Patients can go home, listen to the brief podcast, and come back into the office later to talk about it.
“The patient is directing their health and I’m just helping them make that happen,” says Lexi, who recently met with a new patient who came from Fort Wayne. When the patient walked in, she said she felt like she knew Lexi because she had been following her on Instagram for a full year before making the appointment.
The patient declared, “You’re exactly what I’ve been looking for.”
Right out of the gate, this patient knew she wanted her hormones checked as well as a gut check, plus she was interested in booking a consult for a PDO thread.
One service Lexi offers is bioidentical hormone pellet therapy. In fact, Yoo Direct Health is one of the busiest BIOTE pellet practices in Indiana.
“I’ve been doing this for three years and have done about 3,000 pellet procedures, and I’m still blown away by some of the results I’ve seen,” Lexi says.
Patient feedback is overwhelmingly positive. The phrase Yoo most often hears is, “I haven’t felt this good in years.”
If you’re hoping to look and feel your best at any age, set up a consult with Yoo Direct Health.