Nurse Practitioner Erin J. Bagshaw, opened the first Primary Care Nurse Practitioner practice, Northwest Nurse Practitioner Associates, Inc. (NNPA) in Washington, DC on April 21, 2004. After working in various medical practices and specialty areas, Ms. Bagshaw had a vision of the way she believed a medical practice should function and the type of care performed. Although the standards of care, algorithms and evidenced based care are the cornerstones to practice; individualized patient care, treatment plans and collaboration with the patient (although just as important) were not well recognized. As per NP Bagshaw: A diagnosis is 90% history. Her belief was so strong she took out a personal loan (crowdfunding like GoFundMe campaigns did not exist at that time) and poured all of her passion and finances into what she believed was the right model of care. NNPA’s Primary Care model of one on one care from vital signs to diagnosis has been formed into the foundation of NNPA’s relationship based care since day one.
On the Travel Medicine side of the practice a patient’s medical history is also the most important components to recommendations for Pre-Travel health and, in the evaluation of a returning traveler for illness. NNPA is one of approximately 30% of travel health providers in the U.S to hold a Certificate in Travel Health by the International Society of Travel Medicine. NP Bagshaw has extensive experience in immunization practice related to travel and occupational exposures which again, emphases the importance of history pertinent to the patient. Travel Medicine is an extension of Primary Care. Malaria, Traveler’s Diarrhea and global diseases often overlap into the Primary Care arena.
Medicine is a forever education; there is no end to learning. After being open for over a decade, NNPA’s providers began seeing more and more complex Primary Care chronic disease cases. To be specific more autoimmune and “gut” issues were occurring in both the returning traveler and Primary Care patients. Often times these patients were seen by specialists with no etiology found to explain symptoms. While attending a special 7am hospital meeting, Cleveland Clinic providers entered to speak on Functional Medicine. Functional Medicine begins with a systematic method of looking in-depth at an individual’s own medical history, starting from birth forward, a patient’s timeline is created. This timeline is used to look for dysfunction in biochemical pathways. The inclusion of Functional Medicine has brought NNPA full circle; a diagnosis is 90% history. Now, we also have the most advance biomarker testing and knowledge available to treat beyond where conventional Primary Care can not yet reach.
Incorporating Primary Care together with our specializations in Functional Medicine and Travel Medicine we have created the most advanced methods to diagnose, treat and prevent disease. Northwest Nurse Practitioner Associates is proud to be the only medical practice in the United States that holds certifications in all three specialties: Primary Care, Functional Medicine and Travel Medicine.