Woodbridge now has three Naturopathic Doctors providing services to residents and patients across the region.
The First Selectman has been visiting local businesses to highlight them as part of the “Shop Woodbridge, Dine Woodbridge, Try Woodbridge” campaign. The visits are designed to create a stronger bond between Town Hall and the Town’s business community and to foster economic development in Woodbridge. Additionally, the Town’s Economic Development Commission has been inviting new and expanding businesses to its monthly meetings in order to learn about those businesses and why they chose Woodbridge.
“I am so pleased that three NDs have chosen to make Woodbridge their professional home,” said First Selectman Ellen Scalettar. “These businesses round out the medical community already well-established in Woodbridge and offer residents a natural alternative when it comes to their health.”
Connecticut is one of the few states to offer a license for Naturopathic Physicians, which means they are licensed health-care providers and visits are covered by insurance. The number of NDs in the state has been growing since the University of Bridgeport began offering a degree in naturopathy. Dr. Jennifer Botwick, who practices in Woodbridge, received her ND there in 2003 and now serves as a clinical supervisor at the university.
Instead of prescribing pharmaceuticals, NDs use traditional healing methods combined with prevention strategies. As Dr. Ginger Nash, another Woodbridge ND, puts it, “Our job is to restore the body’s inherent ability to rebuild and regenerate”.
Until last year Dr. Jennifer Botwick was the only ND in town. Botwick offers acupuncture, reflexology and massage, and she puts an emphasis on nutrition, herbal medicine, chronic pain, mindfulness, and lifestyle counseling. “It’s very individualized,” she told Scalettar.
One of Botwick’s three sons has Down syndrome and Botwick has done a lot of research on the connection between natural medicine, including diet, and the condition. “I love to be a resource for others on the issue. I’ve done so much research and I can share that with people,” she said.
Dr. Botwick’s office is in the Woodbridge Professional Office Park at 1 Bradley Road. Dr. Botwick closed her office at a previous location while she was dealing with breast cancer (She’s cancer free now!). After resolving her own health care issue she reopened her practice at a new location. Asked about her cancer treatment, Botwick told Scalettar that she followed a regimen of natural healing and mainstream medicine. “I’ve had my own health experiences that I can share with patients,” she said.
Botwick is a former professional dancer who grew up in Woodbridge. “I never thought I’d have my own business here,” she says, “but I love it and I love the business outreach the Town is doing so we can learn about each other and foster community.”
Dr. Ginger Nash’s office is in Dr. Cofrancesco’s space on Amity Road. Like Botwick, Nash is excited that there are more Naturopathic Physicians in Woodbridge. “The more the merrier! We all know each other and we’re all doing slightly different things,” she says. For Nash, that means focusing on women’s health, hormone imbalance and digestive/gastrointestinal problems. She also frequently treats chronic disease, such as migraines, metabolic issues and allergies.
Both Nash and Botwick say they are not against conventional medicine and they frequently refer patients to specialists. “A Naturopath’s goal,” Nash says, “is to help people be healthy, not to suppress disease.”
Nash received her Doctorate of Naturopathy in Oregon and moved to New Haven in 1999 to start a practice. Shortly after that move she met chiropractor Dr. Cofrancesco and they became fast friends. When he offered her an office space she moved her practice to Woodbridge. Nash has been very happy in Woodbridge, she says, and even receives some walk-in business from curious people who’ve seen her sign on Amity Road. This fall she plans to bring on an associate to grow her practice.
The third ND in Woodbridge is Dr. Sharon DeKadt, whose office is at 245 Amity Road. Dr. DeKadt received her ND in 1985 and has been practicing naturopathic medicine in New Haven since 1987. Dr. DeKadt is a Woodbridge resident and she moved her practice to Woodbridge in 2014. Dr. DeKadt also has a Physician’s Associate degree. She treats general health and fitness, musculo-skeletal conditions, chronic disease, respiratory illnesses, women’s health, auto-immune diseases and metabolic syndromes.
“Woodbridge residents are very fortunate to have these three experts in natural health right here in our own backyard,” said Scalettar. “This is yet another positive development for Woodbridge.”