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Mardy Ross, OTR and Founding Executive Director, Lumigrate
Mardy Ross, Executive Director
Mardy Ross created and founded Lumigrate in 2008, with Lumigrate.com launching onto the Internet on March 27, 2009. The 'cornerstone' of Lumigrate is the YOU! Model, created in 2007 with a collaborative colleague also with military medicine in his background (Ph.D. psychologist savvy about chronic pain and illness and 'neuropsychology', Chris Young in Grand Junction, Colorado).
NOTE: The phone number (as of May 11, 2015) to reach Mardy is 970/ 462-8662 . Connect via PM at Facebook, or e-mail (again, as of May 2015) is mardy.poppins at (@) yahoo.com. Mardy pops in to advise businesses about connecting with consumers OR helping their workers and others connect with information about health that's of benefit and interest to them. AND she also works with consumers in their homes, businesses, or organizations, etc., whether in-person or remotely to connect with information and other resources. Mardy is easy to find on Facebook due to the unique first name, and she typically regularly communicates there. Become a follower, sometimes not all friend requests are accepted unless she's aware how the person came about wishing to connect. Mardy has standards about her Facebook wall and conversations there which requires people to be 'civil', informed, sincere and she hopes that people do a lot of reading of posts and going to sources suggested so that learning and growth can occur.
The Forums tab at Lumigrate currently provide a fairly comprehensive complement of information for people looking for a quality Internet resource if they're wanting suggestions on quality resources for functional, integrative and 'truth-full' information. Providers, teachers/educators, advocates, activists -- there's a rich mix of invited experts (both professional and amateur/consumers/activists) who might be off the beaten path or well-known for our YOUsers to be connected with via the topics.
Mardy intially created a unique 'virtual team' of providers and laypeople who had much to offer the "YOUsers" of Lumigrate in reading in the forums, watching videos, listening to podcasts produced by Lumigrate or in collaboration with other providers. This was the way Lumigrate "rolled" until 2012, when Mardy started creating most all the content independently and linking to worldwide sources that she selects to guide YOU /YOUsers to.
More recently, after seeing the difficulties of conscientious people in applying the concepts they are interested in learning about to increase their functional wellness within their homes, offices, etc. (EMFs, cleaning, diet, lifestyle, learning), Mardy went back to her old 'roots' in occupational therapy and job site evaluations, home assessments, cognitive and motor processing assessments and created the new program informally titled "Mardy Poppins - Mardy Pop-Ins". This is being made available for appropriate situations/ individuals / groups. Please inquire with Mardy if interested in any small or comprehensive solution YOU are hoping to find which her 1:1 guidance would likely benefit.
Mardy also continues to work to connect providers of services and products with the people who can benefit, concentrating on 'outside the box' where Mardy believes the best and most truthful and sincere, authentic experiences and results are found.
All of the information currently offered on Lumigrate is free -- requiring not even an email address to be collected! Advising people who wish to have her assistance as a 'health information concierge' is a service offered. In the future, select products will be offered and bundled for people to purchase if needed and desired beyond consultations.
"The connections" can be provider / provider, or consumer(s) / provider and can be seminars or dinner discussions, and other creative means to make learning enjoyable. An example would be in 2012 relative to water quality and what is added to water in municipalities forcing people to have "mass supplementation" of fluoride (or find ways to remote it or purchase other water). Demonstrating the benefits to area providers of meeting to get to know each other around a topic and dinner was an activity Mardy organized on two occasions, and to help the professionals wishing to be speaking to the public and authorities the practice at fielding questions and explaining the subject matter.
Lumigrate.com promotes education growth, and a 'ripple effect' about health and wellness from a functional, integrative, biological (etc.) medicine perspective. Functional medicine looks for the underlying causes and treats at that level, eventually getting to 'the root or roots'. Integrative means to 'bring together' and in health care that means the best and appropriate of modern / Western medicine with traditional medicine and new understandings and methods which come about as understanding 'progresses'. Body, mind and spirit are integrated in 'integrative medicine' for looking at the whole person (holistic). Mardy uses a model in her consulting that includes occupation and vocation (anything that occupies time is 'occupation', vocation is money-making occupation(s)).
In 1996/7 when first becoming an OT, Mardy took the 40 hour course and was certified after successfully completing the required case work in 'The Assessment of Motor and Process Skills', which she has utilized ever since first sitting in the classroom of this scientifically validated method of determining people's safety for living independently and identifying the various aspect of a person's functional performance (strengths and weaknesses).
She currently provides 'Functional Advice and Counseling' to individuals or groups and organizations utilizing her unique skill set. This serves to liberate her from the restrictions of the allopathic, organized medicine's "occupational therapy" and insurance-based reimbursement of orgnaized medicine.
Mardy received a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from Colorado State University in 1996, and completed internships at the Veteran's Administration Hospital in Denver, Colorado in both physical and psychiatric rehabilitation. She has maintained her "R" with the NBCOT since passing the boards in the spring of 1997 and has chosen to no longer be a member of the American and International OT organizations, but to instead become a leader in creating new organizations and supporting independent 'outside the box' professional organizations.
She contributed for years extenstively to the Collective Health Initiatives in Grand Junction, Colorado (2009-2012) and was a founding member of the Pikes Peak Blues Assocition in Colorado Springs, Colorado (2001-2003). When moving to Grand Junction in 2004 she volunteered with, and was immediately asked to be on the board of, the Friends of Kulture in the Grand Valley (FOKE) related to bringing live music to the people of the area. Not one to flock with the birds of a feather, Mardy generally is not a 'joiner' but is happy to help on occasion in the community in various ways. Usually connecting people is how she spends her 'civic duty time'.
Mardy has extensive work with insurance-based medicine, incluing documentation and billing for Medicare charges without having had a declination, even when in jobs where the employer or facility was under 100% focused review. It was common sense, really, to document things in a way the reviewers of paperwork in the insurance systems were able to understand, as they are typically not familiar with therapies. The others reading the documentation -- the patient or anyone on their team -- were then able to use the resources to better help the patient (or themself) as well. Innovative, simple, effective (but more time consuming initially which doesn't 'mesh' with the productivity formulas that organized medicine revolved around for therapies.).
Immediately prior to completing her occupational therapy degree (from 1994-1996), Mardy was part of the Health Education Department at Colorado State University, which included the Center for Drug and Alcohol Education, Nutrition Services, and psychological / counseling services' satellite personnel related to eating disorders and cultural diversity.
She had enjoyed a first career for eight years beginning in her mid-20s in research program administration on the renowned National Park Service Visibility Monitoring project which contracted through Colorado State University and was the driving force to create the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990. In 2012-2014, Mardy extensively studied 'the system' and how the world is operated by 'the powers that be', which she believes may currently be transitioning to being 'the powers that were'; 'the rabbit hole' it is called, was a place that brought Mardy to more fully understand the 'dots that never connected' in many aspects of the medical and health field and she continues to enjoy applying this to her practice with education and consulting services.
In order to 'keep it light' and disspel any pre-conceived notions, you'll read her writing in the forums or talking on social media or in person if you do-so of 'the monkeys and their monkeybusinesses'. She suggests how people can learn enough about that in order to become an educated medical consumer and then how to become a strong YOU! consumer. It simply comes down to the consumer today having to do the homework and use their time, energy (and in some cases money) resources to be the one directing their health and well-being. Not an easy task, and it requires changing habits and support.
These unique experiences proved invaluable in shaping her unique approach to a career in occupational therapy. As an OT in insurance-based medicine, Mardy has worked in many different arenas, including geriatrics, inpatient/outpatient hospital, home health, and outpatient in the community as well as unaffiliated with any hospital. In private-pay environments, she has specialized in consulting related to driving rehabilitation or fitness, with legal teams related to change of function and ability/disability, management teams, and family systems related to achieving the best outcomes.
The only medical worker or entrepreneur in generations, Mardy was inspired in her formative years, surrounded by extended family who were educators in public schools, music, higher education/coaching, the military, and when she was born and learning to walk and talk, dog training. She started reading Psychology Today in elementary school and bored her classmates with an oral book report on the book I'm Okay, You're Okay in eighth grade.
She was initially ushered away from studying psychology and toward studying business in college while living under the control of parents and "learned in the school of hard knocks" about adverse childhood experiences and the role of chronic illness in adulthood. Her exploration of mental and behavioral health and evolutionary psychology with environmental health issues yielded a unique background to present to people about causes of parents who pass things along from generation to generation not only through their nature but their nurture; there are many 'interloping hitchhikders hijacking our minds, bodies and spiritual abilities', she believes and teaches others at Lumigrate or otherwise.
Her years from age 18 to 29 brought professional and personal successes, but ended with a recovery from chronic fatigue syndrome, which naturally was formally diagnosed with a different 'label' in 1988/89 in the endless succession of confusion about what's causing chronic conditions and what to do about them.
At which time she 'unraveled the sweater of her life', then rewound the yarn, so to speak, and re-knitted the sweater and then set out to become an occupational therapist. She graduated at age 36 after having been diagnosed and treated for learning disabilities. She also utilized the 'system' of the Americans With Disabilities Act at Colorado State University and with obtaining the national board certification/exam. It was a wonderful coming together in recent years when finding information that accounted for the reason learning disabilities are on the rise and so often seen in people who have chronic pain, fatigue, and environmentally - caused conditions.
As a result, Mardy took a unique approach to her work as a therapist or consultant and focused on education, allowing patients to better understand and therefore treat their conditions. This was the key to their achieving their best level of function and well-being. Often confused with the familiar 'big brother' discipline of physical therapy, occupational therapy is the specialty created in health care after World War I which addresses the functional activities that "occupy" a person's time, and is founded on the saying "Engage the mind and the body will follow." We hope Lumigrate does that for you as well.
While enjoying relative good health but with an underlying, unknown condition lurking throughout childhood and adolescence, Mardy's adulthood has been impacted by the increasingly common disorders labeled today as "chronic fatigue syndrome" and "fibromyalgia". More recently it would seem "chronic Lyme" would apply, and "Ehlers Danlos Syndrome" as well.
What is causing these 'overlapping conditions' in so many of us? That, Mardy wanted to get to the bottom of and as of 2015 believes there is a LOT of intriguing information for consumers to be finding, considering and then DOING the things YOU, the consumer, believe is right for YOU. So the forums have a 'fund of knowledge' for those who will take the time to pursue the content. It is hoped people can be DIY with time and effort if they have enough help if cognitively impaired. (Which comes with the package deal so it's a catch 22 that has to be reversed and then people will need less assistance as they return towards wellness.)
Uniquely capable with logic and reasoning skills which includes 'clinical reasoning', and with her history with research and education layered upon, she has had relative success with finding innovative solutions for countless numbers of patients/health care teams.
Initially collaborating with other professionals for live educational forums in Grand Junction, Colorado, where she moved in 2004, she's come 'full circle' and is now bringing innovative concepts through the Internet with Lumigrate.com in order to reach the growing numbers of people who seek progressive, functional health information.
Lumigrate utilizes 'integrative medicine' as a framework; body, mind, and spirit of a person is treated as a whole/holistically. Lumigrate is the result. The goal is to provide information which will benefit ALL providers and consumers seeking the type of information Lumigrate provides, with the website as a primary tool and platform for Mardy's consulting work.
Thank you for your interest in Lumigrate's and Mardy's story. We hope it helps you understand our company and its intentions.
Photos: Upper photo taken on Thanksgiving 2008 by 'anonymous' photographer and friend at the pipe springs on the mountain Mardy hiked or snowshoed virtually daily during childhood. Lower photo taken summer of 2011 when 'making do' when scheduled photo shoot was weather delayed. Thanks to all who have collaborated in one way or another to make Lumigrate be the successful platform it is, or who have posted links, emailed pieces of interest, printed or simply said "You need to check out this place called "Lumigrate" that is Lighting the Path to Health and Well-Being on the Internet!
"Live and Learn -- Learn and Live Better!! ~~ Mardy Ross"
***Read more about the providers at Lumigrate's Forums in Forums, near the top you'll see one titled "About Lumigrate's Forum Writers"***