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Dr. Stacie J. Stephenson

Dr. Stephenson, DC, CNS, DABAAHP, FAARM, serves as chair of Functional Medicine for Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) and as a board member of Gateway for Cancer Research (Gateway), a nonprofit committed to funding innovative cancer research studies to benefit today's cancer patient. The physician and lecturer focuses on regenerative, lifestyle, functional and innovative natural medicine.

Where does your interest in natural and nutrition-based medicine stem from?

Being certified in functional medicine and nutrition as a practicing chiropractor, I have been fortunate to be able to apply my education and experiences within these fields. Nearly 15 years ago, I created the Carmel Clinic for Functional Medicine in my home state of Indiana. I strongly support functional medicine, where the patient is treated as a whole, internally and externally.

Tell me about Gateway for Cancer Research.

As founder of CTCA in 1988, which furthers Patient Empowered Care, my husband continued his crusade in memory of his mother, who lost her battle to cancer, by establishing Gateway. Gateway connects renowned researchers to courageous patients seeking meaningful and breakthrough clinical cancer trials. Through generous underwriting from CTCA, 99 cents of every dollar Gateway receives funds Phase I and II clinical trials for all cancer types. The vision of Gateway is to shape a world in which a cancer diagnosis is no longer feared.

Philanthropy is a big part of your life. How do you decide which causes to devote to?

For me, it is about creating a world where people feel good and live well. Whether it be individuals fighting for their very lives from cancer or other diseases or supporting children of neglect, we are all in this together. For those of us who are fortunate enough to have the wherewithal to give our time and dollars, we have the opportunity to revolutionize treatments and create a healthier, safer world.

What is the most rewarding part of your career?

I am grateful to be able to contribute in the Gateway mission to “help people living with cancer to feel better, live longer and conquer cancer today.” Witnessing major medical breakthroughs in cancer treatment inspires me. For example, a Gateway-funded Phase I clinical trial recently completed by Dr. Sarah Leary of Seattle Children’s Hospital utilized a florescent light to target cancer cells in pediatric brain cancer. A Phase II trial is currently planned to enroll many more leading cancer centers throughout the country to continue this research.

Is more growth/additional locations planned for CTCA?

CTCA Phoenix just added two outpatient care centers in the Phoenix area—with plans for a third.

What are some of your free-time passions?

I share a passion with my husband for the equestrian arts focused predominantly at our home in Barrington Hills, Ill. We follow a very unique equestrian discipline of coaching and carriage driving and participate in national and international equestrian coaching experiences. In addition to the equestrian disciplines we love to experience nature on our horses, trail riding through the grounds of our home. I also love being near the ocean. And despite my worldwide quest to work on the cancer question, my guilty pleasure remains enjoying fashion and fine dining in Paris…but don’t tell anyone!