P3 empowers the clinician and client relationship. That power is found in a tireless pursuit of expanding the clinicians’ knowledge and skill set while holding space and time for patient care. Conventional model of care has the delay from evidence based medicine to the exam room of 17 years. Meaning the care you receive in standard family practice is nearly two-decade old science. We reject this standard and hold ourselves to a higher standard of staying on the front line of evidence-based medicine.
Each P3 clinician has a limited patient panel and this allows for expanded time with every individual on our team. The current model of medicine is disease focused and rife with clinician burn out and patient despair.
We disrupt that model by shifting the focus to the individual and their unique biology and needs. The human spirit and happiness are dependent on vitality and health. And every one of us is responsible for this pursuit.
Health is earned and not an entitlement
Health is obtained with intention
Clinicians are teammates and educators, not only diagnosticians
Teaching and learning require time
Relationships require trust and investment by all parties
Knowledge is dynamic and earned with intention
Functional Medicine is Evidence Based Medicine
Data/Labs are tools to empower insight and strategy
We learn from failure; Perfection is a pathology
Integrity is obtained with honesty and accountability
With this new love for medicine she faced the problem: how to make time to support each patient within a system that doesn’t pay clinicians to teach and reverse disease but rather to suppress symptoms. The game is stacked in favor of disease, not in the reversal of disease. Michelle knew there was a better way and she learned from her patients that they were willing to take on a new adventure and risk with her…
In 2016, Michelle sold her home and in 2017 took what equity she had and started Peak Performance & Prevention, LLC (affectionately known as P3).
The Goal: redesign the game that is stacked against the clinician and the patient
The Outcome: The P3 Model allows the patient to invest in their own health and assign the clinician as a teammate, and together they have the freedom to reach goals that include the reversal of heart disease, autoimmunity, diabetes, and infertility. This grand experiment has been more successful than Michelle or her original patients could have imagined. Michelle only expected to carry 200 patients, and within 6 months that number had been exceeded. People were calling and asking to be placed on a growing waitlist. This momentum was generated by the success of those original patients and “word of mouth”.
P3 has doubled in size of staff and patients enrolled every year since 2017. And we credit our patient outcomes for this growth.
Michelle is a mother of two active and happy teenagers, Liam and Rowan. She is also an avid endurance triathlete and cyclist. If you don’t see her at the office, or at the pool cheering at her daughter’s swim meets, you will likely find her at the gym or on her bike.
Michelle grew up in Tallahassee, Florida. She was raised by a single mother who put herself through law school while Michelle was still in elementary school. Michelle grew up with a strong appreciation for independence and education. She had a love for the outdoors and through that love she obtained her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science. She believed her future would be in field biology.
During her term as a Peace Corps Volunteer in Mali, West Africa, she spearheaded two projects in her small village, Kintieri, to support women’s access to birth control and help the village elders with a small animal husbandry project to increase protein access for a population that faced severe malnourishment and the highest infant mortality rate on the planet.
Between these two life experiences she realized her passion for improving the human condition. She changed her course, and when she returned stateside started her academics in Family Medicine.
It wasn’t until nearly a decade into her career that she discovered Functional Medicine. She was facing “burn out” and discontent with the demand for how many patients had to be seen to make a living which left little room for helping guide patients, learn what was new on the frontline of research, or provide the level of care she expected would be part of the work in Family Medicine. Functional Medicine is the practice of applying the investigative work of biology, physiology, and advanced diagnostics with teaching and supporting the patient to be in the driver seat of their own biology. It is “root cause medicine”.
Courtney’s approach to medicine is grounded in the fundamental understanding that human health is met by achieving mental, emotional, and physical health. Nothing acts in isolation. She is passionate in her pursuit of unveiling the root cause of disease and empowering patients through education and mentorship to achieve health and balance.
In her time away from work, Courtney likes to experiment in the kitchen with recipes, trying to find new and fun ways to enjoy food that is healthy and delicious. Being from Minnesota, she enjoys boating, kayaking, and water skiing. Music is a big part of her upbringing and she loves to play Chopin on the piano.
While working on a degree in chemistry, Dr. Courtney worked for 7 years in pediatric oncology. She was in pursuit of an engineering degree, but a professor she admired pulled her aside and encouraged her to consider medical school. Until that point her primary exposure to medicine was the brutal and extensive suffering that is part of conventional oncology. What if she could influence and change the course of cancer and chronic illness? From here her passion of a non-conventional approach to medicine was born. Courtney received her B.S. in Chemistry with a minor in Biology from the University of Minnesota.
Courtney is originally from Minnesota.
She and her husband relocated to the Pacific Northwest to pursue her medical degree from Bastyr University in Seattle. While completing her rotations in medical school she discovered she had a special interest in women’s health and received extended training in fertility, gynecology, and biological hormone replacement therapy.
Michelle Sandwisch relocated to Puyallup, WA from Ohio to join forces with P3. She is a certified family nurse practitioner that received her education from Georgetown University. She has advanced training through the Institute of Functional Medicine and currently is a candidate for board certification.
In alignment with the Functional Medicine model that encourages collaboration between patients and practitioners in attaining the highest expression of health, Michelle is committed to promoting the Functional Medicine mission by working with patients to identify the underlying cause of disease. She believes that taking the time to thoroughly understand a patient’s history and unlocking clues related to genetic, environmental and lifestyle factors that influence long-term health and complex disease, is the key to improving the ability to manage and optimally prevent chronic disease.
Michelle ultimately found her passion for Functional Medicine after walking thru her own wellness journey. For many years, she sought answers that didn’t readily come and eventually was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. Because of her experience, she is dedicated and passionate about finding the root cause of disease and achieving optimal wellness in all those that come to her for treatment.
In addition to her wealth of experience and passion for functional medicine, Michelle has sought additional training in neuro and vascular health through the Bredesen protocol which is the most advanced and comprehensive program to date in Alzheimer's disease.
When Michelle is not working with patients. She enjoys spending time with family, walking her yellow lab, hiking in the woods, practicing Heartfulness Meditation, spending time near the water, reading the latest medical research, and continuing to learn to help individuals be the best version of themselves.
Michelle constantly strives to learn new ways to help people overcome health challenges and learn the why behind things in the world around us.
For the past 10 years Dr. Weitz has been serving the Seattle East-Side community as a primary care physician and pain management specialist. She was a professor in the Physical Medicine Department of Bastyr University from 2006-2012 where she taught modalities from osseous manipulation and hydrotherapy to myofascial analysis and physical therapy.
Dr. Weitz has been designing and implementing nutrition and sports optimization programs for local volleyball club teams since 2005 in the Seattle area.
Her contribution to the P3 team is focusing on the building the 5 Pillars of Health, as well as regenerative injection therapies and pain management.
When she is not treating patients, you'll find her in the gym, practicing yoga, playing or coaching volleyball, and playing with her 4-year-old son.
The daughter of a Naturopathic Doctor, Dr. Weitz was raised walking the path of prevention, wellness and health optimization. She grew up in Tennessee, relocating to the PNW to attend medical school at Bastyr University.
Dr Weitz is a graduate of Bastyr University and is a board certified licensed Naturopathic Doctor in the State of Washington. She has practiced Primary Care Medicine for the past decade with a focus on women's health, weight-loss, pain management, gastrointestinal health, endocrine conditions and preventative care. With over 20,000 patient contacts, Dr. Weitz takes a personalized approach with each patient, starting with the lowest levels of intervention. Her extensive knowledge of therapeutic diets, herbs, nutraceuticals, exercise and lifestyle coaching allow her to treat the whole person, addressing the root causes and educating her patients to be their own health advocates.
Gwen is an avid learner and has obtained multiple advance certifications:
Functional Nutritional Therapist
Certified Functional Medicine Health Coach
Certified GAPS (Gut and Psychology Syndrome) Practitioner
Certified Lifestyle Educator
During the last 9 years, she has been the lead clinical nutritionist at a large practice with multiple clinicians in Olympia. Working with multiple clinicians who use varied diagnostics gave Gwen a broad education in advanced functional lab interpretation.
These life experiences combined with her formal education makes Gwen an invaluable asset to the P3 team. Her passion is fed by her client’s success. Building each person’s confidence and knowledge in the foundations of health: Nutrition, Sleep, Stress, Detox Movement, is accomplished by multiple mediums. Through one-on-one coaching, virtual visits, group visits, and community outreach programs Gwen is a critical player in the success met by P3 Clients.
Outside of her passion for work, her heart and free time is shared with her supportive husband, Jim, their 100lb chocolate lab, Otis, and with their beautiful and growing family including 7 grandchildren!
Gwen raised her 5 children in the Pacific Northwest. Growing up on the Standard American Diet, she didn’t know any other option for food existed. But prior to becoming a mother, she took a nutrition course. This class influenced her understanding of how food influences health and biology; ultimately shaping the course of her life direction.
She made major shifts in her own life first and these changes had a profound impact on her health. She had always struggled with upper respiratory infections and received multiple rounds of antibiotics. After implementing what she learned about nutrition, the recurrent infections resolved.
When she started her family, she was proactive in making sure that the food her children ate would nourish their minds and bodies. Her passion for whole foods turned from her family focus to coaching when her children reached an age that she had space to nurture her growing interest.
Through her real-life experiences, she knew that food is foundational to thriving vs existing. And beyond the biological aspects of nutrition, food brings people together and facilitates the power of community.
Her foundational belief is grounded in the simple understanding: We were meant to move; to move frequently and move well. Through movement we find joy and challenges. Those challenges are where we grow in physical, spiritual, emotional and mental strength.
Tarah enjoys working with diverse clients from elite athletes, weekend warriors, and those just starting their journey with movement. She also enjoys to community building that group fitness facilitates. As a result, she has built a loyal client base.
P3 is enlisting her leadership in building the Movement side to the coaching program. She is affectionately referred to in the office as the “MovementBoss”. A mantra of Tarah’s that’s been adopted by P3: It is not about getting into skinny jeans or setting a PR, its about a lifestyle for your lifetime.
Tarah’s reputation is broadly recognized locally but pales in comparison to her dog, Dex. His Instagram following is over 2900 and climbing.
Tarah is local to the Pacific Northwest and has been a personal trainer and group fitness instructor since 2009. She was drawn to the fitness industry because of her intrigue with human endurance and grit.
Prior to jumping into fitness and training she helped build the training program for what is now an internationally recognized brand in the aesthetic/style industry: Gene Juarez. After building their curriculum and education program Tarah had the opportunity to relocate to Australia with her husband. They spent 3 years abroad and when she returned home, she jumped into learning everything she could about training and fitness.
Tarah was hooked after she found not only did fitness and training facilitate her own personal health goals, but it also improves mood, motivation and confidence. Through her clients she found her passion in facilitating this self-discovery in others.
During this time Emilie began to suffer more severely with a long-term health condition. What was once a minor annoyance became debilitating. However, while searching for answers and trying everything remedy imaginable and multiple specialists, she experienced profoundly that some foods are poison and others are potent medicine. Even more importantly, she had become empowered to learn to heal herself.
Emilie is always excited to foster the transformative strength of a healthful diet and lifestyle in others. Her belief in the innate strength of individuals to change led her to health coaching and to P3. In 2019 she graduated from the Functional Medicine Coaching Academy and will be sitting for the National Board for Health & Wellness Coaching exam in early 2020.
Emilie is dedicated to her long-time CrossFit community and loves to spend weekends snowboarding, camping, or exploring new hiking trails with her husband Tom, and their two dogs.
Emilie was born and raised in the Puyallup Valley, and can’t imagine calling anywhere else home. Her parents, a career law enforcement officer and a small business owner, raised her to understand the joy of meaningful work.
Throughout high school and after, Emilie explored different career opportunities – from hosting large group events at an outdoor camp to personal fitness training – all of which broadened her experience and perspective.
After a sidetrack down the aisle (and down I-5 when the Marine Corps relocated her new husband to San Diego for two years) it was time to focus on continuing her own education. Returning to school as a working adult was scary but made earning a bachelor’s degree at the University of Washington in Seattle a proud accomplishment.
Here is where all the pieces came together. Jessica finished the program prepared to then take two exams for Registered Dietician and Clinical Exercise Physiologist.
Since 2011, Jessica has been certified as a Clinical Exercise Physiologist through the American College of Sports Medicine and a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist through the Commission of Dietetic Registration. This combination has allowed her to have an incredible career thus far. She has worked in a variety of settings ranging from community nutrition, to interpreting advanced biomarkers, to a start-up focused on scientific wellness. Not only has Jessica focused on patient care for a diverse population, she has had the opportunity to design and collaborate on app and web-based products. She loves creating systems and tools that build efficiencies in life.
At P3, Jessica is using her skillset to develop and execute the P3 coaching platform. When Jessica isn’t working, she is enjoying the outdoors by hiking, paddle boarding, and strolling around her neighborhood. She is lucky to have her family nearby. Attending her nephew’s baseball and football games are a favorite weekend activity, followed by a cooked family meal (of course). Jessica is excited to be a part of the P3 team and is looking forward to meeting you!
Jessica is a Pacific Northwest native. She grew up playing soccer and fast pitch year-round, loving the competitive nature of sports and pushing her limits. The youngest of three, Jessica is a natural observer and go-getter. When she was not on the field she would be baking or cooking with her mother, doing anything outdoors, or a craft project of some kind as an adolescent.
She decided to go to Western Washington University thinking she would become an elementary school teacher. Instead, she merged her love of sport and science and graduated with a B.S. in Exercise and Sports Science. Learning about the body’s physiology was fascinating to Jessica. It opened a whole new avenue of possibilities. During her junior year at WWU she realized her degree would only be focused on exercise and very little about nutrition. This made no sense to Jessica, she kept thinking, “How can you only focus on how to move your body and not on what you put in your body?”
After graduating from WWU she took a year off from school and worked at MultiCare’s Center for Health Living. Here she focused on community nutrition and events. This time allowed her to confirm her passion for movement and nutrition. So much so, that she started graduate school at Washington State University- Spokane in the Coordinated Program of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology.
Theresa and Michelle had a shared vision of what great medicine looked like clinically and structurally. In 2017 Michelle and Theresa joined forces to make their vision a reality.
Not only does Theresa bring a rich work experience to P3, but she is formally trained in John Maxwell’s Leadership Paradigm. The power of a team and mentorship is an incredible force and much of her joy of work is drawn from empowering each team member to thrive professionally and personally.
Outside of work, Theresa loves to travel and explore new places with her husband. She also is an avid gardener and proud mother and grandmother.
Theresa Faldet is the Director of Operations at Peak Performance and Prevention. She leads the P3 team to execute the vision and mission of P3. Her passion and expertise in healthcare administration and operations comes from decades of clinical and business experience in family medicine, sports medicine, and preventive medicine.
After 18 years in a supportive and then administrative role in conventional medicine she watched her clinicians face overloaded schedules and burnout. And ultimately, she watched the practice that she helped build get monopolized by a large healthcare conglomerate. Through this painful experience, she knew that private practice had to approach the business model differently in order to survive and provide preventative care which is not reimbursed by insurance. She put her head down and started a consulting company to help private practices all over the country convert to a direct patient care model. She was highly sought after to provide this guidance. This role was incredibly rewarding but it took her away from her home and her first love is family.
Kathy’s strength is building relationships with her team members and patients. She uses humor to bring the best out of people. Her adaptability and willingness to jump into any role makes her an asset to P3 and our community.
When not at work, she enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, and cooking amazing meals-which she often shares with her team. Kathy also has a love for crafting.
She is the birthday queen by always outdoing herself with decorating for each P3 team member’s special day.
Katherine (Kathy) Abundez is a first-generation immigrant from Mexico. Her mother and father are from the Michoacan in Mexico. She was born in California and moved to Washington in 2000. She takes pride in her culture and brings her heritage to the P3. She is a mother of a three-year toddler. Her daughter is spunky like her mother and keeps Kathy on her toes.
Kathy started her career in a community clinic as a bilingual medical assistant. Being exposed to those less fortunate gave her a passion to provide the best care for her patients and their loved ones. She was promoted to a leadership role and assisted in opening new clinics.
Her history made her a strong fit for the P3 mission in bringing optimal healthcare to her community.
Renee is a mentor to new Medical Assistants and supports the development of students during their rotation at Peak Performance & Prevention.
In her spare time, she enjoys being active and celebrating family. She walks daily, works out at the gym, and is new to CrossFit. Additionally, she enjoys crafting, dancing, and vacationing with her husband and grandchildren. She is on occasion found in her T-Rex costume with Starbucks in hand, sharing a smile with those close by.
Renee Brundage is P3’s Back Office Supervisor. She has been in healthcare for eight years and has been with P3 since October 2018. Renee grew up in Las Vegas and moved to the PNW 19 years ago. She spent an extended period of her youth in Okinawa, Japan.
Her previous medical experience was in conventional medicine, specializing in family medicine and neurology. Renee is passionate about patient care. Her skill set is both clinical and personal. She enjoys making her patients feel safe and comfortable while giving them the best care. Her professional interest is in the development of P3’s procedural standards and ancillary services.