Frequently asked questions

  1. What is Integrative Medicine?
  2. How is Whole Child Wellness different from a conventional pediatric practice?
  3. Can the pediatricians at Whole Child Wellness be my child’s primary care doctor?
  4. Is Whole Child Wellness just for Children?
  5. Which hospital do you admit to? Do you see newborns and children in the hospital?
  6. Is Whole Child Wellness supportive of vaccine choices?
  7. What can I expect at my first visit?
  8. What is Functional Medicine? What is Functional Medicine testing and how much do the tests cost?
  9. Do you use nutritional supplementation? Where can I purchase recommended supplements?
  10. Why does Whole Child Wellness not accept insurance?
  11. Is Whole Child Wellness a boutique practice? Do you have a monthly membership fee?


1. What is Integrative Medicine?
The following definition was developed and adopted by the Consortium of Academic Health Centers for Integrative Medicine, May 2004; Edited May 2005:

"Integrative Medicine is the practice of medicine that reaffirms the importance of the relationship between practitioner and patient, focuses on the whole person, is informed by evidence, and makes use of all appropriate therapeutic approaches, healthcare professionals and disciplines to achieve optimal health and healing."

At Whole Child Wellness, we practice Integrative Pediatrics which combines the best of conventional and complementary and alternative medicine to optimize the health and well-being of your child.

2. How is Whole Child Wellness different from a conventional pediatric practice?
At Whole Child Wellness, we spend the time needed to understand your child and discover the root cause(s) of your child’s health concerns. We offer longer visit times than a conventional practice, and follow-up is provided via phone or in-office consultations. Using a variety of complementary and alternative healing modalities and unique diagnostic testing allows us to devise a therapeutic program that is individually tailored to your child’s specific needs, rather than the one-size-fits-all approach that is commonly used in conventional medicine. Our ultimate goal is to facilitate your child’s innate healing capacity and lead him/her to true wellness, rather than simply putting band-aids on symptoms.

3. Can the pediatricians at Whole Child Wellness be my child’s primary care doctor?
Absolutely! We are available for well-child visits as well as same-day sick visits for established patients. While many of our families come to Whole Child Wellness for all their care, some of our families choose to maintain a pediatrician who is in their insurance network as their primary care doctor, and see our pediatricians as needed for consultations, preventive care and sick visits. We will work with you to find an arrangement that works best for you and your child.

4. Is Whole Child Wellness just for Children?
Whole Child Wellness is primarily a pediatrics office, but our nutritionist Kandice Stellmon provides nutritional services for both children and adults.

5. Which hospital do you admit to? Do you see newborns and children in the hospital?
Our pediatricians admit children to Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital (LPCH) when needed. A team of pediatric hospitalists and neonatologists take care of our patients in the newborn nursery and pediatric unit. We do not see newborns and children in the hospital, but are confident of the care that they will receive at LPCH and can consult with the pediatric hospitalists and neonatologists by telephone as needed. Once released from the hospital, our pediatricians perform all necessary followup at our office.

6. Is Whole Child Wellness supportive of vaccine choices?
At Whole Child Wellness, we understand that decisions about vaccinations are some of the most difficult decisions you will have to make for your child. While we believe that vaccines play an important public health role in preventing vaccine-preventable diseases, we also understand that each child is unique in his/her susceptibility to these diseases and to the side effects that vaccines may have.

The pediatricians at Whole Child Wellness take the time to understand your specific concerns and questions regarding vaccinations, and our goal is to inform parents to make the best healthcare decisions for their child. We support an individualized approach to vaccinations and will work with you to develop a vaccination plan that maximizes health and wellness while minimizing the risks associated with immunizing or not immunizing your child. We urge parents to begin their vaccine research early and to not base their decisions on the fear tactics that are often employed by both the pro-vaccine and anti-vaccine advocates. A good place to start is by reading Dr. Robert Sear’s The Vaccine Book.

7. What can I expect at my first visit?
If you are coming for a well-child visit, your first visit will include a thorough and detailed health information interview, including any concerns that you have about your child’s health, past medical history, family health history, and social history. A complete developmental assessment and physical examination will be performed. We will provide preventive counseling and discuss your concerns in depth. Our goal is to care for your whole child, and understand how to best meet the needs of your whole family.

If you are coming for a consultation for a particular health concern(s), before your first visit your provider will carefully review your new patient questionnaire and any past medical records which you have provided. It is very important that you fill out your questionnaire thoroughly as this will maximize the time that you have with your provider.

The initial office visit is a comprehensive one-on-one consultation during which your provider will work to obtain a complete picture of your, or your child’s, present condition as well as review your medical history, past and current health concerns, nutrition and lifestyle. After assessing your health needs, your provider may recommend dietary modifications, nutritional supplements or additional testing which may be done through a conventional lab or a lab specializing in functional medicine testing. The initial office visit takes one to one and a half hours.

The first follow-up visit is generally scheduled for 4-6 weeks after the initial visit, to review any lab work that has been performed, to assess your progress on your current therapeutic plan, and make adjustments as necessary. Subsequent follow-ups will be determined by your provider.

8. What is Functional Medicine? What is Functional Medicine testing and how much do the tests cost?
Functional Medicine is a way of practicing medicine that focuses on the whole person and not just isolated symptoms. Functional Medicine practitioners understand that your health is determined by the interplay between your unique genetic makeup, your individual environmental inputs and lifestyle (like the air your breathe, the water you drink, the food you eat, the quality of your sleep, the toxins you are exposed to), and the psychological, spiritual, and social factors in your life. Functional Medicine providers seek to identify the root causes of your health concerns and the factors that are perpetuating them, and apply targeted therapeutic strategies to both treat and prevent illness. The Functional Medicine toolkit uses a wide-range of therapeutic modalities to optimize health and wellness, including nutritional supplements, herbal medicines, therapeutic diets, lifestyle modification, and drugs when appropriate.

Functional Medicine testing is used to identify core clinical imbalances that are contributing to your health problems. Testing may be used to assess nutritional status, including digestive health, amino acids, fatty acids, organic acids, oxidative stress, vitamin levels, detoxification capacity, mitochondrial function, food sensitivities, neurotransmitter levels, adrenal stress, and heavy metal toxicity. Tests may be run on urine, stool, blood, or hair. Your therapeutic plan and nutritional supplementation will be customized based on the results of functional medicine testing you have performed.

Your provider will determine which tests may be most appropriate for you. Taking into account how much testing you would like to do, and your financial resources, an individualized testing plan will be devised. The cost of tests varies significantly. Some tests can be run through a regular lab that is likely to be covered through your insurance company. Other functional medicine testing may need to be run through specialized labs, some of which may be covered if you have a PPO insurance plan. Costs for individual functional medicine tests range between $85 and $850. Testing can provide a more complete picture of your health status and help determine appropriate therapies, but effective care may be initiated without testing, and testing can be done gradually over time.

Additional information is available on the Functional Medicine page of this web site.

9. Do you use nutritional supplementation? Where can I purchase recommended supplements?
Based on a thorough history of your health concerns, physical examination, and appropriate laboratory testing, your provider will determine a customized therapeutic plan for you, which may include nutritional supplements, herbal medicines, therapeutic diets, lifestyle modification, and drugs when appropriate. Nutritional supplementation, customized to the individual needs of each patient, is often an important part of your treatment plan. Our providers continually research nutritional supplements to be able to provide our patients guidance about the highest quality supplementation available. Some of these supplements are readily available in local stores, while some are only available through practitioner offices. As a convenience to our patients, we offer for sale those supplements that are not readily available in other stores and that we believe are of superior quality.

If you are running low on the supplements you have purchased at Whole Child Wellness, you may come by the office during normal business hours to pick them up, or we would be happy to ship them to you. Please submit your order by phone to 650-595-5437 or by e-mail to info@wholechildwellness. Be sure to include the following information:
  • Manufacturer
  • Exact name of supplement
  • Strength
  • Whether it comes in liquid, powder, or capsule
  • The size of the bottle – number of capsules, or amount of liquid or powder
  • Quantity needed

Please confirm your shipping address and billing information. In general, if orders are received before noon, they will be shipped that same day via USPS Priority Mail which has a delivery time of 1-3 days. We cannot guarantee that orders will ship on the same day so please give yourself plenty of time to receive orders before your run out of supplements. Orders with items that need to be refrigerated, such as probiotics, will only be shipped on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday.

10. Why does Whole Child Wellness not accept insurance?
We are not contracted with any insurance companies, which allows us to provide the kind of personalized service and dedicated time that our patients value. Being part of an insurance network often means that priority is placed on high patient volume with office visits often scheduled for only 5-10 minutes. Additionally, we would not have the flexibility to offer parents an individualized vaccination plan or to prescribe a therapeutic plan that integrates conventional and complementary and alternative approaches. As a courtesy, if you have a PPO insurance plan, we will send a claim to your insurance company who will then reimburse you directly according to your plan’s out-of-network benefits.

One solution that works for many of our families is to obtain a high-deductible PPO insurance policy that will provide catastrophic coverage but allow you to use the money you save on the lower monthly premiums to obtain the kind of high-quality personalized care you and your children desire and deserve.

Many of our families also optimize the use of Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), or Health Care Reimbursement Accounts (HCRAs) if offered by their employer, which allows them to set aside pre-tax dollars for medical services not covered by their insurance. This includes office visits, specialized testing, and nutritional supplements recommend by our providers.

11. Is Whole Child Wellness a boutique practice? Do you have a monthly membership fee?
Whole Child Wellness is not a boutique practice, and we do not have membership or access fees. Our fees are based solely on the time our practitioners dedicate to your family.