Functional medicine clinic opens Monday

South Peninsula Hospital and Dr. Rob Downey announce the opening of a Functional Medicine Clinic in January. 

Downey has nine years of training and clinical experience in functional medicine, and is working toward certification from The Institute for Functional Medicine. Functional medicine addresses one of the key issues in health care practice today — improving the management of complex, chronic disease

 “Dr. Downey’s functional medicine work involves understanding the origin, prevention, and treatment of complex, chronic disease. It is an integrative, science-based health-care approach that treats illness and promotes wellness by focusing assessment on the biochemically unique aspects of each patient, and then individually tailoring interventions to restore their health and vitality,” according to a press release.

 Lifestyle is a big factor; research estimates that 70-90 percent of the risk of chronic disease is attributable to lifestyle. That means what you eat, how you exercise, what your spiritual practices are, how much stress you live with and how you handle it are all elements that must be addressed in a comprehensive approach, the release says.

Working in partnership with a trained functional medicine provider, patients make dietary and activity changes that, when combined with nutrients targeted to specific functional needs, allow them to really be in charge of improving their own health and changing the outcome of disease. 

Functional medicine practitioners may also prescribe drugs or botanical medicines or other nutraceuticals; they may suggest a detoxification protocol, a physical medicine intervention, or a stress-management procedure. 

“The advantage of functionality is that you uncover many different ways of attacking health problems,” according to the release.

Downey is a board-certified family practice physician who specializes in functional medicine. Originally from Kalispell, Mont., Downey graduated from the University of Utah Medical School and completed a University of Minnesota residency. Between 2000-2002, Downey was attending physician at a Native health center in Kotzebue. He and his family moved to Homer in 2012 where he served as medical director at SVT Health and Wellness Clinic until 2014, then most recently as a provider at Ninilchik Traditional Council Community Health Clinic.

The clinic opens Monday, Jan. 4. An open house will be from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 7. The clinic is located at 203 W. Pioneer Ave., suite 3. The public is invited to stop by and meet Dr. Downey and learn more about the practice of functional medicine and what it means to their health.

The clinic contact number is 435-3070.

More information about IFM and Functional Medicine is available at or