SOUTHWEST HARBOR — After five years of working out of a small office, acupuncturist Sarah Tewhey is moving to a space that she hopes becomes a center of alternative healing on Mount Desert Island.
Tewhey had been working out of a cramped room in the Post Office Building on the Clark Point Road. In October, she purchased the old Aero-Hydro building with an eye to creating the community health care center she had always imagined.
“I’ve been looking for a building for several years,” Tewhey said. “This building sort of fell into my lap.”
One of the requirements on Tewhey’s real estate search list was to find an accessible building. Her former office was on the second floor and could only be accessed by climbing a steep set of stairs.
Since October, Tewhey and her husband, Kreg McCune, have been working nearly nonstop to renovate the space. 54 Herrick Integrative Medicine is to open Jan. 5.
A formal grand opening is scheduled for later in the month.
Originally, Tewhey and Brennan therapist Hayley Merchant were to occupy the building. Before long, others in their tight-knit circle of alternative medicine practitioners wanted on board.
“We’re both very interested in working with other healthcare providers,” Tewhey said of herself and Merchant.
Tewhey is convinced of the advantages of various practitioners working together.
“This team-based approach to healthcare is the best way for a patient to get well,” she said. “When all those (practitioners) are communicating on the same page, people get better faster.”
Joining Tewhey and Merchant at 54 Herrick are naturopath Alison Paquin, chiropractor Blake Rosso and nurse coach Emily Brown.
The mission at 54 Herrick will go beyond providing offices for the practitioners. Tewhey said she and the others expect to begin free walk-in clinics on a monthly or semimonthly basis for community members beginning in the spring. Workshops on various health topics also are in her plans.
“My deepest wish is to elevate the health and well-being of the entire community,” Tewhey said. “I’ve wanted to do this for a long time. I’m really excited to see what happens.”