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Natural Awakenings Space & Treasure Coast Florida

Dean Wellness Institute: Center for Regenerative Medicine

Oct 23, 2012 07:51PM ● By Beth Davis

Dr. Melissa Dean began her career in nursing, first earning a bachelor’s degree from Florida Atlantic University and then a Master of Science in Nursing (MSN) at the University of South Florida (USF). Dean says she simply fell in love with school and had a passion for learning. She went on to complete training as an Adult Nurse Practitioner (NP) at USF before deciding to continue on to medical school at Ross University, in New Jersey.

“In medical school, we were taught facts and only facts,” she explains. “But, I maintained a personal belief in the power of other healing modalities, as well as disease prevention.”

It was while working as a NP in a neurologist’s office that Dean was first inspired to explore an alternative way to practice medicine. “For these patients, the gate was open and the horse was out of the barn, so to speak,” says Dean. “Typically, there was no way to stop it and get them back to optimal health. I loved helping the patients, but I wanted to find a way to make them healthy before the horse got out.”

Her love of knowledge and desire to help people continued as she completed her residency training at Orlando Regional Hospital, and furthered her education as a Fellow in Training at the American Academy of Anti-aging and Regenerative Medicine. As if that weren’t enough, she also traveled to Ireland, Central America and the Amazon to study local medicine or provide medical missions to the area.

Her experiences, both personally and professionally, led to the opening of Dean Wellness Institute, in Vero Beach. Here, she is committed to taking a team approach to educating patients and empowering them to be the best they choose to be by providing the most up-to-date information in an integrative manner.

“It is one thing to tell a patient that her or she can benefit from proper nutrition or from herbal supplements, but they need to know why they benefit,” she says. “They need to know the side effects, if any, and what kinds of results to expect.”

Services offered at the Institute include well person annual exams, Bioidentical Hormone Replacement, nutrition counseling, diabetes management, cardiovascular risk reduction, lectures on wellness topics, hypertension management, laboratory testing and much more.

“If people are ill, they tend to lose their drive for life,” she notes. “We want to give them back that passion for life, despite the illness. Because every individual is different, we want to provide plenty of options.”

Now, those options have gotten even bigger thanks to the recent expansion of the Institute that includes the addition of Peter R. Holyk, M.D., C.N.S., and his natural and integrative practice, Contemporary Health Innovations.

Holyk began his career in ophthalmology in 1982. Shortly after launching his private practice, both he and his wife had serious illnesses diagnosed. She was eventually diagnosed with Epstein Barr Syndrome. (It eventually was identified as mercury and lead poisoning, with total immune system collapse, by Dr. Holyk’s Integrative Medicine contacts). For a decade, she struggled as doctors told her there was nothing they could do, but the Holyks weren’t about to give up so they embarked on a journey to discover alternative methods of healing. He traveled extensively, studying from the “grand masters” of non-traditional medicine and learned about mercury and heavy metal detoxification, nutrition, chelation and more. The more information he gathered, the more he was inspired to take a holistic approach in his own practice.

Dr. Holyk had health issues of his own. In 1985, he was diagnosed with a large brain tumor at the junction of the brain to the spinal cord. Though most of it was surgically de-bulked, his prognosis was grim. The tumor was not sensitive to chemotherapy or radiation therapy as opined by the traditional doctors at Duke, so he had neither. Today, 27 years later, he is not only tumor free, but his wife is also free of her illness. He gives much of the credit to detoxification, nutrition and other non-traditional healing modalities.

These experiences were certainly a catalyst for a new career. By 1998, he left his ophthalmology career to dedicate himself to holistic medicine—focusing on the treatment of underlying causes rather than symptoms—and, he says he’s never looked back.

Holyk’s thirst for knowledge has led to a vast amount of training in areas such as detoxification, chelation, oxidative medicine, Nambudripad’s Allergy Elimination Technique (NAET), neural therapy, functional medicine, Bio-identical Hormone Replacement Therapy (BHRT), endocrine balance, IV Therapy and many others. He is also certified in Anti-aging and Regenerative medicine, as well as a Certified Nutrition Specialist (CNS), the highest level of nutritional accreditation, recognized by the American Medical Association (AMA).

Together, Drs. Dean and Holyk, along with Physician’s Assistant Cathy Cheries, are dedicated to bridging the gap between traditional and alternative medicine. They provide comprehensive care for patients, along with a long list of services. They specialize in individualized medicine, which takes a look at the whole patient and determines a personalized plan to get to the root of symptoms and return the patient to optimal health.

For both doctors, the most rewarding part of their work is seeing patients get better.

“To see the people you have helped is inspiring,” says Dean. “It helps me to stay connected to my purpose, which is helping people.”

Dr. Holyk adds, “There is nothing more gratifying than to have a patient tell me: ‘Thanks doc, you saved my life.’”

Dean Wellness Institute is located at 1345 35th St, Suite B in Vero Beach. For information call 772-567-1500 or visit