Bizwatch: Next Step Institute |

Bizwatch: Next Step Institute

Daily Staff Report
Vail, CO, Colorado
Special to the DailyDr. Gary Weiss of the Next Step Institute for Integrative Medicine

Business name: Next Step Institute of Integrative Medicine

Date opened: 1982

Owner: The organization was founded by Cathleen Brooks Weiss. With Cathleen, the institute is run by clinical directors Dr. Gary Weiss, Dr. Michael Newberry and Jordan Newberry and program director Bonnie McDonald.

Contact info: Bonnie McDonald, 477-2800 or

What goods or services do you provide? With a team of nationally recognized physicians, clinicians and therapists, Next Step Institute of Integrative Medicine provides patients the “next step” in health care, combining the best of modern medicine with the wisdom of Eastern medicine, Native American healing practices and a wide spectrum of effective holistic therapies.

Our premier program is the Next Step Institute Wellness Week, where groups of five or six patients facing similar health challenges come to stay at our Two Thunderbirds Ranch in Eagle to enjoy a week of comprehensive, integrated health care. In addition to over 10 hours of direct contact with physicians, treatments may include a realistic program of nutrition and exercise, massage therapy, yoga and Pilates, meditation and spirituality, equine and art therapy, sweat lodge, as well as acupuncture and chi kung, an ancient form of energy healing.

Other programs include the Next Step Institute Day of Wellness, the Options Program and our “concierge” program. These are more geared towards locals.

What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? At Next Step Institute, we believe the best medical care is provided by integrating the wonders of conventional, Western medicine with the most effective therapies found in Asian medicine, Native American healing traditions, psychotherapy, spirituality, holistic medicine, mind-body medicine and natural approaches. We also believe wellness comes from the balance of healthy emotions, relationships, spirituality, mental health, connections to the natural world and physical health. The key for us is the importance of integrating all the therapies we offer, with careful attention to how they will work together to maximize effectiveness and avoid any negative interaction.

In addition to this integrated approach to health care, we also differ from other organizations in the amount of direct contact our patients have with physicians.

What philosophy do you follow dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? At Next Step Institute, we believe true wellness is best achieved when there is health and balance within the mind, body, spirit and emotions. Only then can we be optimally well, meaning that we are living the best, most fulfilling lives we can, despite whatever challenges we may be facing. True wellness is not marked by the absence of pain and illness, but by the celebration and nourishment of all parts of the living self.

Our customers can expect that we will listen to their needs and wants, and look at every aspect of their lives contributing to their health-from medications, nutrition and exercise; to sleep habits, relationships and family histories.

Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: Next Step Institute was first founded in 1982 by Cathleen Brooks Weiss to serve children of alcoholics. Over time, that mission has expanded, as has its core team. Next Step Institute now consists of four clinical directors, a program director, as well as a large team of certified, licensed and credentialed therapists.

What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? When the whole team was having a serious meeting with a very sick patient, a man dressed as Indiana Jones burst through the door carrying balloons and belting out melodies at the top of his lungs. He was a singing telegram bringing surprise birthday wishes to a member of our staff. In one sense the timing couldn’t have been worse, but in another it was perfect. The scene was actually hilarious, and everyone ended up doubled over in laughter, including the patient (thankfully).

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