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  • Avera Practitioners Graduate From The Institute for Functional Medicine’s Certification Program

Published on April 11, 2014

Avera Practitioners Graduate From The Institute for Functional Medicine’s Certification Program

SIOUX FALLS (April 14, 2014) - Patricia Peters, MD, and Jessica Morrell, CNP, of Avera Medical Group Women’s Midlife Care are among members of the first graduating class of certified functional medicine practitioners.

The Institute for Functional MedicineThe Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) is the global leader in providing clinical education in functional medicine.

Of total health care costs in the United States, more than 75 percent is due to chronic conditions. The key to reversing the rapidly spreading epidemic of chronic disease is to address the underlying causes and solutions for chronic disease, which are primarily driven by the lifelong, daily interaction among an individual’s genetics, environment and lifestyle choices. Functional medicine not only incorporates the latest in genetic science and systems biology, but it also enables health care practitioners to practice proactive, predictive, personalized medicine while empowering patients to take an active role in their own health.

As graduates of The Institute for Functional Medicine’s Certification Program (IFMCP), these Avera practitioners are uniquely trained in the functional medicine model to identify and treat the root causes of chronic disease. In order to achieve the designation of IFM Certified Practitioner, they completed seven onsite training seminars and passed stringent written and case study evaluations.

Dr. Peters and Morrell join an elite group of 124 practitioners who are among the first graduates of IFM’s Certification Program.

Dr. Peters holds a medical degree from the University of South Dakota Sanford School of Medicine, Vermillion, and completed residency at Sioux Falls Family Medicine Residency Program. She is certified by the American Board of Family Medicine. Morrell graduated from the University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, and is certified as a women’s health nurse practitioner.


The Institute for Functional Medicine believes that good health and vitality are essential to the human spirit. The mission of IFM is to serve the highest expression of individual health through widespread adoption of functional medicine as the standard of care.

Functional medicine is a personalized, systems-oriented model that empowers patients and practitioners to achieve the highest expression of health by working in collaboration to address the underlying causes of disease. The primary drivers of the chronic disease epidemic are the complex daily interactions among an individual’s genetics, environment, and lifestyle choices. Functional medicine addresses these underlying causes of disease and equips healthcare practitioners to help their patients manage this complex, interconnected web. For more information, please visit:


The rising rates of chronic disease are creating a huge burden on the economy and the current health care system is not adequately addressing the problem. Conventional health care is rooted in an acute-care model focused on rapid diagnosis and long-term pharmaceutical interventions. Functional medicine is a model for 21st century health care that focuses on identifying and addressing the underlying causes of chronic disease by recognizing that each patient is biochemically unique, a product of the continuous interaction between their genes, their environment, and their lifestyle choices. Only by finding the specific causes of each patient’s disease and providing treatment that is individualized to that patient will we be able to reverse the epidemic of chronic disease.