by Anne Hilow

Dr. Cary Wheeler, D.O. recently accepted the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) position at Alexander Valley Healthcare. Born and raised in Redondo Beach, she and her family live in Ukiah.

Why did you become a physician?
While obtaining my Sociology degree, with a minor in Spanish, at Chapman University, I studied abroad in Central and South America. It was there I witnessed extreme poverty as well as a dire need for healthcare. Deeply affected by the experience, I chose medicine to help those in need with a special interest in providing quality medical care to people with limited access. After matriculating through Touro University College of Osteopathic Medicine, I completed my Family Medicine Residency at Kingman (AZ) Regional Medical Center. I’m board certified in Family Medicine, Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment, Addiction Medicine and certified in integrative holistic medicine.

As a D.O. or Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, you underwent additional training than allopathic doctors (MDs)?

An osteopathic physician has the same training as an allopathic doctor (MD) with the addition of training in a type of musculoskeletal therapy known as osteopathic manipulation. Osteopathic medicine takes a more ‘whole body’ approach to diagnosis and treatment. Osteopathic manipulation can be used to treat many conditions like musculoskeletal pain, headaches, joint pain and, recurrent ear infections in children and much more.

Why a CMO?

I’ve been with AVH a long time and have a vision of how we could improve patient care. With the new Health and Wellness Center on the AVH roadmap, we’ll be growing and will need a solid foundation in place.

What about COVID-19?

The only way we’re going to stop this pandemic sooner is by getting vaccinated. I encourage everyone to get their flu and COVID-19 vaccinations. If you don’t do it for yourself, then do it for your elderly grandmother, next door neighbor or your kids.

What’s your favorite hobby?

I recently started woodworking. My first project was a loft bed for an exchange student we hosted. I have also made a desk and dining room table. Currently I am learning about Japanese joinery. Japanese tools are more elegant and don’t require as much force.

You’re also a mother?

I have three daughters ages 9, 12 and 18. My oldest daughter was two years old when I began medical school, my second was born during my fourth year and the third during my third year of residency.

Dr. Wheeler and the other providers at AVH are accepting new patients and all insurances. For more information including schedules for COVID-19 and flu vaccinations, please contact Alexander Valley Healthcare at: 707-894-4229 or AlexanderValleyHealthcare.org.