Dr. Ron Hunninghake – Hometown Boy Makes Good

Enjoy this article about Dr. Ron Hunninghake written by his hometown newspaper, The Courier Tribune in Seneca, KS.

September 1, 2010

By Clara Reinecke, 

This story could be titled “Small town boy makes good” but a title of “Small town boy does good” might be more fitting when referring to the work of Ron Hunninghake M.D.

Currently serving as Chief Medical Officer of the Olive W. Garvey Center for Healing Arts in Wichita, Dr. Ron, as he is referred to, has devoted his career to encouraging patient health through treatment of the whole person, not just the symptoms of illness.

“What we practice at the clinic is a form of integrative medicine,” says Dr. Ron, adding that the clinic treatment plan is usually melded with your current medical treatment. “We tackle the stuff your regular docs don’t have time for.” Quoting a famous 19th century doctor…“It’s easier to diagnose a disease than it is to figure out what will make a person healthier”. The Riordan Clinic looks for hidden causes of illness that offer ways to better promote health through diet, nutrition, exercise, detoxification, and stress management. “A healthy spiritual attitude helps too,” says Dr. Ron.

Dr. Ron’s list of accomplishments is vast. In addition to his role as a doctor, he has over 300 videotaped lectures on health and nutrition, as well as having authored several health books.

The son of Elmer and Mary Hunninghake, Dr. Ron was raised in Seneca along with his three brothers. “When you have brothers there is a lot of competition and determination to go for the best. Our parents were always encouraging us. I believe it was their support that served as my foundation for all that I now do. I just knew they were behind me as I looked to find my own path in life. I don’t know how I could be who I am today without their love.”

His education includes degrees from Benedictine College and KU School of Medicine, but Dr. Ron says the roots of his accomplishments come from Seneca.

He learned the value of hard work coupled with prayer. “Ora et labora,” is a Benedictine value taught at the Saints Peter and Paul schools where he graduated from high school in 1969. The sisters and lay teachers modeled hard work and dedication to high academic standards and life-long learning, values Dr. Ron still espouses when he encourage his patients to be “co-learners”
in their own health care.

One of his early mentors was Sister Pierre Cavanaugh. “She was tough, but I knew she was getting me ready for a tough world. She would drill me on oratorical skills, all the while honing my ability to read and think critically so that I could convey my ideas in the written word.”

These ideals are reflected in an eighth grade essay he wrote, stating that the three reasons he wanted to become a doctor were – to help others; to remain independent in his thoughts and ideas; and to always keep learning new things.

While attending Benedictine, Dr. Ron was introduced to meditation and the calming, healing effect that came from it. “Meditation expands your thinking and helps your brain to realize its full potential.” Dr. Ron adds that Benedictine was a school that allowed students to be self-directed and encouraged new thinking, ideas he carried through his medical training at KU. He knew then that he wanted to learn more about ways to enhance health.

Dr. Ron’s practical training in medicine included a preceptor ship in Minneapolis, Kansas; an externship under Drs. Roger and Linda Warren in the Washington/Hanover area; an internship at Wesley Hospital Family Practice in Wichita; and a two year residency at Salina’s Smokey Hill Family Practice program. He then joined Salina Family Physicians, where he helped to form WellPlan – an early practice-based lifestyle enhancement program.

While in Salina, Dr. Ron also served as the medical director of Presbyterian Manor nursing home. There it became crystal clear to him that too many seniors were on too much medication. “This compelled me to look into the whole nutritional medicine paradigm as a safe alternative to excessive medication.”

During this time he was introduced to Dr. Hugh Riordan, a holistic psychiatrist. “I was interested in his innovative way of thinking about nutrition as a medical means of restoring health.” In time Dr. Ron became a Center consultant, eventually joining Dr. Riordan at the center now known as Riordan Clinic. 22 years later, Dr. Ron is still actively learning new ways “to stimulate an epidemic of health” – the clinic’s mission statement.

One of the key areas the Riordan Clinic is making great strides in is the adjunctive treatment of cancer. Following Dr. Riordan’s passing, Dr. Ron was asked to continue promoting his breakthrough research findings on how vitamin C fights cancer. (see www.healthhunteronline.org) This led to numerous lecture tours in Japan and Canada on the use of intravenous vitamin C (IVC) for cancer patients.

“Currently, our research is showing that high dose nutrients such as C and D enhance the body’s production of adult stem cells which may be the key players in what we generically call ‘the healing process.’ If we can enhance healing safely with high dose nutrients, we may have found a key to treating chronic degenerative diseases…the current scourge of western society and the cause of sky-rocketing costs, overload and the potential breakdown of our health care system.”

Other accomplishments include two books he has written as well as collaborating on another. Dr. Ron says the books’ titles also summarize his key medical interests….Inflammation, Arthritis and Aging and The Energy Boosting Supplements are his own two published works. Stop Prediabetes Now was done with his good friend, Jack Challem.

Dr. Ron and his wife Mary Jo have four children, all of whom are working either directly or indirectly in health care. Sara is a health conscious media consultant for Runner’s World (and a runner); Anne is in her last year of chiropractic school; John is a second year medical student at KU and is interested in oncology; and Daniel, the youngest, is now specializing in graphic design, and actually created the brand new clinic website…www.riordanclinic.org.

When asked what he would prefer to best be known for…a healer, researcher, writer, etc… Dr. Ron states that he hopes to be thought of as an educator and health mentor. “Education is still the best motivator for personal transformation.”

As if to confirm this thought, the wall of the Riordan Clinic’s lecture hall is graced with this famous quote: “Once you know, you cannot NOT know…and you are forever changed.”

To learn more about Dr. Ron and the Olive W. Garvey Center for Healing Arts, visit http://www.riordanclinic.org/.