Edina clinic ranked top 10 in state

Dr. Donna Block opened Clinic Sofia in Edina in 2004 to nurture women to stay healthy and strong for their families and their community. (Submitted photo)

Clinic Sofia provides care for women

By Cynthia Parsons
Contributing Writer

In 2004, when Dr. Donna Block founded Clinic Sofia, an OBGYN clinic, she envisioned a better approach to women’s health care by giving women the nurturing, insight and guidance they need from adolescence to obstetrics to menopause and beyond.

Named after the Greek goddess of wisdom, Clinic Sofia focuses on women because they are the primary pivot point in their family.

“We offer a non-judgmental environment that welcomes and provides answers to questions,” Block said. “We give you the tools to stay healthy. We provide a safe and healthy culture. I get women who have been elsewhere who were treated rudely by the front desk with no eye contact.

At Clinic Sofia, we are engaging and calm,” Block continued. “We are welcoming from the front desk to the back of the clinic. Focus is on our patient’s needs, and patients don’t feel rushed. If you have an ultrasound, for example, we go over the results right away.”

The Edina clinic recently ranked sixth among all medical clinics in Minnesota for patient satisfaction (according to the August 2017 Minnesota Community Measurement Survey).

Dr. David Clay, Dr. Erin Stevens and Dr. Deborah Krahl recently joined the growing team at Clinic Sofia. Between Edina and Maple Grove (which opened in 2012), they have six physicians, one nurse practitioner, one physician’s assistant, three ultrasonographers, three nurses, phlebotomists and medical assistants.

Clinic Sofia makes it their mission to offer personalized care in a welcoming setting. The clinic’s offices are very serene, feminine and calming. Same day appointments are available, and they accommodate patients’ schedules as best they can. The clinic also offers functional medicine consulting, which demonstrates how in tune they are with meeting the comprehensive needs of today’s women.

“In functional medicine, we see the body as an interconnected whole, within a larger environment,” Physician Assistant Allie Nowak said. “We recognize that in order to treat one part of the body, all parts need to be considered.”

The types of patients and conditions Nowak sees for consultation include: polycystic ovary syndrome, perimenopause, menopause, thyroid disorders, fertility, anxiety and depression.

Functional medicine aims to address the root cause of disease rather than symptom management and emphasizes preventative health.

“We look at lifestyle changes and a patient’s biochemical background,” Block said. “We look at the genetic profile of each person. There might be a gluten sensitivity or sugar interference or fructose intolerance in food digestion. We look at how the body uses nutrients. We recommend folate acid and not folic acid. Folate is more bioavailable and helps a developing baby and you.”

Block also provides hormone replacement therapy, which is very individualized. She might try nutrition first. She suggests getting rid of too much sugar in the diet or reducing processed foods and moving towards organic foods and adding exercise and stress reduction.

Physician Assistant Allie Nowak loves how functional medicine looks at each patient through an individual lens to promote optimal wellness. (Submitted photo)
Physician Assistant Allie Nowak loves how functional medicine looks at each patient through an individual lens to promote optimal wellness. (Submitted photo)

Practicing since 1987, Block is trained in Western medicine but also recommends other alternatives such as acupuncture to increase fertility. Block doesn’t understand how it works but she has seen it work in her patients. Fifty percent of the time, women primarily come to the clinic for overall general health and examination with gynecology. The other 50 percent of the time, women come in with high-risk pregnancy, normal pregnancy, miscarriages, bleeding, decreased libido, hair loss and fertility issues.

Block services a wide variety of age groups from 17 years old to 80 years old, and she recommends women continue to have a gynecological exam every year, even after menopause. That way, patients have a greater chance for detection of cancer of the uterus, outside of the labia, vagina, fallopian tubes, breast lumps or HPV.

Block stressed that all Clinic Sofia employees nurture women to stay healthy so they can take care of their loved ones. Healthy women form a strong society from the home to the community, she said.