HOI Peoria, IL News on Supplements featuring Dr. Michele Couri

Take Supplements?

Every day, patients of Dr. Michele Couri ask this very question.  It’s important, too, as many supplements interact with medications.   I’m eating a healthy diet, so how do I know if I need supplements? HOI News, Every Mom, with Jenise Rebholz, interviewed Dr. Couri on this topic.

Watch HOI Supplements in the news featuring Dr. Michele Couri here:

Health experts say catchy ads can lead to unnecessary supplement intake

Personalized MedPax at the Couri Center

Couri girl MedPax™ by Xymogen®

Schedule your visit to find out if supplements are right for you:

At the Couri Center, we take a detailed intake of our patient and then draw labs accordingly.  If you would like to find out more about your personalized supplementation needs, schedule your appointment or call 309-692-6838 today.

Catchy ads can lead to unnecessary supplement intake

Health professionals at Couri Center for Gynecology and Integrative Women's Health and OSF at the RiverPlex say if you do need vitamin supplements, it's important to research reputable brands, because they are not regulated by the FDA.https://hoiabc.com/news/2018/10/08/health-experts-say-catchy-ads-can-lead-to-unnecessary-supplement-intake/

Posted by Jenise Rebholz HOI News on Monday, October 8, 2018




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Creative Healing By Hope Placher, MMS, PA-C, IFMCP

When was the last time you did something creative for the pure joy of expressing yourself? One of my functional medicine mentors, Deanna Minich, posed that question a while back. She was researching how our health is affected by creativity.  I had to think – am I creative? Yes! Yes, I used to be very creative as a vocalist. I still love to sing, but have not been intentional to express that component of who I am. As many of you know, I am a first time mother of twins and most, if not all if my time in the past seven months has been consumed (and enjoyably so) with caring for my family. I was disappointed in myself when I reflected on my lack of intention with my creative side.  It’s not uncommon for creative endeavors to be pushed aside when time is sparse.

If you, like myself, have not been indulging in the enjoyment of creative energy, you may be missing out on a vital piece of your overall health and well-being. In the past few months I’ve had a string of patients who have been extremely motivated to make major changes in their health. Diet, lifestyle, hormone balance, exercise-you name it. They do it and they do it well. And although they feel ’95% better,’ they have expressed frustration that they were ‘missing a piece of the puzzle to total wellness.’ I didn’t have the answer and that weighs on me. I now wonder if the absence of creativity could be hindering people from complete healing.

So what do I mean by creativity? Singing, dancing around your house, looking at a piece of art, doodling, scribbling down your hopes and dreams, taking a painting class, watching clouds float by, enjoying a novel – to name a few. It’s hard to objectify creativity because the options are endless. Don’t be scared of judgment or the potential to fail! Even just listening to music or looking at art has healing benefits. A systematic review of the health benefits of music found that it has the power to positively influence inflammatory cytokines (any of various proteins, secreted by cells, that carry signals to neighboring cells) and cortisol, as well as reduce stress, and thereby provide health benefits for stress-related illnesses. Another study found that listening to music during childbirth reduced the level of postpartum anxiety and pain, and it also reduced the rate of early postpartum depression.

One hypothesis for why creativity is so beneficial to health is that it facilitates deep relaxation. Many of the studies above included patients who felt more relaxation or had reduced stress after creating or enjoying art. Studies have found that stimulating the relaxation response, which is the opposite of the stress response, is correlated with improved health. In one study that compared long-term practitioners of activities that stimulated the relaxation response, such as meditation, led to a decrease in ACTH (a polypeptide hormone, that stimulates the cortex of adrenal glands), which stimulates the stress hormones.

Just recently, Drexel University published an article demonstrating that coloring, doodling, and drawing all showed significant blood flow to the prefrontal cortex of the brain. This is the portion of the brain related to regulating our thoughts, feelings and actions. It is also related to emotional and motivational systems and part of the wiring for our brains reward circuit. And there was no significant difference between artists and non-artists! Creativity is mind-body medicine.  I don’t know what medium will work for you, but I hope you find joy in connecting to your creative spirit and letting it flow out of you.


Hope Placher, PA-C, IFMCP


Introducing Dr. Kaleb Jacobs, OB/GYN

The Couri Center is pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Kaleb L. Jacobs to our practice. Like Dr. Couri, his practice will be limited to gynecology.

Dr. Jacobs completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at OSF Saint Francis Medical Center in Peoria. He received his Doctorate of Osteopathic Medicine from the Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine at Midwestern University.

Dr. Jacobs’s interest in healthcare began while he was an undergraduate student at Bradley University when he worked at the American Red Cross. After graduating with a Bachelors of Science in Medical Technology, he worked in the clinical lab at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in Chicago. After spending three years at Northwestern, he returned to medical school to pursue his medical degree.

As a resident physician, Dr. Jacobs received the Resident Award from the Society for Academic Specialists in General Obstetrics and Gynecology and he was recognized for his commitment to patients when he was nominated for OSF Saint Francis’ Dr. Mary Draeger Schultz Patient Safety Award. Dr. Jacobs also served as the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department’s representative on the Resident Council and served as the Administrative Chief Resident his final year of residency. He is an active member of the American College of Obstetricians & Gynecologists and has presented research at its annual and regional conferences.

Excerpts from a recent interview with Dr. Jacobs:


What inspired you to pursue medicine/gynecology?

After my first medical school rotation in obstetrics and gynecology, I knew that gynecology was my calling.   Compassionate for my patient’s needs and concerns, I listen, provide solutions and educate to empower patients to feel their best.

It’s very rewarding to connect with patients and impact their lives, whether a routine office visit or a complex surgery, gynecology is beyond fulfilling. Gynecology is a unique specialty, and I’m proud to have the opportunity to serve our patients.

What are you most passionate about in women’s health?

I am passionate about patient education. In gynecology, many conditions have several possible causes and with that exist many treatment options. Every patient is unique, so we work together to find the best treatment option available. I am especially interested in providing solutions for women with abnormal uterine bleeding, contraception, menopause, as well as the many changes occurring to her body before, during and after menopause.

What is one word you would use to describe yourself?

Determined. I am a problem solver at heart, so I approach patient care determined to provide the best possible solution for my patients. Determined to listen with compassion. Determined to educate and make a difference.

What would a “perfect” day look like for you?

My perfect day would start with me waking up early when the sun is just starting to warm up and the entire neighborhood seems still. I would sit and drink my coffee outside on the patio. For breakfast, I would have frittata or huevos rancheros. During the day, I would either take the dogs for a walk, gather peppers from our container garden, or swim in the pool (which I wish I had). Essentially a day filled with Spanish or Mexican food and being outside would suit me just fine!

What do you do to keep fit?

I try to eat healthy and stay active. For dinner we try to cook at home and use fresh produce.   Brown rice, roasted asparagus, baked fish, and oatmeal often make a weekly appearance. Don’t be fooled however, I have a sweet tooth and dark chocolate is always in season! Probably most importantly, I take every opportunity to be outside, whether it is working in the yard, walking the dogs, or biking up the Rock Island Trail.

What message would you like to share with your patients?

I look forward to meeting you and providing the outstanding patient care you have come to expect from the Couri Center!

Dr. Jacobs is accepting patients starting August 2017!  Schedule your visit today:  692-6838 or visit our patient portal.




Harvesting the Rewards of Mentorship By Dr. Michele Couri, MD, FACOG, ABIHM


I recently had the privilege of attending the graduation for the OSF Saint Francis OB/GYN residents. As you may have heard or read, one of the graduating residents, Dr. Kaleb Jacobs, will be joining the Couri Center starting August 1st as a practicing Gynecologist.   (To say that I am excited about this is an understatement.)   Attending this joyous event brought to the surface a flood of emotions and memories. It has been 16 years since I graduated from this same residency program. I was more than thrilled to attend to show my support for Dr. Jacobs and colleagues. However, as in many times in life, “in giving, you shall receive”.

I indeed received the best gift that night – I was able to see and reconnect with my two mentors from medical school and residency. These two physicians, Dr. Tom Gross and Dr. Ken Hodel taught me more than just the science of medicine. They both instilled in me the courage to see my possible future and believe that it can be obtained. Dr. Gross practiced Perinatology at OSF Medical Center for 30 years, and he was instrumental in bringing the specialty of high risk Obstetrics to Central Illinois. He just recently retired in 2016. It is because of Dr. Gross that I chose to dedicate my entire career to taking care of women. His shear intelligence is second only to his humility and selflessness. Dr. Gross is a man of few words, but his actions always told the story. No matter what time of day or night he was called in to take care of a patient, he always did so with grace and respected the dignity of life, both born and unborn, with unfaltering compassion. He was like a father figure to me, and I will always be grateful for the endless lessons he bestowed upon me.


Dr. Michele Couri & Dr. Ken Hodel, June 2001

Dr. Michele Couri & Dr. Tom Gross, June 2001

Dr. Hodel, a practicing Gynecologic Oncologist, gave me the most precious gift I could ever have imagined. He taught me how to operate. He taught me the sacredness of surgery, but did so with a dry sense of humor and an incredible badge of courage. Even in the most difficult of surgical cases, he never lost his “cool” and guided my every move with exact precision. He instilled in me the undeniable fact that God is in control and we are simply doing His work here on Earth. During surgery, he would quiz us residents and medical students not only about names of arteries and the tiniest of nerves, but also about stories and figures in the Bible. He was our Residency Program Director, and he “had our back” at all times. We were all his “kids” and were proud to have been trained by the best of the best. His generosity is a tribute to his giving spirit, and I likely will never meet someone with a bigger heart than his.

When I reflect on my career thus far, I ask myself what impact am I having on the next generation of physicians? With this soul-searching, I challenge you to do the same introspective examination. Who made a difference in your life? Who molded you into the person that you are today? I urge you to do two things in the next year – first, seek out your mentor(s) and let them know the profound difference that they made in your life. Communicate with them how grateful you are for their contribution to your success. Secondly, give back. Mentorship is like fine wine. The success of wine is deeply rooted in the soil of its vines. We often forget about the soil or take it for granted. Soil that is not properly tended to produces poor quality grapes. The best vineyards have had their soil tediously tended to for generations.

Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “Life’s most urgent question is what are you doing for others?” Mentorship is within reach of all of us. Remember who believed in you and tap into that energy to propel others forward.   There is no limit on your potential as a mentor. Tend to the soil. The harvest will be your reward.


To Your Health,

Dr. Couri