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NOVA Community Stories

Katie (Disharoon) Brussard '98

"When you have smart classmates and teachers who really care about your development as a human, you can't help but start to take on their good traits as well!"

So, what are you doing?
I am a Naturopathic physician (ND) in Salt Lake City. I help prevent and treat chronic illness with natural methods like diet, lifestyle, supplements and herbs. I specialize in gut health, immune issues, joint and muscle pain and hormone imbalances.

Tell us about your career path.
Growing up in Olympia I had an amazing ND who inspired me to become one myself. I was so interested in the field of natural medicine that I attended Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, receiving a Bachelor of Science in Health Psychology while also getting my pre-med prerequisites and massage therapy certificate. After a year off I entered Naturopathic medical school at National College of Natural Medicine (now NUNM) in Portland, OR. In 2011, after graduating with my ND, I began a general practice residency in Tempe, AZ. After my residency, I entered practice in Seattle, where I began to pursue an interest in hormone replacement and ventured into the world of testosterone replacement therapy. After a big move from the PNW to the Mountain West, I started my own practice here in Salt Lake City. Thanks to some amazing training I've recently received, I've added speciality injections in my practice including Prolozone, Ozone Therapy, and Neural Therapy.

What are some favorite memories of NOVA?
Oh my goodness, I have so many! Some of my favorites include: going to Cispus and doing the ropes course with all of my classmates; Valentine's Day gift exchanges; our school trips to Washington D.C., Friday Harbor, Crystal Mountain, and Portland, OR; making cool pottery with our art teacher; dissecting fetal pigs with our science teacher; accumulating 'Loteria' points in Spanish class; the old building on Ruddell Road and walking down to the lake for swimming.

What's one thing you learned about yourself at NOVA?
I definitely learned that I was a unique little nerd and I'm happy that I learned it then. Middle school can be such an unforgiving and ugly place — and NOVA gave me a safe space where I could nerd out with other creative kids without the judgement or shame I might have received in other school settings.

How do you think NOVA prepared you for life after middle school?
NOVA gave me solid study skills and a healthy work ethic. It was at NOVA that I began to put more serious effort toward studying, which meant high school was much easier to handle. When you have smart classmates and teachers who really care about your development as a human, you can't help but start to take on their good traits as well!

Any advice for current NOVA students?
Find your group of pals and be as genuine as you can be with them. Those people we love being around most are the ones who are most genuinely and shamelessly themselves.

Parent Testimonials

Being Accepted—No Matter Who You Are

"During elementary school years, my second child took only deli meat and cheese sandwich for lunch. Every single day...Little did I know why he limited his lunch options until he started attending NOVA."

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Student Stories

Learning is a Journey and a Gift

"When I was in 5th grade, school was already pretty disappointing. Pointless work, and school was losing its meaning for me. Sixth grade at NOVA turned that upside down, and suddenly school was fun again and I couldn’t wait to go to NOVA every day."

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Parent Testimonials

Even on a Snow Day

"That’s what NOVA meant to our daughter. It was her school, it was her time, it was her place. It was offering something so special, something so worthwhile, that she was willing to go even on a snow day."

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