Medical Model to Greener Paths - by Robin Thomas

Updated: May 30

Robin Thomas worked for 25 years in Medical Research at UNC studying inflammation in chronic and autoimmune diseases. She left UNC to start her own Wellness Business in 2004 and founded Living Well Connections, a community for people whose passion is healthy living, in 2015. Learn more at

My Why

My journey to healthful living started a long time ago. While growing up in Atlanta, Georgia, I was the perennial tomboy, spending whole summers swimming, sailing, water-skiing, and camping by a lake. My 25 yrs background in medical research on both infectious diseases and inflammation plus 16 years with USANA Health Sciences has given me a unique insight on helping individuals find the best solutions to support their own health needs.

My participation in medical research has been quite broad- brown lung disease, developing laser based equipment to test the flexibility of cell membranes in sickle cell anemia, and participating in a larger laboratory that was researching the RNA and cytokine regulation through cell-signaling in a variety of inflammatory diseases. My part in this research was keeping the lab run smoothly overall and enrolling patients. We studied the RNA of patients at various stages of flare and remission in order to find a way to reduce both inflammation and cytokine flares. While speaking with patients, I saw for myself the pain and suffering of inflammatory auto-immune disease.

At the same time, my younger son was suffering from at least two autoimmune diseases himself. He had been diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes at 17 months and Hashimoto’s Thyroid at age 8. When first diagnosed with Diabetes, very few children that young were being diagnosed. He was prescribed too much insulin which resulted in brain injury and permanent loss of his functional short term memory. By the time he was 10 yrs old, he had also developed severe leaky gut syndrome, which exacerbated the brain injury with a severe anxiety disorder. When he entered middle school, he had a major nervous breakdown which resulted in us suddenly homeschooling him.

At first I tried to keep my job, going in to work at 3 am, and returning home to teach Kevin, care for my older son and let my husband head to his research position at EPA as an environmental chemist. That schedule took a toll on my own health. I wasn’t sleeping or eating well, and had very low energy, as well as feeling stressed. I made the decision to quit work and focus on my family’s health, and within a couple of years I started my own wellness business, partnering with USANA Health Sciences.

Being a scientist, I did my due diligence and researched USANA, it’s founder, and their products. I discovered that I was already familiar with the founder, Dr. Myron Wentz. Dr. Myron Wentz is an internationally recognized microbiologist, immunologist, and pioneer in the development of human cell culture technology and infectious disease diagnoses. I already knew his work developing the first commercially available diagnostic test for the viruses, including the Epstein-Barr virus. Dr. Wentz worked to develop the finest viral antigens by creating a nutritional system to grow the healthiest and best functioning cells.

Dr. Wentz founded USANA Health Sciences in 1992 and created a state-of-the-art FDA registered facility to manufacture high-quality nutritional supplements. USANA continues to be an award-winning research and development company with products that are tested for quality and purity and highly regarded by numerous third party references. Dr. Wentz also founded Sanoviv Medical Institute, a working hospital that offers a unique blend of conventional, alternative, and integrative programs to help maintain your good health and treat a wide range of diseases. Their goal is to address the root cause of your illness, to put you back on the path to vibrant health.

USANA and my training at Sanoviv opened my eyes to a holistic approach to health that supports the whole body, mind and spirit. What I love to do is help people change their daily habits to healthier ones without getting overwhelmed. I’m guided by my clients’ needs and what they want to work on first. I ask them what they would like to improve in their own health and we work together in developing a plan individualized for them.

Having a supportive community is integral in staying focused on our health. I founded Living Well Connections as a community that supports, educates and empowers us all to make healthy decisions toward a more balanced and fulfilling life. I believe that each of us deserves to discover which modalities work best for our own individual needs, so I invite you to join me at Living Well Connections. We have many practitioners who share their own expertise and wonderfully supportive members who share a wellness mindset.


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