Born in Jasper, IN, Dr. Whitney Gabhart has had an amazing life. She was raised by her grandparents in what she recalls was a “Bohemian childhood” and subsequently schooled on two continents.
As a small child, she recalls being allowed to paint and build things (including furniture), and always being encouraged to use her gifts. Her first clear memory of reading was poring over her own personal set of the Encyclopedia Britannica when she was six years of age and reading about “the origin of wine” – something that has turned out to be a life long fascination. She also enjoyed studying art pictures as a small child, and this interest has ripened into significant gifts as a painter in her adult life. Always inquisitive, she read before she went to school and was designing and making her own clothes while still quite young. On long walks through the woods, her grandfather – an expert in plants and herbs – taught her the significance of the botanical wonders on their excursions.
Her grandmother, Cora Chastain-Taylor, was also a non-traditional health care practitioner – a midwife – with whom Whitney went out on house calls in Martin County, Southern Indiana. Whitney recalls a wonderful and sheltered childhood with both grandparents, growing up with their interests, her own creative pursuits and her books that she consumed voraciously.
As she grew up, a third influence made its presence known in the young life of the future naturopath. She learned from her grandfather of her storied great uncle Winfield Gabhart, MD a Mayo Clinic trained surgeon who returned to his roots and built a hospital in Harrodsburg, KY, later dying when Whitney was 12. Tragically, she never had the opportunity to meet him. Growing up, however, she heard stories of Dr. Gabhart bringing home skulls and boiling them on top the stove to prepare them as anatomical specimens. “I adored his brain and what he did,” she recalls.
Whitney moved to Florida in her teens and ultimately graduated high school in a program through Samford Community College, where she was already taking college classes.
Following her high school graduation and simultaneous early college work, Whitney moved to England and studied briefly at Rustington College, then returned to family and family obligations in Florida. In Florida, she raised a family and pursued writing, painting, and photography, accumulating enough credits to get her first Doctorate of Naturopathy degree from Clayton College in Birmingham, Alabama in 1995 as well as combining studies at the University of FL with graduation from Rustington College in England with the “A” and “B” level certifications – the U.S. equivalent of a Bachelor’s and Master’s degree.
It is interesting to note that during her first doctorate in Naturopathy at Clayton College in 1995, Dr. Gabhart wrote her doctoral thesis on subclinical hypothyroidism – something about which she had both a personal and professional interest. She recalled illustrative cases of this during her time spent with her mid-wife grandmother, and, unfortunately, Dr. Gabhart was then battling her own obesity – something that had defied the conventional medical community with the minimal thyroid testing that she had received.
Using what she learned from her first naturopathy degree and her doctoral research, Dr. Gabhart, working with other medical professionals, got on the exactly correct thyroid regimen and promptly lost from 430 lbs down to 240 lbs – basically losing the entire body weight of an adult man.
Meaningful as her first doctorate was, however, Dr. Gabhart wanted to experience in-depth study of a more traditional, “medically oriented” background as well as to add to her expertise in endocrinology. She also wanted more experience and training in homeopathy as well as learning more about the use of glandular therapy – a tradition in naturopathy and a forgotten practice in conventional allopathic medicine, with the concept that “like cures like.”
Education in England called again, and returning to family and friends in England she continued her bi-continental education, attending the London College of Naturopathic of Medicine and Health Science where she received her second Doctorate in Naturopathy degree in 1998. She served her internship under the supervision of Dr. Roderick Lane, ND. Dr. Lane, interestingly, is so highly thought of in England that he has served as personal Naturopath to Princess Di during her tragically shortened life.
In 2000, Dr. Gabhart was personally elected into membership of the Society for Endocrinology by Professor Stephan Franks, of the Royal College of Physicians, At the time of her election, she was the only Naturopath in the world who had been accepted into membership in the Society.
Returning to the States and her Hoosier roots after the conclusion of her second doctorate, internship, and clinical training, Dr. Gabhart associated with Dr. Alan McDaniel, MD, a surgeon, in New Albany, IN where they worked as both clinical and research partners from 2000 – 2002. The duo focused their work on the thyroid, with Dr. Gabhart (consulting with Dr. McDaniel), in appropriate supplementation (both prescription and natural). Dr. Gabhart recalls many patients’ thyroids were saved that would have otherwise been surgically removed or irradiated.
Based on their work together, as well as the notable association of hypothyroidism with chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia, Drs. Gabhart and McDaniel authored the chapter on chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia in the 50 chapter compendium of The Academy of Allergy and Immunology. The book is: The Academy of Allergy and Immunology: An Otolaryngic Approach, edited by John H. Krouse and published © 2001 by Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.
In 2002, Dr. Gabhart researched the Evansville, Indiana area for an opportunity to practice integrated and holistic health care with several local practitioners. Dr. Cady was one of those in attendance. He met Dr. Gabhart and invited her on the spot to associate with his practice. They worked intermittently from 2002 to 2004 together, achieving outstanding results in their collaborative work.
From 2005 – 2006, Dr. Gabhart took a sabbatical, researching the background of new work that she and the clinical staff at Cady Wellness Institute are now offering in therapeutic photography. She also studied, painted, and wrote creatively basically full time, publishing a work entitled The Naturopathic Journal during her two-year break from clinical duties.
In 2007, Dr. Cady persuaded her to associate fulltime with Cady Wellness Institute. Dr. Gabhart is now back after her sabbatical research break, even more fully informed about the therapeutic range of options – both natural and prescription – for the treatment of disorders of psychoneuroendocrinology and psychoneuroimmunology (where her and Dr. Cady’s practice overlap), as well as mood disturbance associated with hormonal fluctuations (where their practices again overlap), chronic fatigue syndrome, and fibromyalgia. She serves as a wellness coach and naturopathic educational consultant for Dr. Cady at the Cady Wellness Institute as well as for other licensed medical physicians.
In 2008, Dr. Gabhart integrated therapeutic photography into her holistic practice to assist her patients in improved self-esteem and image. and beyond, and in addition to their clinical work together, Dr. Cady and Dr. Gabhart plan on joint activities in research, public presentations, and new innovations at the intersection of their two disciplines and traditions.
Her latest credential is certification in Diversity and Women’s Issues Coaching from The Professional Woman Network.
Dr. Gabhart is available for consultations at The Cady Wellness Institute – 4727 Rosebud Lane – Suite F – Interstate Office Park – Newburgh, IN 47630 USA. Office: (812) 429 – 0772