The Laveen Country Doctor Is In
Long time Laveen resident, Dr. Craig Runbeck, has opened a new medical practice—Laveen Country Doctor– near Caesar Chavez High School. “This represents the fulfillment of a desire that I have had for many years, to work once again in Laveen. Working close to home and being of service to my friends and neighbors is as close to an ideal work situation as I can imagine,” Dr. Runbeck said. He should be no stranger to many here, having been active in many community affairs over the years such as serving on the Laveen Fire Board, coaching Laveen Summer Ball, and serving as the founding president of Laveen Citizens for Responsible Development, a local organization that promotes quality building and development in Laveen.
The recently retired executive director of the Arizona Naturopathic Medical Board is excited about returning to the practice of medicine after many years regulating it. “It was very gratifying serving the citizens of Arizona in that way,” he said, “but it was not my first love, which is helping people feel better.”
Dr. Runbeck and his wife, Debbie, have been Laveen residents since 1983. Debbie is a lawyer representing injured workers. They have two adult daughters. Erin and Matina are both currently in college “which why I have to keep working!” Dr. Runbeck joked.
Laveen Country Doctor was established in February with the practice intending to meet the general health needs of adult patients (defined by him as older than 10 years of age). It is also designed to be simple and inexpensive. “Low overhead means I can charge less for my services,” Dr. Runbeck said. “I can handle most day to day medical issues and I know where to refer someone when they need advanced or more specialized care.” Dr. Runbeck said Laveen Country Doctor doesn’t accept medical insurance assignment because “ it increases overhead dramatically and our fees are usually pretty close to what a co-pay would be anyway. LCD does provide documentation to our patients so they can seek reimbursement from their medical insurance companies.”
Dr. Runbeck is a retired paramedic/firefighter. A graduate of Central Arizona College with a degree in Emergency Medicine and a graduate of the Mesa Fire Academy, he worked for the Apache Junction Fire District and the Laveen Fire District. He helped design and implement the paramedic programs at both AJFD and LFD. He also helped start the Laveen Fire Department, which was absorbed into the Phoenix Fire Department in the early 2000s. He served on the Laveen Fire Board of Governors from 1986 through 1990.
After leaving the fire service in 1992, Dr. Runbeck attended medical school at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe. After graduating he practiced at several clinics in the Phoenix area and in 2001 he was offered the position of executive director of the AZ Naturopathic Board of Medical Examiners. Dr. Runbeck worked for the Board until 2012 when he retired from the state in 2012 with nearly 29 years of combined public health and safety service.
Dr. Runbeck said he knows that many people don’t really understand what naturopathic medicine is. “A quick definition is that we combine natural therapeutics with conventional medical practices,” adding ”absent inborn errors in metabolism, the body has the ability to heal itself. The physician’s highest and best use is to identify and remove obstacles to the cure.” He said that he is open to anyone calling him and asking for more information. Dr. Runbeck specializes in non-pharmaceutical pain management. He utilizes physical medicine techniques such as Applied Kinesiology and Cranial Field Osteopathy combined with traditional naturopathic medicine such as clinical nutrition, homeopathy and herbal medicine. He also uses conventional medicine such as pharmaceuticals and minor surgery when situations warrant.
The practice is located in an old ranch house on the Bargain Barn property off of 39th Ave., north of Baseline Rd. The property itself is an equestrian store and facility that predates Laveen’s recent suburban growth by several years. It reflects Laveen’s rural heritage and is emblematic of Dr. Runbeck’s philosophy of living close to nature.
Office Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. Saturday appointments are available upon request. His phone number is 602-237-9910 or visit www.laveencountrydoc.com.