Patient education coordinator provides a reassuring presence for those with medical marijuana questions

Sponsored by Transformative Health Center

As the patient education coordinator for Transformative Health Center, Halie Peytavin can spend a few minutes on the phone with a patient or up to 45 minutes depending on their questions. She describes herself as “an open book,” and gladly shares her own experience finding relief through medical marijuana after a life-long struggle with anxiety and other debilitating conditions.

Transformative Health Center is a Baton Rouge clinic operated by Dr. Rome Sherrod that specializes in medical marijuana evaluations and recommendations. Peytavin says common questions from patients include how the process works, what debilitating medical conditions can be treated successfully and the timeframe for being approved.

Halie Peytavin, Patient Education Coordinator

“I am there for every patient when they need me, and they know that from day one,” Peytavin says. “Each person is as important as the next, and we just take care of everyone like they’re family.”

Peytavin shares her personal struggles with patients – what she has tried, what the experience was like and what finally worked. “You would be amazed how often I hear somebody say, ‘I’m not alone. Somebody understands. That’s exactly how my anxiety works.’ I’m able to be relatable to people and provide that one-on-one connection.”

Over the years, Peytavin, now 39, says she was prescribed many different types of medication to treat her medical conditions, which include anxiety, OCD, and later in life, a diagnosis of PCOS and PTSD. The prescriptions led to her feeling many different emotions.

“I struggled every single day with pains and just being miserable, but I didn’t want to continue to take prescription medication and be a zombie throughout life. I also didn’t want to become frustrated with the whole medication process, and I had a lingering fear of becoming addicted,” she says. “I lost a family member to the opioid epidemic, so that was enough for me to want to go into action and do my part to help others and pursue alternate forms of medication for myself.”

With medical marijuana, she says, her quality of life has improved tremendously. “You’re not hurting all the time, so you just want to get up and go, and just be more active, more attentive, more involved,” says Peytavin, who is able to lead a more active life with her 5-year-old daughter. 

In Louisiana, medical marijuana is used therapeutically for various conditions deemed debilitating by a physician. Peytavin often speaks with patients suffering from severe and chronic pain, autoimmune and neurodegenerative diseases, PTSD, fibromyalgia and other serious ailments. These conditions can exacerbate or cause debilitating anxiety, depression and insomnia.

Medical marijuana recommendations must be renewed annually, and patients often remember talking to Peytavin the previous year. “It’s really touching,” she says. “Sometimes before I get a name from them, they start telling me everything from the beginning because they feel comfortable. They will say, ‘I’m telling you this because I can tell in your voice that you care.’”

If you feel like you could benefit from medical marijuana, it’s important to make an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor. Transformative Health Center offers same-day appointments and same-day approvals, with virtual, online and telehealth appointments to accommodate busy schedules. More information is available online or by phone at 225.888.4041.