BATH — Zach Mazone wants to change the way people feel about medicine and wellness, and he’s hoping his integrative wellness practice on North Street is just the beginning.

Mazone, a former naval and American Airlines pilot, opened DaySpring Integrative Wellness with his wife, Kimberly, in November with a goal of providing community-supported healthcare and wellness through patient services and collaboration with other area providers.

“It’s about being able to be a doctor through somebody’s whole life experience,” Zach Mazone said during a phone interview last week. “We decided to make the leap into the unknown, and it’s been a great journey being able to serve in a way that has a deeper meaning.”

Kim Mazone in the kitchen at DaySpring Integrative Wellness. Raye Leonard - Coastal Journal

Providing individualized support through the life-cycle, having time to build close patient relationships, and seeking positive life balance inspired Mazone to start his own direct primary care integrative wellness center.

Mazone’s practice is different from your average doctor’s office.

The kind of care Mazone provides is something that he says harkens back to the way medicine was done historically.
Mazone said he has the ability to spend time with his patients in a way that doctors at Mid Coast Hospital, for example, cannot.

He said those doctors do great work, but they’re limited in the care they can provide, and Mazone’s practice has no limits.

He spends an average of 60 minutes with each patient during a visit, talking about their wellness and what’s important to them. They come up with a wellness plan that will work, and the time Mazone spends in the first few months with a patient is more than he’d spend in a few years working with a hospital.

One of the treatment rooms at DaySpring. Raye Leonard - Coastal Journal

“I get time with my patients, they can call me on the phone, and that’s not something I ever could’ve done before,” he said.

Mazone does integrative medicine, meaning he’ll take a look at the whole person, their lifestyle, diet and overall wellness and work with that person to come up with a plan to improve all aspects of their life.

The practice also isn’t bound to the rules and regulations and policies of insurance companies because Mazone doesn’t accept insurance. Instead, the practice charges a fee for each visit and also has membership plans for individuals and families.

DaySpring bookkeeper Gina Knowles, left, listens as Dr. Sarah Ackerly, who occasionally covers for Dr. Zach, consults with phlebotomist Kim Shaleuhy. Raye Leonard - Coastal Journal

He said deciding not to accept insurance was one of the hardest choices he had to make, but it was one Mazone decided was necessary to have the kind of practice he wanted. He said insurance is a “neat concept” that loses a lot of its power when done for profit.

“You lose the ability for the doctor and the patient to make the primary decision, because those are often being made by insurance companies and Medicare,” Mazone said. “There’s a lot of money involved, so we decided to go back to what we had before.”

Mazone challenges people — and laughs — to find a plumber, mechanic or electrician who charge as little as he charges for an office visit. He said his rates are cheap, and not going through an insurance provider means Mazone can focus his energy on the patient.

“I don’t have to hire a billing person, someone to argue with the insurance companies all day, and I can spend more time with my patients,” he said. “It works so much better, and our patients are telling us that they like this way better.”

The Mazones have lived in Maine for more than two decades and chose Bath for their practice because of the community and the people.

“We just love the area and love the people, and it’s been an area we’ve been around for a long period of time,” Zach Mazone said.

It was good fortune that Mazone’s flight doctor while working for American Airlines was David Hill, a longtime medical provider in Bath. Hill recently retired and gave a lot of his office’s medical supplies to Mazone — including his old practice table.

“We enjoy the community and enjoy the feeling in Bath,” Mazone said. “It’s a great little spot.”

The entrance to DaySpring is around the back on Front Street. Raye Leonard - Coastal Journal

After the events of Sept. 11 — Mazone used to sometimes fly Flight 11, which went into the North Tower of the World Trade Center — he asked himself deeper questions about what he wanted to do with his life, and he decided on going into medicine.

He graduated from the University of New England College of Osteopathic Medicine and opened his practice in Bath following some time as an osteopath and family doctor at Central Maine Medical Center in Lewiston.

“I really wanted to make sure I was doing a good job helping people, and it has been life-changing,” Mazone said.

The growth of the practice has been slow, Mazone said, but not unexpected. He said as people continue coming for medical care and wellness, word of mouth spreads and the practice will expand.

“With this kind of work, you have to build relationships, and as those relationships grow, more people will come,” he said. “I don’t think there’s another way to do it.”

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