by Sheila Julson
Angel Balsavich, office manager of OKC Wellness/May Avenue location, started working temporarily at the clinic in 2008—then known as Chiropractic Wellness Clinic—to lend a hand to Dr. Ashleigh Muse, who needed help at her growing chiropractic practice. Today, Balsavich manages the office full time while also running Adelante Dance Studio, along with Debbie Taylor.
Balsavich was born and raised in Oklahoma. Her father served in the United States Air Force and was often deployed on long assignments worldwide. Instead of frequently moving his family, they remained rooted in Oklahoma while he took those deployments alone. “It was kind of rough growing up without him at home,” Balsavich reflects, “so that’s why I immersed myself in dance.”
Balsavich trained in ballet as a child, and as an adult, she fell into the world of salsa dancing, in which she teaches, choreographs and performs. “I took classes and it felt very natural for me,” she says. “I started teaching right away and eventually branched into Latin forms of dance, such as salsa, bachata and casino.” She and Taylor opened Adelante Dance Studio in 2004, in Moore.
One of Balsavich’s salsa students was the office manager at Chiropractic Wellness Clinic, and she casually mentioned to Balsavich that she needed temporary office support at the clinic where she worked. “Because I was teaching dance full time, I didn’t necessarily need to get a ‘grown-up job,’” she laughs. “But I tried it and fell in love with the clinic and with helping people, and also with Dr. Ashleigh’s holistic approach, so I didn’t go anywhere. I was eventually promoted.”
As office manager, a position she’s held since 2010, Balsavich wears many hats, from making sure that patients arrive for their appointments; adhering to government documentation standards; training staff; coordinating doctors’ schedules; payroll; hiring; training; information technology matters; and troubleshooting. “Pretty much anything required of the clinic, I do,” she says proudly.
Balsavich and staff strive to support their doctors in helping patients get better, whether a patient needs health maintenance or is seeking help for a specific injury. “We want them to get better and heal as naturally as possible—that’s our number one goal,” she enthuses. “We want people to feel welcome and appreciated. We respect your time and the time that you’re there. The doctor’s number one rule is that she doesn’t want people to have to wait.”
In the eight years that Balsavich has worked for Chiropractic Wellness Clinic/OKC Wellness, she observes how more people desire a holistic approach to healing, as well as nutrition, eating healthier and an awareness of food additives. She happily notes that these days, most people know what genetically modified foods are, compared to when she first started working for Muse.
She loves seeing patients improve their health. “I’ve seen plenty of patients come in thinking that they would have to have some sort of surgery, and they came to us for one last attempt,” she observes. “We’re giving people a higher quality of life, which is why I’ve been here for so long; seeing the work we do and the impact on peoples’ lives and their healing—there’s nothing more satisfying.”
Balsavich can also speak from personal experience. Approximately two years ago, she was in a severe car accident, and Muse’s chiropractic care helped her recover thoroughly, getting Balsavich back on the dance floor.
“Based on what I’ve heard from patients and from my own personal experience, I would say that our clinic offers a different appeal. We’re here for the patients,” Balsavich observes. “We could make a lot more money in the therapies we do if we cut corners and tried to get people in and out. But Dr. Ashleigh, being the generous person that she is, has a lot of extra staff, including therapists, to help patients feel better. I respect and admire her for that approach. Money is never the motivator in her decision-making process.”
When not managing the clinic or dancing, Balsavich is a single mom of a 3-year-old son. She keeps busy taking him to parks, on picnics and enjoying the outdoors. “And we enjoy dance and music together,” she says. “He loves it.”
OKC Wellness is located at 12401 N. May Ave., Oklahoma City. For more information, call 405-842-3413 or visit OKCWellness.com.
Sheila Julson is a Milwaukee-based freelance writer and contributor to Natural Awakenings magazines throughout the country.