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  • Writer's pictureFMF

Episode 1: An Introduction: The Story of FMF with Sam & Amber Warren

Updated: Jan 15

Podcast Drop Date: 10/19/22

  • Welcome to the Functional Medicine Foundations podcast where we explore root cause medicine, engage in conversation with functional and integrative medicine experts, and build community with like-minded health seekers.

  • Owners Sam & Amber Warren discuss the journey to FMF, the Why, and so much more.

  • Did you know? Not all supplements are created equal. Supplements are not regulated by the FDA, which can lead to potential problems, like:⁠⁣ supplements containing additives, fillers, or allergens⁠⁣, the ingredients may not be tested for toxins⁠⁣, the quality may not be consistent from batch to batch. At FMF, we believe strongly in the immense health benefits supplements offer. That's why we've done the in-depth research for you, making sure you are getting the highest quality supplements possible! To learn more and purchase, go to and use the promo code mentioned in the episode to save 15% off your entire order!


FMF: Welcome to Functional Medicine Foundations podcast, where we explore root cause medicine, engage in conversation with functional and integrative medicine experts and build community with like minded health seekers. I'm your host, Amber Warren. Let's dig deeper. Hi, everyone. I'm Amber Warren and I'm a PA at Functional Medicine of Idaho and Functional Medicine Foundations.

Sam Warren: And I'm Sam Warren. I'm second in line with this lovely gal. No, we get to be. It's just a privilege to be a part of an amazing organization and something we get to to lead. And it's a great honor and privilege to be able to do that under Functional Medicine Foundations and Functional Medicine of Idaho.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So we purchased and took over the practice. About five years ago now, almost five years, about almost five years ago now, I came on board as a physician assistant with functional and integrative medicine of Idaho that was owned by a really well known and well respected functional medicine doc named Gail Eberhard. I have been at PA for a while now, going on Oh goodness, 12 years. I started my career at St Luke's downtown, working in both orthopedic surgery and in the field of rheumatology. So just kind of fell in love with treating complex autoimmune conditions. And I've always been really passionate about nutrition and health and wellness, and so always took the extra time to really educate my patients on, on nutrition and healthy movement and just taking really good care of your body. And I just started to try and dig deeper. I felt like there was an epidemic of autoimmunity, autoimmune disease conditions happening in our in our country and started seeing younger and younger and sicker patients come and see me and come and see the awesome providers we had in the rheumatology clinic. And I just kept thinking, There's got to be more here. And so I started to just read and just started to read about gut health and root cause and toxic exposures and was blown away to learn that 70% of our immune systems exist and live in our gut.

Amber Warren, PA-C: And so how could I be continuing to prescribe really toxic Band-Aids, as I now call them, expensive toxic medications with black box warnings of lymphoma and pneumonia, and just continuing to cover up symptoms for my patients without trying to dig deeper. And I found that the more time I spent educating them on taking really good care of themselves, managing their stress, paying attention to what they put into their body and on their body, they got better. So it was it was there that I just started to to really reprocess and reframe my role in medicine and my role to do no harm. And a well known integrative medicine dentist in town, Dr. Dan Bruce, that we're friends with. We were hanging out at his cabin one summer night and he was sharing with me how he sees get ever harder and that I should look into that clinic and then got to go over and I started working with her and I'll let Sam kind of jump in and start to tell his journey of how we're in these this seat today.

Sam Warren: Mm hmm. Yeah. So. I'm not clinical. It's just been. Pretty incredible story, really, but I never would have guessed myself to be in the medical space at all. But I have a formal business background and I tell everybody the greatest education has been in running business. But Emma and I used to race mountain bikes and we've done that for, gosh, you did about ten years or so. We did. For those of you who are mountain bikers out there, we did Enduro and I got a lot of concussions. Very severe. Last couple were life altering for me. Amber was friends with some some doctors downtown sent me down there and I wasn't getting well. And she was concerned. So this was going on for about two years and she thought I had CTE. I was suicidal. I had a deep, deep depression. And it was just a really, really tough spot. And however, at that point when I was when Amber had made the transition a functional medicine, they had a concussion protocol. And thank God that you found functional medicine because it probably saved my life. When. I will say, though, that when Amber made the transition into functional medicine, I wasn't I was not thrilled. I did not support her. She was getting very strict on diet and toxins and mold and just everything is going to kill you. And I just said, keep me in my ignorance.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Don't take away my pizza.

Sam Warren: You know, all the all the fun things are going away. So but like I said, thankfully, she did make that transition because they did had to have a concussion protocol. And so I was seen by Dr. Eberhart here and within a couple know probably within months time I was getting I was starting to feel well and I didn't have a daily headache. And so, you know, once a skeptic was a believer in and what we were doing, what they were doing.

Amber Warren, PA-C: And he turned to me at one point and he's like, Amber, this has to be the future of medicine. Like, this isn't this isn't what I call he used to call a hippy medicine. He's like, Oh, you're going to go work in hippie medicine. And he's like, This isn't. I was wrong. He offered an apology and he's like, This is this is real, This is raw, this is this works, you know? And it just that's how God really opened the door to, like, our entrance into this. Dr. Eberhardt really took a liking to Sam and started to hear about his business background and approached us and said, I have decided to retire early. I want you guys to take over this clinic. And I was like, What? Like I work part time. We just had our second baby. This is crazy. Yeah, but you know, God's not crazy. And it was just so cool how things just kind of fell into place. And the part of the story that that still gives me goosebumps is Dr. Eberhardt. Her after she first saw Sam, went to an Institute for Functional Medicine Conference on the East Coast and came back. And that day she flew back. She's like Amber. I just learned it was the main topic of the confirmation conference was neuroinflammation and traumatic brain Injury. And she's like, I just had the most incredible educational experience. I'm more worried about your husband than I've ever been, and I want to implant these implement these protocols that I just learned on your husband, the person teaching the protocols that Dr. Eberhardt, her healed Sam's brain with were protocols taught and developed by Dr. David Musnick, who starting January of this year, now works for us out of our Eagle Clinic. So it's just totally come full circle to think that we now have the blessing of having Dr. Musnick helping us heal this community. And that's really what, what, what healed Sam and opened the door for us. So I just love how that's come full circle. Yeah, for us.

Sam Warren: We acquired the practice almost five years ago, like Amir said, and starting with I think we had five, five team members, Karen K, a couple others still with us today, which is amazing. Karen Love. Karen But all I can say the same about all of our team. They're amazing people. We've there's really three pillars our. Let's call them values that we look for. And it's humble, hungry, heart centered, and. As we recruit. Those are those are the three elements that we look for and. It's been amazing over the last couple of years, just the caliber of people we were able to bring on and get to work along alongside side. And so we like I said, we started with six and now we're I think we're around 85 team members. We try to be pretty intentional with.

Amber Warren, PA-C: How many providers between both FMF and FMI.

Sam Warren: We're around 22. We have three or four more providers coming on with the next three or four months here. So yeah, it's it's the growth has contributed to first and foremost great people. You know, you always hear people talking about culture being the foundation and that's, that's what we're, we're, we're trying to, you know, continue to develop and improve, but it kind of rises and falls on that and. What an honor to work with such amazing people. I think with Dr. HoltHouse just leading the charges that are med director, which you guys are going to hear from him relatively soon. And again, we can just say the same about all the all the providers and just just the team that we've been able to bring on board. And yeah, it's been it's been a lot of fun. This space is just really, really blowing up because it's not a it's people need this type of care. And so it's been a challenge at the same time.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Almost like we can't find we can't find people soon enough. We can't find trained functional medicine nurses, providers, medical assistants quickly enough, right. To meet the demand, especially in the growing Treasure Valley. And just as the space becomes more popular and I, I take a lot of pride and I think as as a group of providers, we take a lot of pride in the fact that all of us are conventionally trained. There's a time and a place for a conventional approach. I'm so thankful we have an amazing team of emergency medicine doctors right down the road here. But but there are big gaps that needs to be filled in in our conventional space, right. As far as chronic disease management and a lot of ailing symptoms, the conventional approach, the conventional model really falls short. And that's where a root cause medicine, looking upstream, hearing someone's story is so significant. And I'm so thankful that there are so many awesome providers that that see that there were those gaps that needed to be filled. And we all have have training behind our names, mostly with the Institute for Functional Medicine. There are so many great educational courses and certifications and all of our providers. We require experience and training in that field and then we just all from there, learn from each other and learn how to get the best outcome and really move the needle for our patients. It's just such a such a fun journey. Do you want to speak a little bit onto how kind of FMF has or just our new business with functional medicine foundations? Kind of how that came came to be?

Sam Warren: Yeah. We've got a lot of Amber mentioned Dr. Whole House and Dr. Musnick being specialists and. In their degree or in their field. They there are certain things that aren't covered by insurance. And so in order to provide those services, we had to create another organization called Functional Medicine Foundations. And so we're able to to provide a higher level of care through this program, through Men's Health and another program called Radiant Women. And then the concussion protocols that Dr. David Music has put in place. And so it's really trying to allow these specialists to to provide the level of care that they have been trained to do.

Amber Warren, PA-C: And not have to provide that care in a box. Right. I'm so thankful that there's great medical insurance out there. However, I think there's a lot of room for improvement. I don't think that that the the typical, you know, medical insurance coverage necessarily always appreciates preventative care. I don't want anybody to dictate how I practice root cause medicine. So out of that is part of the reason that that FMF has also been born. We want to be able to practice medicine in a way that we're trained that we know. Doctor, Doctor Musnick, Doctor whole house. They've got decades of experience in men's health, women's health, healing, the brain healing, the gut, managing cardio, metabolic disorders which cardiovascular cardiometabolic events, heart attack, stroke are still the number one killer in our country. We have to do better as a country. And so FMF is really allowing us to just dig even deeper into into what we know needs to be done today. And now, you know, amongst a pandemic and amongst just a really sick country that is in desperate need of of of healing.

Sam Warren: What do you think that this type of medicine is just exploding across the country, not just in Idaho, but just.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Why people need answers. They're tired of Band-Aids. They're tired of feeling poor. We live in a toxic soup. People need to detox. People need to manage, manage their their stress, manage their their mental health. I think that yeah, I mean, even just being a mom, right, and looking at how the children nowadays, their struggles to to focus, to engage, to learn, to be creative, to get outside and be in nature. We are just really far from, I think, how we are intended to live. I just think people want answers. There are so many just not even diseases, but symptoms that plague people that we that that never plagued people before. Right. Chronic ringing in the ears, chronic indigestion. Those are symptoms that that 20, 30 years ago weren't affecting 50% of the people. I kind of made up that statistic. But chronic fatigue we just talk about people are tired. People are so tired. It's the number one complaint I hear. I am just so tired. It's so hard for for me to put together dinner and manage my kids and get them to do their homework and spend time with my husband and then be able to take care of myself and get to bed at night there. People just want a better quality of life and they deserve it.

Sam Warren: And then what do you think? Fast? I mean, you you've obviously been in the middle of this growth through function medicine of Idaho and functional medicine foundations. But what do you think has contributed to the growth that we've seen? The company.

Amber Warren, PA-C: And I. I think we've been I mean, you you nailed it. We have been blessed with the most unbelievable people that are ready to heal this nation. You know, if you build it, they will come. And I think that our practitioners and our support staff do such a good job that we've been able to just make a really good name for ourselves here. The growth of the Treasure Valley absolutely is part of it. You know, this community is exploding because Boise is such a wonderful place to live and wonderful place to raise a family. So I think it's a really solid combination of a lot of different things. Our team does an awesome job. There's a lot of people moving to this to this valley for a number of different reasons. Medical freedom, it being a great place to live, You know, just maybe more family conservative values here. So, yeah. Multifactorial, What do you think? Why do you think we've grown so quickly?

Sam Warren: Yeah, I mean, it's it's a multifactorial, but it's end of the day. It's it's our team. Just amazing, amazing people. And as you said, people are gravitating. They need this type of care. It's been it's been a great opportunity to be a part of it and work alongside such amazing people. And I'm just a business guy and that's what's fun to be able to work with you. Honestly, it's been, man, what a blessing. You know, I get to work with my wife. I feel like we have great boundaries.

Amber Warren, PA-C: There's a very distinct line at what I do from a clinical perspective. And what you do is as, as like a CEO. So that's, that's definitely helped us and protected us along the way.

Sam Warren: Right. And our med director has been a what a blessing. Dr. Holthouse.

Amber Warren, PA-C: He's amazing.

Sam Warren: He's he is an exceptional provider and known nationally, but just an amazing man. So very fortunate to be able to to work alongside.

Amber Warren, PA-C: I'll never forget, like I think it was the first couple of months of us owning the business. And our good pal Elissa will remember this. It was when we were just in our one office down here off Garden City in downtown Boise, and I think I was like at the front desk with you or something. And I was saying something about I don't remember what was about, but I'll never forget you looked at me and you're like, Stay in your lane. And I was like, Oh, and Alissa, like, almost crawled under the desk. I'm not sure if she was embarrassed to be there with us or if she was laughing so hard. But I think at one point she might have made some shirts that said, Stay in your lane and she was going to like, hand them out or at least have you and I wear them. It was great. So that that statement, has it been said again, thank goodness. But yeah, it's been it's been healthy. It's been good. Yeah. It's it's a really fun adventure to be on.

Sam Warren: What do you think that telemed What is that? I mean, with with COVID, what does Telemed done for just care for us and then, you know, other organizations?

Amber Warren, PA-C: Yeah, I think it's opened up a ton of opportunity for us. That's one of the blessings with with in COVID, right? It thankfully they changed a lot of the rules and regulations. And so we've been able to just spread our truth, spread our knowledge more by offering more telemedicine to initially we could do it across state lines. Now that's changed a little bit, but we have providers that have licenses in other states. So as long as we have a license in another state, we can offer telemedicine. But it's cool to be able to offer medicine to the rural parts of Idaho, you know, and offer offer COVID help to those rural parts as well. So yeah, I think that's opened up a lot of opportunities for us. I like to make sure that my patients from coming from Twin or Idaho Falls or up north come in at least once. So we they can then and I can meet together. But I think it's it definitely is great any time we can expand our ability to heal is a blessing.

Sam Warren: Curious. What do you think? What's the patient's what's their take on it? Do they tell a man something that they. Like? Or is there a certain age group that you're seeing?

Amber Warren, PA-C: I think everybody's different from what I gather, from what our team tells us. Yeah, some people love it. They love that they don't have to fight traffic, you know, to find childcare. We have a lot of moms that that are home with kids or home school. I think it's efficient. Who doesn't love efficiency nowadays? Right. They don't have to come sit in a waiting room. Gas is not exactly cheap right now. So people like to be able to afford to stay in their jammies and stay home. So, yeah, I think everyone's a little bit different. On how they prefer to interact and answer questions.

FMF: Did you know not all supplements are created equal supplements are not regulated by the FDA, which can lead to potential problems like supplements containing additives, fillers or allergens. The ingredients may not be tested for toxins. The quality may not be consistent from batch to batch to name a few. At FMF, we believe strongly in the immense health benefits supplements offer. That's why we've done the in-depth research for you, making sure you are getting the highest quality supplements possible. To learn more and purchase, go to And use the promo code "podcast" at checkout to save 15% off your entire order.

Amber Warren, PA-C: So our you know, this podcast was really born very mission based out of really trying to just reach more than just the Treasure Valley worldwide. We again are so honored to have so many different experts in different fields of medicine, metabolic medicine, hormonal medicine, you know, gut health, thyroid, even mold toxicity. I mean, the list goes on and on. So we really are honestly just here to be used to be a vessel to help people get answers to their questions in regions that maybe they they don't have the ability to see a functional medicine practitioner or where they live. Is is is you know, they can't afford functional medicine. It might be really, really expensive or untouchable for them. So our goal is to really just help people find answers, maybe help them, help guide them in their health journey.

Sam Warren: Mm hmm. Well, I mean, I think it's really to begin to promote functional medicine in general. But with what we're doing, I think a lot of the different clinics around certainly the country in providing and maybe we were a little unique in this, but providing all levels of care, right, from from pediatrics to adult to women and men into geriatrics. So and that's what we've done within our space that has been pretty unique. So we have a pediatric team and then full women's health team and as well as men's health into adult. So it's been really just a really cool part of our organization, including. The specific care within women's health.

Amber Warren, PA-C: And yeah, our goal has been I mean, we bought this practice. It was like, okay, if we're looking to change population health, right, If we know how important preconception is with regards to, you know, a healthy human or how a baby's delivered or the first 30 days of life, we know the importance of that with regards to gut health and immune health later in life, we need to have women's health practitioners, we need to have a pediatric team and we do. I prayed for a long time that Dr. Bruce would join our team and we joke a lot, but I had to pretty much stalk him to get him to come on board with us. But yeah, just to be able to care from a functional and integrative perspective through all stages of life. I mean, it's, it's, it's, it's huge. It is so significant when you look at health later in life. So that's a great point.

Sam Warren: Yeah. Yeah. Well I'm excited I'm I can't wait for for you to get to interview a lot of amazing providers and doctors and people in this community and across this country. So. Yeah. Yeah, I can't wait. Yep. Thanks for being with us on this journey.

Amber Warren, PA-C: Thank you for listening to the Functional Medicine Foundations podcast. For more information on topics covered today, programs offered at FMF and the highest quality of supplements and more, go to


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