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Steve Doubres tried in-patient detoxification for his alcoholism three times. Sobriety didn't last.

But this weekend, he is trying, with the help of nurse practitioner Jody Stubler, to go cold turkey at home.

Stubler, owner of Hope Family Medical Center in Millcreek Township, had a cardiologist check out Doubres' heart, and she provided Doubres with a Valium prescription for withdrawals and another for nausea.

At the end of an office visit on Thursday, Stubler loans Doubres a blood pressure monitor and sends him off with a hug.

Holly Green slips into the examination room as Doubres leaves. She's there for an infection that's swelling the lymph glands in her neck. In the next room, Julienne Pixton chats with Stubler about how her meds are working — and about her 5-year-old's recent visit for kindergarten vaccinations.

"The good news is he won't need them again until seventh grade," says Stubler, a former school nurse.

At an age when most people are retired or thinking about it — 63 — Stubler is getting to know new patients and their families in the medical practice she launched last spring.

It's a practice that could serve as a model for patient-centered care, one of the buzzwords of health care reform, but which is really rather old-fashioned.

Hope Family Medical Center deals in cash, not insurance. Stubler does not see Medicaid patients.

Stubler's goal is to fill an underserved niche: those who have no insurance (but too much income for the free clinics) and those whose insurance deductibles are so high they end up paying for all their regular doctor visits. Her office provides coded statements so they can file their own claims.

"It is, in a certain way, a throwback to an older time before we had insurance and government programs," says Sean Mulvihill, a cancer surgeon and chief executive of University of Utah Medical Group. "It's a return to a simpler time."

Posting prices, however, is definitely new school.

Hope Medical's website has a "prices" tab. It's $90 for a new adult patient's first visit, $80 for children. Stubler typically spends an hour on those first appointments. "This is not In-N-Out Burger," says Stubler. There's no charge for a follow-up visit, and established patients pay $50 if they just need a 15-minute appointment.

"She's making all of this very transparent to the consumer," says Mulvihill. "That's very good."

Stubler doesn't spend much time thinking about where her clinic fits into the changing world of medicine. She just knows this: "I love my patients. I've felt this overwhelming sense of family."

Example • Stubler has her own role model: A Jesuit priest who would travel by boat on the Amazon River to provide health care for the indigenous people of South America.

She remembers reading his story long ago. It influenced her time at the University of Utah, where she spent 12 years as a floor nurse after earning her bachelor's degree in nursing. A native of New York state, she had come to Utah after serving an LDS mission in the Belgium/France mission as a young woman.

While at the U. hospital, Stubler began gathering excess medical supplies that were bound for the waste bin, and sending them with doctors on service trips around the world.

She called it the Hope Project.

But it was during the almost 13 years she spent as a school nurse for the Jordan District that Stubler's dream for the Hope Family Medical Center took shape.

Parents would balk when she suggested their children needed to see a doctor for an infection or broken bone. They had no insurance and no money to pay.

At the same time, she had adult children with their own medical needs and scant money.

"I thought, 'Something has to be done!' "

Stubler at first proposed a low-cost medical clinic for Jordan District families, but that didn't fly.

In the meantime, she began equipping herself with the credentials she would need: first a master's degree in nurse education, then a nurse practitioner's degree.

Stubler quit her job and was accepted into Georgetown University's nurse practitioner program, which is largely online. She graduated last year.

A nurse practitioner can do most everything a family doctor can do, such as treat viruses, stitch cuts, remove warts and cysts, set simple fractures and provide vaccinations. She's unable to prescribe only the most-controlled substances.

A nurse practitioner's education, however, is not as extensive as a family doctor's, so they can charge less money.

Stubler cashed out her $70,000 401(k) retirement fund, tapped $30,000 in savings and got an $80,000 small-business loan to launch her clinic.

Her family and future employees, such as Karen Duarte, an immigrant from Guatemala who studied medical coding and billing at Salt Lake Community College, helped her remodel a former dentist's office into a medical clinic that looks like a spa.

Hope Medical, just a block from St. Mark's Hospital, had its open house in March. Stubler is not yet drawing a paycheck.

Patient care • Pixton says she started coming to Stubler after a bad experience with the clinic she had been using for four years. She was refused service because she didn't have a copy of her insurance card with her, only a picture of the card on her phone.

Pixton, an office manager for a dental office, asked to speak to a manager. "That's our policy," she was told.

"I don't want to come to a company whose policies are above patient care," says Pixton.

Stubler is different, she says. "She really is someone who is more concerned about the person than the dollar."

Green, who works for an orthodontist in the same building, says she likes the spa-like feel of Hope Medical Clinic. "It's soothing. It doesn't feel like a doctor's office," says Green, who is given a prescription for an antibiotic and an "OK, sweetie," from Stubler as she leaves.

Doubres, her patient who is quitting booze this weekend, says Stubler's small practice has served him well.

"Jody has really straightened me out," he says. "She spends the time with you to explain everything. She doesn't kick you out as soon as possible."

Mulvihill, at the U., says a drawback of such solo practices is that their patients can't easily be handed off to specialists or therapists when that's what they need.

For instance, Stubler can do some lab tests in her office, but she sends patients to other labs when it's necessary. Likewise, she refers patients to specialists when they have complicated fractures or when she suspects medical conditions that are not routine.

Stubler says she's building an informal network of providers willing to discount their care for her patients.

But Mulvihill has misgivings.

"In my heart, I kind of feel like those patients would be better served if the patient could get into a system that could better serve all their needs in a seamless way," he says.

Stubler says she knows many doctors would like to leave "corporate" medicine and join her — and that's what she hopes will happen. She wants Hope Family Medical Center to grow.

She plans to give it another 20 years. In September 2035, she'll turn 84. Maybe she'll retire then.

Twitter: @KristenMoulton