Laurie Powers, PA-C, CCMS
Laurie Powers is a Physician Assistant who is board-certified in primary care and psychiatry. Mrs. Powers has been in practice for almost 30 years. She specializes in pediatric psychiatry and has been working in pediatric behavioral health since 2000. She is currently working towards her Certification in Culinary Medicine.
Laurie Powers developed an interest in healthcare while working with deaf patients as a teen. She attended the University of Florida in Gainesville and graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology, with the goal of becoming an audiologist. Mrs. Powers soon realized, however, that the field of Audiology limited her ability for face-to-face time with patients. Her desire for a deeper connection led her to volunteer at Shands Hospital’s Pediatric Oncology Department where, while working under a Physician Assistant, she found her calling.
Mrs. Powers moved to Durham, NC to attend Duke University’s Physician Assistant Program, and met her husband to be, an NC State computer engineering student. After graduating, Mrs. Powers’s interests in oncology and otolaryngology (ENT) led her to work in oncology at Duke, and later at NC Eye, Ear, Nose & Throat. She also worked in family medicine and urgent care before Psychiatrist, John Lesica, MD identified Mrs. Powers’s talent in mental health and recruited her to join his team in 2000. Fourteen years later, she joined the team at Lighthouse Counseling Center where she worked with children, adolescents, and young adults prior to joining the team at Rainbow Pediatrics.
After years of being passionate about preventative medicine, she became a Certified Culinary Medicine Specialist, having trained through Tulane University from 2018-2020. She provides both a holistic-style behavioral health clinic and a nutrition clinic inside Rainbow Pediatrics, a large local pediatric practice, which offers in-office and telehealth office visits. With an emphasis on prevention and wellness, the behavioral health clinic stresses lifestyle modifications to improve mental health, and medication is prescribed if applicable. The nutrition clinic is available to all overweight children, underweight children, and children needing support due to medical diagnoses such as celiac disease, pre/NIDDM, HTN, hyperlipidemia, chronic constipation, food allergies, eczema, iron deficiency anemia, and autoimmune diseases, and focuses on a plant-based diet. Because of the holistic style involved, the behavioral health and nutrition clinics are typically blended. Labs are ordered/interpreted and deficiencies treated. These services are offered only to children who receive their primary care at Rainbow Pediatrics.
Mrs. Powers’s passion for health and wellness began at a young age. Her paternal, first-generation Italian grandmother instilled in her the importance of eating whole foods and exercising daily. Mrs. Powers recalls her grandmother playing football with her brother well into her 80s. Watching her maternal grandparents care for their schizophrenic son up until their 90s inspired Mrs. Powers’s passion for mental health. Mrs. Powers’s faith, however, is the foundation from which everything else is built.
Mrs. Powers offers family education and non-medication options for behavioral health. Her goal is to stimulate lifestyle changes and incorporate therapy, if applicable, before initiating medication. She also offers pharmacogenetics testing, if needed, to help make the best treatment decisions for a child. When medication is necessary, she believes in using the lowest dose for the shortest amount of time whenever possible. When applicable, Mrs. Powers offers treatment for mood with diet and/or medical food. She is adept at maintaining continuity of care, when appropriate, with any involved therapists or physicians.
Mrs. Powers is vegan and loves to cook healthy and creative meals for her family. Her husband of over 26 years, Carl, owns a computer consulting business and they have two adult children. Their son is the music director at Manna Church and their daughter is studying English and music at Liberty University in Virginia. Mrs. Powers and her family enjoy traveling together whenever possible. Her fitness interests include Yoga and Zumba and when relaxing, she enjoys reading a good historical fiction novel.
Behavioral Health Areas of Specialty
- Minor mood issues
Culinary Medicine Areas of Specialty
- Pediatric obesity