Sherry Martz

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Charter College Grad: Finding Purpose After Tragedy

Sherry Martz was “soul searching” after a rough divorce left her looking for a new path for her life. She knew she needed a career to support herself but didn’t want to settle for something unfulfilling.

“I was looking for a way to feel wanted, and appreciated, and effective,” said Sherry. “I’d always wanted to do something in the medical field.”

So Sherry enrolled in the Medical Assistant Program at Charter College’s Anchorage campus. And it changed her life. Not only did it lead her to a career she loves, but it gave her real purpose. And the people at her new job supported her as her life fell further apart –when she lost her only daughter to domestic violence.

“They were wonderful,” Sherry says of the people at the Center for Natural Medicine. They supported her emotionally and allowed her the time she needed to watch her daughter’s killer brought through the legal system. And Sherry had a place to go to where she could truly help others.

“I love it here,” said Sherry, “and I love what I do.”

The center uses a holistic approach to healing. They look at individuals instead of just illnesses and focus on the root cause of whatever a patient might be suffering from. Then they use alternative and natural treatments.

“We treat everything but do it on a natural level,” said Sherry. “A patient might come in with hypertension and instead of immediately giving them medications we try to find the source behind it. We don’t just put a band aide on it. We ask –why are you hypertensive?”

Sherry says that whether she’s conducting hydrotherapy treatments, assisting with acupuncture or helping out in the front office, the work is rewarding and she is always learning. When she started at Charter College, she worked really hard. She never missed a class and spent extra time in the labs working on blood draws until she perfected her technique.

“I did this in my 40s,” said Sherry. “Most of my classmates were younger and I don’t know if they had the same dedication, but I loved it. I thought it was great.”

Now she’s working hard for others, always trying to improve her own skills and what she’s able to provide to her patients.

“I’m always learning new things. Dr. Young teaches me on a daily basis,” said Sherry, “and I’m constantly trying to stay fresh on alternative treatments and Chinese medicine.”

To say she’s been through adversity is an understatement. Sherry knows that nothing she can do will ever bring back her daughter, but she says she does good things in her name. She set up a high school scholarship, is an advocate and frequent spokesperson against domestic violence, and she has dedicated her life to helping others. When asked what’s next for her career, Sherry says simply: “I’m going to stay here forever.”