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NP Profile: Max Tenscher, RN, FNP

Rural and Urban Nurse Practitioner a Leader in Integrating Health and Health Provides Primary care in Oregon

Max Tenscher, FNP, takes the temperature of patient, Jude Comer, 8, during Jude's appointment at Integrative Primary Care Associates, LLC in Portland, Ore. on November 1, 2013. Tenscher has been the Comer family's primary care provider for the past three years and is "like family" to Tammy Comer, her husband and their three children.

Board certified nurse practitioner Max Tenscher, RN, FNP, is a busy primary health care provider who is passionate about including integrative models of care that also offer naturally-based systems of health and healing in a single clinic. He offers this model to provide the safest and most broadly-effective options for primary health care delivery.

"As I was finishing nursing school and as I started working in the hospital, it seemed that the time to make a difference in a person's health was well before the point at which they were hospitalized." Tenscher said. "The NP role seemed to offer nurses the chance to intervene in more effective frames."

Tenscher is one of the more than 2,700 board certified nurse practitioners in our state integrating both primary care and leadership into every aspect of his professional life. The state-wide representative for nurse practitioners as a member of the Oregon State Board of Nursing (OSBN), Tenscher helps provide a voice for NPs around licensure and policy making. 

A leader in the profession, Tenscher is also a leader in practice, with clinics in both urban and rural areas in Oregon. One day, Tenscher is treating patients at his clinic in Northwest Portland, Integrative Primary Care Associates, LLC (IPCA). The following day, he will see patients in a clinic that he is taking over from an old classmate at University of California at Davis, in the rural Southern Oregon community of Talent Oregon.

While the populations may a bit different in these two geographic areas, Max delivers comprehensive health care to each of the patients and families he serves. In Portland, he has about 4000 pateitns and in Talent (covering the south end of the Rogue Valley), he has about 3200 patients.

"The difference in setting is amazingly different and instructive." says Tenscher. "The needs of the less well off rural population are much different than those of the more metropolitan area. Differences in education, health care experience, and income require a different approach to the patients and to the healthcare system as a whole. Differences in access to services and in awareness of treatment options require different community connections and approaches to patient education. I'm still processing this and think the contrast important for considerations of health policy."

In the Portland office on November 1, Tammy Comer, and her 8-year-old son, Jude, are waiting to see Tenscher for an appointment. As they wait for their appointment, Tammy explains casually to Jude "we are going to see Max today.” Tenscher has been the primary care provider for the Comer family for about three years and have a very good and casual rapport with him. "He’s like family,” said Comer. "He’s awesome.”

At IPCA, Tenscher focuses on a holistic approach to health care. As stated on the IPCA website, "It is our attempt to combine the best in primary healthcare with effective therapies that come from other traditions: psychology, Chinese medicine, acupuncture, biofeedback and other more naturally-based systems of health and healing. It is more than different practitioners with different approaches treating the same patient. It is a desire to understand the health issue at the most fundamental level, define it and remedy it in the most efficient manner."

As Tenscher continues to serve both urban and rural areas, he and his team looks to continue delivering primary care in a model that is effective, affordable for patients and sustainable.


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