History of 1196 E. Main
Cardea Health Integrative is situated on an 83-acre property just outside the Village of East Aurora and is conveniently located directly off the 400 East Aurora exit. Approximately 68 acres of the property have been placed in Genesee Valley Conservancy, for preservation of the natural habitat for generations yet to come. This acreage includes a 3-acre pond, as well as hiking trails that wind though the forest.
The property is known locally as the ‘Twin Elms’ estate, named for the 2 massive elm trees that grew into each other over many years. The deed to the property was first granted from the Holland Land Company to Rufas Earl in 1807. The most prominent building on the property, what we now call ‘The Mansion at Twin Elms’, was first constructed in 1876 as a large Victorian-era farmhouse. The structure was badly damaged by fire in 1916- and was subsequently redesigned and rebuilt by then current owner, and architect- Philip Phillips. It was beautifully restored in the ‘Georgian Revival’ style of architecture. This period is when much of the intricate, hand-carved woodwork features from the interior were added, including an ornate curved staircase that was purportedly crafted by artisans in England.
The name ‘Cardea’ (CAR-DAY-UH) is attributed to a goddess of classical Roman mythology, whose name is derived from the Latin root word ‘cardo’ (i.e.: cardiac, cardinal) meaning hinge or axis. She was therefore considered to be the goddess of health, of thresholds (both physical and spiritual), as well as a goddess of the center and the changes that emanate therefrom. Her power is to open that which is closed, and close that which is open- and to promote a centeredness which will lead to improved health and wellbeing. It is her aspects of acceptance, grace, patience, and compassion which form the core of our principles and approach to health at Cardea Health Integrative (CHI).
Cardea Health Integrative was formerly known as Preventive Medicine and Wellness clinic, which was founded by Dr. Robert Barnes, DO in Fredonia, NY in 1994. After 26 years practicing general surgery and family medicine, he turned his attention full-time to promoting and practicing alternative medicine. Dr. Barnes has truly pioneered the integrative/ preventive model of medicine in our area, and we pay homage to him as we move forward and continue to aid in shifting the healthcare paradigm here in the WNY region. Many of his patients from long ago remain with the practice to this day! Dr. Barnes transferred ownership of the practice in 2015 to Dr. Jennifer L. Jennings, and was subsequently rebranded as Cardea Health Integrative, or CHI. She had been working with the practice for years and was the logical choice to take the solid foundation given by Dr. Barnes and bring it through to its next evolution.