May 15, 2023

Meet Sara Kellahan

Nurse Practitioner 

Sara is a nurse practitioner at the Washington University Living Well Center®. She uses lifestyle medicine to treat musculoskeletal disorders, such as low back pain and joint pain, obesity, nicotine addiction, and many other chronic conditions.

Where are you from? 

I grew up in Kalamazoo, Michigan, but last lived in Nashville prior to moving to Saint Louis! 


What made you choose lifestyle medicine as a specialty?

Lifestyle medicine creates the time and space to focus on whole-person care. Mental health, social connectedness, the foods you nourish yourself with, the ways you move your body, and how you sleep all impact your quality of life. There is often not one specific medicine that will address these issues but a comprehensive care plan directly addressing these issues can bring gradual change.


I previously worked in rheumatology with patients with autoimmune disorders. From this work I found that, though someone's autoimmune disease may be managed, chronic pain, fatigue, and other symptoms contributing to poor quality of life often persisted.


I also have been drawn to lifestyle medicine because of my interest in integrating social determinants of health (SDOH) screening into regular medical care. Lifestyle medicine and social determinants of health have an inextricable relationship. My major career interest is to work towards providing affordable lifestyle medicine interventions to those disproportionately affected by preventable chronic illnesses. Incorporating reported SDOH needs into the plan of care for a patient allows there to be connection to resources that can enhance quality of life. 


What brought you to Washington University Orthopedics? 

I have collaborated with the Living Well Center for the past few years and have seen major benefits for my patients. This collaboration is what led me to WashU Ortho! 


What aspect of your practice do you find most interesting or rewarding?

I love the opportunity to get to know my patients and what they love and enjoy. Each person has a unique story and it is a privilege to get to be a small part of helping them continue to live their story.


What is your favorite thing to do outside of work? 

I love spending time outdoors with my husband and baby! We love picnicking with friends in Tower Grove Park and playing spike ball. I love reading (preferably in an overstuffed chair with coffee or at the beach). I also love to travel and my favorite trips have been to Zion National Park and Paris, France!

Learn why patient's choose Washington University Orthopedicsrequest an appointment online or call (314) 514-3500.

Request an Appointment

caret-up caret-down