Carola Stepper, a retired Registered Nurse and Licensed Acupuncturist, founded Cascade Acupuncture Center in 2005. Prior to that she had worked on her own, offering home visits, treatments out of her home, as well as provided care to seniors in retirement centers. Additionally, she worked part-time at Mid-Columbia Medical Center in The Dalles, at the Celilo Cancer Center giving supportive Acupuncture care to cancer patients undergoing chemo and radiation treatments.
She also practiced part-time inside the Family Practice Clinic in Goldendale, WA. She converted several medical exam rooms into treatment rooms, and practiced alongside Medical Doctors for almost two years, until she sold this practice to focus on her growing clientele in Hood River and The Dalles.
In 2005 she started Cascade Acupuncture Center by renting the 1000 square foot clinic space at 104 5th Street in Hood River and hiring the first Office Manager and Acupuncture Associate. This was the beginning of the team approach to care, which Cascade Acupuncture Center continues to expand upon until this day.
They envisioned, and created, a clinic setting that is warm and welcoming in part because the office space utilizes Feng Shui principles, but also because the treatments are delivered in soft leather recliner chairs with soothing massage and heating pads. This provides a unique environment, where both staff and clients enjoy a comfortable and calming clinic setting.
One year after opening the clinic in Hood River, Cascade Acupuncture Center opened their second location in The Dalles with the support of a business loan from the Mid-Columbia Economical Development Division. They purchased an established Acupuncturists practice, rented the 1000 square foot space and hired a second Office Manager and second Acupuncture Associate. In 2011 a building was purchased in The Dalles and the clinic was relocated. In March of 2013 a third clinic was added; a satellite clinic in Stevenson, WA. She sold the Stevenson Clinic in March 2016 to a new owner, it is now called Skamania Acupuncture Clinic.
All clinics are wheelchair accessible and share the same amount of treatment rooms, colors, décor, and furniture.
Today, Cascade Acupuncture Center provides care to the people of the Mid-Columbia region with a caring team of employees: Three Licensed Acupuncturists, one Operations Manager, an Office Manager, Marketing Director and Marketing Assistant and an Outreach Coordinator. The staff members receive paid vacation time, holiday pay, matching retirement savings, bonuses and raises.
In 2007 and 2010 Cascade Acupuncture Center, LLC was awarded the Columbia Gorge Region Small Business of the Year Award by the Small Business Development Center.