MEET OUR TEAM

We are functional medicine experts and compassionate, evidence-based practitioners.

Dr. Marlene Merritt

DOM, MS Nutrition, CNS, IFMCP

Dr. Marlene Merritt founded Merritt Wellness in 2000 as a result of her own unique journey to renewed wellbeing.

Dr. Marlene Merritt received her Masters degree in Oriental Medicine in 2000 and is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine. She has an additional Masters degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Bridgeport which allows her to be nationally recognized as a Certified Nutrition Specialist, the basis for nutritionist licensure in over 20 states. She is licensed by the New Mexico Board of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and is nationally board certified in Oriental Medicine. Additionally, she is a Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner, is board certified in Bariatric Counseling, is trained as a specialist in the Keto diet by the American Nutrition Association, and is certified in the Bredesen Protocol™ for Cognitive Decline. As of 2019, she is a Proficiency Diplomate in the Shoemaker CIRS Protocol for treatment of mold-related illness, one of three such practitioners in Texas (the other two are Merritt Wellness practitioners).

She has published multiple articles on different issues in nutrition (see her articles HERE) in a variety of publications, and is the author of three books — one on reversing hypertension using natural means, one on reversing diabetes, and one on insomnia. In addition to a full clinical practice, she lectures nationally with her husband, Will Mitchell (see below), to healthcare practitioners all over the U.S. and Canada on issues ranging from dementia, diabetes, endocrine dysfunction, blood chemistry, nutrition, and functional medicine.

Dr. Will Mitchell

DOM, MS Nutrition, CNS, IFMCP

Dr. Will Mitchell has been studying Oriental Medicine since 1998. He has a Bachelors degree in Microbiology, a Masters degree in Oriental Medicine from the Academy of Oriental Medicine at Austin, and a Masters degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the University of Bridgeport. This Masters degree allows him to be nationally recognized as a Certified Nutrition Specialist, the basis for nutritionist licensure in over 20 states.

Additionally, he is a Institute for Functional Medicine Certified Practitioner. He is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine, and is licensed by the New Mexico Board of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. He is also nationally board certified in Oriental Medicine by the NCCAOM. He is an Applied Clinical Nutritionist, and is, like his wife, also certified in the Bredesen Protocol™ for Cognitive Decline. As of 2019, he is a Proficiency Diplomate in the Shoemaker CIRS Protocol for treatment of mold-related illness, the first such practitioner in Texas. He has co-written a book on improving sleep with natural means, as well as his book “The Unbreakable Brain” on reversing cognitive decline. His commitment to education and research gives him a technical background that allows him to specialize in working with difficult and challenging health conditions. He lectures to healthcare practitioners across the country with his wife, Marlene Merritt.

Sara Stapleton

MS Nutrition & Functional Medicine, L.Ac.

Sara earned her B.S. from Texas A&M University’s School of Engineering and her Masters Degree from American College of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine. As a first year graduate student, she authored and published Blending the Boundaries: Steps Toward an Integration of Complementary and Alternative Medicine into Mainstream Practice (J. of Complementary and Alternative Medicine). In 2018, she completed her Masters degree in Human Nutrition and Functional Medicine from the accredited University of Western States.

While she treats a wide variety of health conditions, she began her private practice in Austin in 2005 specializing in infertility and reproductive health. In addition to acupuncture, nutrition and lifestyle counseling for general healing and wellness, Sara has extensive knowledge in current conventional medical treatments for infertility. She works closely with patients of Austin’s premier reproductive endocrinologists at Texas Fertility Center and several outstanding OBGYN’s. She is certified by the Texas Medical Board and NCCAOM. Sara is a Proficiency Diplomate in the Shoemaker CIRS Protocol for treatment of mold-related illness. She was an inaugural fellow of ABORM (American Board of Oriental Reproductive Medicine), in addition to being a member of ASRM (American Society for Reproductive Medicine) and RESOLVE: The National Fertility Association. Sara is passionate about inspiring a legacy of practical health and positive change in the lives of her patients.

Katie Jo Dixon-Blaboe

MSN, APRN, FNP-C

Katie Jo is a certified Family Nurse Practitioner and has practiced in the full spectrum of life: Labor and Delivery, Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU), and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She has an additional degree in Portrait Photography and has been an infant-bereavement photographer. Additionally, Katie Jo is an ACTION certified personal trainer and has utilized “movement as medicine” in physical rehabilitation.

Katie Jo is also currently a professor of nursing at Concordia University. She has served on the Diabetes Education Committee for St. David’s Rehabilitation Hospital and she was the Parent Educator for a 65-bed NICU. She serves as a field medic for trail running in Central Texas Hill Country and the mountains in Colorado.

She specializes in several areas, including working with medications (review or prescriptions, as well as responsible weaning-off protocols), collaboration with Traditional Chinese Medicine and Functional Medicine, Blood test reviews, and supplementation. Her patients are grateful for her collaborative approach: “Out of the 13 medical professionals that I have seen over the last 4 years, you spent the most time asking about my symptoms and needs. I felt listened to, and heard.” and ” I like your approach. It is different from any other visit that I have had!”

Melissa Di Noto

Office Manager

What drew you to take on your current role at Merritt Wellness, and Why?

What drew me to this role was a great desire to help people in all capacities. The position I am in allows me to make a difference in the areas that truly matter to patients.

What do you love about your job and the patients you serve?

The thing I love the most about my job is the patients. I don’t get to interact with them as much as I used to but when I do I am reminded of what a great client base we have. A close second is who I work for and who I get to work with. I have worked with Merritt Wellness since 2016 and have created a great bond with Marlene and Will. Sara also holds a great spot in my heart and the rest of the team is exceptional and I enjoy getting to work with them.

What is your educational background as relevant to your role?

I have mostly hands on experience in my role. I had been working in customer service roles for about 10 years before I came to Merritt Wellness. I have always enjoyed helping solve problems for people and love being part of the creation process. I have always found it natural to be great with people and I enjoy it. The job I have now requires me to oversee the practice and I love what I do.

Kim Sheets

Patient Coordinator

What drew you to take on your current role at Merritt Wellness? Why?
I love helping people and I also enjoy learning new things. Being the patient coordinator allows me to do both. I help people every day to learn new recipes and tips to improve their nutrition. I also get the benefit of learning from some of the greatest nutritionist minds.

What do you love about your job and the patients you serve?
I love that I get to help make a difference in our patients’ lives. I also enjoy talking to the patients as they progress on their journey. Helping patients’ to their full potential, and our patients’ realizing their true potential is so very rewarding.

What is your educational background as relevant to your role?
I am a nursing student; I have also been a certified phlebotomist (which helps me understand the bloodwork); I have also been a medical assistant (which helps me to better instruct patients on special nutritional changes).