Clinical Team Spotlight: Greer McGuinness, MS, RD, CDN, CLT, Dt.Sp
Meet Greer McGuinness, a Vibrant Clinical Lab Educator based in Long Island, New York.
In this month’s Clinical Team Spotlight, we explore Greer’s unique background and expertise in epidemiology, nutrition, toxins, Lyme disease, and more.
Greer opens up about how her plans to become an Olympic wrestler were interrupted but eventually turned into a passion for nutrition and functional medicine.
Plus, she shares why she's so obsessed with toxins and the Total Tox Burden panel.Background and Education
Can you explain your enviable list of credentials and certifications?
I have a master's degree in health science with a focus in epidemiology, and I’m a published researcher and registered dietitian.
As far as my certifications, I’m:
- A certified detox specialist
- A certified master herbalist
- A certified Lyme practitioner
- And finally, a certified lead therapist (CLT) with MRT (moral recognition therapy).
What is your area of focus?
My specialty is pediatrics and detox. This includes heavy metals, mold, and environmental toxins, and removing those toxins from the body—specifically with children. It’s almost an art form because there’s no manual for that sort of thing.
There’s a detox standard we can follow with adults, like putting them on binders. But we can’t do that for kids—we have to figure out new ways to solve these problems.
What led you to a career in functional medicine? Did you always have this career in mind?
Believe it or not, I planned to be an Olympic wrestler. The University of Minnesota Morris recruited me to be on the women’s wrestling team, but I got injured and couldn’t compete. Unsure of what to do next, my sister suggested I become a dietitian because I’ve always been interested in health and nutrition.
Within five years, I became a chief clinical dietitian, and that’s what I did for ten years.
But then I had my son, and he regressed into autism. That was a huge turning point for me and set me down my path toward functional medicine.
I've listened to doctors my whole life. But slowly, I learned there was so much more I could be doing for my son through functional medicine.
There was so much more I could be doing for my son through functional medicine.
Describe your role at Vibrant
I’m a Clinical Lab Educator. I provide consults to providers from all over, and I also do a lot of research and self-study on topics in my areas of focus.
What part of your job gets you really excited?
I love going down research rabbit holes and finding new clinical pearls, and putting the puzzle together. There is a lack of pediatric research in my field, so I’ve had to create it.
I call it peeling back the onion. You’re trying to peel back layer by layer to see what you can uncover. That’s the whole purpose of functional medicine. We’re always trying to get to the root cause.
You’re trying to peel back layer by layer to see what you can uncover. That’s the whole purpose of functional medicine.
What is your favorite Vibrant lab test?
Total Tox Burden is my favorite lab just because I’m obsessed with toxins. I find it fascinating how they move and work in our systems and wreak so much havoc. It’s also amazing how removing them can alleviate so many issues.
What achievement are you most proud of?
I would say, my sons, especially Keegan. I'm proud that I've taken him as far as I have, given the circumstances of his autism diagnosis. I’m very proud of him, and I feel like we have a special bond and connection.
What motivates you to get out of bed and do the work each day?
I’m motivated to ensure that I can educate people to do things a better way. There is a better and right way to do things rather than just throwing someone on medication and saying, “Good luck.”
I think for me, it’s just making sure that we can all continue to educate. I love gaining access to the providers’ knowledge and skills too. But when I’m working with providers who don’t deal with pediatrics, I'm motivated to teach them a better and safer way of working with children.
What is your #1 advice for providers?
I have three:
- Never stop learning. We all think we might know everything about a specific area, but I can honestly say that most of the time, we’re only scratching the surface.
- Don’t just take research at face value. Use your clinical judgment.
- Never stop listening to your patients or finding avenues for supporting them.
What is your #1 advice for patients?
Understand that with functional medicine, you’re ruling things out as much as you’re ruling things in.
It can be frustrating to spend money out-of-pocket for testing and have something come back negative.
But that just means that that specific factor is not the problem, so we can rule it out and look for something else. Understand that you’re peeling back the onion—we’re really trying to find that root cause.
With functional medicine, you’re ruling things out as much as you’re ruling things in.
Do you have any seemingly unrelated job or life experiences that helped prepare you for your role today?
I think it all started when I worked in a pool store. I had a lot of experience dealing with chemical reactions, PH, and alkalinity, which helped me understand concepts early on in life.
Outside of Work: Hobbies and Interests
Where is your favorite spot in your city?
The beach. We have a private beach and Robert Moses Beach here in Long Island. My kids like going to the beach and the spray park. It’s a lot of fun in the summertime.
What do you like to do when you’re not working?
I like to research. A lot of what I do is putting courses together for parents and providers. That’s the teacher’s side of me.
Share one surprising fact about yourself
When I was 17, I was a bodybuilder. Also, I lived in Australia for a few months for school.
Greer McGuinness, MS, RD, CDN, CLT, Dt.Sp is a New York-based Clinical Lab Educator.
Her clinical interests include pediatrics, detox, and Lyme disease.
Schedule a consultation with Greer through the Vibrant Provider Portal.