“We wanted to create the health care of the future,” says Dr. Guy F. Riekeman, one of the four founding members of Vital Life Health Center and the Atlanta Birth Center. Here’s a brief look at each, in alphabetical order:

  • The founders (from left): Shanna Jackson, Guy Riekeman, Rachel Marynowski and Anjili Hinman.
    The founders (from left): Shanna Jackson, Guy Riekeman, Rachel Marynowski and Anjili Hinman. Photos by Palmer Rubin

    ANJILI HINMAN is executive director of the Atlanta Birth Center and a certified nurse midwife (CNM). She’s also a certified family nurse practitioner (FNP) and has a master of public health degree. The Atlanta Birth Center is the only accredited birth and health facility in metro Atlanta. It offers comprehensive midwifery and birth services (including water births), gynecological care, prenatal care, lactation and nutrition, acupuncture and massage.

  • SHANNA JACKSON, D., LPC, CPCS, offers psychotherapy and counseling to individuals, couples and groups. She emphasizes building self-awareness, promoting pro-social behaviors and assessing lifestyle management. She also works with families who have experienced loss and fertility issues.
  • RACHEL MARYNOWSKI, D., is a licensed naturopathic physician. She focuses on natural tools that can be used to improve health and prevent disease. These include botanical medicines, functional nutrition, supplements, homeopathy and lifestyle counseling.
  • GUY F. RIEKEMAN, C., is an international leader in vitalistic health care. His team offers chiropractic care, functional neurology, vitalistic nutrition, functional kinesiology and positive psychology. He’s a second-generation chiropractor who graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic (in Davenport, Iowa) in 1972. He practiced chiropractic and created companies and seminar programs to improve the chiropractic practice and facilitate personal growth. He became chancellor at Palmer before joining Marietta’s Life University. He recently was named chancellor of the Life University System.



The caregivers at Vital Life Health Center “do absolutely nothing until we educate you,” says Dr. Guy F. Riekeman, a chiropractor and one of the center’s founders. Even then, patients are the ones who decide to decline or proceed. He calls the approach “health management by agreement.” Here are some of the numbers:

  • FIRST VISIT — $32. This covers the initial assessment and lasts about an hour. “That way we’re not running up unnecessary expenses on people before we know whether we can help them,” Riekeman says.
  • SECOND VISIT — up to $75. A patient advocate will sit with the client and explain what tests in the initial assessment turned up. Recommendations for care are made, whether it’s at Vital Life or another health-care practice. Each individual decides what, if any, type of treatment to pursue and knows up-front what it will cost and if additional exams are necessary.
  • MONTHLY PLANS — $300-$400. Some clients opt to pay monthly for any and all services they need.
  • LOCATION/CONTACT INFO: 1 Baltimore Place NW, Atlanta, GA 30308. 678.331.4500. info@LifeUHealthSystems and



LoganFeelings of peace, home and family fill the Atlanta Birth Center, which has seen 93 babies born in the 9.5 months since it opened. Another 21 births were expected in April, with 21 more scheduled in May.

Each of three birth rooms was designed by a different individual (a doula in one case or a business) and has a singular theme — water, earth or fire. Light is kept low. The large beds are dressed with multiple pillows and comfy bedding. Each room is spacious enough to accommodate family members, includes a large bathroom and shower, and a birthing pool.

Hotels should be this inviting.