Not to get political – people's lives are at stake after all – but independent health care is about as rare as a certain political party supporting the affordable variety. Dr. Cheryl Clark-Brown is the rare independent, and her practice is expanding. Her clinic includes and collaborates with acupuncturist Anne Cusick; patients here get the benefit of both western and eastern medical philosophies as well as the warm and genuine bedside manners of both practitioners. This year, they've expanded into the next-door offices and added necessary staff to meet growing needs. With neighboring pharmacy East Austin Medicine Shop opening this fall, the area's options for independent health care are looking good.