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Family Health Center expands care options for patients

Photo: Tony Hooker
Nurse Practitioner Lisa Shepard, patient Bridget Dicks, and RN Lindsay Dowler at Camargo Family Health Center.

By Tony Hooker
Since opening in 2004, Camargo’s Family Health Center has been at the forefront of bringing the latest in health care to the citizens of Douglas County. 

In keeping with that desire, they’ve recently begun offering Aesthetics services including Botox and filling. I caught up with Lisa Shepherd and Lindsay Dowler to talk about how and why that all came to be.

What informed your decision to start offering Aesthetics as a service?

<LS>I think part of it was that it is something that’s not offered at all in Douglas County. We felt that here at a medical practice, we could provide a very safe environment, especially for people who might want some anonymity. No one has to know what they’re here for. 

<LD> It just happened to be something that we were both interested in.

<LS> We thought that it was something where we could expand and offer a new service. People feel safe here, plus it’s more convenient than going up to Champaign. We’re a little more flexible than some other places. Sometimes people look at Aesthetics as being a vanity thing, but our self esteem and how we feel about ourselves isn’t really just about vanity, it’s about our mental health, also. I think that people sometimes forget that our emotional and mental health all roll into that as well. If we feel better about ourselves, then we can project that confidence and it’s going to project into other areas of our lives, and that’s something that I feel is important, to be more holistic and look at more than just the physical.

What services in Aesthetics do you offer?

<LS> At this point, we’re offering Botox and Fillers. We are really looking to getting some feedback from our patients as to what they’re interested in adding. I don’t know that we’ve necessarily excluding anything yet, but we’re a smaller practice so we have to be kind of judicious on what we have a demand for. We’re looking at what the demand is, and what we can offer while still keeping it affordable. 

What sort of training did you have to undergo before you could begin to offer this service?

<LS> Training is something that’s ongoing. We’re still doing things online. There are certain injectors who offer pointers on techniques. Aesthetics is something that is constantly changing, so we have to constantly be evolving our training.

<LD> We did a class with hands-on training where you practice with a live model and then have an instructor right there with you as you do it. 

<LS> You have to develop a treatment plan. You have your didactic classroom portion, and then you have your clinical portion where the instructor asks you to outline what your plan is for each model. The instructor then either approves the plan or makes suggestions for improving upon it. We have to show what we’re going to do, where we’re going to inject and how we’re going to inject and then they watch us inject. It’s hands on. 

Do you see this as part of your constant evolution as health care providers?

<LS> We’re always looking to see what we can do to not only set ourselves apart, but also what we can do to help our small county. We want to be able to provide some of those services here so that you don’t have to wait six months to get them elsewhere. As an example, I do D.O.T. physicals, and at occupational health, you might have to wait a month to get in. The company might have to give their driver an entire day to get that taken care of, and they don’t have to do that here. The companies know that, and by offering additional services like that, it reaches more people. Maybe someone who comes in for an Aesthetics treatment or a D.O.T. physical will decide to seek our services as a medical provider as well.

Let’s take a step back. What’s your training in?

<LS> I started out as a registered nurse in 1988, so I’ve been doing it for a long time. Actually, Daphne’s the one who encouraged me to become a nurse practitioner. I finished that in 2006. We opened here, and I was the registered nurse, and she was the nurse practitioner. Then I began seeing patients here after I finished school.

Where did you go to school?

<LS> I attended Illinois State University to earn my master’s degree and become a nurse practitioner.

And how about you, Lindsay? 

<LD> I went to Parkland College, and I graduated in 2009. 

Where do you see this going in the future? Are there areas outside of the Aesthetics realm that you might consider in the future?

<LD> Not right now! <laughs>

<LS> This is something that’s been in the making for quite a while. I actually took my training last July. Even attaining that initial training was expensive and all of our equipment and products have fees associated with them so we’re trying to keep the doors open for everything else. In the middle of all that, we were dealing with covid 19 and we kind of had to wait for that to die down, so that dictated when we could begin to practice as well. 

Is this strictly a girl thing or is this a guy thing, also?

<LS> It’s absolutely a guy thing! “Brotox!” <both laugh> The twenty somethings are getting into doing it as more of a prevention thing. We’re finding that sometimes even age lines on your upper lip can be prevented by getting a little filler in there.

<LD> A lot of really young people are doing it as a preventative. We had guy models when we were in class to learn the techniques. It used to be only girls, but it’s become more normalized for guys, too.

<LS> Guys are beginning to do it in order to maintain that youthful look as far as their careers are concerned. You can keep your hair colored, but your face can give you away. A lot of this has to do with genetics, how much exposure to the sun you’ve had, whether you were a smoker. That all kind of factors in.

<LD> You can have really subtle work done, to where no one could even know that you’ve had work done, <LD & LS in unison> You just look refreshed! <both smile>

Is there anything that you would like to add? Anything that I missed?

<LD> We want people to know that we’re willing to be flexible to accommodate their schedules. 

<LS>I want people to know that anyone who comes in between now and June first and has either a Botox or filler treatment will be entered into a drawing for one free filler injection. 

Thank you very much, ladies. I think that’s a great place to end.

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