Dear patients, colleagues and friends,
The time has finally come for me to retire. This has been a difficult decision because I can truly say that I have loved being a herbal medicine practitioner. My last day of practice will be Tuesday 6th March 2018.
2018 marks 48 years in health care, of which 40 years have been as a natural therapist. Over this time, I have had a particular focus on building bridges between health care disciplines, which in the beginning, this was no mean feat - the ‘us and them’ culture was very much alive and well when I first started practicing in the late 70’s. Through lecturing, writing, and in the clinic, I developed a team approach which aimed to allow patients to achieve the best from all health care modalities. I termed this collaborative medicine and am pleased that other practitioners are now using this approach.
At my retirement, a priority for me has been to find like-minded collaborative practitioners to continue the care of my patients with professionalism, intelligence and integrity. I am delighted to say that Shalini Nair has committed to starting a new practice when MHHG finally closes in March 2018. She will work with Jo Kidd who has a similar background to me and is a midwife and herbalist. Jo currently practices at MHHG; and also works part-time as a maternal and child health nurse in Daylesford. Shalini has been with me at MHHG from her student days, first as a receptionist, then as practice manager and finally as a practitioner in her own right. Through the years it became clear that she was the practitioner best suited to take over the clinic. To this end, she has trained diligently at my side and now sees many of my patients in my lieu. The confidence that I have in these two practitioners has made this decision so much easier.
I must also make mention of my wonderful reception and dispensary staff. MHHG has been blessed with excellent staff who have expertly run front of house with charm and skill. No task is too big for them and many of you will have benefited from their tireless attention to detail; following up medicines, appointments and test results; and the countless other things that make a clinic run smoothly. It has been a joy to work with Roberta Nelson and Laura Gale at the helm in the current clinic. They will be there on the closing day and then both are leaving for bigger and better horizons – Roberta to do an internship in Geneva with WHO; and Laura to have her first baby. I know they will do their very best to accommodate as many of your needs as possible in the closing days of MHHG.
We are aiming to make the transition as seamless as possible. Shalini plans to have the new clinic running before MHHG closes down in March. Her clinic, Inner North Holistic Health, will open at the end of February at 780 Nicholson St, North Fitzroy (corner of Liverpool St). Importantly, the phone number will remain unchanged.
Many people in the Northern Rivers have asked me whether I will be starting a new practice in this area and the answer is definitely not. Although the demand for natural therapies practitioners here is strong, the health care culture has many features of Melbourne in the 70’s. The thought of developing relationships with a new group of GPs and specialists; as well as building bridges and educating a new group of patients about the value of a collaborative approach just seems far too difficult. Instead, I have turned my attention to community projects, and especially to the housing crisis that we have here, which has become significantly worse after the flood.
I would like to wish you and your family all the very best for the future. It has been a real pleasure to be your practitioner/mentor or colleague; and I thank you for your support and trust in me. I’m sure I will miss being a practitioner a great deal and am feeling quite sad writing this. That said, it is time to move on and hand over the reins to Shalini and Jo who have the commitment and energy to continue the practice.
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