We talked to: CLINIC Alternative Medicines
We talked to CLINIC Alternative Medicines
We recently had a lovely chat with Jen Nery of CLINIC Alternative Medicines in downtown Northampton. Check out our interview to find out what's new at CLNIC and how they are doing in these challenging times!
How are things going overall for the business in these uncertain times?
So for me, the business has two dimensions: I run CLINIC, which has 10-15 practitioners, and I’m also a practitioner there. The pandemic meant shutting down not just my own practice, but the whole center as well. This added a layer of complication, and forced me to think about and come up with policies for the entire space, especially if I want to make the new situation as appealing as possible for practitioners. I reopened both my practice and CLINIC on Aug 1st. I’m currently the only one back to anything like what I was doing before, operating at about 2/3 capacity to air out rooms between patients. Some of my clients are back, but where I used to see 35 people per week, I am currently seeing around 15-20. People who have returned are really happy about it, as a fair number are quite ill and have definitely missed consistent treatments. Some people who see me more casually haven’t come back yet, which is understandable. People are fortunately quite cautious about Covid in this area, and I endorse that. At this point, as far as business goes, we are just not where we were at pre-pandemic, but we are doing our best to make it through. I did get some breaks on rent, but not total rent relief.
Do you think people generally feel safe coming into the clinic?
I do think so. I’ve had some people email me before booking an appointment, saying they are thinking of coming in, but are curious to know what it will look like. Before, clients were accustomed to seeing several practitioners working, and several people in the waiting room, and I’d often be turning over directly from the last patient--it was a bustling space. Currently, I am the only one thereon the days I’m working. We have HEPA filters rated for the whole space going, plus extra filters in treatment rooms. We are consistently doing all the appropriate spacing and heavy-duty sanitizing with powerful, natural sanitizers that are CDC approved for Covid. People who are immunocompromised are doing a careful evaluation of the risks of not getting treated vs coming in, I’m happy to be there for whomever is ready to return.
Are people adhering to mask-wearing rules regularly, or have you encountered some challenges?
No challenges at all, actually, which has surprised me a bit. The people who are coming in are very cautious. The idea of lying on a table with a mask on doesn’t sound super appealing to me, and it might be keeping some people away, but the clients I have been seeing are fully compliant and thankful to be back to their treatment routine.
What positive things have you learned during this crazy time?
On a personal level, I’ve been lucky, as I had the maternity leave I would not otherwise have gotten. In that respect, I feel fortunate. As far as business and culture, I have really seen people understanding that though our physical distance is not as close right now, we are still incredibly intertwined and need each other. I see a lot of generosity and teamwork happening in our community. People are realizing that they can’t go it alone, and I truly hope that will stick.
Is there any other information you’d like to share about your business?
I would say that I and everyone I work with love what we do. There’s no way that we won’t end up being back at work, and I feel very positive about that. We had a meeting in February and everyone expressed love for what we are doing. Even if we decided to move or change some structural things, our practitioners love what CLINIC is about and want to stick with it.. I know that the bulk of us will be back together in the long-run, and from there we’ll see where we will go next. We could end up in a different space, and it could be a good time to buy. I’d like to remain close to downtown, but if we find a great space that works for everyone and happens to be a bit further from downtown Northampton, I’d be open to that. We’ll see what the future holds, but I remain optimistic overall.