Perhaps the greatest joy and reward in my career to date has been watching my daughters spend their summers working at Natural Healthcare Center. After starting with the most basic office tasks years ago, they just finished up the summer working 40-hour weeks and making important contributions to our operations.
Hannah is now in her final year of the master’s program for occupational therapy at Bay Path University in Massachusetts, while Sophia has returned to Liberty University for her senior year as a psychology major.
I’ve always considered Natural Healthcare Center very much a family practice and business, both in terms of who we are and who we serve. Hannah and Sophia have given the term new meaning and reinvigorated my energy and passion for what I do each day.
I’ve asked Hannah and Sophia to share their thoughts on what Natural Healthcare Center has meant to them through childhood and now as young adults. Their responses only make me prouder of who they are and what they will achieve in life.
What impact did Natural Healthcare Center have on your life growing up?
HANNAH: I was about 6 years old when Natural Healthcare Center first became a thing. My younger brother was just born, we just moved into a new house, and my dad bought a business. I remember him coming home every night and my siblings and I running to the door to greet and hug him. I think NHC as a business did not impact me as much as what my dad taught me through NHC. I learned about professional skills, leadership, communication, business management, and other qualities through my dad while at NHC.
SOPHIA: As a kid, I have always been so grateful to have a father who provided for all five of his children. My dad would work all day and then come home to spend time with his kids. My father never was negative or complained about anything and had such an impact on me to stay positive, even when you’re in the weeds of life.
How has dad’s view of healthcare affected your life?
HANNAH: My father has a different view on healthcare compared to most medical doctors. He does not just prescribe medicine and rarely does he say he can’t help you (if ever). He looks at the whole picture, not just the symptoms. He likes to know the whole story and go from there. I think this impacted my view in healthcare in that health is not just one aspect of a person, but their physical, emotional, and mental health working together.
SOPHIA: My father’s view on healthcare played a tremendous role in my life. I knew when I was in high school that all I wanted to do was to help people in any way I can. With my father as a role model, I wanted to provide care and love the way he does for everyone who walks through the doors of NHC. I hope to one day open my own practice and become a neuropsychologist to help people embrace and love how God created them to be.
Is there any single experience at NHC that stands out as especially memorable and meaningful to you?
HANNAH: I will always remember my first time seeing my father do what he does. I was 11 and it was around 7 on a school night when my father asked if I wanted to watch him at a speaking engagement and help him pass out brochures. I didn’t really want to but went anyway. He spoke at a “women’s only” seminar at the YMCA in Red Bank. I sat there mesmerized as my dad stood in front of all these women talking about nutrition and how to take care of your body. It opened by eyes to how smart my dad actually is, what impact he has on others, and how important health is.
SOPHIA: A specific memory I have from working at NHC is seeing all the patients walk out the door with a smile on their face. My father’s patients come from all over just to see him. After working at NHC for two years, I fully understand why they did because of the impact my father has on all people. He and his staff love what they do and treat and heal all people.
Why did you decide to major in healthcare?
HANNAH: I plan to get my doctorate in occupational therapy for the purpose of teaching since I have always enjoyed that. I am also considering going back to school for my nursing degree. I chose a major in healthcare because I knew I wanted to help and touch lives like my father has. I like that occupational therapy is a creative and holistic profession that allows you to work with different populations and in different settings.
SOPHIA: After taking PSYC 101 as an elective, I knew psychology was my passion and the right path that God wanted me to take. I knew that I wanted to help people and inspire them in the ways my father does for his patients. Even though I did choose a different healthcare field than my father, I knew that helping people was my calling. I want to be a light in others’ lives like my dad.
What type of practice do you think you’ll find most enjoyable and fulfilling someday?
HANNAH: I see myself in a small practice like Natural Healthcare Center that offers different services our patients may need. I do not know what specific population of people I’d like to work with right now but I do know I want to work in some sort of outpatient rehabilitation center. I want to own my own practice in the future, and I have a feeling my dad will be working in the basement doing some sort of administrative work!
SOPHIA: I see myself owning a private practice and making a community that welcomes others. I hope to do research, test patients to achieve the best diagnosis, and give them the guidance to understand how to go from here. After seeing my father change individuals’ lives every day, I knew that I wanted to do the same in the aspect of the mind. The brain is a beautiful and complex part of our body that, when examined, can change lives forever. I hope to achieve this, follow in the ways of my father, and become an inspiration to others.
Final Thoughts from Dad
As a father, I couldn’t be prouder of what my children have already accomplished, the values they have, and the way they conduct themselves on a daily basis. Watching them grow, learn, and discover and pursue their passions fills me with such joy and fulfillment.
Hannah and Sophia, I love you more than words can express and I can’t wait to see what your future holds.