After nearly 20 years of thriving as conventional practitioner, Julianne Arena, MD, had an “awakening” that completely changed the trajectory of her life and career. Her renewal sent her down a path that involved advanced education, research, a resignation, and the ultimate birth of her own practice; Waves of Awakening Center for Personalized Medicine.
“In 2015 I got a brochure for an integrative medicine conference and it was amazing. I went back to my practice with all this enthusiasm and said to my partners we need to grow this other branch of the tree; and they just kept looking at me sideways. I got frustrated and finally said I’m done!”
After resigning, Julianne began thinking about branching out on her own while practicing at an integrative health clinic. Then, in November of 2019 she learned that the business would be closing and took that as a sign that it was time to set her plans in motion.
“They announced that they would be closing within eight weeks and I said ok, I guess I have eight weeks to create my practice. I was privileged to have Linda, Christina, and Michelle take an enormous leap of faith and join me on the adventure. Then, I reached out to Christine who I worked with in my conventional practice and we opened our doors in February of 2020 in an insurance-based model.”
Within a short period, the Waves of Awakening team had to quickly adapt to several changes. Not only did they place their faith in Julianne by following her into her new business, but in order to survive after Covid hit, they then had to learn all of the ins and outs of going virtual. Soon after, Julianne realized that she had a problem that needed to be fixed.
“We were able to maintain the practice, but three to six months later we found ourselves getting minimal reimbursement in the insurance model and working; as Charlie would say, harder, not smarter. So, my colleague and I remembered going to a talk that he gave in Boston about FPC. It wasn’t my decision to make then, but it was now; and I said, we need to do this. So, we took another leap and it’s been an amazing experience.”
The faith that the team of five has held onto through these changes has led to meaningful collaboration and Julianne explained that she is grateful to have their trust. She lovingly spoke about each team member and their unique attributes that transcend beyond their work.
“Linda (Linda Clearly, PA-C) is an amazing gifted practitioner, energy healer and Reiki Master. She keeps me balanced and provides aspects to our practice that we would not be successful without.”
“Christina (Christina Mather, RN) instills trust and reassurance that is so often needed and Michelle (Michelle Gillis, Patient Coordinator) has excellent skills with patients and has taken on this FPC journey with such focus and determination.”
Christine Knowles is the practice manager and Julianne says she “provides a much-needed knowledge base of running a practice and is the team’s consistent reality check.”
Together, they have overcome obstacles, learned to pivot quickly, and have celebrated several accomplishments. Although they recently connected outside of the office and spent the day at a salt cave, Julianne explained that “team building” continues to be a work in progress. She followed this by discussing the importance of fostering self-care and a healthy work-life balance.
“We work really hard on Monday through Thursday and they are off on Fridays. I want to promote a good work-life balance and respect their time, so I don’t want to schedule too much during off hours.”
Julianne doesn’t let this deter her from finding ways to show her gratitude towards her team. She often sends them group texts of appreciation and has even acknowledged their hard work with gift cards. She also revealed a secret surprise she was planning within the next week.
“We just hit the 100K mark and had our best month ever this past June,” she said. “And they don’t know it yet,” she whispered, “but I’m going to bring in some balloons, tell them what we did, and let them know that everyone is getting a bonus.”
“Oh my gosh. Bring it on!” Julianne said when we talked about the changing lives movement. She expressed her excitement in the mission and recalled how she recently celebrated a huge milestone of positive change with one of her practice members. “I got up and did a jig!”
The Waves of Awakening team has been through some amazing feats together. They have supported each other in the past and they have big visions for their future; and Julianne attributes their effective team work to one key concept.
“Talking. Communication is key. We talk about our successes and challenges during our team meetings and trainings and it’s an open forum, so everyone gets a turn. And, with my wonderful coach, Nicole, we are continually moving forward.”
Are you ready for your own success story?
If you are, I have good news! We can get you results like this. It won’t be easy, nor will it happen overnight, but I’ve seen it happen so many times that I can tell you that’s it’s possible.
You’ve got to be hungry, driven, up for the work, listen more than you talk, complete more than complain, implement plans more than you announce them, and show up daily with a beginners mind. If you’re ready, it’s time to get to work!