Welcome Kate Gassaway, a board certified family nurse practitioner and healthcare entrepreneur. Solutions Medical Center is Kate’s answer to the missing link in medical care, especially for women. This innovative clinic (formerly known as Avanti Skin Center) has been operating successfully as a professional anti-aging and wellness center for almost seven years and has welcomed close to 6000 patients. In October, Kate is expanding to become what she describes as “the first ever nurse practitioner concierge medical clinic, with no other clinic like it in Tennessee.”
While she and her staff are highly trained in aesthetics, Kate’s main love is clinical medicine. We are all very aware of the changes in medical care, and Kate has worked hard to adapt her practice so that consistent high-quality care is provided in her clinic. Her innovative practice is medical care within the context of your entire well-being.
Have you always called Memphis home?
No. I was born and raised in Columbia, Tennessee, but have lived in Memphis for the past 17 years. I moved here after I married my husband, who is originally from Memphis.
When did you identify that health and beauty would be your area of expertise?
I always dreamt, even as a little girl, about having a place that helped people look and feel better. When I was a leukemia/lymphoma nurse at St. Jude, I would do all I could to make my patients feel better, even if I wasn’t making their cancer go away. I think taking care of people is what I was called to do. How I got into the health and beauty industry is truly a series of events. Doors just kept opening while I was in my family practice residency, and I kept walking though. Now, here I am, 7 years later!
What is on the horizon for Solutions Medical Center?
LOTS! We are currently a professional anti-aging and wellness clinic but soon will add medical services to our repertoire. For instance, I want to bridge the gap for those who are in between a pediatrician and an OB/GYN as well as the gap (which I am in) between an OB/GYN and a need for a specialist. On a daily basis, I hear from women that they are going back to their OB because they don’t have another doctor, or they just go to a walk-in clinic. Women don’t really have one place that can do everything, which is where I come in! There is definitely a need for preventative health care without jumping through a thousand hoops to get there, which I will also provide. Consider our growing practice as a one-stop medical clinic offering treatments such as Botox and laser to full physicals and hormones.
In addition to excellent everyday medical care, we will have several VIP annual plans, i.e. concierge medicine with a twist!
Our new building will be open in September/October time frame (right next door to the current location in Collierville). It will be much bigger than our current location and will consist of medical and aesthetic rooms along with a full lab. I’m so excited, I can hardly wait!
A typical daily check-list in the professional life of Kate Gassaway?
- Coffee (only 1 cup)
- Circle K ice (I know you aren’t supposed to eat ice!)
- See patients, chart, emails, phone calls, then repeat
- Stop for more ice on the way home (my dentist is going to kill me)
- Go home to my awesome family and start cooking.
It’s pretty monotonous but I wouldn’t change a thing!
Briefly describe how Solutions Medical Center is not a “feel-good spa,” but instead an “educational medical clinic.”
Everyone who knows me will tell you it drives me crazy when people refer to Solutions as a spa (no offense to those who do). Please do not get me wrong; I love spas and think they are great, but I just didn’t want my clinic to be one. I wanted more. Sometimes treatments are not always “feel good” and you may have to endure a little unpleasantness to get the result that is desired. I do want people to feel good after our treatments, but I also want them to leave knowing about their skin, what to expect and how to prevent further damage. Education is really the key to providing good care, whether medical or aesthetic.
What will a first-time visitor to Solutions Medical Clinic immediately recognize as a stand-out difference from other similar businesses?
Comfortable and REAL. That goes for the décor, the staff and the entire atmosphere of the clinic.
What attracted you to healthcare that has a primary focus on women?
I really do love all aspects of medicine, and while I treat both men and women, I am most passionate about and drawn to treating women of all ages. That’s my medical niche. I love teaching teen girls about their body and the changes that happen as well as helping pre and postmenopausal patients feel better. Naturally, I think women understand women better and are more able to talk about problems and issues they are having with the same sex provider.
Favorite beauty product you can’t imagine not using?
Currently, our skin care lines at Solutions are Obagi, Jan Marini, Image and SkinMedica. I really do use something from each line so that is really hard to say. One of my favorites is our Image Ormedic Lip Complex. It is an ultra-hydrating, anti-aging polypeptide lip complex that dramatically enhances the appearance of lip contours. Not to mention, it is $16.
My newest favorite is our all-in-one anti-aging product, TNS Essential Serum. It is a duel chamber pump with one side having growth factors and the other side with seven antioxidants and peptides. A patient would have to spend over $1,000 on products to get what is in the one bottle of this serum.
“No one can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending!” I have no idea where I read that or who said it, but it has been my motto ever since I can remember.
Do you have a specific mentor? How has that person influenced you?
My medical director Dr. James Bryant. He started Bryant Family Practice, back in the day. That practice later became Humphrey’s Family Practice (where I did my residency) and is now owned by the Baptist Health Care System. He has taught me so much about trusting my instincts, listening to my patients and not just looking at their lab work. I am grateful to have him in my life and honored to call him a friend.
What restaurants do you enjoy most in Memphis?
I’m not into foo-foo food, and I might be a smidge of a picky eater. That said, I just knew I wouldn’t like anything at Hog & Hominy, but after trying it, I LOVE their food. Plus we live near there, so it’s convenient. Ciao Bella is also another favorite.
Are there three lighthearted things that you could you not live without?
My Kindle, my laptop/phone and Titos Vodka. (Am I allowed to say that?)
What books are you reading?
I literally love reading anything from mystery to Water for Elephants–type books to really funny books. It’s on my bucket list to do what my mother-in-law did, which is read all the classics.
Do you have a favorite activity or set of activities away from work?
I love to read, and we travel every chance we get (with our children, I might add). I’m a mom before school, a practitioner during the day and a mom at night. It’s busy, but without a TON of help from my husband, I couldn’t do it. Like my father always said, “You can rest when you are dead!”
Thank you, Kate, for bringing your innovative ideas to fruition in Memphis. Who doesn’t wish for simplified healthcare! Congratulations on your soon-to-be expansion!
And Whitney McNeill was our talented photographer today. Thank you, Whitney!