BY VON LOZON
Dr. Heather Cadena has been an associate at Dr. Susan Chamberlain’s pediatrics practice in downtown Trenton for the last 13 years.
When Chamberlain informed Cadena a while back that she intended on retiring in 2018, Cadena saw it as an opportunity to fulfill her goal of someday having a practice of her own.
And that set off a process that culminated this summer when Cadena acquired the practice for an undisclosed price.
Nurse Practitioner Elise Guido joined the team in February, before Chamberlain’s retirement, so Cadena isn’t necessarily by herself in her new endeavor.
“My grander scheme is to get a physician in, too, because as the only one here right now I can’t really leave or take a day off,” Cadena said. “I’d still like to find another physician but we need to get busier for that to happen. I am also in the process of looking into accepting more insurances just to get a little busier and build the practice up that way.”
In order for the transition to happen, Cadena had to find another provider to work with that she can trust and will be able to take care of the patients well. She also had to find an accountant and attorney, as well as get her tax ID number and get all the paperwork done.
“It’s a lot more work than I thought it was going to be,” she said. “But we have a really good group of patients and families. The staff is also the same so that made it a lot easier for me because we have been working together for a long time.”
Cadena changed the name of the practice to Watch Us Grow Pediatrics once Chamberlain officially retired.
“My youngest son was in fifth or sixth grade and his classroom did a contest to name the practice,” she said. “I got some really funny suggestions, and can’t remember all of them. But I like the double meaning — I’m watching the kids grow up through the practice and then hopefully you are watching the business grow, too.”
Cadena said the hardest part about the transition was picking up on the business side of things, but receiving advice from Chamberlain helped her out.
“It’s the business part that is more challenging because it’s all new for me,” she said. “I went from part-time to full-time to a lot of accounting and personnel stuff, so that kind of stuff I have been asking (Chamberlain for advice), so that is helping me some.”
While the first two months were difficult because of all those transition activities, it is all going much more smoothly now, she said.
Even though Cadena didn’t grow up Downriver, she feels like it is a lot like her hometown of Algonac, and that helps her with her goal of having patients be treated like they are her family.
She said Algonac, which is on the northern side of Lake St. Clair, is a lot like Downriver.
“It’s a small community on the water — a lot of little towns together where everyone knows everyone,” she said. “So Downriver feels like home even though I didn’t grow up here. I want the patients to be treated like I would want my family and kids to be treated, which is with the most up to date information and correct treatment.”
Watch Us Grow Pediatrics is located at 2363 West Jefferson Ave., at the corner of Atwood. The hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays-Wednesdays; 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thursday; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fridays.