Dr. Wendy Varish sits at the table in the conference room of her Howards Grove Chiropractic office and shakes her head in mild disbelief.
“I can’t believe it’s 20 years,” she said, referring to the fact that she and husband Dr. George Varish have owned and operated Varish Chiropractic Clinics, LLP since Sept. 1, 1994. Dr. George operates Sheboygan Chiropractic at 2601 S. Business Dr., while Howards Grove Chiropractic is located at 516 S. Wisconsin Dr.
The years have gone by fast, Dr. Wendy said, and that it is a good thing. It means she continues to enjoy what she is doing and is having fun doing it. “In some ways it’s more fun now,” she said, pointing out that she gets a kick out of the fact she is now seeing the children of some her original patients who were children.
“Every day is different, every patient is different,” she added.
Dr. Wendy is quick to point out that their staff members have been a critical part of their success over the last 20 years. In Howards Grove, Dr. Wendy, Dr. David Portmann and Dr. Susan Reinke are assisted by Cheryl Spindler (massage therapist), Sherry Colberg, Mary Goetsch, Melissa Hill, Kari Marquardt, Sharron Niquette, Becki Post and Ann Steffen. In Sheboygan, Dr. George is assisted by Cindi Huber and Becky TeBeest.
“My staff has been with me for a long, long time,” Dr. Wendy said. “I have a very dedicated staff that is very loyal to the patients.” She pointed out that most of their staff members are cross trained as both Chiropractic Technicians (CT) and Chiropractic Radiological Technicians (CRT).
Dedicated to the community
Varish Chiropractic Clinics have been equally dedicated to the communities they serve. In Howards Grove, Dr. Wendy said their “Helping Hands” program looks to support a worthy local cause every month. Sometimes it is through volunteerism, other times through fund-raising or other drives.
Those monthly examples of “Helping Hands” include donating items for the food pantry (currently breakfast items), Coats for Kids in October, a school supply drive going on right now, Challenge Day at Howards Grove High School along with the Howards Grove Education Foundation, Partner in Education with the Education Foundation, Toys for Tots in November and December, Salvation Army bell ringing, a Helping Hands Food Drive with the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association (WCA), as well as supporting many organizations with sponsorships and donations, including massage gift certificates.
Dr. Wendy has been equally active in the Howards Grove community, as well as in the Wisconsin chiropractic community. She is a charter member and secretary of the Howards Grove Education Foundation, a board member for the Howards Grove Advancement Association, served 17 years on the Wisconsin Chiropractic Association Board of Directors including five as its president, co-director of the Howards Grove Run/ Walk which raised over $15,000 for various charities including the Boys & Girls Club, served as the on-the-field doctor
The staff at Howards Grove Chiropractic includes (front, from left) Melissa Hill, Ann Steffen, Mary Goetsch, Cheryl Spindler and Kari Marquardt; and (back) Sharron Niquette, Dr. David Portmann, Dr. Wendy Varish, Dr. Susan Reinke, and Sherry Colberg. Not pictured is Becki Post.
Mark Sherry photo
for the Howards Grove and Sheboygan Lutheran-Kohler football teams for over a decade, and she teaches continuing education programs for doctors, CTs and CRTs in Wisconsin and other states, with topics including physiotherapy, laser/light therapy, radiology, nutrition, anatomy, and clinical issues.
Dr. Wendy’s belief in being part of the community is shared by the other doctors at Howards Grove Chiropractic. Dr. Portmann has already been practicing chiropractic for 14 years, while Dr. Reinke has been practicing for six years. Dr. Portmann volunteers weekly office time and personal time to attend to Howards Grove High School athletes.
Focused on quality care
Varish Chiropractic Clinics is not only dedicated to the community through outreach, but is also dedicated to maintaining the highest standards for quality patient care. The business:
n is the only office in Sheboygan County with multiple doctors with diplomate degrees;
n is one of the first chiropractic offices in the state to adopt electronic health records;
n promotes open communication with health partners including medical doctors, surgeons and physical therapists;
n built the Howards Grove Chiropractic office in 2000 with room for multiple doctors, massage therapy, and physical therapists;
n makes sure staff receive routine advanced training;
n has all doctors attend multiple programs each year in continuing education to improve and diversify clinical skills.
“We’re just constantly looking for ways to improve, but we’re not looking for the quick fix,” Dr. Wendy said.
The doctors at Varish Chiropractic Clinics use multiple chiropractic techniques to care for their patients. Those techniques have not changed over the past 20 years, but how the doctors use them has evolved and been modified. “Every single patient is different,” Dr. Wendy said.
Those patients have ranged in age from a one-hour old infant in the hospital to a 98-year-old. Dr. Wendy said many new moms will stop at her office with their newborn on the way home from the hospital in order to get their baby their first adjustment, knowing the benefits that will have in the days, weeks and months ahead.
No matter what the age, being healthy is about more than getting regular chiropractic care. Chiropractors are joining health professionals everywhere in espousing the virtues of proper nutrition and ample exercise as part of a whole body wellness plan. Dr. Wendy said that is actually an old concept which is just regaining popularity now; in fact, she is working on putting together a wellness education program for the WCA.
With each passing year, Dr. Wendy said she better understands the challenges her patients face in reaching their wellness goals. “I have a lot more empathy for treating a patient,” she said. “They used to say, ‘It’s just part of getting old.’ Now it’s like, ‘Yes, I understand that.’ My life experiences have evolved.”