Creating Bliss at Radiance Medical Aesthetics & Wellness Spa
By Molly Ritvo
Dr. Colleen Parker and her team are changing the face of the medical spa industry
As lockdowns and quarantines have ended, many Vermonters are eager to give some much-needed attention to their skin and bodies. Local clients of Radiance Medical Aesthetics and Wellness Spa in Willison have been clamoring to return to their loved spa.
“We closed down earlier than the mandated ordered lockdown because with so little known at that time, I could not justify being open for elective procedures,” says Dr. Colleen Parker, the owner at Radiance. “During the closure, we were able to critically think about how to offer services as safely as possible and keep patients and staff safe.” When she felt it was safe to reopen, Dr. Parker asked her scheduling team to space out appointments, and patients are asked to wait in their cars until they are called to minimize traffic in the clinic. She also implemented telehealth appointments and plans to continue offering those.
Dr. Parker, a practicing anesthesiologist, opened Radiance on August 30, 2017. Prior to opening Radiance, she worked as the medical director and sole provider at another medical spa in the area for six years. “I decided to open my own medical aesthetics center because it was important to me that I could provide the best possible experience for my patients from the first call or the moment they walk in the front door to the completion of their treatment and hopefully years of continued care,” she explains. Dr. Parker and her staff of seven currently serve about 1,300 patients and are committed to providing cutting-edge and modern medical spa services such as Botox, fillers, microblading, and acne and laser hair removal among other treatments including ones that sculpt and contour the body, treatment of spider and varicose veins, and permanent treatments of under-chin fat.
Medical spas require a physician to oversee and perform all medical-grade procedures. “A nonmedical spa typically offers massages, facials, and relaxation treatments while a medical spa focuses on specific beauty goals and corrective aesthetic procedures. A medical spa has the ability to treat deeper skin and health concerns by licensed staff and medical professionals,” explains Kendall Beiswanger, marketing and business manager at Radiance. “At a regular spa, a client can get a hydrating facial, but at a medical spa, she can have a laser or microneedling procedure that goes deeper into the dermis to stimulate collagen production to help with fine lines or to get rid of deeper age-related pigmentation.”
Because Dr. Parker is an anesthesiologist, she is uniquely suited to provide safe and effective corrective treatments. “There is always something new in the aesthetics world,” Dr. Parker says enthusiastically. “Being an anesthesiologist is actually a perfect transition to aesthetic medicine. For aesthetic medicine, I use needles to place medicine and implantable products into very specific areas of the face. Understanding the anatomy combined with an aesthetic sense enables me to get the results I do with the utmost safety.”
Enhancing Lives and Debunking Myths
According to Kendall, Botox is one of the most popular treatments at Radiance. “I think it is a misunderstood treatment due to the media’s misconceptions or people being afraid of looking ‘frozen,’ but Botox is actually one of the best treatments to prevent and correct lines and wrinkles,” she says with a smile. “It is always the first treatment I recommend to all of my family and friends!”
Dr. Parker says that there isn’t a typical client at Radiance and that she is thrilled to treat a variety of clientele. “We have a fantastic range of both women and men of all ages coming in for a variety of reasons,” she says. “Some want help with wrinkles, marionette lines (sad mouth), pigmentation issues, permanent makeup needs, varicose veins, acne, and more. It is one of the great things about what we do: the same issues affect everyone.”
Despite having a loyal following and a robust customer base, Dr. Parker acknowledges that there are a lot of “misconceptions” about what she offers. “I tell my patients that I am not in the beauty business. I am in the confidence business,” she says proudly. “I am honored to be able to safely perform a procedure that gives someone the confidence they need during a job interview or to help someone feel their best to enter the dating scene after a divorce or to help someone celebrate a milestone birthday. It is incredibly rewarding.” Dr. Parker frequently hears from her patients that their lives have dramatically improved. “Neuromodulators (Botox) got rid of angry lines on a patients’ face between his eyes and he became more approachable at work,” she says. “For someone else, it was the difference in their acne after a treatment that was life changing.”
Dr. Parker recalls a client who was struggling to re-enter the workforce because she felt she was too old to apply for a job. “After my care, she felt more confident and that the woman who looked back at her in the mirror reflected the person she was on the inside,” she says, adding that the client recently accepted a terrific new position.
As Dr. Parker and her staff prepare for a busy fall, they are continually looking to add additional treatments to their service menu. “We have a few exciting procedures coming out like PRP (platelet-rich plasma), which uses a patient’s own platelets from their blood that can be used as filler or along with microneedling treatments,” explains Kendall, adding that Radiance will also be offering new procedures for sexual health for both men and women. Dr. Parker (a busy mom who has a combined family of six children) is eager to welcome readers of Best of Burlington to her practice: “People in Vermont are very intelligent with whom they entrust their medical treatments and we are very grateful and respectful of that,” she says. “We pride ourselves on providing incredible service using the best technology and technique combined with individualized care.”