Asa part of my series about women in wellness, I had the pleasure of interviewing Kris Adair.
Kris Adair is a seasoned family nurse practitioner and owner and medical director of Adair Family Clinic and MedSpa, a full-service healthcare clinic with multi-specialities focusing on skincare and wellness from the inside out. A graduate from Grand Canyon University with a master’s degree in nursing education and a post-master’s degree as a Family Nurse Practitioner, Kris has over 12 years of experience as a registered nurse in internal medicine, wound and skin care, operating room, PACU, cardiology, progressive care and telemetry. Additionally, she has over two years’ experience as an aesthetic provider and injector performing a full range of services from facial rejuvenation and optimization with Botox, hyaluronic acid fillers, laser skin procedures as well as collagen-inducing plasma treatments! She is very passionate about skin care and educating her patients on proper management of their skin as well as evaluating and treating a wide range of skin concerns from acne, melasma, rosacea, hyperpigmentation to even hormone or medically induced skin disruptions.
Kris believes the skin is a reflection of what is happening on the inside, so taking care of your health is just as important as taking care of your skin. She is also an Air Force veteran with 22+ years of military service and is currently serving in the Air Force Reserve in a supervisory and leadership role. Kris is truly passionate about helping people improve their health and livelihood through educational and medical intervention. Her GLOW up truly is an impressive story, but her focus has always been centered on family. She shares a last name, two beautiful children, and an office with her business partner and husband, Dony.
Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Our readers would love to “get to know you” better. Can you share your “backstory” with us?
I’m thrilled for the opportunity to share my story with Authority Magazine and your readers — it’s a unique one and one I’m so proud of. I walked into an Air Force recruiting office in 1997 and told the recruiter I wanted to join the military and get into the medical field. He said, “Great! I’ve got just the category for you to enlist in called Open General, you’ll get to pick the career you want.” I was ecstatic. So, I joined and the job opportunities I was limited to were admin, security forces, and Aerospace Control and Warning Systems. So, I chose the Aerospace Control and Warning Systems career field. I went through training, and when I got to my first duty station, the first chance I got, I enrolled in college and started working towards my degree. Finally in 2009, after several deployments and duty stations, I was able to enroll into a nursing program. In 2010 I graduated and became a registered nurse. Fast forward eight years and two more degrees, I was working on my post master’s degree for Family Nurse Practitioner and was trying to figure out what I wanted to do once I graduated. All my other classmates were landing jobs and planning for their transition, but I didn’t have one hint of a potential offer. One day talking with a classmate, she was telling me about a friend that opened her own business after she graduated, and I thought, I want to do that. So, I talked to my husband that night and he was so supportive and said, let’s do it! I didn’t know anything about owning a business, let alone operating one but I was so pumped about the prospects of doing it that I spent a lot of time researching and reading to figure it out. In August 2018, we opened what was then Glow by Kris Medspa. In 2021 we changed the name to Adair Family Clinic & Medspa, I retired from the Air Force Reserves after 22 years of military service and have now put my sole focus on running and growing the business.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you started your career? What were the main lessons or takeaways from that story?
I definitely have some interesting stories from my time in the military. One of the elements that was a constant in my career was being the sole female in Aerospace operations. I worked with military pilots, and educators that supported all things air operations and there weren’t that many women that worked in that environment. I was challenged early on in my career because it was like “who is she? Does she know what she’s talking about? Is she qualified to support this task, mission, operation?” I made sure I put in the time to learn, study, train, and shadow mentors which helped me find my voice, give commands, demand respect, and eventually become a subject matter expert in my area. Before long, my reputation preceded me, and I was requested by name for specific operations and missions. The experience and self-awareness I gained from this was immeasurable as it influenced every aspect of the rest of my military career and now my civilian career.
That knowledge and understanding I gained in the military became the perfect segue for me into my career as a registered nurse and now as a Family Nurse Practitioner and business owner. This is because in the beginning it was still those questions like, “who is she? Does she know what she’s doing? Is she qualified?” And the answer to all those questions, I can say confidently, is yes, I am. I have trained, studied, and continue to grow in my knowledge as a medical professional to help care for my patients today. So, my takeaway from all of that is, prepare for the possibility so you can handle the magnitude of the moment.
It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about a mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?
Mistakes are opportunities to get it right the next time. They are by design meant for you to stop, reflect, gain clarity, and grow. I’ve made my fair share of mistakes in my career, and I have learned an equal share of valuable lessons. Pulling from my military experience: after every aerospace mission, the performance was reviewed, the audio, everything. You were evaluated on this — not for the purpose of pointing fingers but for the purpose of improving the mission, meeting mission objectives, and most of all keeping people safe. If you made a mistake, you acknowledged it, owned it, and talked about what you could have done differently to improve the outcome. There was a tremendous responsibility that was placed on me, and I took it seriously ever time. Now as a civilian taking care of patients, there is significant responsibility in helping people get better, feel better. They’re looking to me for answers, and I don’t take that lightly. I like to do what I can to help each one of my patients. That’s my mission objective and I evaluate myself on how well I do that so I can continually improve, achieve a good wellness outcome, and keep my patients safe.
Let’s jump to our main focus. When it comes to health and wellness, how is the work you are doing helping to make a bigger impact in the world?
My main focus is empowering patients to take care of their health and skin by way of educating and caring for them in an individualistic way, taking care of their health needs in a way that truly informs them of what they need to do to get better and feel better. Helping them address their skin concerns–teaching them the proper way to take care of their skin, use products and receive skincare treatments. For me, it’s all about helping people really feel better. It’s such a rewarding feeling when you accomplish that because it radiates outward and is infectious in a good way.
Can you share your top five “lifestyle tweaks” that you believe will help support people’s journey towards better wellbeing? Please give an example or story for each.
Cancel out the noise — take moments to disconnect from technology and social media. Our ability to have clarity is clouded by all the noise we hear and see daily. Being able to disconnect for those moments and purposefully listen to yourself and your body helps you collect yourself, your thoughts, and feel more centered withing yourself and your own needs.
Be flexible to your own needs — We bend and move to the many needs of others — whether it’s job, spouse, kids, etc. Rarely do we tend to our own needs when it comes to taking care of our health. Stop that. Do it. Be intentional about this, you’ll thank yourself later that you did.
Treat yourself — Do that one special thing for yourself and don’t feel guilty about it. There’s something empowering about treating yourself and showing yourself appreciation. Because first, you deserve it. Second, if you start doing it for yourself, you’ll set the bar higher for the person you want to do it for you in the future. And, if nothing else, at least you know you can do it for yourself.
Sleep, because your body needs it — Sleep is so important to our body, health, and wellness. Without proper sleep, our body doesn’t recover properly, our brain doesn’t get to fully rest and reset and those protective mechanisms in our body like our immune system don’t fully recover.
Think of yourself as an investment — If you think of yourself as an investment, you start to take care of yourself differently. Much like an investment, it’s something that you categorize as special, you take care of it, you preserve it and keep it safe. That is how you should take care of yourself (your body and overall wellness) as it ensures you do all the right things to keep yourself protected.
If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of wellness to the most amount of people, what would that be?
The movement that I would start would be free universal health navigators. These are providers that are designed to help people understand health concerns and point them toward care facilities or provide health recommendations to empower people towards wellness. I think this is something that could really benefit a lot of people and provide them with knowledge that helps them make better informed decisions about their individual health needs that ultimately can have a community and societal benefit as well.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why?
1. I wish I knew initially not to be afraid to focus on wellness. It’s like in healthcare you must choose between health or wellness, but that’s not the case. They are intertwined and should be for a reason because your wellness can dictate your health and vice versa.
2. I also wish I knew more of the resources that were available to me before I started. It took a while for me to initially branch outside of my comfort zone of what I know wellness to be. Once I started seeking out more information, it was right there for me to obtain all along and now I believe I’m a better practitioner for it.
3. I wish someone told me it’s ok to make your own path in wellness. Often, we’re trying to replicate one specific business model or be more competitive to clinics in the area, but I realized about a year and a half into my business that I wanted to do something different and focus more on health and wellness and I’m glad I did.
4. I wish I was told early on the importance of listening before I started in wellness. It seems like that would be a no-brainer but in healthcare the focus is often placed on time. You have 15 minutes, 20 at best, for a medical visit. That’s not enough time to really figure it out the needs of a patient, provide recommendations and education, especially from a wellness perspective. Once I started placing the emphasis on listening, I noticed my ability to diagnosis, recommend treatment options and educate improved as did patient compliance. Patients often stated they felt heard and listened to for the first time and that was a good feeling.
5. Finally, I wish I knew that wellness is fluid. There’s no rigidity in it nor should it be. In healthcare, we follow a pathway to diagnosis and treatment. Wellness is different and the pathway that’s taken is unique to the individual’s health and wellness needs, so that typical pathway we put them on in healthcare may not work or even be applicable. It’s ok to change and go with the flow of the individual’s needs because the likelihood of a successful outcome is higher if we do.
Sustainability, veganism, mental health, and environmental changes are big topics at the moment. Which one of these causes is dearest to you, and why?
All of these topics play a role in my daily life, but I’d definitely say, mental health is dearest to me. I have a personal family history of mental illness and to watch their daily struggles and not be able to “fix it” for them is disheartening. I have recommended resources and even found professionals to help them through their mental illness but to even navigate mental health resources with my knowledge can still be challenging to obtain so I can only imagine what it’s like for everyone else trying to get help. More needs to be done to improve access to mental health resources and even ongoing care.
What is the best way for our readers to further follow your work online?
Readers can follow my on Facebook and Instagram @adairclinic or www.adairclinic.com
Thank you for these fantastic insights! We wish you continued success and good health.