In November 2019 Dr. Meagan Leahy moved her practice into a bigger space. It was more space, more private rooms, and a better layout, but with all those benefits also came more rent. However, she was excited to improve the patient experience. She couldn’t have known that this would also help her to adapt to Covid-19 and the new expectations of distancing and disinfecting. She was simply doing what so many business owners do: putting one foot in front of another as they build and grow companies.

But that new 7-year lease hung over her head in the early days of the lockdown, before her practice was declared essential and she was able to welcome patients again. “I was despondent. I really felt like my hard work was being taken away from me.” A call from her dad helped encourage her, as did the kind response of her patients, some of whom offered to pay some months in advance to help with her cash flow. Encouraged, Dr. Leahy dug in and got to work, and the result was the best fiscal year the practice had in the last four years.

When we asked her how this happened, she pointed out that at a very high level, the pandemic stressed the importance of health. “Well, that’s what we do,” she said. “We help people get and stay healthy by making sure their lifestyle is aligned with their health goals.” The interactions changed a lot as well. Where she was used to seeing people as they rushed about their daily lives, now these patients gave her more genuine attention, and hence that advice about proper choices in their lifestyles was being more carefully listened to. She also had a chance to work with student athletes who couldn’t play sports because of the pandemic: usually their practice sessions meant they couldn’t come to the clinic during the hours Dr. Leahy was open. Now with “zoom school” their schedules were fairly flexible.

Dr. Leahy specializes in a technique known as Chiropractic BioPhysics (CBP) which is a highly researched and proven technique to help rebuild spines and help them stay strong and stable. She was introduced to this technique during the early part of her career in the Pacific Northwest, where she first worked as an associate and then as an independent contractor before the call of family triumphed over the mountains and beautiful coastlines available to her in Seattle.

Her Kansas connection is with her hometown, Salina, and despite having good credentials, she couldn’t get a business loan with one of the big banks that had a branch there. It gets worse: her mom was the assistant to that bank president for 27 years. It turned out that having a solid education, good professional references, $20,000 saved up, and a family connection wasn’t enough evidence for a big bank. We can’t say we were that surprised. That said, the bank that turned her down knew about Bank of Prairie Village, and encouraged her to give us a call.

One of our bankers sat down with her at the Blue Moose and learned about her and her goals. We believe in investing in people with character and before too long, Dr. Leahy had the funds she needed and opened her doors in 2008. We also helped her with her PPP loan (which has since been forgiven).

After having one of her best years ever, Dr. Leahy is bullish for this year. We asked her to share lessons from the past year of interacting with patients and hearing their concerns and reflections.

Firstly, stop watching so much news. You’re just setting yourself up for a big dump of cortisol into your system.” Yes, there’s something going on. No, you don’t have to keep track of every second of every minute of every hour of it.

Secondly, savor this time to reflect. Maybe we shouldn’t be in so many sports or activities or clubs that keep us running around nonstop.” Is it healthy to never have time for yourself (or your health)?

Finally, enjoy what you have. Take more time to enjoy a meal with your loved ones. Ask yourself how you can grow and move forward in 2021.” Don’t waste the opportunity that 2020 gave us to reset our own lives on our own terms.

That’s the advice of a doctor. Ignore it at your own peril.

You can learn more about Dr. Meagan Leahy, CBP, and her Prairie Village-based practice on her website. If you’re interested in better spine (and general) health, she is accepting new patients.

For other stories in the Coping with Covid series, click here.