For years, Dr. Nikki Gorman was known as a beloved local pediatrician.
Now she’s helping adults get and stay healthy too.
Dr. Gorman recently opened the Westport Medical and Wellness Center, behind the CVS parking lot. It’s a special place, integrating direct primary medicine with yoga, massage, acupuncture, meditation and other holistic types of care.
How and why did she pivot? What’s the difference between working with kids, and now their parents? How did she end up in the healthcare in the first place?
Those are some of the questions I asked recently, when we chatted in the Westport Library’s Trefz Forum. Click below for an intriguing look into Dr. Niiki Gorman’s world.
Dr. Nikki Gorman is a well-known, much loved Westport pediatrician.
What may be less known is that she loves chickens.
And raises them.
Her hobby began with CT Rent-a-Hen. They deliver everything you need. You get them for 3 months, with an option to renew.
This is not Duck.
Unfortunately, a predator got into the henhouse. They all perished — except for the fastest, wiliest chicken, named Duck.
It stayed close to the yard, but off her property — sometimes in trees. Nikki spent 2 weeks trying to catch it.
Finally, her neighbor Jennifer Greely offered her daughter’s help. Maeve arrived with chicken-catching gear (including a blanket), and a big smile.
Within a couple of hours, she had caught Duck. Jen offered to nurse it back to health, in her garage. Nikki happily agreed.
Several months later, Duck is still with Maeve. It is completely rehabbed, and integrated into her large group.
Nikki told Maeve that she’d be opening Westport Medical & Wellness Center, behind the CVS parking lot on Whitney Street. There was a yard, where Nikki wanted chickens. After all, they’re very calming, and produce wonderful eggs.
Maeve offered to handpick the right chickens. And, she said, she would order them herself — and grow them to where they could successfully live outside the pen.
Nikki visited often, and bonded with the chickens Maeve was raising.
It’s a great story. And, Nikki adds, at the end: Maeve is only 10 years old!
Maeve’s mother Jen adds some background.
Maeve was just 3 when she and her mom (and a chicken) did a “Caregiver and Me” class at Wakeman Town Farm. Jen was not ready for chickens, so instead she got Maeve a puppy.
Maeve was very young when she caught the chicken bug.
At 6, the youngster began raising chickens. Her passion grew, even when a raccoon killed many of her chicks. One was maimed so badly, it lost a wing. Maeve gave it round-the-clock pain meds and antibiotics, and cared for it until its death 3 1/2 years later.
At 7, she had her own booth at the Maker Faire.
“We call Maeve ‘the chicken whisperer,'” Jen says. “She really seems to understand their personalities, sounds, and the social dynamics of a flock.
“I asked her what it is about chickens that draws her to them. She said that people think they’re stupid, but they have a very strong social support structure, and each chicken is accepted into the flock for who they are.
Maeve relaxes, with her backyard flock.
“Maeve used Nikki’s chicken Duck as an example. She said when she was getting Duck strong enough to integrate into the flock, only one other hen came to peck Duck, as a way to put her in her place.
“But that quickly ended. The other chickens just ignored Duck — which rarely happens. Maeve said this is because the other chickens could tell that Duck had been traumatized by having to survive in the wild alone.
“Maeve said the other chickens recognized that Duck wasn’t a threat to the flock pecking order. She just needed to feel safe and be with others.”
Jen adds, “Honestly, isn’t that what all of us, chicken or human, need in this world?
Posted onMay 22, 2022|Comments Off on Roundup: WTF Trifecta, Y’s Men, Clinical Trials …
Sustainability — and Wakeman Town Farm — are non-partisan, apolitical efforts.
But WTF was swarming with Democrats yesterday.
The Democratic Women of Westport organized a half-day program for adults and children. It was part of the Farm’s “Giving Trifecta Program.” The community service, education and donation effort is open to organizations, clubs and business of all sizes.
WTF staff work with each group to design an experience that educates volunteers on a specific sustainability-related topic, and provides participants with community service hours. Programs could include beekeeping, composting, the Pollinator Pathway and Gardens, animal husbandry or restoring the pond.
In return, organizations make a donation from the Farm’s Wishlist. Funds replenish items necessary to keep the farm running.
Saturday morning saw Congressman Jim Himes, State Senator Will Haskell, State Representative Jonathan Steinberg and State Senate candidate Ceci Maher all got their hands dirty — and learned a lot.
“06880” looks forward to highlighting the efforts of other “Giving Trifecta” groups — of any political party, or none at all.
Taking a break at Wakeman Town Farm yesterday are (standing from left): WTF co-chair Bill Constantino, Ceci Maher, Will Haskell, Jim Himes, Dominique Johnson, Front: Jessica Hill, Allyson Stollenwerck
In 1989, the Westport Garden Club created a garden at Earthplace. They’ve maintained it ever since, renovating it in 2015 to feature more native plants to sustain bees, butterflies, birds and all pollinators. The garden was part of the Pollinator Pathway long before that concept became popular.
In early April the club learned that a large oil tank underneath the garden had to be replaced. Members scrambled to save as many plants as possible. Many found their way to the club’s annual plant sale.
The tank was removed on April 18. A new garden was planned, aligning with both the club and Earthplace’s missions to build passion and respect for the natural world and a more sustainable future for our community.
It was Selectwomens Day at the Y’s Men on Thursday. The group heard from 2 leaders — Westport’s Jen Tooker and Weston’s Samantha Nestor. Both spoke frankly about the challenges they face. Both were elected in November.
Tooker says she is focused on 5 issues: traffic, recreation (particularly Longshore), strengthening downtown, addressing stream management and flood mitigation, and creating a safe, comfortable and diverse community for all.
Nestor said that Weston is at an inflection point. It is a bedroom community with a minimal commercial grand list, with schools as the most common asset. They are “top notch,” but need capital investment. She hopes to resolve that contentious issue this year. Her major challenge is upgrading the town’s infrastructure.
To hear both women, and the Q-and-A that followed, click below.
Matthew Jordan is a Staples High School senior (and recent honoree with a Moffly Media “Light a Fire” award, for his work with Kids in Crisis).
Before he heads to Georgetown University, Matt’s senior internship this spring is with Medidata. The company develops and markets software for clinical trials.
His project involves enrolling patients who are interested in receiving information about enrolling in upcoming trials. His goal for the week is 800 registries.
Matt says, “I’ve learned how important it is to get an accurate representation of the population in clinical trials. We are trying to flip the ‘last resort’ stereotype of clinical trials to being more of a great first-choice option. Sometimes they can be lifesavers.”
To help Matt reach his goal of 800 registries — and learn about clinical trials that may help your health — click here.
Very quietly, CLASP Homes serves adults with intellectual disabilities. Their group homes — 4 in Westport, 8 others and 9 apartments throughout Fairfield County, plus a day program in Bridgeport — provide community, stability, jobs and fulfilling lives to men and women from their 20s to 82.
I’ve featured their fundraiser — the very popular eat-and-drink “Taste of Westport” (June 15, 6 p.m., Inn at Longshore) — before.
Today the spotlight shines on their new website. It was constructed thanks to a grant from another great local non-profit: Near & Far Aid. To see the end result of these 2 organizations working together, click here. (Pro tip: You can find out more about “Taste of Westport” there too.)
And finally … Rosmarie Trapp died last week in Vermont, at 93.
She was a member of the von Trapp singing family made famous by “The Sound of Music.”
You may not recognize her name. She is not in the play or movie, because “The Sound of Music” focused on the 7 children Georg von Trapp had with his first wife — not with Rosmarie’s mother, a governess who later married the baron.
But she did did travel and perform with the Trapp Family Singers for years, including at the lodge in Stowe. Click here for the full obituary.
Comments Off on Roundup: WTF Trifecta, Y’s Men, Clinical Trials …
Now she has a new venture. As “Dr. Gorman” — a more adult title — she’s opened the Westport Medical and Wellness Center. Two things separate it from most practices in the area: the “direct primary care” model, andhere integration of yoga, massage, acupuncture, meditation and other holistic types of care.
Dr. Gorman has always loved children. She was an 8-year-old babysitter in her native Palos Verdes, California; a Big Sister at the University of Pennsylvania, and after Duke med school and a residency at Stanford Children’s Hospital, she helped found a practice on New York’s West Side. She moved to Westport with her then-husband, a cardiologist, and spent several years with Dr. Jerry Lieberman in Weston.
Dr. Nikki Gorman
Fourteen years ago, she and Dr. Jenn Gruen founded Village Pediatrics. All along — in New York, Weston, and in Village’s offices on Kings Highway North and Riverside Avenue — Dr. Gorman enjoyed the business side of medicine. She’s helped eliminate paper, modernize offices and move into telemedicine.
Her dream was to own a medical building. At the same time, Dr. Gorman saw a need for adults in the area to access a new kind of care. Some did not have their own primary physician; some did not want to pay for the “concierge care” that doctors in the area have moved toward.
A realtor told her about a building on Whitney Street Extension, behind the CVS parking lot. A husband-and-wife naturopath team were selling it; they rented other rooms to therapists.
It was exactly what Dr. Gorman wanted. She could run the new practice, and offer rooms to a variety of wellness practitioners.
She could also offer direct primary care — a rarity in the area.
Her website describes it as “a membership-based care model in which patients pay primary car providers a flat, simple, periodic fee directly for unlimited access to primary and preventative services.”
There are no insurance deductibles or premiums. (Insurance is needed, however, for services like imaging and labs, medications, specialist care and hospitals. The practice does not participate in Medicare.)
Without the pressure from insurance companies to see high volumes of patients, practitioners can spend time on healthcare — and prevention. “We really get to know our patients,” she says.
Membership is $200 a month, or $2,000 for 12 months. All wellness services are charged separately.
The difference between direct primary care and concierge medicine, the website says, is that concierge practices may bill insurance while also charging a monthly or annual fee. Those patients are still responsible for co-payments and additional insurance costs.
In direct primary care, patients pay a set fee for all-inclusive services during sick and preventative exams. Medications, labs and in-office procedures are “substantially discounted.”
Dr. Gorman adds, “Direct primary care can be a wonderful option for businesses who want to give their employees an insurance option but can’t afford commercial carriers. Many employers end up not offering insurance at all. This is a way to make sure employees at least get their primary care needs met.”
Westport Medical and Wellness Center is approaching local businesses now, with the option.
As Dr. Gorman interviewed wellness practitioners — yoga instructors, a massage therapist, acupuncturist, meditation facilitator, holistic health coach, even a sexuality coach — she realized that all could work together, to provide complete health care. Anxiety, back pain, high blood pressure — many medical issues can be treated holistically, by a team of people.
She’s having a good time designing her new space — inside and out. She plans a chicken coop for the back yard, and a garden for outdoor yoga.
Dr. Gorman’s new office on Whitney Street Extension, behind the CVS parking lot.
Dr. Gorman will continue to be Dr. Nikki. She sees young patients three days a week. She won’t actually treat adults; in her new role, she’s overseeing the business side of the practice.
“This is fun,” she says. “I love the entrepreneurial side. And I love helping people.”
As Dr. Gorman adds adults to her focus, she notes how it all leads back to her longtime love of children.
“If parents are healthier and less stressed out, that helps kids too,” she says.
In other words: It takes a village to raise healthy youngsters.
Click here to help support “06880” via credit card or PayPal. Any amount is welcome, appreciated — and tax-deductible! Reader contributions keep this blog going. (Alternate methods: Please send a check to “06880”: PO Box 744, Westport, CT 06881. Or use Venmo: @blog06880. Or Zelle: email@example.com. Thanks!)