This month’s Phenomenal Woman is Vernicia Edmond, FNP-BC. I met Vernicia while working at Children’s National Hospital in Washington, DC. We were both RNs working in the pediatric CVICU. Later we enrolled in the same graduate school in PA to work towards our NP degrees. She earned her master’s and is now a Family Nurse Practitioner. She and her sister, also a Family Nurse Practitioner, have started their own business in the wellness and medical marijuana industry located in the DC metro area.
Vernicia, thank you so much for being this month’s Phenomenal Woman! As I mentioned you are a highly educated and motivated woman making big moves in the DMV. Tell us how you and your sister came up with the concept for MariCareWellness.
MariCare wellness was founded on the principle of self-care. We started off with three founders (Kiara, Melinda, and me) who experienced their own personal struggle with a chronic medical condition. Kiara had her battle with a rare skin cancer. Melinda had struggled with chronic pain second to fibromyalgia. I had suffered with endometriosis and PTSD. All three of us found healing through natural herbal/homeopathic remedies, changes in our diet and lifestyle, energy healing and cannabis.
Our vision was to provide unique holistic/wellness services that is highly individualized to each client. We also wanted to harvest a working environment that fostered self-care. As through our struggles with our illnesses, we realized that self-care is a key component to preventing illnesses and healing. Unfortunately, Kiara made a turn for the worst and became a victim of traditional medicine after she was doing fairly well on complimentary alternative treatments.
Melinda and I continue to move forward with our vision in her honor.
The details of how MariCare Wellness was established is on our website.
Oh wow, that’s amazing how the three of you came together with your own personal medical issues and decided to find alternative treatments and then help others!
I’m so sorry to hear about your friend Kiara. But I know that you and your sister are honoring her by continuing to make a difference in your community.
Obviously, the marijuana industry is a hot topic now. Can you explain some of the benefits of medical marijuana over using pharmaceuticals?
Cannabis has an abundance of medical/health benefits to include but not limited to: the management of pain, inflammation, insomnia, depression/anxiety, seizures and other disorders. The legalization of cannabis couldn’t have come at a better time as many are losing their lives to opioids.
Cannabis can be safely used without severe side effects or adverse reactions in comparison to pharmaceuticals. With experience, one can safely titrate their dose according to their body’s needs independently, without the direct supervision of their medical provider.
We have all have experienced some good days and bad days. Just like the weather, there are some sunny days as well as rainy days. Every day is not the same. The level of our pain or our moods constantly change. So why not have a natural solution that one can independently increase or decrease the dose to have a better control of these changes? This can be done so without fearing an overdose or death.
That makes so much sense. Especially for people with chronic pain who already feel like they have no control over what is happening to their bodies. Having the autonomy to dose and titrate your own medication is huge.
Tell us what services are provided at MariCareWellness.
Most of our clients have chronic conditions that have left them dissatisfied with their current conventional course of treatment. Here at MariCare Wellness, we provide an alternative to manage chronic conditions, such as wellness coaching, diet and nutritional counseling, natural/homeopathic remedies and medical marijuana recommendations. We also provide B12 injections for weight management and have the ability to conduct sports physicals.
We teach our clients self-care in order to start and continue their journey towards healing.
That’s exactly what we need from our medical providers, more teaching! It’s important to give patients the tools and knowledge so that they can help their selves.
Well, not only are you a smart and successful business woman, you’re also expecting your first child! I’ve spoken a lot about Advanced Maternal Age in the past. I know that you don’t mind sharing that you are 37. How has this pregnancy been so far?
It was disheartening to see on my referral for my firstultrasound “Supervision of elderly primigravida, first trimester”. I thought to myself, elderly?! How dare them! Being that I am a healthcare provider, I was able to come to grips with my reality. Besides, in comparison to the young mothers out there, I qualified for early genetic testing, without having to pay out of pocket, which also includes that I can find out the gender of my child early. Lol. Besides having all the, what I like to call “perks” in being advanced maternal age, it left me with a lot of worry if this pregnancy will continue to be viable. Given my history of endometriosis, I didn’t think I would be able to experience this greatest experience in my lifetime. So, when my husband conceived the first time, 2 years ago, I was shocked. However, that pregnancy ended prematurely. I then found myself in the darkest place of my life.
My first trimester was like a roller coaster ride with fatigue, morning sickness, mood swings, food aversions, restlessness and most of all sensitivities to smell. I was down right uncomfortable. Being that I am a career-driven woman who’s always on the go,itwas difficulty to put a pause on the things that needed to get done as a result of all the symptoms I was experiencing.I had to learn the hard way how to be patient with my pregnant self. My sister/business partner, who’s a mother of two, was very understanding and supportive through all of this. She was my constant reminder of balance and self-care.
Since the commencement of my 2d trimester, it’s been great! I have regained my energy and feel super alive. Therefore, I can now say I have a more positive perspective on pregnancy at my “elderly” age. All in all, I am feeling blessed to have the opportunity of a lifetime to experience all the positive and negative symptoms of pregnancy.
Oh I know “geriatric pregnancy” and “advanced maternal age” are such harsh titles! But you are in the home stretch and it seems that you are having a healthy pregnancy. Thank God for the support of close family! Well I will be looking forward to seeing pictures of your little one soon and I hope the rest of your pregnancy and delivery are smooth sailing 🙂
Vernicia, thank you so much for taking the time to share your business with us and let us into your personal life. How can people find you?
Do you have a favorite quote or words you live by to share with us?
As the celebration of women wraps up as this month is coming to an end, I find this quote from Oprah to be quite fitting. “Think like a Queen. A Queen is not afraid to fail. Failure is another steppingstone to greatness”.
Thank you, Karin, for featuring me as this month’s Phenomenal Woman! It was truly an honor to share my experience with you all.
It was my honor to feature such a phenomenal woman! Go check out her website, and if you’re in the DMV area and or someone you know can benefit from any of her services, please contact her and share her information.
Thanks for reading! And as always, I welcome your comments and appreciate any shares! -Nurse Karin