Be Medispa Owner Dr. Paul Hester and Chasity Hester
The Mall at Lexington Green is rebranding itself as an upscale retail center. One of the new tenants is Be Medispa, which held its grand opening on March 28.
Owned by Dr. Paul Hester, Be Medispa was the first medical spa facility to open in Kentucky in 2004 in Chevy Chase. The High Street location will still remain home base for the anti-aging practice of hormone replacement therapy with bioidentical compounds, as well as cosmetic services.
Be Medispa’s Lexington Green location will offer only cosmetic treatments for shoppers and walk-in patients, including facials, injectables and other types of noninvasive cosmetic services, or what is known as “retail medicine,” according to Chasity Hester, Be Medispa’s physician assistant and Dr. Hester’s wife.
“This is a location in Lexington we’ve been trying to market to for quite some time,” she said. “People in our community like to stay close to home.”
Be Medispa’s office space in Lexington Green is in the lakeside area, near Comedy Off Broadway, in the former Skin Solutions suite (which moved to Beaumont last summer), so a complete renovation wasn’t necessary.
“We were able to use the bones of what was there and restructure,” Chasity Hester said.
“We are excited to expand to better serve a changing client base,” added Paul Hester. “Many patients from out of town are seeking our services, and those from Lexington appreciate the opportunity to take advantage of our non-surgical solutions in the midst of their busy schedule. At both locations, we will continue to offer the results-oriented services and extraordinary experience for which Be Medispa has become known.”
The staff of nine works off a centralized database, and phone calls to both locations come in through one center. The Hesters are dividing their schedules between Chevy Chase and Lexington Green and are looking to expand the professional staff this year.
“Right now we’re practicing creative scheduling,” Chasity Hester said. She works in a hands-on capacity with patients as a physician assistant and also serves as the office manager and human resources director. As the business continues to grow, she hopes to step out of the office roles and concentrate on being a PA. She graduated from the physician assistant program at University of Kentucky in 1994 and has worked in internal medicine, women’s care and emergency medicine.
Paul Hester earned his medical degree from UK and completed his residency training in 1994. For the next 10 years, he was a critical care physician in central Kentucky, practicing family medicine and emergency medicine. He also attained an MBA from the University of South Florida, which prepared him to own his own business.
“He should have been a marketing specialist,” Chasity Hester said. “He wears me out with his marketing ideas every day.”
When the couple opened Be Medispa in 2004, they started out with 1,200 square feet of space next to Starbucks in Ashland Plaza. In 2009, the Hesters took over the Greer Photography suite (which moved to Walton Avenue), bringing the total to 4,000 square feet.
“It was one of those things where the demand for our services had us bursting at the seams,” she said. “We needed more procedure rooms.”
The Hesters named the practice Be Medispa for the verb “be” in the present tense.
“‘Be’ means to be in the present, to be fully in the present,” Chasity Hester said. “My husband is very artistic. He felt like that embodied what we wanted as the mission of the practice.”
Paul Hester is board-certified through the American Academy of Anti-Aging Medicine, based in Boca Raton, Fla. He is also a board examiner for that nonprofit organization and a member of the National Society of Cosmetic Physicians. The American Medical Association does not recognize anti-aging within the 24 boards of the American Board of Medical Specialties, but there’s no denying the increasing popularity of the anti-aging industry.
The International Spa Association, headquartered in Lexington, defines a medical spa as one with a full-time medical doctor on site. ISPA has more than 3,400 members in 70 countries. Two medical spas in Kentucky are ISPA members, Be Medispa in Lexington and Medical Spa 7 in Paducah, Ky.
“Globally, Be Medispa is referred to as a model medical spa,” said Lynne McNees, president of ISPA. “We are proud to have them as members of the ISPA community.”
“Our medical spa is a medical practice, which is a differentiator,” Chasity Hester said.
Medical spas usually do not take insurance, as the focus is on elective procedures instead of urgent care. Be Medispa doesn’t work with insurance companies.
“That was a hard decision for us,” Chasity Hester said. “We came from emergency medicine and private practice; those delivery systems were really focused on insurance.”
Franchising is a possible option for the Hesters, but not in the immediate future.
“We have our heart and soul in it 100 percent,” she said of their current Lexington practice. “Right now we are pretty happy, loving what we do every day.”