When Dr. Rachel Day chose to specialize in dermatology at Cornell University, she did so with intentionality. Her interest and respect for internal medicine would work well to treating skin, hair and nails as a dermatologist. “It was where I felt the most integration across all specialties,” Dr. Day says. “To be a great dermatologist, you have to be a great internist.”
In late 2019, Dr. Day launched OneSkin Dermatology in Chambersburg, a small town in south-central Pennsylvania. She chose an underserved community to build her practice. Advocacy, education and removing barriers to healthcare are vital to Dr. Day’s mission. She supports access to healthcare and teaching people how to be in control of their own health. Patients entering OneSkin, are welcomed with this message: “We promise to preserve humanity in the care of you and OneSkin always, irrespective of your age, sex, gender identity, race, ethnicity, disability or language.”
Dr. Day knew her business needed help when pandemic guidelines affected her business. She found Community Development Fund while scouring the internet for grants. CDF’s low interest rate loans would allow Dr. Day to accomplish the goals she’d set for her practice.
CDF worked with Dr. Day to set up a two loan structure that made the most sense for OneSkin. The flexibility felt more like a partnership than a transaction, says Dr. Day. “The mission [of CDF] aligned with my identity as a biracial woman in business,” she says. “It was really easy to work with Marisa (Calderon) and the team.”
A nurse practitioner was added to the practice using CDF funding. The extra team member assists in meeting the demand of services and gives Dr. Day time to strategize about long-term growth of OneSkin.
Dr. Day applied part of the loan to renovating a building for “The Good Life,” a center for holistic health. The focus will center around the question, “What are the makings of a good life?” Dr. Day will offer classes and health coaching on a variety of topics, in hopes of reaching more people in the community and connecting them to other small businesses and resources.
This fall, she’s starting a workshop series for women in business. “The loan has created more confidence in claiming this space to explore,” Dr. Day says. “I think arriving at this place would have happened more slowly. The loan has allowed me to take big strides.”