Wellspring Health Services is adding one of Culpeper’s most tenured medical providers.
Effective Dec. 1, gynecologist Dr. Peter Godfrey, who has practiced in Culpeper for 34 years, will be joining Wellspring as the business that was named the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce’s Small Business of the Year continues to expand.
Godfrey, who has operated Blue Ridge Gynecology and Wellness in Culpeper since 1983, will remain in his location of 541 Sunset Lane, Suite 301, and he will be welcoming other physicians into the office as Wellspring plans to use the facility for a multi speciality clinic covering podiatry, sleep disorders and dietary needs.
Wellspring will continue to offer family practice and urgent care at its location at 15237 Creativity Drive.
For Godfrey, it was his longtime working relationship with Wellspring CEO Dr. Khalid Athar that led him to coming to be under the Wellspring umbrella.
“I basically stopped doing OB last year, because I was basically doing it all myself and that was very difficult,” Godfrey said. “It’s hard to run a small practice. Dr. Athar saw an opportunity to offer an alternative and I’ve known him for quite some time through the surgery center. I thought it was a good way to continue to provide gynecological care under their umbrella.”
Godfrey said his patient philosophy matches with Wellspring’s and that patient care is the highest of priorities for both.
“Dr. Athar has created an entity that is on the same page we are,” Godfrey said. “It’s more patient centered. It’s taking care of the patients and putting their needs first.”
Having served in the Culpeper community for 34 years, Godfrey has seen the landscape of the medical industry change throughout the years. As an independent practice, it had become harder as insurance groups demanded more.
“When I came everyone had solo practices or just two or three doctors in a practice,” Godfrey said. “Over the last 10 to 15 years there’s been more pressure to join larger groups, especially from the insurance groups.”
By joining Wellspring, Godfrey said that both practices will benefit.
“We can share expenses and we will be able to share the office space,” Godfrey said. “We’ll be able to do cross referrals. It’s kind of seamless, they can see our charts and we can see theres. The communication will be better.”
One area where he will not return, however, is to births. Godfrey has delivered thousands of babies in Culpeper over the years and he hears daily from patients who want him to return.
“A lot of people want me to come back one more time to do their delivery,” Godfrey said with a sly smile. “But it doesn’t work that way unfortunately.”
For Athar, it made perfect sense to add Godfrey to Wellspring’s roster of specialists. Not only are they colleagues, but Godfrey delivered Athar’s two sons as well.
“It’s an honor, honestly,” Athar said. “I’ve had the honor of working with Dr. Godfrey for the last 10 years. I’ve enjoyed working under his leadership. He has a great reputation and he’s our doctor too. I have the utmost respect for what he does.”
Wellspring, which just celebrated its one-year anniversary, has been dedicated to keeping patients local. By adding Godfrey and turning his office space into a specialty clinic, Wellspring hopes to keep even more patients in Culpeper.
Last year, Dr. Godfrey saw 4,400 patients and he’s still accepting new ones. That adds a large client base to Wellspring, who also see about 75 patients daily combined through the urgent care and family practice.
“Since we moved to the new location we’ve grown exponentially,” Athar said. “We’ve seen a lot of female wellness and GYN issues, so we’ve been sending a lot of patients to Dr. Godfrey.”
Godfrey starts effectively Dec. 1, while the other new specialists will start soon after.
Wellspring will be adding Dr. Miriam Popal, a foot and ankle doctor from Warrenton, who has been practicing in the area for eight years. Dr. Mubasher Fazal, who has run a sleep clinic in Culpeper for several years, will be joining the practice by the end of December and Suzanne Amorusso, a registered dietician and diabetes educator has already been seeing patients and will soon be working out of the Sunset Lane location.
“We’ll use this as a specialty clinic,” Athar said. “We will be continuing to focus on disease management, but it’s also about wellness programs.”
Athar, who was named the Culpeper Chamber of Commerce’s Entrepreneur of the Year as well, said that his business is growing much faster than he ever dreamed. And he said, with a laugh, he can dream big.
“I’m an optimist to the point of being a fool,” Athar said. “But even I would not have predicted that. All of the industry benchmarks we’ve far exceeded all of them.”
Wellspring now employs close to 60 and still has the potential to grow. Athar said that he couldn’t go into details but that discussions are ongoing for continuing expansion of the practice.
“We are looking at other things, how we look at is is what is the real need,” Athar said. “Novant UVA Health System has done an amazing job in what they have done. There’s always room for private ventures to help out. It’s difficult to get specialists, we’re lucky to have people like Dr. Godfrey. It’s very difficult to get new people here, so we’re looking at creative ways to bring in some specialties we don’t have. Even if it’s for a day or two a week.”
Wellspring will host a Christmas Party at it’s location on Creative Drive Dec. 4 from 4 to 7 p.m. Hosting community events has helped introduce the business to the community.
“It has made a huge difference,” Athar said. “Despite the fact we’ve been there, in a prime location, for a year, Culpeper is still not that small and a lot of our patients come from other counties. For them these the opportunities to come and see who we are and what we are. Instead of trying to go to bigger cities, they can come and get their care here.”