Ashley Wilhoite, BSN, RN
Director of Wellness
Ashley Wilhoite, BSN, RN brings more than 15 years of nursing experience (in both clinical and management roles) to Vibrant Med Spa. She is tasked with overseeing the practice’s health and wellness division as Director of Wellness, aimed particularly at healthy weight management. Armed with both professional and firsthand knowledge of fitness and nutrition, she’s definitely the right person for the job. And she’s no stranger to the aesthetics side of the business as well. Ashley was a patient herself for two years prior to joining the team.
Ashley grew up in a rural farming community in Henry County, Kentucky. Since her parents were farmers, she was no stranger to being put to work as a child.
“I developed a lot of character doing farm work,” she laughed. “I was just raised with that mentality that you work hard for what you have and that nobody’s just going to hand you anything in life.”
Though it greatly impacted her work ethic and overall driven attitude, Ashley ultimately decided that farming life wasn’t quite for her. She attended college and received her LPN, then RN, followed by her BSN.
During all her studies and subsequent work in the field, Ashley quickly developed a passion for a particular sector of health that she feels especially driven to serve.
“I just became really passionate about mental health,” she said. “I worked in the mental healthcare field for 10 years with people with developmental disabilities. It’s just a huge, vulnerable population. I’ve always liked to take care of people and advocate for them.”
“Helping people achieve their goals and reach their highest level of well-being is the most important part of my role here at Vibrant.”
But Ashley is quick to point out that you can have more than one passion in life. She discovered another of hers when she ended up in the aesthetics chair of Vibrant Med Spa’s owner, Erica Chowning, APRN.
“I also love the aesthetics side and what Erica does,” Ashley said. “I truly feel like people deserve to look and feel their best. Being able to assist them with that is just awesome. My confidence was really boosted when I started coming here as a patient. I remember I sat in Erica’s chair and asked her, ‘What do you think?’ She said, ‘Well, it’s not what I think. You tell me what you look in the mirror and you see that bothers you. It’s not about me.’ Being able to tweak a few things that maybe somebody else wouldn’t have noticed but I noticed made me feel much more confident.”
It’s that mental component that Ashley says is just as important as the physical, if not more. In fact, Ashley is currently enrolled in a graduate program at Northern Kentucky University and will soon graduate as Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Upon her graduation, she already has plans to grow the health and wellness side of the practice. But, in the meantime, being a trusted friend and partner to patients in helping them achieve their weight loss goals remains her focus.
“It’s going to be a lot of education,” Ashley explained. “The mental and physical health are hand-in-hand. You must have both to be at that optimal level of health. A lot of the nutrition and healthy lifestyle choices are mental. Every person, man or woman, likes to feel attractive. Helping people achieve their goals is what’s the most important part of my role here. When people have the assistance of someone to keep them up to speed and to keep them accountable, just someone to be there with them and work as a team to get it done, I truly think it’s a great benefit.”
And Ashley emphasizes that the benefits are not the kind to show up overnight. But with her guidance, expertise, and encouragement, patients who commit to healthier living will enjoy their highest level of well-being.
“People are so busy. They want things to be efficient and fast,” she said. “You look around and you see people taking care of their skin and getting Botox® or getting their nails done, etc. Those things are fast. Weight loss is not fast. It can be, but the healthy type of weight loss that’s going to last is not. That’s the thing, getting people to understand and know that it’s a process, it’s a journey, it’s a lifestyle change, and it’s just not going to be this fast, quick fix…because those usually end in disappointment. It really is about healthy eating and being active. And I’m going to help them every step of the way.”
When she’s not helping people attain their goals at Vibrant, studying for her nurse practitioner degree, or maintaining her own fitness through daily nutrition and high-intensity training at regular boot camp sessions, Ashley can be found being active outdoors with her husband, Nick, and their two children, Ava and Waylon.