The small, waterfront city of Benicia, California, located near San Francisco, has been called home by sculptors, painters and many other artists, making it the perfect setting for Piel Medical Aesthetics. With the intention of bringing another form of art—cosmetic art—to the area, the medical spa was founded in 2004 by Rita Wergowske and her husband Gilbert Wergowske, MD. Although the location is medically directed by Dr. Wergowske, a board-certified physician in internal and geriatric medicine, Piel is Rita’s labor of love. As a registered nurse and board-certified wound-specialist, Rita became certified to do injections in 2003, but couldn’t find any office building that would lease space to her. “They were afraid of me,” laughs Rita, amazed at how far medical esthetics has come. “I have a background in neonatal intensive care, so I am a specialist at making tiny injections.” She opened Piel Medical Aesthetics’ doors in 2004 after much research and due diligence.
One of the most important business lessons Rita learned early on was the value of creating her business from scratch. “You can do a lot of the work and research on your own when opening a business, but be sure to have your work double-checked by an attorney,” she emphasizes.
With Dr. Wergowske’s practice five minutes from the medical spa, he works very closely with the facility, reviewing all decisions before they are made. Safety is the No. 1 concern at Piel Medical Aesthetics, according to Rita. “We have comprehensive standards of practice and a complete orientation for the nurses and doctors who we hire. Dr. Wergowske reviews their credentials and does a background check, and we monitor them during a grace period after the hire to see how they are going to work with our clients. You just have to take a close look and see where their skills are.”