CHESTERTOWN — Holistic Therapies LLC opened in the 900-block of Washington Avenue earlier this month, owned and operated by Brandy Barrett.
The initials behind Barrett’s name identify her as someone who holds a master’s degree in nursing, is a nurse practitioner and a psychiatric mental-health nurse practitioner.
She is following the nursing path that was blazed by two aunts on her mother’s side, and represents the third generation of her family to own and operate their own business in Chestertown.
Barrett’s maternal grandfather James Munson was a well-respected grocer on Calvert Street, which is the neighborhood where Barrett grew up. Her mother Janey Barrett owns JabCab taxi service and older brother Jamie Barrett owns Big Mixx hair salon and barber shop.
She said she is very proud to be a black businessperson.
“I think it’s a big deal and it’s important for my children to see,” said Barrett, the mother of three teenagers. “I want to be a positive black influence.”
At Holistic Therapies, Barrett sells vitamins, essential oils and CBD products. She also is a medical marijuana prescriber certified by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.
In addition to owning and operating her own business, Barrett is a contract employee with the Kent County Health Department as a school nurse and medical director of Kent County Behavioral Health.
“If it wasn’t for my mom and family support, I wouldn’t be able to do anything,” said Barrett, acknowledging the challenges of maintaining a work-life balance.
Janey Barrett is still there for her daughter, answering the phone and scheduling appointments at Holistic Therapies.
At a very early age, Brandy Barrett, now 37, said she knew she wanted a career in the medical field. And, she knew she wanted to stay in the community where she was raised.
She graduated from Kent County High School in 2001, completing the health professions pathway and gaining certification as a nursing assistant.
Ten years later, she graduated from Wesley College in nearby Dover, Del., with a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing. She juggled a full-time job at what is now the University of Maryland Shore Medical Center at Chestertown and the demands of raising a family.
More schooling and advanced degrees followed, a circuitous journey that included a change of major, several times. Ultimately, Barrett completed the psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioner program offered online through Walden University.
She enrolled in two or three classes at a time, while continuing to work full time and keep up with her children, twins Eric and Brandon, now 17, and Brooklyn, 14.
Barrett finished Walden’s 27-month program early. She was a member of academic and leadership honor societies.
The national certification exam was in January and she completed the hands-on clinicals, done at Kent County Behavioral Health, just prior to the COVID-19 shutdown in March.
She is certified through the American Nurses Credentialing Center as a psychiatric mental-heath nurse practitioner through March 2025.
“Once I discovered the psychiatric-mental health field ... this is definitely where I want to be,” Barrett said during an interview in her Washington Avenue office. “I really enjoy going to work and helping people.”
She has started Walden’s online doctorate in nurse practitioner program.
Currently, Barrett is not seeing psychiatric patients due to her commitment to the Kent County Health Department.
At the end of May she launched her own business and in early July leased a storefront for Holistic Therapies LLC at 922 Washington Ave.
“I’m into a holistic approach,” she said. “I do believe in Western medicine, but I also believe that eating healthy and taking care of your body is real, and I would like to teach people about that.”
One of the services she offers is as a medical marijuana provider. Prescriber/provider is a misnomer as Barrett only recommends medical cannabis as a treatment option for a qualifying medical condition — after she meets with a patient and reviews the patient’s medical records.
Barrett will help individuals register with the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission and apply for a patient ID number. She also provides them with a list of MMCC-approved dispensaries. Currently, there are no dispensaries in Kent County.
For more information about Barrett and her business, see www.holistictherapiesllc.org or call 443-282-4544.