By Cheryl Conway
Close to having a 10 year footing in Hackettstown, a local podiatrist office offers more hours to patients after stepping into a larger space a few months ago.
Feet N’ Beyond of New Jersey relocated to 188 Mountain Ave. in Hackettstown on Sept. 1, after being located across from Target for almost a decade. In October, a ribbon cutting was held to mark its opening.
In April 2018, the podiatrist practice specializing in foot and ankle surgery will ring in 10 years. Dr. Helene Nguyen owns the practice, and works alongside her husband Dr. Zhu Yong, who joined the practice in 2008. Having to share space with other specialists at their previous location, the pair decided to move its office.
As residents of Hackettstown, staying in town was most convenient.
“We moved because we are expanding to more hours,” says Nguyen. By operating 100 percent of the office space, they “can provide more service.”
They went from part-time, with office hours two days a week, to full time, six days a week.
Nguyen and Zhu specialize in the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of foot and ankle problems with medical and surgical approaches. Some conditions include bunions, hammer toes, heel pain, soft tissue removal and reconstruction of front foot and toes.
“All problems from foot to knee,” says Nguyen, including skin, bone, the way one walks.
Patient care includes the pediatric population as well, from three months through teenage years.
At Feet N’ Beyond of New Jersey, patients can receive various services using different technologies. Some of these include in-office testing for circulation and nerves; custom 3-D scanning machine to get accurate impression of feet; Keryflex treatment to restore chronic nail damage; laser technology to clear toenail fungus, warts and pain management; custom-made orthotics or medical shoe inserts; and therapeutic shoes and braces.
No matter the service, patients can count on personalized service at Feet N’ Beyond.
“We do listen to our patients,” says Nguyen. “We discuss different options to them to get them on board. We work as a team with the patients. We listen to their concerns and problems and begin to work with them.”
While there are other podiatrists in the vicinity, Nguyen is proud to admit “I’m the only female podiatrist in this area. I do see a lot of female patients who live or work here. I’m one of the only podiatrists that wears high heels,” she laughs. “I wear heels; some patients can relate to me.
“My motto with shoe wear is everything with moderation,” she says. “Don’t go shopping with high heels. We make a thousand of steps every day; that’s when problems happen.”
Raised in Chicago, Nguyen graduated in 2003 from Benedictine University, Ill. After coming to New York for medical training, she completed her podiatric medical studies along with surgical training in N.Y.C., Queens and Brooklyn metropolitan area.
Her specialties include: Cosmetic Foot Surgery, Pediatric Foot Deformity, Hyperbaric Medicine certified, Limb Salvage reconstruction, Wound Care and laser treatment.
Her career path led her to podiatry after witnessing her father’s complications with diabetes.
“I stumbled into podiatry,” she says, after her dad got diagnosed with diabetes. Her curiosity peeked. “The more I read about it and looked into it, the more I got motivated.”
Before opening her own practice, Nguyen was managing the wound center at St. Claire’s in Denville, where she still works part-time.
Of her experiences, Nguyen says most rewarding has been “when patients can resume back to normal activity.” She describes the time she helped one of her patients walk pain-free after not being able to walk, find shoes nor take a step without pain.
Nguyen’s husband and partner, Zhu, graduated from Rutgers University and New York College of Podiatric Medicine in NYC. He completed his surgical training at Staten Island University Hospital, NY, and specializes in all dermatological disease in the lower extremity and foot and ankle surgery and wound care.
While they have no plans yet to ring in their 10 years, they do offer some specials.
Ongoing free foot exams are being offered inviting patients to sit down for 15 minutes to discuss any foot concerns. The offer began in November and is being extended through December.
They are also offering free foot exams to all pediatric patients up to six years old. An ongoing special, parents are invited to raise concerns about their children regarding any issues from growth and development.
“If they notice any concerns, to make sure it’s nothing,” says Nguyen.
Hours are Monday-Saturday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Wednesday open until 6 p.m. Walk-ins accepted weekdays; appointments required on Saturday.
For more information or to make an appointment, call 908-576-0880; visit www.feetnbeyond.com.