A Conversation with Dr. Bobbi Jo Rayo, Pediatrics!
Meet Dr. Bobbi Jo Rayo, a local pediatrician and one of our amazing community partners. Dr. Rayo is a Doctor of Pediatrics at Pediatric Associates in Hilliard, OH and has been working in pediatrics for over 30 years. Dr. Rayo (or Bobbi Jo, as she prefers to be called) is passionate about natural skincare and local business and has referred dozens of her patients to Glenn Avenue. Bobbi Jo stopped by our shop to talk with us (Jess, Rachel and Phil) about her practice, the benefits and importance of natural skincare, and our upcoming baby care product line.
Jess Campbell: We wanted to start by hearing a little bit about yourself. What first drew you to pediatrics specifically as a field of study?
Bobbi Jo Rayo: Well, I was born and raised in Ohio and grew up on a farm with a small family. I’ve always liked kids. One of my dreams when I was a child was to own an orphanage! And my mom was a nurse. She was the only medical person in my family. She told me, “If you want to get into medicine, go all the way. Don’t just go part of the way.”
So I went to med school at Ohio State. I thought when I started my training I was going to do family medicine, but it was too broad. And when I did my pediatric rotations at Children’s, I fell in love with the kids. It’s so neat working with children because you can shape and mold them, you can guide them in all kinds of ways. It’s fun to watch them grow. I’ve seen patients of mine grow up, have kids of their own, and now I help their kids!
JC: What distinguishes your pediatrics program from other programs around the city, or even the state? What is your mission?
BJR: Our goal and our mission is to just provide the best care. We try to be innovative. We’ve always had extensive hours - open on evenings and Saturdays. We are there for the kids. I’m an owner of the practice, and we always work together to make the decisions. We meet every other month to hash it out. But we all have our own way we like to do things, we all have our own special likes and interests.
JC: What would you say your own special interests are?
BJR: Over the last several years it’s been nutrition, teaching parents we’ve got to eat healthy.
JC: How did your interest in natural health solutions like our products begin?
BJR: I’ve bought craft skincare products for a long time because I've known that whatever you put on your skin is absorbed. I mean, that’s how we give medicines now - put a patch on and it disperses through your body. So when I found your line, knowing that it's local, it’s natural, and it’s not expensive, I thought I should let my patients know. I have kids with eczema and some of the soaps on the market are very harsh, so I say well, try [Glenn Avenue] and see what you think.
JC: How do you see natural soaps and skincare factoring into professional healthcare?
BJR: There are a lot of patients looking for [natural solutions] because they’ve heard about the chemicals in other things. I think people are becoming more aware about what they’re putting on themselves. That’s why I give them your information and say, “If you’re interested in things like this, they will answer all your questions!” -Laughs-
JC: Are there any specific health conditions you’ve recommended natural products to your patients as a solution?
BJR: Well, I recommend your face wash for acne in teenagers instead of going to medicines with benzyl peroxide because they're often are harsh on their skin and can make the condition worse. But I also give your information to all my parents and say it’s good for their skin no matter what. I tell them the analogy of the medicine patch on your arm, and imaging your baby’s skin absorbing all these chemicals.
I also teach people how to use olive oil and coconut oil as a natural moisturizer instead of using petrolatum based products. I also try to get people away from using artificial sunscreens and just using zinc oxide. The knowledge is out there now, and people are starting to realize natural products are better for you. They’re starting to switch over.
RM: I think being able to come to a place like [Glenn Avenue], where you can have those conversations easily, you can begin to understand natural products and sometimes the different qualities that come with being natural. And that’s why we love developing relationships with our community, to have those conversations and learn together. Big companies you buy from at a grocery aren’t going to be able to give you that relationship.
BJR: I like when I find someone I can trust and who does it well, which is why I point my patients here! -Laughs-
JC: Just generally, are there any other natural methods for everyday living that you recommend to your patients? I know you mentioned nutrition and the importance of fruits and vegetables earlier.
BJR: All my patients know I’m very, very conservative with the use antibiotics. I think they have been drastically overused so I try to not go that route if I can. It just makes more sense to me to give [my patients] stuff that’s supposed to be in their bodies and not always jump to drugs right away.
I tell them to not drink a lot of juice, either. If you like juice, then just have one glass a day, 100% real juice. And just I hope I’m making an impact on them. I was at the park one day and one of my patients saw me and ran up, saying, “Dr. Rayo! Dr. Rayo! I’m not drinking all that juice anymore!” -Laughs- So I was happy about that.
PM: Well, when I give tours to families, kids are fascinated by soap, and they listen and understand. One of our greatest advocates is a neighborhood boy who is in the first grade and used to come down with his mom to our living room soap lab. He said to me once, “We had company over last night and I was telling them about your soap!” So kids pick up on that, and they intuitively recognize simpleness and naturalness and I think that strikes a chord in them.
BJR: It’s funny how word spreads like that. For example, my granddaughter and I recently stopped into Huffman’s market and walked by your display at the front and she said, “Look, Gram! They have your soap here!” -Laughs- So I am spreading the word after all.
And of course, we as physicians have been trained to think, “None of that stuff works” in regards to natural health solutions. And that’s how most physicians are. Most of them don’t understand it. So it’s not what I’ve been taught. I have to glean information from other experts, because I know there are better ways out there than what we as physicians do. I was always taught to just throw a drug at them. But we have to get back to preventing things from the start. What I do with my patients is that I give them all the information I know. Then I tell them to read about it and make their decision for themselves. If you can find a way to make [natural solutions] work, then go for it.