Meet a Mom: Alicia Robbins of the Elm ! - Greenwich Moms

Tonight’s Meet a Mom, Alicia Robbins is a Mom of 3 boys, a board certified gynecologist, trained in lifestyle medicine and founder of The Elm — a boutique women’s health practice which offers gynecology and lifestyle medicine and has recently opened in Greenwich.

Alicia approach is unique and refreshing because she believes women’s health needs to modernize itself and is part of the movement to start creating a better experience for women. We as women do so much for those around us and it’s easy to not prioritize our health, especially when dealing with the healthcare system is such an unpleasant experience. 

Alicia specifically focuses her practice on women in “midlife” specifically their 30s-60s and helping them navigate hormone therapy, perimenopause, and menopause. She is filling the gap in terms of providers who are focused on this next phase of life after pregnancy.

Can you please tell us a bit about yourself personally?

HI! I am originally from southern AZ and a bit of a country girl at heart. I have 3 boys: Leo (5), Max (4) and Otto (18mo) and am married to Dr. Tarek Korban, an oral-maxillofacial surgeon who has his own practice in Harrison, NY. My husband is from Montreal but we met in medical school in NYC.  I saw him do something very kind (when he didn’t know anyone was watching) for a patient and it was then that I knew he had a good heart.

Where do you live in Greenwich and what do you love about Greenwich and your neighborhood?

My husband and I moved while I was pregnant with my first son in 2018 on sort of a whim and it turned out to be the best decision! I think Greenwich is such a special town because of all the small businesses here that give it character and charm as well as the beautiful landscape be it backcountry or Tod’s point or the avenue.

We live in an older home from the 1900s ( I love older homes) close to the Glenville side of Greenwich and the library. We have been here for 5 years and I believe will be here for a while!

Can you please share about your professional background and career highlights?

I completed undergrad at Vanderbilt University in Nashville. I then did all my training (medical school and residency) in NYC at Mount Sinai Hospital. Training in NYC at Mount Sinai Hospital was an incredible experience because I trained to care for a really high level of acuity at a prominent academic center. I published papers, taught medical students, residents and received several teaching awards during my time at Mount Sinai.

After more than decade in NYC, my husband and I moved to Greenwich, CT where I have been working for 5 years delivering babies and performing surgery at Greenwich Hospital. I am a certified Peri/Menopause Practitioner by The Menopause Society, trained in nutrition, and a Lifestyle Medicine physician.

For those of us who aren’t familiar, please tell us about The Elm and what makes it unique.

The Elm is a boutique women’s health practice which offers gynecology and lifestyle medicine. I designed The Elm to create the type of practice I would want to join. I wanted to be able to offer longer visits,  have easy communication with my patients and really get into the quality of life issues that can sometimes affect women at this stage in our life. It is set up as a concierge/ membership model in order to allow for all the above and it was the way that I felt I could really give the best care.

What was your inspiration for opening The Elm in Greenwich?

I am passionate about helping women feel their best. I myself struggled with losing weight/perimenopause and  I realized if I was struggling despite being in the medical world, most certainly others were struggling as well. Plus, I really just feel like women’s health needs to modernize itself and start creating a better experience for women. The visit to your GYN should be a positive experience and a safe place.  I want my patients to look forward to their appointments and prioritize their health and quality of life. We as women do so much for those around us and it’s easy to not prioritize our health, especially when dealing with the healthcare system is such an unpleasant experience.

What is your target demographic for The Elm and why are you focused on them?

I take care of women of all ages but alot of my patients are women in “midlife” specifically their 30s-60s.  I really enjoy helping women navigate hormone therapy, perimenopause, and menopause. I realized most OBGYNs are focused heavily on pregnancy (which is understandable)  but there is a gap in terms of providers who are focused on this other phase of life.

Can you tell us a few things women should be thinking about for their health even in their 30s/40s?

Yes! I want women to feel inspired and realize that these are really important decades to optimize their health. Prioritizing prevention and being up to date on health maintenance like mammograms etc is the first step. Prevention is the key to longevity and incorporating small lifestyle changes can have profound effects when done consistently. One of the things I really emphasize with midlife women is resistance or weight training. Weight training (even 15 minutes at home using your own body weight) can help with sleep, insulin resistance, weight gain, stress reduction and osteoporosis prevention.

There is so much more talk of perimenopause now, but still so much to learn! What are some of the best resources for educating yourself out there?

I am so excited that discussing perimenopause and menopause is becoming more mainstream! The term “perimenopause” is confusing but it basically refers to the hormonal changes that occur in your 40’s and can sometimes span a decade!  There are some great online resources that do webinars and offer telehealth like @myalloy @midihealth and @elekrahealth. I am also going to be starting a newsletter and podcast where I discuss midlife women’s health, wellness, lifestyle and all the things that most OBGYNs don’t have time to talk about in the office.

What do you find the most challenging and most rewarding parts of being a doctor, especially an OB/GYN?

The most rewarding part of my job is helping women feel better. The most challenging part for me right now is learning the business side which is a new set of skills for me. I have always believed in supporting local businesses but now especially after going through it myself! There are a lot of amazing female-founded businesses in Greenwich and I try and support them as much as I can.

How do you find a balance with motherhood and your incredible career as a doctor? Any tips for the rest of the Moms out there?

I definitely don’t have balance ha! Some days I work more and some days I “Mom” more. 

I try to be engaged and off my phone in the evening when I’m with my kids but also sometimes I’m hiding in my closet watching @bigtimeadulting reels (IYKYK). Laughter is the best medicine. Being a mom is such a hard job. I think it’s important to all give ourselves “grace” and help each other out as much as possible. Also, I’m a big believer that one of the best things we can do for our families is prioritize our own mental, physical, and emotional health. When we feel good, it has so many positive effects on those around us. It’s not selfish. It’s absolutely necessary. 

What do you like to do to relax/have fun?

I have grown to really enjoy working out to manage my stress whether it be running in my neighborhood, lifting weights at Loyalty Fitness and I just started pilates at Core Burn and I love it! For fun, getting drinks/dinner with my girlfriends or husband is my favorite thing to do.

Anything else you’d like to share?

I am so appreciative of the support and encouragement I have received from this community. I will always be so grateful to all the women here who have supported me whether by words of encouragement or by coming to my events. I  hope to expand and make The Elm a place where women know they can receive excellent care and am truly honored to care for the women here.

We love to support local businesses. What are your fave places when you are in Greenwich to:

Grab coffee: Country Table and Rafael’s
Workout: Loyalty Fitness and Core Burn Pilates
Go on a date night: Polpo
Go out for a girls night: Hinoki
Go out to dinner as a family: Doppio
Get your hair done: Jackie Reyna (@JackieReystudio) does my cut and color is Carolina at Salon La Bottega in Rye Brook
Get your nails done: Hilltop Nails in Glenville
Have fun as a family: Love the Greenwich Audubon any time of year and recently The Bruce Museum! It’s so family friendly and such an amazing place!

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