In many ways, Cushla Bayliss personifies Skin Centre – friendly without exception, infinitely capable and immaculately groomed; the consummate professional.

Skin Centre’s Founder, Dr Paul Salmon, brought Cushla aboard as his third employee when the now-iconic dermatological clinic was finding its feet. At the time, the mother of two had been helping to support her family with a successful modelling sideline, and her boys were just starting to leave the nest. With a resume packed full of health-based administration experience both here and overseas, Cushla was perfect for the role. Eighteen and a half years later, the head receptionist swears she’s never woken up reluctant to go to work and never once considered taking a job elsewhere.

Cushla’s dedication doesn’t equate to a lack of challenge and over the years, she happily admits to having learned many valuable lessons. “When I joined, there were only two of us in reception and administration duties; now there are eight. That taught me the importance of adaptability; there’s no ‘my way or the highway.’ I’ve had to adapt to different ways of thinking, especially as the younger generations come through. It’s been vital to understand how they look at things. And that’s before we get to all the technological advances!” she laughs.

Like most of the staff at Skin Centre, Cushla has immense respect for Dr Salmon, calling him a ‘visionary’, but also has plenty of praise for the team at large. Cushla is part of the senior management team responsible for quality improvement, performance management and general troubleshooting; with the purpose of ensuring the staff can consistently provide gold-standard care and service.

“There’s no room for an off-day,” Cushla remarks; “we can’t lose sight of our patient’s perspective, no matter what’s going on in our lives – even a check-up can be nerve-wracking.” Notwithstanding almost two decades working at Skin Centre, Cushla was born and bred in Tauranga, and personally knows many of Skin Centre’s patients and their families. The familiarity is a huge advantage used alongside her trademark lighthearted sense of humour to effortlessly put clients at ease in stressful situations.

Recently becoming a grandmother for the fourth time, Cushla fills her down time with her husband, Don, their family, friends, fitness and travel. She particularly loves hiking, a pastime she regularly indulges; as close as the Papamoa Hills and as far as the Inca Trail. Absolutely content with her job and life in general, Cushla finishes graciously: “I’m so lucky, I wouldn’t know what else to wish for!”

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