Dr. Michelle Defere works
with a patient Tuesday morning at Hubertus Chiropractor
Clinic in Richfield. Defere has owned the clinic for
nearly 30 years and knows the trials and tribulations of
operating a long-time small business.
RICHFIELD — Dr. Michelle Defer believes her chiropractic
practice has been in existence for nearly 30 years
because of her honesty with patients and because she
helps them overcome whatever problems bring them into
her office at the Hubertus Chiropractor Clinic.
see patients as an individual with a unique set of
needs, and we see chiropractic as a system of health
care that is different from tradition medical care,”
Defere said. “Without drugs or surgery, chiropractic
health care helps retrain your body to take care of
itself. If your body structure is unbalanced, you may
feel pain, become ill or tire more easily.”
According to Defere’s website, a bad fall when she was
young left her with an injured back, and two broken
wrists and elbows. That pointed her toward a new future.
Learning the benefits of this surgery and drug-free
health care first hand, she decided to pursue a career
in the field. After graduating from the University of
Wisconsin-Madison, she spent four years studying at
Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa.
DeFere also took part in more detailed post-education
classes in related topics, including nutrition,
radiology, chiropractic technique and business.
always wanted to be a country doctor,” Defere said. “I
didn’t want to be a city doctor and that’s what I am
Defere has lived in the same house for 46 years and
after she finished her education, she came back to her
moved here when I was going into fourth grade. I went to
Richfield School and HUHS (Hartford Union High School),”
Defere said. “I just loved it here and when the practice
was available and it was so close to home, I knew I had
to take it. The minute I walked in the door here it just
Dr. Michelle Defere poses Tuesday morning outside of
Hubertus Chiropractor Clinic in Richfield which she has
owned for nearly 30 years.
practice she acquired nearly 30 years ago was “very
“When I started it I was pretty much starting from
scratch,” she said. “I’ve had thousands and thousands of
patients since then. Right now, I have about 1,000
Defere said she has two children, but her practice feels
almost like her first baby and she treats it with as
much respect and care as she does her children.
practice is very important to me. I truly feel it is not
my right to treat patients, but it is my privilege,” she
said. “And when somebody comes here for care, whether it
be chiropractic or nutrition, it is my job to do my
absolute best for them.”
Defere said her practice is a personality-based business
and gives a lot of herself.
“Everybody knows that I care. I do everything based on
whether it feels right to me, whether it’s honest and
ethical and moral. I don’t overcharge. I don’t see
people more or less than is necessary,” Defere said.
“I’m always honest. If I honestly think I can take care
of you I will. If if can’t I will tell you and send you
to someone who I think can. I think it’s just honesty.”
Defere said there are several reasons her practice has
flourished, but she believes she has continued to grow
personally and she’s become a better doctor over the
nearly three decades she’s operated her practice.
“Obviously experience has made me a much better doctor.
I have continued to grow myself so I’m not just a
chiropractor now,” Defere said. “I do nutrition. I’m
working on a functional medical degree right now. So by
continually trying to improve myself, my patient care
Defere does not see her retirement anytime soon.
kids are 13 and 15 so I have a long time before I will
start thinking about that. I don’t feel any particular
need to retire. I love it here,” she said.
Longevity can also be seen in other ways at Hubertus
Chiropractor Clinic. For example, Janis Braden, has been
the massage therapist at the business for 19 years.
Karen Holpfer of Menomonee Falls has been a patient for
feel like I’m part of a family here. Any issues I have
here and the doctor helps me,” Holpfer said. “I wouldn’t
have come here for 30 years unless I was very pleased
with Dr. Defere.”
Denise Steffen has worked for Defere for seven years as
receptionist and office manager.
really does feel like a family here,” Steffen said. “The
first day I walked in the door it felt like I was part
of a family right away.”
philosophy Defere uses in practice is one of open
think that patients should be comfortable with their
doctor,” Defere said.
office is friendly and comfortable. Though it appears to
be small from the outside, the center extends a long way
back on the inside. It includes separate rooms for
x-ray, examinations, adjustments and massage therapy.
Hubertus Chiropractor Clinic is located in the Richfield
Square Shopping Center along Highway 175 and near the
Piggly Wiggly store.