Category Archives: Wellington Health

Patricia Cepeda-Russell Of MPCI Treats Patients Using Their Own Culture And Diversity

Patricia Cepeda-Russell Of MPCI Treats Patients Using Their Own Culture And Diversity

Mental health counselor Patricia Cepeda-Russell has been a child advocate for more than 20 years, working in case management, placement and as a therapist. She most recently turned her talents to Multilingual Psychotherapy Centers Inc. (MPCI) as a mental health practitioner serving the western communities of Palm Beach County.

Cepeda-Russell’s specialty is Therapeutic Behavioral On Site (TBOS) for Spanish speakers, which means she works to help change unwanted behaviors, such as oppositional defiance, adjustment disorder or other mal-adaptive behaviors that impede family harmony or success in school.

“I use Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), which is based on the idea that your thoughts influence your feelings, which then influence your actions,” Cepeda-Russell explained. “A popular example is, ‘I think, I feel, I do.’ I also utilize play therapy to build rapport and trust with children, as well as a way of gleaning pertinent information about their feelings. What makes MPCI special is our diversity and ability to bring therapy to people in their own language and with consideration to their culture.”

Cepeda-Russell sees weekly changes in clients who are frustrated with their lack of language skills, who are now learning to express their feelings.

“I have teens who are changing their negative coping mechanisms due to sexual abuse, to positive ones,” she said. “I have families that are learning new parenting techniques that are helping their kids adjust to major life changes.”

Cepeda-Russell’s personal life experiences give her an edge when it comes to helping Spanish-speaking clients.

“I am first-generation American, and English is my second language,” she said. “I can understand the challenges and frustrations that my young clients are feeling, because I have been there. I am also a survivor of childhood sexual abuse and know first-hand what that looks like to a teenaged girl.”

Cepeda-Russell has turned her own negative experiences into a positive, not only for her clients, but for herself. “I get the privilege of modeling assimilation, positive coping skills and hope to my clients,” she explained.

She often uses a particular source, a helpful book titled From Obstacles to Opportunities, which was published in 2013 by WestBow Press and just happens to have been written by Cepeda-Russell herself. It can be found on Amazon in both paperback and Kindle format.

Multilingual Psychotherapy Centers Inc. is a community mental health/behavioral health agency that serves children, adolescent, adults and their families in Palm Beach County. Established in 1997, its mission is to improve the lives of children and families through their diversity while considering their cultural background, speaking their own language and providing the mental health services they need.

MPCI works through its office, as well as on site in homes, shelters and schools — wherever the need arises — to alleviate emotional, behavioral and mental difficulties, improve their clients’ quality of life, and prevent the need for a more restrictive placement. Together with psychotherapy, MPCI provides case management services, psychological services and psychiatric services.

Multilingual Psychotherapy Centers Inc. is located at 1639 Forum Place in West Palm Beach. For more information, call (561) 712-8821 or visit www.mpcipbc.com.

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Dr. Richard Kelleher Of Palms West Veterinary Hospital Loves Helping Animals In Need

Dr. Richard Kelleher Of Palms West Veterinary Hospital Loves Helping Animals In Need

They say if you love what you do, you’ll never work a day in your life. That might explain why Dr. Richard Kelleher became a veterinarian.

“Ever since I was young, I have been just fascinated by animals and the creatures around me,” Kelleher said. “Growing up in New Jersey, I had fish, lizards, pocket pets — it was a God-given passion. When I took our dog to the vet, I think it must have made an impression on me. Animals are such innocent, helpless creatures. It feels good to be able to give them the help they need.”

Kelleher attended Virginia Tech for his undergraduate work and went on to receive his veterinary degree there. He has been in practice for 17 years now, eventually moving to Florida, where he has been an associate at the Palms West Veterinary Hospital for the past four years.

Much more than a standard veterinary office, the Palms West Veterinary Hospital functions much like a hospital. Animals stay briefly or overnight, depending on their needs. Some may need to be hooked up to an IV.

“There’s always a doctor present and a nurse present 24 hours a day, 365 days a year,” Kelleher said. “We also are an emergency and critical care hospital. If another vet doesn’t have overnight care, and that’s what the animal needs, they can transfer them here.”

With eight doctors on staff, the facility is well-equipped to treat any medical, surgical or dental issue that may arise. Owned by Dr. Ira Grossman, the Palms West Veterinary Hospital primarily serves dogs and cats, although some of the veterinarians work in equine practice on their own.

A calming environment in the waiting room was designed to put your pet’s nerves — and yours — at ease. And, just like at a hospital for humans, the staff is always looking toward the next big breakthrough.

Kelleher is particularly enthusiastic about recent innovations in veterinary care that are especially helpful to Florida pets.

“Florida is such an allergenic state,” he said. “But there are a lot of newer medications to relieve pets of the symptoms of their allergies that are very safe and relieve them of a lot of suffering. One of these innovations has come out within the last four to five years and one — an injection — as recently as eight months ago. They are extremely safe. The allergy injection helps control itching, poses no complications with other medications and can last four to eight weeks.”

Without paying for allergy testing, sometimes pet owners don’t know specifically what is causing their animal’s discomfort.

“I’ve been doing this for a while, and it’s extremely gratifying to see pets that have come in in bad shape — whether they have skin issues or injuries — and being able to treat them and return them back to the family,” Kelleher said. “It’s like the family receives a revitalized child.”

The Palms West Veterinary Hospital is located at 556 Folsom Road in Loxahatchee Groves. For more information, (561) 798-2780 or visit www.palmswestveterinary.com.

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Dr. Marisol Lopez-Belio Specializes In A Wide Range Of Dental Procedures

Dr. Marisol Lopez-Belio Specializes In A Wide Range Of Dental Procedures

Everyone loves the drama of before and after photographs, especially the patients of Dr. Marisol Lopez-Belio of the Wellington Center for Laser Dentistry.

“I’ve done many cosmetic reconstructions that really change people’s lives,” Lopez-Belio said. “A patient may have bad teeth, worn teeth or teeth of an ugly color and, after a reconstruction, their appearance has literally changed. They’re the most amazing success stories.”

Lopez-Belio and her staff have seen many such stories. She started her practice 26 years ago, in 1991, and moved into her own office in Wellington 22 years ago. Office manager Mary Almazan and hygienist Candy Cerbone have each been with her for 25 years. Her clinical assistant, Danielle Prieto, has been with Lopez-Belio for 13 years.

But it’s not all cosmetic dentistry. Lopez-Belio serves all ages in her general dentistry practice. From fillings to mouth guards, she does it all. She particularly likes how the use of lasers has revolutionized dentistry.

“I love lasers,” Lopez-Belio said. “I have four different types. I use different ones for different things.”

For example, the minimally invasive hard tissue laser, which Lopez-Belio purchased in 2010, allows her to fill cavities or restore resin fillings without numbing.

“Patients love that,” she said. “It’s so efficient. You can do multiple fillings in one day, where otherwise you couldn’t because the patient would be numb all over. With the laser, I can almost do as many as needed without them losing work time or having to wait  hours for the numbness to wear off.”

Another plus: as it works, the hard tissue laser is also killing bacteria. With no bacteria left behind, there is less of a chance of getting a cavity there again.

“We also use a laser for gum treatments, removing soft tissue lesions, treating ulcers and trimming the gums for aesthetic purposes,” Lopez-Belio added.

She can also help with temporomandibular joint (TMJ) pain. “I do a lot of neuro-muscular dentistry to correct TMJ, grinding and crunching,” Lopez-Belio said. “These things can destroy your teeth or give you migraines. People who have been under a lot of stress for a lot of years, they’ve been grinding, then they get symptoms. We correct their bite. We have patients who are chronic; they can’t open their mouth and get several migraines a week. We have to do splint therapy, a full reconstruction or orthodontics. They have a bad bite, and we have to fix that. I devise an individualized treatment for each patient.”

Traditional braces are not an option for many adults. In those cases, Lopez-Belio suggests Invisalign, a series of clear aligners that can be removed for meals. “It’s awesome, and it works great,” Lopez-Belio said. “The treatment takes about a year. Every two weeks you get new, custom-made aligners until your teeth are straight. They’re comfortable, and thin enough so that they don’t affect your speech.”

Lopez-Belio can also help with sleep apnea for people who snore or stop breathing while they sleep.

“If you stop breathing, your oxygen level goes down, and it’s very dangerous,” she said. “A physician may order a CPAP oxygen machine, but it’s noisy. The patient needs to wear a mask, there’s tubing and it’s big — not good for traveling. So many patients prefer an oral appliance, which is like two mouth guards. It keeps the lower jaw forward so the muscles in the neck don’t collapse when they’re sleeping, which improves the airway.”

Lopez-Belio also has a Cerec machine — a computer that allows her to do a crown in one day. “You don’t lose time from work getting a temporary crown, and you don’t have to worry about the temporary falling off when you’re eating dinner,” she explained. “We design, mill, stain and glaze the crown, put it in the oven to harden it, then bond it to the tooth.”

A picture is still worth a thousand words. See some of Dr. Marisol Lopez-Belio’s success stories for yourself at www.wellingtonlaserdentistry.com.

The Wellington Center for Laser Dentistry is located at 1200 Corporate Center Way, Suite 101, in Wellington. For more info., call (561) 791-8184.

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Getting To Know Patients Is A Key Goal At Bella Vida Family Practice

Getting To Know Patients Is A Key Goal At Bella Vida Family Practice

Story by Deborah Welky • Photo by Abner Pedraza

You’re sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. You’ve filled out your forms. You don’t feel well, and you want to know why. But once those magical doors open and you’re ushered inside, do you still feel like a nondescript number? Not at Bella Vida Family Practice.

You’re sitting in the waiting room at the doctor’s office. You’ve filled out your forms. You don’t feel well, and you want to know why. But once those magical doors open and you’re ushered inside, do you still feel like a nondescript number? Not at Bella Vida Family Practice.

“Asking questions as if you’re running down a list of bullet points is not getting to know a patient,” Dr. Carmen Marrero explained. “With us, it’s not: ‘Are you married? Do you have children?’ It’s ‘Are you married? Oh, what does your husband do? You have children? I have a four-year-old; we have something in common.’ Here, we incorporate real life and our own life experiences into our talks with patients.”

It’s not that Marrero craves conversation that caused her to structure her practice this way. “One of my passions is education,” she explained. “I do rotations with medical students, and I tell them that a person who knows and understands what is going on in their body holds the key to getting healthier. Yes, it is important to control your sugars, but why?”

Bella Vida Family Practice also has replaced “pamphlets all over the place” with current technology. There’s an interactive tablet and TV screen in the waiting area that allows patients to pick and choose what they want to learn about while they wait for their appointment.

“They can get information on personal fitness, Alzheimer’s disease, diabetes — whatever interests them,” Marrero said. “Sometimes what they’ve watched sparks questions. A diabetic may say, ‘Hmm. I need to get my feet checked. Can you recommend a podiatrist?’”

There is also an online patient portal for those who are proactive about their healthcare. Patients can update their history, change their address or insurance information, view lab results or send the doctor messages.

Marrero co-owns Bella Vida Family Practice with Elaine Fredrickson, a nurse practitioner with 25 years’ experience. Fredrickson worked in a rural setting in North Dakota before moving to the Wellington area in 2001. The two met during residency training at Wellington Regional Medical Center and opened their family practice last August.

“All the stars aligned,” Marrero said. “We wanted to treat patients like people — talk to them, spend time with them, get to know about their aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters. Nurse practitioners can function independently, but sometimes we do cross-treat, and patients get two brains for the price of one. We complement each other well. When opening the practice, we decided to go 50-50 all the way except for one thing. I told Elaine that I wanted to name the practice. Cowgirl that she is, she was skeptical.”

Marrero chose a name that meant something very special to her.

“Isabella is the name of my daughter, who was born at Wellington Regional; and ‘Bella Vida’ means ‘beautiful life.’ Elaine liked it. Our main goal is to help our patients to live their beautiful life. Everybody’s beautiful life is a little bit different. They each have their own unique challenges, medical issues and things that they have to overcome. Not everyone’s life is perfect but, at Bella Vida, we help them achieve the level of health and wellness that’s appropriate for their life.”

Bella Vida Family Practice is located at 11327 Okeechobee Blvd. in Royal Palm Beach. Learn more at www.bellavidafamilypractice.com or by calling (561) 340-1615.

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Retina Group Ophthalmologist Dr. Kevin T. Kelly Protects Patients’ Vision

Retina Group Ophthalmologist Dr. Kevin T. Kelly Protects Patients’ Vision

Story by Deborah Welky • Photo by Abner Pedraza

It wasn’t so long ago when a diagnosis of macular degeneration — a common eye problem in seniors — meant almost certain blindness.

“The prognosis was pretty grim unless it was caught really early,” recalled Dr. Kevin T. Kelly, an ophthalmologist partner with the Retina Group of Florida. “We had laser, but most patients don’t even notice that their vision is being affected until it’s near the center of vision.”

But by then, it used to be too late. “Once the blood vessel burst, and it bled or scarred, it was over,” Kelly said.

Fast forward to 2017, and this fairly common condition can be treated with medication — and the expertise of ophthalmologists trained in retinal care. “You think your vision is lost but, after we dry up the blood vessel, the macula is preserved and the patient is able to see,” Kelly said.

Kelly practices at the Wellington office of the Retina Group of Florida, which is located on the campus of Wellington Regional Medical Center.

A New Jersey native, Kelly completed his undergraduate studies at Rutgers University, earning degrees in chemical engineering and biology. He continued on to medical school at Rutgers, and completed his medical internship at Staten Island Hospital. He completed a residency in ophthalmology at SUNY-Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, N.Y. That was followed by a two-year fellowship in retina care at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

“Many fellowships are only six months, but all the ophthalmologists in our practice have completed their residency and done two-year fellowships in retinal surgery,” Kelly explained.

Those ophthalmologists include Dr. Darin Goldman and Dr. Eduardo Uchiyama, who work with Kelly at the Wellington office. Kelly sees patients in Wellington four days a week, and can be found at the Stuart location of the Retina Group of Florida on Thursdays. Other offices are located in Boca Raton, Boynton Beach, Delray Beach, West Palm Beach, Hollywood, Plantation and the main office in Fort Lauderdale. Surgeries are done on the retina equipment at Broward Health Imperial Point.

The practice continues to grow. This is due largely to an aging population, as well as a growing prevalence of diabetes, which is known to cause vision problems.

“I opened my office in 2007, and began working with Retina Group in 2009. We see patients with diabetic retinopathy, retinal detachments, macular degeneration and uveitis, an inflammation of the eye sometimes associated with autoimmune diseases,” Kelly said. “We focus exclusively on the retina and even cater to other ophthalmologists when they encounter a tough problem.”

In the case of eye emergencies, the Retina Group is available around the clock.

“What makes us unique is we’re available 24/7,” Kelly noted. “Someone is taking the call.”

The Retina Group gets referrals from across Florida and the nation, especially for those patients who live in Florida only part of the year.

“I have one patient who I’ve been working with for 10 years, keeping his macular degeneration in check,” Kelly said. “Since 2007, there are new medications to treat it. Today, rather than being blind, his vision is 20/25. The point is, you still have a chance.”

The Wellington office of the Retina Group of Florida is located at 1397 Medical Park Blvd., Suite 240, on the campus of Wellington Regional Medical Center. To make an appointment, call (561) 784-3788 or visit www.retinagroupflorida.com.

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Chiropractor Dr. Randy Laurich Offers His Patients A Comprehensive Wellness Program

Chiropractor Dr. Randy Laurich Offers His Patients A Comprehensive Wellness Program

Story by Deborah Welky • Photo by Abner Pedraza

If you’ve been feeling under the weather of late and want to know why, perhaps it’s time to put your New Year’s resolutions into action with a visit to the Wellness Experience.

The Wellness Experience, owned and operated by chiropractor Dr. Randy Laurich, is “home base” for people who want to feel better and improve their quality of life. What makes Laurich’s practice unique is the number of professionals that he has assembled. They work individually and as a team in an effort to provide clients with the most comprehensive wellness program available.

“We have multiple providers playing a similar role — to help achieve the best quality of life for our patients with the most overall functional improvement,” Laurich said. “Everyone in the practice does something a little bit different. We have two acupuncturists, two chiropractors, an esthetician, two massage therapists and one nutritionist. We individualize each program to help assist each person in their healing.”

The team includes Laurich and chiropractor Dr. Tori Cunnea, acupuncturists Caroline Blanke-Pena and Dr. Howard Stoller, esthetician Dawn Snow, massage therapists Ortavia Taylor and Mikaela Martling, and nutritionist Tracy Mastandrea.

“In the seventh grade, I did a paper on chiropractic and, from that point forward, I knew I wanted to pursue it,” Laurich said. “I even got my twin sister involved. Today she’s a chiropractor in Boulder, Colorado. It’s kind of in the family now.”

There are about 150 different techniques used in the field of chiropractic healing, and Laurich has studied them all. Born and raised in Pennsylvania, Laurich attended college in Ohio. He graduated from the Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic in Spartanburg, S.C., in 1998 and worked at a chiropractic office in Coral Springs before opening his own practice in Boca Raton in 2001.

By 2006, Dr. Laurich had established his multi-discipline office in Wellington, and he is looking to move to a larger facility in the near future.

Upon a first meeting with a client, Laurich assesses his or her needs and creates a unique healing program. “This is a place for people to come who want to feel better and improve their quality of life,” he said.

For those who may be a bit shy about chiropractic services, it’s good to know that the practice has evolved just as the broader field of medicine has evolved.

“It’s kind of neat, because we use a lot of computerized technology to help evaluate the spine, and it gives us an opportunity to also adjust the spine,” Laurich said. “There’s no reason to be fearful. It’s a really gentle technique using gentle force that helps the body to heal itself. The fact that we use today’s technology is important.”

The ProAdjuster and DRX Machine analyze, adjust, decompress and provide relief to the spine. Cold laser therapy uses low levels of light to stimulate healing without heating up the tissue, relieving chronic pain and inflammation that often results from sports injuries or arthritis. Acupuncture stimulates specific points on the surface of the skin, altering various biochemical and physiological conditions to the benefit of patients.

Massage therapy is employed to reduce anxiety and stress, relax muscles, rehabilitate injuries, reduce pain and promote overall health. Fitness is the goal, and the team at the Wellness Experience believes that working out should be enjoyable — for muscles, heart and mind. They can connect you with a trainer able to meet your particular fitness needs.

Everyone has heard “you are what you eat,” but if the confusing world of food labels has you wondering if there’s anything out there that’s both tasty and good for you, nutritionists at the Wellness Experience will help demystify your next trip to the grocery store.

The Wellness Experience is currently located in Kobosko’s Crossing at 9180 Forest Hill Blvd. in Wellington. For more information, call (561) 333-5351 or visit www.wellness-experience.com.

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Dr. Andrea Bayer And The Staff At Seasons Women’s Care Treat Patients In All Stages Of Their Lives

Health-Andrea Bayer

Dr. Andrea Bayer And The Staff At Seasons Women’s Care Treat Patients In All Stages Of Their Lives

By Jason Stromberg

Dr. Andrea Bayer came up with the name of Seasons Women’s Care for her practice because it reflects how she and her associates care for women through all the seasons of their lives. The practice includes two other doctors, Dr. Sarah Knowlton and Dr. Jessica Clark.

Bayer, Knowlton and Clark practice obstetrics and gynecology on the campus of the Wellington Regional Medical Center. Each doctor also practices at Palms West Hospital, where Bayer recently received a plaque honoring her 20 years of service.

Bayer enjoys her work caring for patients. “It’s an opportunity to help other women. I’m a mother. I’ve had babies. I can relate to a lot of conditions that we see,” Bayer said. “It’s great to be able to help women with all the different issues that affect them throughout their lives.”

Seasons Women’s Care offers a personal approach, especially when working with pregnant women.

“It can be a lot of fun. You are bringing new life into the world,” Bayer said, adding that she has now been at it long enough to have brought infants into the world for adults she delivered. “It’s really nice.”

The doctors at Seasons Women’s Care aren’t taking care of only the baby, but also the patient.

“It can be very stressful. You have the life of the mother and the baby in your care,” said Bayer, former chair of Wellington Regional’s ob/gyn department. “It’s two patients we are taking care of. Babies come whenever they want to come. We can work 24 to 48 hours straight, doing deliveries during the middle of the night. We are always available for our patients.”

Bayer said that it is very common for a baby to be delivered in the early morning hours. However, many deliveries nowadays are planned.

“There are different reasons for inducing patients with medication to help deliver a baby,” Bayer said. “It could be because the baby is really big, or for personal and medical reasons, or social reasons.”

Bayer, Knowlton and Clark understand the needs of women throughout every stage of their lives. Not only do they handle medical issues, they also cope with each patients’ emotional changes.

“There are patient’s moms whom I have known for 20-plus years,” Bayer said. “It kind of makes you feel like part of the family. The patients are friends now. That is a really nice part of our practice. We get to know our people.”

Women of all ages are treated at Seasons Women’s Care, where quality obstetrical and gynecological services are always offered, regardless of what stage of life a patient is in. The team’s goal is to help every woman establish a happy lifestyle and a healthy body.

“We have patients, from young children to women of all ages, who deal with many kinds of problems,” said Bayer, who is certified by the North American Menopause Society (NAMS), which makes her an expert in helping women through that stage of their lives. “When it comes to women’s reproductive organs, we deal with a lot of preventive evaluations and a lot of problems that arise.”

There are other things that Bayer and her staff look for in teenage girls and older women, such as general health-related issues.

“We look for other issues that affect their general health, such as, we listen to their hearts,” Bayer said. “If they have a heart murmur, we pick it up. If they have thyroid issues, or diabetes, we check that out. Patients can come in complaining of a pain. It could be an ovarian issue, or it may be a bowel or a bladder issue, maybe an issue related to their back or hip. We are a very versatile team.”

Seasons Women’s Care Gynecology Obstetrics is located at 10115 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 300, on the campus of Wellington Regional Medical Center. Visit www.seasonswomenscare.com or call (561) 328-6165 for more information.

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Dr. Ellis Webster Specializes In Issues Of The Ear, Nose And Throat

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Dr. Ellis Webster Specializes In Issues Of The Ear, Nose And Throat

Story by Jason Stromberg • Photo by Abner Pedraza

Dr. Ellis Webster of Ear, Nose and Throat Associates of South Florida goes the extra mile to make sure that each patient has the best possible outcome.

Webster practices with Dr. Deborah Loney at the ENTSF office on the campus of Palms West Hospital. They treat patients who have hearing loss problems, dizziness, balance disorders, ringing in the ears (tinnitus), sinus and throat infections, and head and neck cancers.

“On a daily basis, I handle patients with these conditions,” Webster said. “The most common thing would be acute, or chronic, sinusitis. Most of the patients I see have that. Sinusitis is when a patient has an infection in their sinuses, which can present with nasal congestion, pain or drainage. They could also have headaches.”

Webster looks into the nose to determine if there are anatomic deformities, polyps or mucus, and often treats patients with antibiotics and/or steroids or decongestants. “After treating a patient, I would have them return to our office in four to six weeks. If I see that they still have symptoms, I would order a CT scan. If the scan shows that they have chronic infection, or polyps, I would perform sinus surgery.”

Webster earned his medical degree from the Yale University School of Medicine in 1991. He completed his residency at the University of Iowa. He is certified by the American Board of Otolaryngology and is a fellow of the American Academy of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery and the American College of Surgeons.

Practicing in South Florida since 1996, Webster joined the ENTSF team in 2006. The firm has been caring for patients since 1963. Currently, there are 42 physicians across 30 offices in South Florida.

Webster was enthusiastic to join the ENTSF team. It was a relief to be part of a large, established group that could deal with the business aspects of the practice and negotiate with insurance companies.

“Giving up the autonomy of having my own practice was difficult at first, but I was encouraged by the benefit of more collaboration and less competition,” he explained.

It has allowed Webster the ability to spend more time with his patients. “I am able to maintain my own care center without having to worry about the business side of things,” he said. “Now, I can devote all of my time to taking care of patients.”

Webster and Loney practice together in the Loxahatchee office. “His outlook is good, he’s knowledgeable and he’s helpful to everybody,” Loney said of Webster, whom she has known professionally for more than 20 years. “It’s a pleasure working with him. We have a similar approach to treating patients.”

Webster likes showing patients their CT scan because what is bothering them is right there on display. “In that way, patients become involved in the decision-making process,” he said. “I explain the benefits of the medical or surgical treatment and what I recommend.”

Webster relies on his many years of experience when working with his patients. “I also describe the risks of the treatment options and whether the chance of risk is low,” he said. “They want to know that you have done this before. I’m very careful. I’ll treat them like a member of my family. That’s the calming influence.”

Patients who walk into his office may have difficulty swallowing, persistent throat pain, a lump in the neck that doesn’t go away or may be suffering from hoarseness. Those could be signs of cancer. These patients may be suffering from mouth cancer, tongue cancer, laryngeal cancer, thyroid cancer or cancer of the salivary glands.

“I treat all of that,” Webster said. “I certainly get a history, including exposure to risk factors, and I examine each patient. I want to make sure that they don’t have cancer. If I see something suspicious, I set them up for a biopsy. If there’s confirmation that they have cancer, I set them up for surgery, radiation or chemotherapy, or all three. We make sure we take the appropriate steps to helping each patient live a healthier life.”

Webster practices out of the Ear, Nose and Throat Associates of South Florida office located at 12959 Palms West Drive, Suite 220, on the campus of Palms West Hospital. To make an appointment, call (561) 793-5077. For more info., visit www.entsf.com.

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Dr. Nadia Pierre Enjoys Helping Women Through Successful Pregnancies

Health-DrPierre

Dr. Nadia Pierre Enjoys Helping Women Through Successful Pregnancies

Story by Jason Stromberg • Photo by Abner Pedraza

For Dr. Nadia Pierre, an obstetrician and gynecologist, there is no greater feeling in the world than helping with a happy, healthy and safe delivery for a pregnant mother and her child.

“I love taking care of women who are pregnant. I feel it is one of the most enjoyable experiences that a woman will have a chance to experience,” Pierre said.

Affiliated with several hospitals in the area, including JFK Medical Center and Palms West Hospital, Pierre received her medical degree from Rutgers’ Robert Wood Johnson Medical School. A Wellington resident, she has been in practice for 10 years.

“My day-to-day routine consists of welcoming patients to the practice,” said Pierre, who performed her high-risk obstetrics training and training in multiple gynecological procedures at SUNY Downstate Kings County Hospital in New York. “When it pertains to infertility, I perform the preliminary evaluation, but if it gets more intricate, I would then refer the patient to an infertility specialist.”

Pierre enjoys working with her patients all the way through the process.

“I felt comfortable doing pre-conceptual counseling, which is when you counsel a patient before they get pregnant,” Pierre said. “I also advise patients on family planning and birth control management. On a regular basis, I perform medical and surgical treatments of abnormal bleeding.”

Pierre’s primary task is to ensure that women are able to have a healthy, safe delivery. But before that job is completed, she must first know if the patient has any medical issues that may affect pregnancy. “There are two types of pregnancy tests that I need to perform on each patient,” Pierre said. “One is a urine pregnancy test, and the other is a little more specific. It’s done through blood.”

The urine home pregnancy test is pretty much the same test that Pierre and her staff perform in the office. The blood pregnancy test is more specific.

“The blood pregnancy test is different because it gives you an estimation on how pregnant the patient is,” Pierre said. “With the blood pregnancy test, you take the test one day and then two days later, you repeat the exam to determine if this is a normal pregnancy.”

Once the pregnancy testing has run its course, Pierre can tell the patient when to schedule an ultrasound.

Pierre tests for Beta HCG (human chorionic gonadotropin), which is a hormone produced during pregnancy that shows up in the blood.

“I prefer the quantitative Beta HCG. There’s a qualitative and a quantitative test,” Pierre said. “I do the quantitative test because there’s always a number. The qualitative test is comparable to the home pregnancy test. It is either positive or negative.”

The number result from a quantitative test provides key insight into a pregnancy. “This means you know approximately when you can perform your ultrasound,” Pierre said. “You can estimate the gestation weeks of the pregnancy.”

Being an obstetrician and a gynecologist go hand-in-hand.

“Obstetric and gynecologic patients both desire a partner in their healthcare. Both practices go hand-in-hand,” Pierre said. “I enjoy what I do because it mixes medicine, surgery and the office work.”

She especially enjoys helping patients resolve their problems.

“Patients want to know the best outcome. When we tell them that there are different medical treatments available, they understand that they have a partner in their care,” Pierre said. “Just talking about all this is really awesome. There is not a day that goes by that is mundane.”

Gynecologists, experts in the female reproductive system, are also trained in obstetrics, which is specifically the care of women going through pregnancy and childbirth.

“I think once you have a good rapport with the patient, that really helps with everything else that we do,” Pierre said. “If the patient sees you have her best interest at heart, she can relate to you. The objective is to explain everything and answer her questions as thoroughly and as in-depth as possible.”

Pierre’s office is always accepting new patients and accepts a wide array of insurance carriers.

Premier Obstetrics & Gynecology of Palm Beach is located at 12983 Southern Blvd., Suite 201, on the campus of Palms West Hospital. For more information, call (561) 791-2888 or visit www.premierobgyntb.com.

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Cooper Orthodontics Provides Patients With Beautiful Smiles And Much More

Health-CooperOrthodontics

Wellington The Magazine – September 2016

Cooper Orthodontics Provides Patients With Beautiful Smiles And Much More

By Jason Stromberg

Brothers Dr. Andrew Cooper and Dr. Justin Cooper operate Cooper Orthodontics with the goal of providing patients with a beautiful smile in a friendly and enjoyable environment.

“It has been a very rewarding experience. In terms of working with my brother, it’s nice to be able to know you have someone who you can trust who provides the same level of quality care,” Justin said. “Our main message is we are a family. We run the business. We want everyone to feel like they are a part of our family practice.”

Cooper Orthodontics creates beautiful smiles at two offices, one in the Royal Palm Beach/Wellington area and one in Lake Worth.  “We enjoy what we do,” Andrew said. “The nice thing is that all of our patients have the eyes of two orthodontists on them. Cooper Orthodontics is truly a family practice, and we feel we provide patients with the best service and experience.”

Born in Philadelphia, Andrew and Justin Cooper moved to Boca Raton at the ages of 10 and 12, respectively. Although Andrew is older, they both received their undergraduate degrees from the University of Florida in 2005. Each graduated with a degree in food science and human nutrition. Andrew received his doctorate of dental medicine (DMD) in 2008 from UF, while Justin received his DMD from Harvard University in 2009.

After dental school, each specialized in orthodontics, spending an additional two years in post-graduate education. Andrew earned his certificate in orthodontics from Tufts University in 2010, while Justin graduated from the University of the Pacific in 2011 with a certificate in orthodontics and a master’s degree in dentistry.

“Customer service is 100 percent our first priority,” Justin said. “We are very fortunate that we can treat so many fun and lively kids. We want them to have a great experience visiting our dental practice. I should also mention that orthodontics isn’t just for kids anymore. Many of our patients are adults who want to improve their oral health by obtaining straighter teeth and improving their bite. In fact, we have many parents in orthodontic treatment with their children.”

Cooper Orthodontics offers free consultations, and there is a fun rewards program, where patients can get points and prizes for keeping their teeth clean, participating in contests and taking part in other activities.

“We make recommendations that we feel are in the patient’s best interests, but at the end of the day, our goal is to work with patients and make them happy,” Andrew said. “We want to work with each individual to develop a treatment plan, rather than dictating to them what they must do.”

Cooper Orthodontics offers metal braces, clear braces and Invisalign, which is a series of clear trays designed to straighten teeth. The practice is also a fully digital office, providing patients with a better experience. With new digital X-ray machines in both offices, the lowest dose of radiation is used to obtain the best diagnostic images.

Cooper Orthodontics has a digital scanner used for patients who are going to get the Invisalign treatment, which allows for a more accurate depiction of the patient’s teeth, providing better-fitting trays.

“We are able to help make sure that each patient’s private medical information is kept private, but at the same time, it is accessible to my brother and me if needed via our online software,” Justin said. “For example, if one of our patients has an emergency, we can quickly access our patient’s chart and medical history through our app, so that we can address the concerns of the patient or parent as soon as possible.”

Cooper Orthodontics also has programs to work with patients on the financial end.

“When it comes to finances, I think our office goes the extra step to make sure that cost does not get in the way of a patient achieving a beautiful smile,” Andrew said. “All of our consultations are free, we offer very low down payments, and we accept most insurance plans. We find a financial plan that works within everyone’s budget.”

The Coopers, who are in their third year of business locally, wore braces when they were younger. Andrew explained that this allows them to relate better with their patients.

“I was a very difficult case,” Andrew recalled. “Once my teeth were straightened by my orthodontist, it made me feel more confident in myself.”

The most rewarding part of the practice is the reaction of each patient when the task is complete.

“Every time we take a patient’s braces off, they are much more confident individuals,” Justin said. “They are just so happy with their smile.”

The Cooper Orthodontics office serving the Royal Palm Beach/Wellington area is located at 685 Royal Palm Beach Blvd., Suite 202, in Royal Palm Beach. For more information, call (561) 790-0319 or visit www.smilesbycooper.com.

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