Category Archives: Wellington Health

New Treatment For Obstructive Sleep Apnea

New Treatment For Obstructive Sleep Apnea
Wellington Regional Medical Center Is Now Offering Inspire Therapy To Treat OSA

Dr. Deborah Loney at Wellington Regional Medical Center is now offering Inspire therapy, a breakthrough obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) treatment option for those who cannot use continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) therapy.

Obstructive sleep apnea affects 22 million Americans. When left untreated, OSA can cause vehicle and workplace accidents, worsening mood and memory, stroke, heart attack and even death. It occurs when the airway collapses during sleep and blocks the flow of oxygen to the brain.

When this happens, the brain senses a lack of oxygen and wakes the body up just long enough to take a breath, then falls back asleep. This cycle repeats throughout the night and causes poor, disruptive sleep.

Inspire works inside the body with a patient’s natural breathing process to treat sleep apnea. Mild stimulation opens the airway during sleep, allowing oxygen to flow naturally. The patient uses a small handheld remote to turn Inspire on before bed and off when they wake up.

The safety and efficacy of Inspire was evaluated during the product’s STAR clinical trial. Five-year outcomes show patients using Inspire experience significant reductions in sleep apnea events and significant improvements in quality-of-life measures.

There have been more than 150 peer-reviewed publications on Inspire. These publications show results consistent with those seen in the STAR clinical trial.

“In our practice, we see many patients who have stopped using or are unable to tolerate CPAP,” Loney said. “Inspire represents a significant advancement in treating sleep apnea. It is clinically proven to reduce sleep apnea events, has a high level of patient satisfaction and a high therapy adherence. We are excited to offer this promising therapy to sleep apnea patients who struggle with CPAP.”

To learn more about Inspire for sleep apnea, visit or

Loney practices otolaryngology, which is more commonly known as an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor. In her practice, she works with many patients suffering from sleep apnea.

Originally from New York, Loney completed her undergraduate work at Queens College. For medical school, she attended Stanford University’s School of Medicine in Palo Alto, California. There, she spent five years studying and doing medical research, and realized that she wanted to be an ENT. After graduating from Stanford, Loney headed to the University of Iowa in Iowa City for her residency. She worked at many locations around the United States and the world before moving to Palm Beach County to be closer to her family.

Both for sleep apnea patients, and for those with other ENT issues, Loney spends a great deal of time encouraging her patients to lead healthier lifestyles. “Watch what you eat, moderation is key. No. 1 is don’t smoke,” Loney said. “I also tell people, especially younger people, to not listen to loud music.”

Wellington Regional Medical Center is a 235-bed acute care hospital accredited by the Joint Commission. Celebrating more than 30 years of treating residents in Wellington and the surrounding communities, the hospital offers a wide range of services, including comprehensive stroke care, a comprehensive lung program, minimally invasive services, cardiac services, a birthing center and level III NICU, a comprehensive women’s center, hepatobiliary surgical procedures, intraoperative radiation therapy, interventional procedures, and a wellness and weight loss center.

Wellington Regional Medical Center is located at 10101 W. Forest Hill Blvd. in Wellington. To learn more about the hospital, visit


A Seamless Connection

A Seamless Connection
Tampa General Hospital Bridges The Gap In Complex Cancer Care

When Palm Beach County and Treasure Coast residents need specialized cancer treatments, they now enjoy a seamless connection to the Tampa General Hospital Cancer Institute.

Palm Beach Gardens resident Arthur “Steve” Barnes has been battling various types of skin cancer since 1981. His 42-year journey has taken him to dermatologists, radiation oncologists and medical oncologists, and last year, it took him to Tampa General Hospital (TGH).

“Most of my cancer has been pretty easy to treat — basal cell carcinoma and even squamous cell. But about three or four years ago, it started to get aggressive. It got complex,” Barnes explained. “I’ve been so blessed to have doctors who cooperate with or work at TGH.”

Barnes’ local dermatologist and surgeon referred him to Dr. Abraham Schwarzberg, a Palm Beach County medical oncologist who serves as chief of the TGH Cancer Institute, executive vice president of Network Development, and vice president of Clinical and Translational Research.

“There are a lot of things about TGH that are unique and important, as well as hard to appreciate until you need a certain level of care,” Schwarzberg said. “There are wonderful physicians and pieces of the cancer treatment puzzle in Palm Beach County, but the lack of a unified, academic backbone limits access to translational research, clinical work and new drug development. Our relationship with TGH and the University of South Florida has been invaluable for our patients.”

Schwarzberg referred Barnes to Dr. Tapan Padhya, chief of the TGH Ear, Nose & Throat Institute, and professor and chair for the Department of Otolaryngology – Head and Neck Surgery at USF Health Morsani College of Medicine.

Padhya performed a surgical intervention on Barnes in Tampa within one month of first seeing him.

“Dr. Padhya saved all the nerves in my face and removed all the cancer because he and Dr. Schwarzberg were so on top of everything,” Barnes said. “I was worried I was going to come out looking like Frankenstein, so it’s really amazing I look as much like Brad Pitt as I do now.”

East coast patients who need a transfer to TGH enjoy a seamless transition to Tampa through the hospital’s Health Ambassador Program, which helps schedule appointments, submit paperwork, arrange hotel and travel accommodations, and coordinate follow-up care back home.

“This is the experience that we offer our patients on the east coast of Florida,” Padhya explained. “The home team of doctors in Palm Beach County establishes the initial trust with the patient and provides the ongoing care, and then I come in for the surgical event. But it’s a continuum of care. The TGH network has flourished and bridged the gap across the state.”

Barnes credits his successful outcome to the entire medical team, but also his family. His wife, daughter and son participated in his telehealth visits and encouraged him throughout the process.

“My family and prayer warriors pushed me to keep going when it got discouraging. My wife hugged me when I needed it during the battles with chemo and radiation. They prayed for me and for the doctors to do a good job,” Barnes said. “And I can’t say enough about how wonderful the medical staff was. They treated me like I was their grandfather or father. There’s something that Theodore Roosevelt once said that could be a theme for this hospital: ‘No one cares how much you know until they know how much you care.’ TGH really cared about my case.”

Patients like Barnes now have access to the complex care they need in the environment where they need it.

“The continuity and integration are so valuable because we don’t have that in our backyard,” Schwarzberg added. “But now we have it as an extension, and patients can come back home to heal.”

For more information about Tampa General Hospital’s services in Palm Beach County, visit or call (561) 739-4TGH.


Early Detection Crucial

Early Detection Crucial The Experts At Nicklaus Children’s Hospital Are Specialists In Detecting And Treating Congenital Heart Disease

 By Dr. Stephanie A. Acosta

If your child has a congenital heart defect, then early detection, even before birth, is one of the most important steps that parents can take to improve outcomes and plan for their child’s future. Though rare, these defects are a reality for many parents. Congenital heart disease is the most common type of birth defect and present in about one out of every 100 births annually in the U.S. An estimated one million children and 1.4 million adults in the U.S. are currently living with congenital heart disease.

The Importance Of Early Detection 
As early as four months after conception, fetal imaging can detect most heart problems in a fetus, including congenital heart defects, arrhythmias, cardiac tumors and other heart abnormalities. A fetal echocardiogram is a safe, noninvasive exam that uses ultrasound waves to create images. The technology allows the unborn baby’s heart to be examined while the child is still in the womb. The echocardiogram is administered by sonographers with advanced training, and it does not pose any risk to either the fetus or the expectant mother.

By utilizing echocardiograms, specialists at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital can detect and begin the treatment for fetal arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms); complex congenital heart diseases that require intervention after birth; and simple congenital heart defects/abnormalities.

A Precautionary Measure
If your obstetrician recommends that you have a fetal echocardiogram, don’t panic. Fetal echocardiograms are most often ordered as a precautionary measure for expectant mothers who have a personal or paternal history of congenital heart disease, had another child with a congenital heart disorder, have been exposed to certain infections or medications, or have a medical condition, such as diabetes or lupus, that may increase the chances that the unborn baby will have a heart defect or abnormality.

If you are pregnant with more than one baby, your obstetrician may also order a fetal echocardiogram. If an abnormality is detected, you will be referred to a fetal cardiologist, a physician with expertise in diagnosing and managing heart conditions before birth.

Advance knowledge of a heart defect will allow your care team to provide comprehensive education and counseling to families; treat the condition before birth, when possible; create a comprehensive management plan for both before and after your baby’s birth; and evaluate the effect of extra-cardiac malformations on the heart and determine whether further treatment is necessary.

Knowledge that a baby-to-be has a heart defect is alarming news for any family. Yet sophisticated care methods available today are enabling the vast majority of these children to survive and thrive. The right care team will offer the best and most innovative treatments, world-class facilities, and spend time guiding you and your family through every step of the care process.

The Fetal Cardiology Program 
As part of its commitment to be where the children are, the Nicklaus Children’s Fetal Cardiology Program has seven convenient locations throughout the region, ranging as far south as Miami and as far north as Palm City. The program provides comprehensive care to families expecting an infant with suspected or diagnosed congenital heart disease. The team at Nicklaus Children’s includes pediatric cardiologists who specialize in fetal cardiology, advanced cardiac imaging, cardiac catheterization and electrophysiology, as well as cardiac intensivists, neonatologists, geneticists and cardiothoracic surgeons who work collectively to meet the needs of families throughout their care journey.

The Fetal Cardiology Program is part of the Heart Institute at Nicklaus Children’s Hospital, and it offers some of the most innovative treatments for congenital heart disease in the world. In fact, some of the treatments employed by the internationally renowned cardiologists and cardiovascular surgeons at Nicklaus Children’s were pioneered at the hospital before becoming the standard of care at other hospitals. The goal is to improve the care of infants with congenital heart disease through perinatal diagnosis, prenatal planning, post-natal care, and follow-up after birth and throughout the child’s life.

Welcome To Wellington
To better serve all communities throughout the South Florida area, Nicklaus Children’s Hospital recently opened its newest location in Wellington. The new Nicklaus Children’s Pediatric Specialists at Wellington location has board-certified specialists that provide consultations for babies, children, teens and young adults under 21 years old.

The program offers fetal and pediatric cardiology appointments, echocardiograms, Holter/event monitor testing, cardiac genetic testing and free EKG screenings for young athletes, among other services.

Same-day and next-day appointments are available at the Wellington location. To make an appointment, or to learn more, call (561) 877-5870 or visit


Intimacy Blueprint For Couples

Intimacy Blueprint For Couples Relationship Expert Richard Heller Explains The Seven Areas Of Intimacy

By Rich Heller

Intimacy is the holy grail of relationships. While often couples can slip into becoming roommates or living parallel lives, intimacy is our natural state. Reintroducing intimacy into the mix is the most surefire way to breathe greater life into your marriage.

You meet someone, and for a while, it’s all about the two of you and “love.” “In love” is super intimate. In this state, we are focused almost completely on one another. Studies show that this stage lasts about two or three years. Eventually, the “in love” part fades, and what you are left with is life, kids and a relationship that has evolved into tag-team child rearing. Perhaps friends with benefits.

Living like roommates may beat living alone, but when you get into a committed relationship with someone, “roommates” is not what you signed up for. It was all about the intimacy, and believe it or not, you can have that back.

We are super intimate from birth. We allow ourselves to be dependent on and enjoy the intimate care of our parents. Over time, we lose that sense of safety, and intimacy starts to become something of a challenge.

The beginning of re-establishing intimacy in a relationship lies in caring communication, trust and empathy. Caring communication establishes trust and safety. In caring communication, couples can tackle topics they may have been avoiding because it simply did not feel safe enough.

There are seven areas of intimacy where you can practice caring communication and rebuild trust and empathy — emotional intimacy, physical intimacy, financial intimacy, spiritual intimacy, recreational intimacy, sexual intimacy and playful intimacy.

These are seven areas where your intimacy can grow and blossom. Couples should take on one or more of these areas to work on. Talk about areas where it has felt a little unsafe, or explore areas where you have had success in the past.

Don’t know where to start? Read this together with your partner. Talk about each area. Which ones feel safer? Which ones feel a little scarier? Pick at least one area you will work on. Start with something that feels safe to you both, and also note the areas where you may need some outside help.

Emotional intimacy is all about closeness through sharing feelings. The safer your marriage is for sharing emotions, the more intimate it will become. Whether you are talking about goal setting, child rearing, your role in the family, budgeting or sex, it needs to be safe.

Set a goal: What is a ground rule that will make it even safer to talk about feelings? How will you remind yourselves to practice it? What if things start to get a little hot while you are talking together?

“When you recognize a topic is becoming heated, give yourself a time out,” explained Melyssa Edmunds, a licensed marriage and family therapist with the Marriage Couch. “Make sure your partner knows that you will come back in 30 minutes (set a timer in front of them) to discuss the topic again. When our adrenaline is peaked, we don’t have access to the part of our brain that allows us to think rationally. It takes 30 minutes for that adrenaline to no longer be activated. During your time out, do not think about the hot topic. Listen to music, make sure you’re relaxed, then come back to address the topic so your partner doesn’t feel as if you’re avoiding the situation.”

It’s OK to disagree. Make a reminder sign to hang in the kitchen, on the fridge; somewhere you will see it daily.

To learn more, contact the Marriage Couch, located at 12012 South Shore Blvd., Suite 108, in Wellington. Call (561) 424-7175 or visit


This one is all about caring touch, such as holding hands, stroking hair, cuddling — any contact that feels caring. Touch is one of our most basic and ignored senses. The way we touch, the feeling behind the touch, the circumstances of the other person when we touch communicates so much more than words. If these little touches seem silly, like a waste of time, that means you need it even more!

Make a point of touching when you come together and separate in the beginning and end of your day. This could be a quick hug, kiss on the lips, holding each other’s hands and make eye contact. As you do this, notice what you are feeling when you touch. Where are you coming from? Where would you like to be coming from? Are you in a hurry or truly in the moment? If it feels rushed, what are you putting in front of this brief investment into your intimacy? When you are truly in the moment, how does it feel? Talk about this experience from time to time and express your feelings around touch.

Set a goal: Touch lips for seven seconds daily. You will be amazed at the intimacy it builds.

To learn more, contact Rich in Relationship at (917) 309-9045 or visit online at

Believe it or not, 76 percent of all couples fight about money. When both partners understand their short-term and long-term financial goals, there is greater financial harmony. The trick is to get comfortable talking about money.

“To get comfortable talking about money, think of it as a tool to help you accomplish the things you want in life and nothing more.” financial planning expert Melissa Gannon said. “In and of itself, it only has the power we give it. It alone doesn’t make you happy; it’s not moral or immoral; it doesn’t love or hate you. Thinking of it as a tool makes money less taboo and allows couples to open up a dialogue. A more concrete approach is to explain to your partner what you want in ‘I’ language. For example, ‘I want to better understand how we invest our money.’ Or ‘I am afraid that if something happens to you, I won’t know how to find our accounts.’”

Set a goal: Have regular financial meetings to review how you are doing together. Make a point of being constructive rather than critical.

To learn more, contact Gannon at Castle Wealth Management, located at 201 Arkona Court in West Palm Beach. Call (561) 686-9604 or visit

Being spiritually intimate is all about feeling connected to a greater whole. It could also encompass shared beliefs and practices. This may or may not be religious. This can be prayer, meditation or mindfulness together, and/or attending services. Spirituality can seem a little abstract.

“We can all benefit from our reconnection with spirit. Let our feet kiss this earth and nurture every piece in our intertwined environment,” said Sarah Palmer, a life coach at Dovecot Farm in Loxahatchee Groves. “In our daily distractions, let us take mindful moments to connect. Through breathwork and silence, we can feel more grounded and connected.”

Set a goal: Practice prayer, meditation and/or mindfulness together. Studies show that practicing any one of these four times daily will lead to you being less likely to get into a fight and increase marriage harmony.

Learn more about Dovecot Farm by calling (713) 969-8289 or visiting online at

What are activities you both enjoy? Gardening, jogging, cooking together, any activity you both like will serve here. Pick activities based on your shared interest. Maybe you both like to travel, but you’re not sure the best way to go about it.

“Most people don’t know where they want to go. We find out what they want and how much they really want to invest for the experience. We want to make sure they have the best experience for what their budget allows,” travel agent Mark Elie of K&E Travel said.

If travel is not your thing, try something creative. All humans create. We may not be Michelangelo or da Vinci, but we are born creative.

“Art is really about self-expression. You don’t have to be a pro to have a good time creating. When couples create together in our studio, they have fun, relax and enjoy one another through open communication, appreciation and even a little laughter,” said Kris Barnett of the Wood, Paper, Glass art studio.

Set a goal: Find an activity that you both enjoy and add it to your calendar at least once a week and watch as your relationship continues to blossom and grow.

Learn more at K&E Travel, located at 12789 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 2C, in Wellington. Call (561) 966-9808 or visit Wood, Paper, Glass is located in the original Wellington Mall at 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd. To learn more, call (561) 557-9583 or visit

Don’t be afraid to explore new ways to express yourself sexually together while leaving room for your partner to say no. If you’re less inclined than you used to be, there is no shame in that.

As we age, our metabolism naturally slows down. Talk to a medical professional about actions you can take to revitalize your metabolism.

“At Calla Genics, we believe intimacy is one of the cornerstones upon which stable, healthy communities are built,” Dr. Tiffany McCalla said. “Difficulties with sexual performance often starts in the 30s, with vascular issues being the most common cause. Luckily, there are noninvasive treatment options available to address several of the common causes, including wave therapy, hormone replacement therapy, platelet-rich plasma and hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Ultimately, achieving intimacy wellness through these non-surgical treatments can lead to deeper connections with others and a greater sense of satisfaction in relationships.”

Set a goal: Schedule a getaway at least once a season to explore sexual intimacy together.

Calla Genics is located in the original Wellington Mall at 12794 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suites 9 and 10. To learn more, call (561) 252-5398 or visit

Play is unbelievably underrated and will enhance all of the other areas. Play can be games; it can be humor. The root of play is imagination. If you are competitive, however, play can become a blood sport. My family has a law against mini golf for this reason. Luckily, there are many ways to build teamwork.

“Dancing is a great way to rekindle the romance because you play and work together as a team. Many of our students use dance as their date night so that they make sure to make time for each other and have fun,” said Doreen Scheinpflug of Fred Astaire Dance Studio.

Set a goal: Take a dance class. Have game night once a week and try out new games until you find at least one you both think is fun. Keep playing and be playful about it.

Fred Astaire Dance Studio is located at 157 S. State Road 7, Suite 103. To learn more, call (561) 812-3825 or visit

If these topics feel a bit uncomfortable, that is actually good! Intimacy is all about expanding comfortability with your partner. Having those slightly uncomfortable talks make it safe to do so, and your marriage will continue to grow.

Once you have tried out an area or two, make it a habit. Remember, it takes 30 days to start a habit and 90 days for it to take root. Each month, try a new area and expand the ways that you are growing your intimacy together.


Ear, Nose And Throat Expert

Ear, Nose And Throat
Expert Dr. Deborah Loney Brings A Lifetime Of Experience To Her Local ENT Practice

By Mike May

For Dr. Deborah Loney, there’s no normal day in the office. Based on the campus of Palms West Hospital, Loney practices otolaryngology, which is more commonly known as an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor.

“For me, no two days are the same,” said Loney, who lives in Wellington with her husband, Gerry Brown, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, who now teaches geometry at John I. Leonard High School in Greenacres. “I have office hours where I see patients on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays. I conduct surgeries on Wednesdays and Fridays at Palms West Hospital, Wellington Regional Medical Center and the Palms West Surgicenter.”

For Loney, the diversity of her ENT practice and client base can only be matched by the diversity of her background and her many life experiences that have shaped her approach to practicing medicine.

Loney was born and raised in New York, the middle child of five children. Her parents — both of whom have graduate degrees — are from Trinidad. For college, Loney enrolled at Columbia University to pursue a degree in chemical engineering before realizing that was not the best choice for her.

“Growing up, I liked math and the sciences, especially physics, but in college, I quickly realized that the life of an engineer was not for me,” Loney said.

So, she left Columbia, switched majors to chemistry/pre-med, and enrolled at Queens College in New York City. For medical school, she moved west to Palo Alto, California, where she attended Stanford University’s School of Medicine. There, she spent five years studying and doing medical research, and along the way realized that she wanted to be an ENT.

“I loved the anatomy of the ears, nose and throat,” Loney said. “The head and neck are the Park Avenue of the body. This is where you have the critical functions of life, which are to taste, smell, talk and see.”

After graduating from Stanford, Loney headed to the University of Iowa in Iowa City for her residency, which gave her the chance to work under the legendary head-and-neck specialist Dr. Brian McCabe.

“It was a fantastic learning opportunity. My boyfriend [now spouse] supported my decision 100 percent, although it meant we would be apart,” Loney recalled. “He told me to go where I would learn the most, so I did.”

While Loney chose Iowa, the U.S. Air Force assigned Brown to South Korea.

“In our first year of marriage, my husband was in South Korea, and I was in Iowa,” Loney said. “I went to see him twice, and he came to see me twice in that first year.”

After a five-year residency in Iowa, Loney excelled at her boards. With her husband in the midst of a successful military career, Loney practiced wherever her husband was stationed. Initially, that meant working in Virginia, just outside Washington, D.C., as he was stationed at the Pentagon.

While in Virginia, Loney spent six months working as an ENT and gained great experience as a locum tenens physician, which meant she traveled around the country as a fill-in for ENT doctors in their practices while they were away for an extended period of time. “That was an invaluable experience,” she said.

Later, Loney and her husband moved to other places around the nation, such as Nevada, California and Iowa. During these years of moving around the country, they had two sons, now in their 20s. This military lifestyle also included an assignment in England. Another interesting twist in Loney’s career was her decision to stop working full time and dedicate six years to homeschooling her sons.

Despite the day-to-day absence from the profession during those years, she was able to transition back into the ENT field.

“We had two and half years in Bury St. Edmonds in England, where Gerry was stationed at the Mildenhall Air Force Base,” Loney said. “I volunteered as an ENT, as needed on the base. That kept my skills sharp.”

That experience of living overseas enabled Loney and her family to travel throughout Europe frequently. She loves travel and plans to keep traveling for the rest of her life.

Four years after returning to the U.S. from England, her husband retired from the military. They moved to Palm Beach County to be near her aging parents.

When she currently works as an ENT, Loney utilizes the skills of a detective, as well as a doctor.

“If a patient is having trouble breathing, it could be due to a vocal cord mass or paralysis, nasal obstruction, lung problem, neck mass, sinusitis or even heart failure,” Loney said. “With each patient, I have to look closely, listen carefully, complete a head and neck exam, and then integrate it all to arrive at a diagnosis and treatment plan.”

There are occasions where she diagnoses an ailment with a patient serendipitously.

“A husband came along with his wife for her routine ear appointments,” Loney recalled. “I noticed that he was persistently hoarse. I examined his vocal cords, and I found a mass that turned out to be cancerous.”

Being overweight is an issue that often impacts health.

“Obesity is a big issue, especially as it often correlates with obstructive sleep apnea,” Loney said. “Roughly 70 percent of sleep apnea patients are obese — and 40 percent of obese people suffer from sleep apnea. Sleep apnea can cause headaches, irritability, hypertension, daytime fatigue, predisposition to diabetes and cardiovascular disease, diminished libido and decreased attentiveness.”

Loney spends a great deal of time encouraging her patients to lead healthier lifestyles.

“Watch what you eat, moderation is key. No. 1 is don’t smoke,” Loney said. “I also tell people, especially younger people, to not listen to loud music.”

When Loney is not working as an ENT, she loves exercising.

“I like running, bicycling, kayaking, tennis and snorkeling,” she said. “I stay healthy with exercise.”

Loney complements her exercise with a largely healthy diet, which she encourages her patients to adopt.

As for her long-term future, retirement is not a goal. Instead, she’d like to mix business with pleasure as she ages.

“My goal is to travel and to work as an ENT in underserved areas, where I can help others,” Loney said. “In the end, I want to leave the world in better shape.”

When she reflects upon her life, filled with marriage, children and travel, she wants other women to realize that they can enjoy the same lifestyle, even while working in the medical field.

“A career in medicine doesn’t mean you can’t have a life,” Loney said. “We need more women in the medical fields, surgical subspecialties in particular. They shouldn’t assume you have to forego marriage and family life in order to pursue your passion.”

Dr. Deborah Loney practices as part of the ENT and Allergy Associates of Florida. Her office is on the campus of Palms West Hospital at 12959 Palms West Drive, Suite 220. For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call (561) 793-5077.


A Boutique Fitness Studio

A Boutique Fitness Studio Lynette Laufenberg’s Balance Fitness Focuses On Personalized Wellness Plans For Clients

Story by Callie Sharkey | Photos by Denise Fleischman

One of the challenges when it comes to tackling personal fitness is finding a safe, convenient space to work out. Many gyms are driven by numbers and contracts, but Lynette Laufenberg wanted to create something new at her Balance Fitness studio by putting her focus on the clientele and their individual needs.

“Before I start any client, I always do a complimentary consultation. We cover their health history, fitness history and what kind of activity they are currently doing,” Laufenberg said. “We talk about their current nutrition program. How is their sleep? What about their stress management? And, of course, what are their goals? From there, we can design a program.”

Everyone who steps into Balance Fitness receives personalized care in carefully tailored programs. The experience is designed to remove the pressure and allow clients to focus on their own goals at their own pace and get the most positive results possible.

“Balance Fitness is a boutique studio that is very personal and very private. It’s all personal training. People in the studio are working with a trainer or taking a small class,” Laufenberg said. “We offer anything that meets an individual’s goals from a fitness or wellness standpoint. This includes strength training, cardio, flexibility and stretching, balance, yoga and Pilates sessions, boxing, battle ropes and even TRX [suspension weight training]. The boutique recently opened a shop for women’s fitness wear, too.

Clients will see plenty of equipment for training, but maybe not as many machines as they’d expect. Laufenberg focuses on training that goes beyond sitting down to push or pull.

“I’m not opposed to machines. I think machines can be fantastic, and there is a purpose to them, but I just believe so much in training movement patterns more than just training a muscle group,” she said. “It’s all functional work and training in multiple planes and directions — using your own body’s intrinsic core strength and balance. That is more effective for the average person.”

Balance Fitness is not a membership-based facility, where one can join and come in to work out on their own.

There are classes offered regularly in Pilates, vinyasa flow or refresh and restore yoga — the latter is perfect for beginners. The hour-long classes are available as drop-ins for $20 each, or a 10-class pass for $149.

“The studio is mainly a personal training studio,” Laufenberg said. “But the small group classes are great because it’s a way for people to get instruction with a social interaction and connection as well. They are able to take guidance in a personal way that’s a little less expensive than personal training.”

The classes are small, with a maximum of 18 participants able to attend in person. What is unique about Balance Fitness is the classes are also simultaneously offered virtually through a livestreaming platform. Drop-in classes via livestream are $10 per session. For clients who love flexibility, they can purchase unlimited online and onsite group classes for $129 per month, or stick to all livestream classes for $80 per month.

“I have students who travel and find they can still keep up with yoga if they want to and just take the class from wherever they happen to be. For people on screen, if they choose to turn on their camera, I see them all, and I give them tips and check on them throughout the class, as well as teaching the people in the studio,” Laufenberg said. “I do highly recommend starting out with in-person classes, especially if they are new.”

Clients are also never locked into a contract. They can sign up and pay for classes online, or they can come in person to register. Monthly subscriptions are available on auto-pay or month-to-month. They can even shift the subscription from in-person to all virtual with no penalties.

Balance Fitness is open Monday through Friday, with the first personal training session scheduled as early as 7 a.m., and the last one-hour private session at 4:30 p.m. Saturday group classes are also available at 9 a.m., and clients may reserve personal training sessions afterward.

Laufenberg has always included fitness in her own life, starting as a gymnast. While in college, she discovered group classes. After an instructor suggested she become a fitness instructor, she was hooked. Laufenberg migrated from Iowa to Florida in 1995, and Wellington became her permanent home in 1998. She spent 22 years at Ultima Fitness as the wellness and program director, while teaching classes and individual clients.

She opened Balance Fitness in 2020, shortly before the pandemic, and managed to keep going with a strong support crew and devoted clients. Laufenberg continued to follow her dream and her passion to help others.

“I would consider what I do as the bridge between therapy and fitness,” she said. “People will have a back problem or knee problem, and we teach them that movement is prescription. By learning how to move properly, stretch properly and strengthen the area, oftentimes you can help that person battle to improve.”

Laufenberg most enjoys teaching vinyasa yoga as a class, but working one-on-one with clients is her favorite.

“I might teach them an exercise, but oftentimes what they learn is the mind-body connection that they carry through into their daily world,” she said. “For instance, we might address back or neck pain and work on how to fix that with posture training and other exercises. Those are the most rewarding to me, to have my clients out taking the information that I try to share with them and apply it to their daily life.”

Balance Fitness is located at 3220 Fairlane Farms Road, Suite 5, in Wellington. For more information, visit, call (561) 812-2647 or e-mail


Improve Your Well-Being With Massage Find Ways To Enhance Your Health And Wellness At Massage Envy Of Wellington

By Callie Sharkey

Each new year, the resolutions come rolling in, with many focused on better self-care. One of the best ways to both treat yourself and improve your well-being can be found at Massage Envy of Wellington.

“Massage therapy has many health benefits, including reducing stress, pain, muscle soreness and tension, while increasing relaxation,” Massage Envy Wellington owner Danielle Freeland said. “It also improves circulation, energy, alertness and immune function. At the same time, it helps lower both heart rate and blood pressure.”

The National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, a division of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, has delved into the science behind massage therapy and supports what practitioners have said for centuries — that massage therapy has been shown to be helpful, particularly for acute pain in the neck, shoulders and lower back. A randomized trial in 2016 even found that massage could aid in the reduction of migraine headaches. Many people find themselves on a search for pain relief without medication, and massage therapy is a great option.

But Massage Envy is much more than just a place to get a massage. The facility also offers stretching, facials — including microderm and chemical peels, and LED light therapy — cupping and a variety of service add-ons. These add-ons are referred to as “enhancements” and can vary greatly.

Depending on your needs, such services can mean rapid tension relief, sugar foot scrubs, aromatherapy, anti-aging eye treatments, or neck and décolleté treatments.

“We use exclusively Jan Marini, Obagi and PCA products in our services and on our retail shelf,” said Freeland, who believes that trust and professionalism are what creates a positive, healing environment. “Our therapists are very experienced and are trained to make you feel comfortable. We will take great care of you. Everything is tailored to your comfort level, and we are very professional in every aspect.”

For anyone curious about trying massage therapy, Massage Envy offers an introductory one-hour session for only $70. Love the experience? Signing up for the Wellness Program allows clients to receive unlimited one-hour sessions for a discounted rate.

“Our Wellness Program is not mandatory to receive treatment. We are not pushy about memberships,” Freeland explained. “Our focus is making sure you have the best experience. Every guest who books an appointment, we make sure to match your needs with the perfect therapist to fit those needs. We ask questions like what brings you in and what kind of pressure are you comfortable with in a massage.”

The therapists at Massage Envy Wellington are carefully trained to make guests feel comfortable. They take great care and tailor everything to your comfort level. For instance, clients only undress to their own comfort level and are also always draped in a modest way.

While masks are not required, staff members are accommodating to clients’ needs. There are also strict protocols on employees not coming to work if they have any signs of a cold. They enforce the highest level of sanitizing the rooms before each session.

Having spent most of her life in Palm Beach County, Freeland was a massage therapist herself for 14 years before becoming a spa manager at the Polo Club in Boca Raton for 10 years. She has been with the Massage Envy corporation since 2011 — first as clinic manager for a location in Royal Palm Beach for three years, and then as the owner and operator of a Lake Worth clinic. The Wellington location opened in 2013, and Freeland took over the site in 2019.

“We believe that customer service, hiring quality service providers and treating our employees like family is our greatest priority,” Freeland said. “I’m very intentional about who I hire, and the culture of our clinic is extremely important to me.”

That culture includes being involved in the community. Massage Envy Wellington belongs to the Wellington Chamber of Commerce, and the owners regularly support nonprofits like Place of Hope. Locals will also see them at community events like Winterfest.

“People come in, and they are in pain. We are so blessed to be able to relieve that pain and help them mentally with their stress as well,” Freeland said. “It’s very rewarding.”

Massage Envy of Wellington is located at 2615 State Road 7 in the plaza with Whole Foods Market in front of the Mall at Wellington Green. The facility is open seven days a week from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., only closing on major holidays. The best way to schedule an appointment is to call (561) 692-7777. For more information, visit


A Partner In The Fight Against Cancer

A Partner In The Fight Against Cancer Advocate Radiation Oncology Offers World-Class Cancer Care Close to Home

Advocate Radiation Oncology has recently established a new state-of-the-art cancer treatment center in West Palm Beach. Known for providing the most innovative radiation therapy available, it is Advocate’s second location on Florida’s east coast. This new office gives residents throughout Southeast Florida access to world-class physicians and advanced cancer treatment technology.

Led by Dr. Georges Hobeika and Dr. Thomas Klein, the West Palm Beach cancer treatment center features an experienced team of compassionate, board-certified radiation oncologists who partner with cancer patients to customize personal treatment plans that include the most precise cancer-fighting machines on the market.

After many years of dedication to cancer patients across the United States, Hobeika brings valuable experience and empathetic care to the region. He advocates an evidence-based approach that puts patients first, ensuring that they receive personalized treatment with an emphasis on minimizing side effects.

Fluent in English, French, Arabic and Spanish, Hobeika has participated in many cancer support groups, channeling his passion for improving the wellness of his patients.

“Dr. Hobeika combines extensive cancer-treatment knowledge with a caring and warm personality. His ability to create customized treatment plans using this approach aligns with the guiding principles of our practice,” said Dr. Arie Dosoretz, managing partner at Advocate Radiation Oncology. “We are excited to welcome Dr. Hobeika and to offer these services to the patients of Florida’s east coast with the addition of our West Palm Beach location.”

Hobieka joins Klein as a leader and advocate for cancer patients on Florida’s east coast. Klein is currently accepting patients in the West Palm Beach area. He values the personal relationships he forms with each patient and is committed to helping them in their fight against cancer both in and out of the clinic. He is passionate about raising awareness about cancer treatment and educates physicians around the country on making better treatment decisions for their patients.

Advocate Radiation Oncology is a locally owned and operated radiation oncology practice. The Advocate team of doctors work tirelessly to create individualized treatment plans that are aimed at maximizing effectiveness while minimizing the impact of treatment on a patient’s daily life.

A patient-focused approach requires the physician and surrounding staff to understand a patient’s goals and provide a compassionate and comfortable experience throughout the cancer treatment journey. The entire team at Advocate firmly believes that all patients deserve to feel that their care team is a source of strength and support from the moment they first walk through the door.

The process begins by first learning the essential details about each patient, their daily life and overall health. The goal at Advocate Radiation Oncology is to develop a highly personalized treatment plan that caters to each individual’s needs. This includes forming a well-organized and focused radiation oncology team that works closely with each patient, their caregivers and the other physicians involved in the patient’s fight against cancer. Then the Advocate team reviews the plan with the patient and their loved ones, so everyone knows what to expect and is comfortable moving forward together. As advocates, the team stays by the patient’s side throughout the treatment journey, every step of the way.

Most people may not know that radiation therapy has been used to treat cancer for more than 100 years. Radiation therapy is a safe and effective cancer treatment and is included in many treatment plans. Most likely, a patient’s treatment plan will be combined with chemotherapy and surgery to provide the best chance of controlling the disease.

With today’s technology, radiation therapy can target cancer cells with pinpoint accuracy. Advocate patients have access to the latest Varian technology, including the Halcyon, Identify and TrueBeam radiotherapy systems, widely recognized as the most innovative cancer-fighting machines on the market. Combined with a team of board-certified radiation oncologists trained at some of the nation’s most prestigious institutions, cancer patients receive compassionate, cutting-edge care.

Each Advocate treatment plan is unique to the patient, guided by the most up-to-date data to ensure that patients receive the most appropriate evidence-based cancer care. This allows patients to receive modern radiation treatment that can be delivered quickly and efficiently so that patients can live their lives with minimal disruption.

At Advocate Radiology Oncology, physicians provide treatments for breast, prostate, lung, head, neck and other types of cancer. The mission of this top-tier team of doctors and staff is in the name — to advocate for each cancer patient during their journey.

The West Palm Beach location of Advocate Radiation Oncology is located at 4832 Okeechobee Blvd., with additional Florida locations in Tamarac, Port Charlotte, Fort Myers, Cape Coral, Bonita Springs, Bradenton and Naples. For more information about Advocate Radiation Oncology, call (561) 277-0786 or visit


Expanded Access To Diagnostics

Expanded Access To Diagnostics Tampa General Hospital Adds Second TGH Imaging Facility In Palm Beach County

As part of its commitment to connecting the Palm Beach and Treasure Coast communities to highly complex medical care, Tampa General Hospital (TGH) has acquired Palm Beach Radiology in North Palm Beach, its second outpatient imaging facility in the area.

Remaining in the same location at 733 U.S. Highway 1, Building 2B, North Palm Beach, the full-service radiology center will now be known as TGH Imaging. The same physicians — Dr. Donald Goodwin, Dr. Walter Forman and Dr. Robert Stickle — will lead the practice. The same team of radiologists, technologists and support staff will continue to provide the exceptional customer service and experience that the community has come to expect. Patients now also enjoy access to a TGH Imaging PET/CT center in Palm Beach Gardens.

Accredited by the American College of Radiology (ACR), TGH Imaging’s board-certified, subspecialized on-site radiologists work as a team with highly trained technologists to offer patients high-quality exam results, often available on the same day. TGH Imaging brings together essential assets to significantly increase access, maximize efficiency, and continue to provide high-quality images and excellent customer service to patients and physicians in Palm Beach County. It is also an ACR Breast Imaging Center of Excellence.

“Adding a highly experienced and clinically excellent team such as Palm Beach Radiology will round out our services offerings to the Palm Beach and Treasure Coast communities,” said Sherri Lewman, senior vice president of enterprise imaging at TGH. “Patients in the area can now receive imaging exams within the Tampa General system, making for a more seamless experience.”

As a diagnostic resource for both patients and physicians, TGH Imaging offers a range of exams, including high-field, short-bore MRI (including breast MRI), multidetector CT, image-guided biopsies, 3D mammography, ultrasound, bone density scan and digital X-ray.

“This is an exciting opportunity for us to be part of an academic medical center that expands care options to our community, while continuing the level of care and services that our patients and referring physicians have come to expect from us since we opened our doors in 2007,” said Goodwin, a radiologist and co-founder of Palm Beach Radiology. “We are eager to leverage the expertise and resources of Tampa General to provide another level of support for our patients.”

TGH Imaging will not only support patients and physicians in the South Florida area, but also work closely with the academic medical center’s TGH Cancer Institute, allowing for a more streamlined process from diagnosis to treatment.

The teams will take a multidisciplinary approach and strongly emphasize compassionate and personalized care that focuses on the whole patient. Should patients require treatment in Tampa, they can return home to the east coast for follow-up care with their healthcare provider.

This recent acquisition continues TGH’s east coast expansion. For the past two years, Tampa General has been creating a framework of state-of-the-art services for patients in the Palm Beach and Treasure Coast areas with the expertise and innovation of a preeminent academic medical center.

The Florida East Coast initiative includes another TGH Imaging center in Palm Beach Gardens, and alliances with the Cancer Center of South Florida and Gastro Group of the Palm Beaches. It has established TGH General Surgeons of the Palm Beaches, with renowned West Palm Beach robotic surgeons Dr. Daniel R. Higgins and Dr. Itzhak Shasha. The TGH Cancer Institute also recently partnered with West Palm Beach-based physicians Dr. Robert Scoma, a thoracic surgical oncologist, and Dr. Jason Hechtman, a breast cancer surgeon.

“We are the State of Florida’s hospital. We want to support, complement and augment current care in the community, so patients can get what they need without leaving the state,” said John Couris, president and CEO of TGH. “As a research and academic hospital, we’re not just practicing medicine. We’re defining how it is practiced. TGH is building a patient-centered system to deliver world-class care.”

Tampa General Hospital is the third-highest-ranked hospital in Florida by U.S. News & World Report for 2022-23, the primary teaching affiliate of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine, and has been Florida’s leading academic medical center for more than 50 years. Patients who need a higher level of care have a direct connection to Tampa General’s academic medical center resources through its academic affiliation, including research breakthroughs, a wider variety of clinical trials and options for advanced immunotherapy procedures, enhanced personal treatment plans, and a convenient path to complex surgeries.

TGH has been affiliated with the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine since the school was created in the early 1970s. TGH is the primary teaching affiliate of the medical school at the University of South Florida, and more than 300 medical school residents are assigned to Tampa General Hospital for specialty training in areas ranging from general internal medicine to neurosurgery. In addition, USF medical, nursing, pharmacy and physical therapy students all receive part of their training at TGH. Faculty of the USF Health Morsani College of Medicine admit and care for patients at Tampa General, as do private practice physicians, many of whom also serve as adjunct clinical faculty at USF.

To learn more about TGH Imaging, visit


State-Of-The-Art Care For Women

State-Of-The-Art Care For Women The New Premier Women’s Health Center Offers The Latest Technology In A Spa-Like Setting

Story by Mike May  |  Photos by Abner Pedraza

There is a new medical facility in Wellington that focuses on women’s health and wellness for patients of all ages. The new Premier Women’s Health center at Premier Family Health in Wellington places the highest of priorities on the interests of its female patients.

In late September, Premier Family Health opened the new Premier Women’s Health center catering to female clientele from all sections of Palm Beach County.

Premier Women’s Health is designed to improve the health and well-being of all women in Palm Beach County by offering new, state-of-the-art technology and services, while collaborating with other hospitals, physicians and specialists focused on the healthcare of women.

There are now four centers at Premier Family Health, which is a patient-centered medical home that includes primary care, urgent care, ancillary services, and now, a center focused specifically on women’s health issues.

According to Dr. Vincent Apicella, the president and founder of Premier Family Health, the new Premier Women’s Health facility is a medical resource for all women.

“We are a one-stop shop for all women with any medical needs,” said Apicella, who earned his undergraduate degree from Florida Atlantic University and graduated from medical school at Nova Southeastern University. “We are also a safe space for women where they can come to share their medical issues and concerns with a trusted medical professional.”

Apicella stressed that it’s imperative that women here in the western communities have access to medical facilities that are female centric.

“We are specifically taking care of women who are some of the hardest-working people in our society as they work full-time and provide leadership in our community, while managing their families,” Apicella added. “We have built a personable environment that is a safe haven for females.”

Some of the many healthcare services provided for women at the Premier Women’s Health office include comprehensive mammograms, wellness exams, pap smears, bone density tests, contraceptive management and tests for infectious diseases.

One of the most popular services provided by Premier Women’s Health is the new high-tech mammogram procedure.

“With our 3D digital device from Siemens, it’s remarkable that we can see what we can see. We are seeing younger women with breast cancer,” Apicella explained. “We have a pain-free mammogram procedure. It’s life changing.”

It took about two years of planning by Apicella and his team for the Premier Women’s Health center to go from a concept to a reality.

“Obtaining preventive care services for women can often be extremely uncomfortable and hard,” Apicella said. “When we planned the Premier Women’s Health center, we wanted to create a unique, calming and spa-like experience.”

One of the delighted clients at Premier Women’s Health is longtime Wellington resident Angela Baker. She just recently had a mammogram at Premier Women’s Health and found it to be a great experience.

“From the moment I walked in the door, I was so impressed by everything, such as the atmosphere, the helpful staff, the new furniture and the new wallpaper,” Baker said. “And then, the actual mammogram experience was outstanding. The way it was done was extraordinary. It was above and beyond what I had expected. In fact, it was like going to a spa. I would recommend Premier Family Health and Premier Women’s Health to anybody.”

Baker’s next visit to Premier Women’s Health will be for her bone density test. She is actually looking forward to the experience.

“The staff there is very caring, and they do care a great deal about you,” Baker added.

It has not taken Premier Women’s Health very long to justify its need in the community.

“We are conducting anywhere from 12 to 16 mammograms a day,” Apicella said. “And, in two weeks, we have detected two cases of breast cancer.”

According to Candice Gorodess, a mammographer at Premier Women’s Health, one in eight women in the U.S. are affected by breast cancer, which underscores the importance of having access to this state-of-the-art technology.

One of the most impressive features at Premier Women’s Health is the new Siemens 3D Healthineers mammogram machine that is only featured in a few places in the U.S.

The X-ray arm of this new Siemens 3D machine sweeps in an arc over the woman’s breast area, where it captures images of the breast from multiple angles. Then, a computer produces a 3D image of the breast tissue on one-millimeter slices, which provide greater visibility for the radiologist to see the breast detail in a way never before possible.

The radiologist can then scroll through images of an entire breast like pages of a book. The additional 3D images make it possible for a radiologist to better evaluate the patient’s breast tissue, allowing radiologists to find breast cancers earlier and reduce the need for follow-up imaging.

With access to technology like the Siemens 3D Healthineers, Apicella said his team can better serve local patients.

“Our goal is to discover a problem before it becomes a bigger issue,” Apicella explained.

As an added benefit, the mammography device from Siemens reduces radiation exposure to the client by 30 percent.

While Premier Women’s Health prides itself on being a medical outlet where the services range from prevention to treatment, there are times when the staff needs outside assistance from specialists.

“We have established partnerships with a number of medical professionals in the area, such as medical doctors, local hospitals, diagnostic imaging centers and gynecologists,” Apicella said. “We are here to provide collaborative care.”

If you’re a woman who wants a medical facility that’s focused on making every patient’s care a top priority over, consider the new Premier Women’s Health office in Wellington, where the staff await your arrival.

Open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, Premier Women’s Health is located 1035 S. State Road 7, Suite 120A, in Wellington. For more information, call (561) 798-3030, ext. 5050.