Category Archives: Wellington Health

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


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


Dr. Nadia Pierre Enjoys Helping Women Through Successful Pregnancies


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


Cooper Orthodontics Provides Patients With Beautiful Smiles And Much More


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


Dr. Jesse Skinner Joins All Paws Animal Clinic

Health_All Paws

Wellington The Magazine-August 2016

Dr. Jesse Skinner Joins All Paws Animal Clinic

All Paws Animal Clinic is proud to introduce its new associate veterinarian, Dr. Jesse Skinner.

Skinner was born and raised in Palm Beach County. A graduate of Lake Worth High School, he spent much time as a young man enjoying the area’s beautiful beaches, surfing with friends. After graduation, he decided to join the Florida Army National Guard and was deployed to Afghanistan in 2004. It was there that Skinner discovered his interest in medicine.

Upon returning home, Skinner combined his newfound interest in medicine with his love for animals and decided to pursue a career in veterinary medicine. He began pursuing this goal by working in a veterinary clinic. “I was lucky enough to work for Dr. Patty Forsythe at All Paws as an assistant, which only increased my passion for the profession,” Skinner said.

Skinner attended Florida Atlantic University and graduated cum laude with a degree in psychobiology. He continued his education by obtaining his doctor of veterinary medicine degree from North Carolina State University, one of the nation’s most highly ranked veterinary schools.

During his tenure at North Carolina State, Skinner received an award for excellence in junior surgery, as well as the American Animal Hospital Association award for proficiency in primary care. His professional interests include surgery, geriatric care, clinical pathology, ultrasound and internal medicine.

Skinner enjoys the diversity of the veterinary medicine he can perform at All Paws Animal Clinic, as well as the client interaction. His goal is to always keep the client calm and well-informed, so that the focus can be on the pet receiving the best care. He brings a keen insight and strong diagnostic ability to All Paws. Combined with Forsythe’s extensive experience in veterinary medicine, they both look forward to providing the western communities “quality veterinary care with compassion.”

Skinner is a family man and enjoys spending his free time with his wife, Nicole, and two dogs, Trouble and Namani. He also stays active still surfing, going to the gym and playing basketball. Depending on the season, he can be found rooting for Florida sports teams, such as the Dolphins, Hurricanes, Heat and Marlins.

All Paws Animal Clinic is located at 1011 N. State Road 7 in Royal Palm Beach. For more information, call (561) 790-9225 or visit


Vargas Girl Gives Patients A More Youthful Look

Dr. Patricia Allen and Dr. Damaris Vargas of Vargas Girl: Beauty by the Aesthetic Doctors.

Wellington The Magazine – June 2016                                                             Vargas Girl Gives Patients A More Youthful Look

Story by Jason Stromberg • Photo by Abner Pedraza

Girl Power is female empowerment, independence and self-sureness. The Spice Girls, the British all-female pop group, brought the phrase into the mainstream lexicon. Dr. Damaris Vargas and Dr. Patricia Allen, board-certified emergency medical doctors at Palms West Hospital, love that phrase.

Girl Power is what their new business — Vargas Girl: Beauty by the Aesthetic Doctors — is all about: a woman on a journey to look her best at any age.

Vargas and Allen give women that better look and feel through their practice, which is based on concierge aesthetic medicine.

“Every woman wants the best version of themselves,” Vargas said. “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Please yourself so that you feel good. You want to feel better.”

Vargas Girl is all about glamour and beauty redefined.

“We realized that we both had intentions of branching out from emergency medicine to give treatment to those who are looking to improve their skin,” Allen said. “We’re trying to get people to feel better about their appearance.”

Vargas Girl was Vargas’ dream.

“I thought of the paintings,” said Vargas, referring to Joaquin Alberto Vargas, a famous Peruvian painter of pin-up girls. “I thought of it as a prime play on my name. Aesthetics is the image I wanted to portray.”

Aesthetic medicine is about maintaining a youthful, natural appearance. Everyone should feel good and naturally healthy in their own skin. That is their goal for every patient.

“Patient care is number one. I feel like the patients and I can take that journey together,” Vargas said. “That feeling of being more beautiful, stronger, confident. Feeling more empowered as the days go by, as you age. You can be 60 years old and start a new chapter in your life. That confidence you had in your 20s and 30s, you can carry through for the rest of your life.”

At their practice, Vargas and Allen provide services that include chemical peels, microdermabrasion, fillers, micro-needling with the MicroPen and Platelet-Rich Plasma (PRP), which uses the patient’s own blood to stimulate and release growth factors that help to rebuild the skin.

“We are starting this business in Wellington and letting it catch on to the rest of South Florida,” Vargas said. “We are two women in South Florida who are going to empower other women.”

You feel empowered because you feel beautiful. Taking ownership of your beauty is the message that Allen is trying to send.

“In this field, the patient leaves smiling,” Allen said. “I get to leave the Vargas Girl business feeling good. It makes me feel I did something good at the end of the day.”

In January, Vargas Girl opened its doors at 1043 S. State Road 7, Suite 125, in the Wellington Reserve. “We aren’t sitting in our clinic waiting for people to come in,” Allen said. “It’s all appointment-based, unless we are having an event day.”

Already, there are Vargas Girl success stories.

“One of the nurses I know very well in the emergency department at Palms West Hospital had work done by us,” Allen said. “Through a combination of multiple procedures, we were able to help rejuvenate her skin.”

The nurse’s reaction didn’t surprise either doctor.

“Our nurse said she felt beautiful for the first time in many years when she looked in the mirror after the procedure,” Allen said. “I hadn’t seen her smile like that in years. That made me smile.”

Vargas and Allen trained extensively through the American Academy of Aesthetic Medicine.

“Our practice is based on medicine and artistic savvy,” Vargas said. “The best part is seeing the smiles, the tears that well up in each patient’s eyes when they like what they see. It can be as minimal as erasing a wrinkle. We want to make sure that our patients leave the office a better version of themselves.”

That includes men. “Our goal is to empower men,” Vargas said. “We do some procedures for men, such as taking care of balding. Anything we do for women, we do for men. We aren’t gender-specific, despite the name.”

For more information about Vargas Girl, call Dr. Damaris Vargas at (561) 292-5266 or Dr. Patricia Allen at (561) 292-5253, or visit medicine.




May 2016 Wellington Health

Dr Michael Rathjens

Wellington Health

Dr. Michael Rathjens Provides Patients With Psychological Support

By Jason Stromberg

Dr. Michael Rathjens developed a passion for helping those in need while attending Oglethorpe University in Atlanta. The Wellington resident was drawn toward the study of psychology.

After graduating from Oglethorpe in 1985 with a bachelor’s degree in psychology, Rathjens completed his master’s and doctoral degrees at Nova Southeastern University in 1990. He then completed his internship and residency training at the University of Miami.

“I worked for the first 10 years of my practice as the chief psychologist at a physical rehabilitation hospital in Fort Lauderdale, where I was the program director of spinal cord injuries, chronic pain, oncology and traumatic burns,” recalled Rathjens, a clinical psychologist who has been practicing for 20-plus years.

Since that time, Rathjens has moved on to provide support for patients at his own practice, located in the Lake Wellington Professional Centre.

“Biology and psychology go hand-in-hand with the psychological adjustments to people’s physical problems,” Rathjens said. “The primary focus of my private practice for the past 20 years has included helping people who have had difficulty with relationships, substance abuse and parenting, which has led to symptoms of depression and anxiety.”

Rathjens relishes the opportunity to help patients understand their feelings and solve their problems.

“Once the patient begins to focus on what he can control, or in other words, if we can put our energy on the focus on what the person has control over, that makes them feel so much better moving forward,” Rathjens said. “We answer for ourselves only. If we stay focused on what we have control over, and what is truly worth our energy, it makes it easier for us to accomplish our goals to be a better parent, or someone who can stop using substances, or can have a better relationship.”

Rathjens tells patients, regardless of what they face, not to internalize everything or blame themselves or carry guilt for things for which they’re not personally responsible.

A common issue that Rathjens deals with involves an adolescent coping with his or her parents’ divorce.

“They need to adjust to the fact that their parents are separating despite the fact that they want things to be what they once were,” he said. “This can affect school, work and social things. Typically, people need to get their perspective back.”

All of this can depend on the age of the child. “You still need to do your job, get your work done in school, and be with your friends,” Rathjens said. “These are things we can’t lose sight of. You can’t control your parents’ decisions, but you can control the way you live your life.”

Rathjens’ favorite success story is when parents apply a consistent way to help their children cope with what they are dealing with and see the improvement in each child’s life through everyone’s efforts. “It’s very rewarding. I’m very impassioned by that,” said Rathjens, who noted that married couples having trouble in their relationships make up about a third of his practice.

He also works with people who have been through traumatic situations.

“What I feel most satisfied and passionate about is when a person has had a traumatic injury and is able to regain a sense of independence,” Rathjens said. “For example, when someone is paralyzed from an automobile accident, or someone is diagnosed with a chronic medical condition, through their efforts and therapy, they are able to become independent, when they once felt that this was never going to be possible.”

The cornerstone of Rathjens’ profession is the importance of confidentiality and the respect that he holds for a person who is willing to work with him on his or her concerns.

“You can always go for an initial consult just to see if this doctor can be helpful to you,” Rathjens said. “I practice cognitive behavioral therapy, which is problem-specific, with focused treatment goals. So, in that initial consultation, you’ll know whether the treatment that is being proposed to you is going to work.”

A comfort level between the psychologist and the patient is crucial.

“Everyone has something to work on, but not everyone needs therapy,” he said. “If you’re suffering from those issues, at least have a consultation to see what direction you should take.”

To contact Rathjens, call (561) 790-7975 or e-mail him at


April 2016 Wellington Health


Wellington Health

Veterinarian Dr. Kathleen Spillane Treats Animals In Need Around The Clock

Story by Jason Stromberg

Photo by Abner Pedraza (?)

Dr. Kathleen Spillane isn’t always sure what issue your pet may have when it first arrives at the Palms West Veterinary Hospital, but after a quick diagnosis, she is ready to take care of it.

The veterinarian has treated a lot of pets needing emergency medical care, and there hasn’t yet been one that she’s shied away from.

“I’d say 98 percent of the pets that we treat here at the hospital are cats and dogs,” said Spillane, 30. “We’ve had a guinea pig with a runny nose and hamsters that need their toenails trimmed. Those are the pocket pets we’ve tended to, but the majority of the pets we treat are cats and dogs.”

Open 24/7/365, Palms West Veterinary Hospital is family-owned by Dr. Ira Grossman. Spillane is one of several veterinarians on board who can be at the hospital at the crack of dawn, or there late at night, even overnight.

“We arrive in the morning, and the doctor who was on overnight tells us about the cases that are in the hospital that morning,” Spillane said. “If there is any follow-up that needs to be done, we tend to that immediately. The more common emergency patients arrive at night.”

Spillane, who graduated from veterinary school at the University of Pennsylvania in 2012, has been working at Palms West Veterinary Hospital for almost two years, and she loves what she does.

“I’m very thorough and understanding,” Spillane said. “This career gives me an opportunity to keep on learning for the rest of my life. I like the fact that when I’m helping these pets, I’m also helping their owners.”

Seeing animals that are in need of immediate medical attention can be overwhelming and emotional at times. The toughest part is the euthanasia process. “We get a lot of compliments here for getting people through that process,” Spillane said. “We make it as comfortable as we can for the animal, and that makes it comfortable for the owner.”

If a scheduled anesthetic procedure, a surgery or a teeth cleaning needs to be done, the pet gets dropped off at the hospital and is tended to immediately. Sometimes there are more dramatic situations where a dog arrives in a comatose state.

“You have to talk to the owner and ask, ‘Why has this happened?’” Spillane said. “The dog could be paralyzed, it could be having a seizure, or it could be severely dehydrated from a heat stroke, or a gastrointestinal upset. We make sure to get your sick dog some intravenous fluids and get it as hydrated as possible.”

There are also common cat emergencies, such as when a male cat cannot urinate. Toxins can build up in the cat, and it’s being poisoned from inside, Spillane explained.

“We feel the bladder, and if it’s hard, if the cat is awake, that can be painful. We have to give the cat a catheter through the urethra and into the bladder. They need IV fluids to flush out their system,” Spillane said.

It’s not an easy job, but it’s a rewarding one for Spillane when things are successfully taken care of. No matter what the problem is, each veterinarian does his or her best to stabilize each animal. At least one doctor and one technician are present from 8 p.m. until 8 a.m., the emergency hours. Normal hours are from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, when two or three doctors are available.

Grossman, 63, oversees the entire practice. He runs the family-owned business with his son Glen, co-business manager with his fiancé Melissa, and Grossman’s wife, Marta, who works on Saturdays. Grossman’s two other children, Neil and Andi, are currently in veterinary school.

Grossman speaks highly of Spillane. “She’s my protégé,” he said. “She’s a great vet who performs internal medicine, surgery and critical care here. She does an excellent job and has great compassion for animals.”

For Spillane, there’s rarely a dull moment at the hospital. “I like the variety here,” she said. “You never know what’s going to walk through the door.”

Palms West Veterinary Hospital is located at 556 Folsom Road in Loxahatchee Groves. To learn more, call (561) 798-2780 or visit


March 2016 Wellington Health


Wellington Health

Dr. Jonathan Chung Specializes In A Gentle Approach To Chiropractic

Story by Ron Bukley

Photo by Abner Pedraza

Dr. Jonathan Chung of Keystone Chiropractic was drawn to his specialty in college when his friend’s father treated him for sports injuries.

“I had plans on going into sports medicine, and one of my best friends at the time was going into chiropractic because his father was a chiropractor,” Chung said. “I had been an athlete all my life.”

A Florida native, Chung grew up in Davie playing baseball. He graduated from Nova High School.

“When I was in college, I started learning more about chiropractic,” he recalled. “Chiropractic is all about the body’s natural ability to heal itself. It’s more about eliminating obstructions to the body’s ability to heal, using natural methods to promote healing within the body. I started getting adjusted by my friend’s father, and some of these aches and pains from playing sports started to go away.”

People come to Chung for a variety of ailments, but he is known for difficult-to-treat illnesses such as vertigo, chronic migraines and jaw pain.

“We also take care of a lot of people after a concussion,” he said. “Quite a few people come in to me for that, especially Wellington equestrians who fall off a horse. We also take care of people with low back pain, neck pain and shoulder pain from sports.”

A central theme in his treatment is atlas displacement, the way the head is sits on top of the neck.

“If there’s an abnormal sitting of the head on the neck, it can create a lot of these other symptoms,” Chung said. “By correcting that bad positon, we can restore function to the nervous system, improve circulation to the head and neck, and improve the joints’ ability to move, which has beneficial effects on the brain and nervous system overall.”

Chung employs a gentle, noninvasive procedure developed by the National Upper Cervical Chiropractic Association (NUCCA) to treat patients.

“There’s no twisting or popping or cracking associated with it,” he said. “It’s a technique focused on the neck, and it’s how we form a structural correction of the upper neck.”

This provides the necessary correction without harsher movements often associated with chiropractic.

“What most people feel is a series of gentle pressures against the top of the neck,” Chung said. “Hours later or days later they’ll actually start to feel the effects of the adjustment.”

Chung is one of only 300 doctors in the country who utilize the NUCCA procedure. He received his degree from the Life University in Atlanta.

A core philosophy of chiropractic is that a healthy human body is always trying to be as healthy as possible, he said, explaining that a lot of people think of a fever as a sickness.

“The fever, when we look at the core of it, is actually a mechanism in the human body to help get rid of viruses, to stop infections or slow them down. That is actually part of the healing process. Even though it doesn’t feel good, it is a part of what helps us get better and fight off illness. In chiropractic, we recognize this ability as part of the healing process. We’re here to try and promote the body’s own natural healing ability.”

Chung’s office offers classes to teach people how to strengthen their spine using exercise and corrective movements. They treat all ages, including infants and seniors.

“We have a state-of-the-art X-ray that allows us to measure the head and neck positon down to fractions of a millimeter,” he said. “Everything we do is objective and based in science, so not only will someone feel the difference from the type of work that we do, but they’ll be able to see the difference from when we first take an X-ray.”

Chung truly enjoys what he does for patients.

“It’s not just making someone feel better,” he said. “It’s knowing that we’re leaving the person in a physically better state than they were when they came in.”

Keystone Chiropractic is located at 420 State Road 7, Suite 170, near the Toys ‘R’ Us store. To learn more, call (561) 331-3162 or visit


February 2016 Wellington Health

Health_Ideal Family Practice

Wellington Health

Walk-In Medical Care And More At Ideal Family Practice

By Ron Bukley

Ideal Family Practice & Walk-In Express Care, which opened last year at the recently constructed Medical Groves Plaza on Southern Blvd., offers a holistic, preventative approach to healthcare.

“We are nurse practitioners, so, generally, we care for anyone kindergarten age and up for primary care, and anybody a year and up for urgent care,” explained Tina Dochniak, DNP, ARNP, who has partnered with Stephanie Wise, ARNP, to operate a clinic that can offer most primary and urgent care services of a doctor’s office, but on a more personal level.

Urgent care services include immediate attention that is often not available at a doctor’s office.

“Say you wake up and you have a sore throat,” Dochniak said. “You don’t have an appointment, so you just walk in. That can be anywhere from wounds and not feeling well to abdominal pain and chest pain.”

Dochniak and Wise are looking to serve families who need primary care, as well as flexibility.

“Kids are sick, you can’t get in to see your primary doctor because they don’t have walk-ins, or there’s a limited amount of walk-in appointments,” Wise said. “We have walk-in from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.,” Wise said. “You can still come in and get your physicals. There’s continuity of care in the sense that when you’re sick, you’re not going to one of the other urgent care centers where they may not know your blood pressure medicine. We’re all on the same system.”

Both Wise and Dochniak grew up and attended local schools, including college.

“We know the area, we know the people, we had a patient base in this area already,” Wise said. “The opportunity arose. We didn’t actually pick this spot; it kind of arose out of a need for a walk-in facility and an overflow-type of thing for the [doctor’s] office next door. We looked at it as a wonderful opportunity, especially to be out here in the western communities.”

Wise, attended the King’s Academy and lived in the Loxahatchee area. Dochniak attended John I. Leonard High School. They both attended Palm Beach State College and Florida Atlantic University, where they received their ARNP degrees, and Dochniak also received her doctorate in nursing.

“Nurse practitioners are trained a little bit differently than physicians,” Dochniak said. “We are trained from an RN level to look at the patient as a holistic person, so we treat not only from a medical model, but also, the goal of nurse practitioning is to keep the patient healthy. It’s a lot of teaching about how to stay healthy.”

Wise said their office is a model of healthcare that Florida is catching up to.

Dochniak noted that nurse practitioners in Florida are more restricted in what they can do than most nurse practitioners nationwide.

“Nurse practitioners in many parts of the U.S. have been in practices on their own for years,” she said. “The movement is coming to Florida.”

In Florida, nurse practitioners work with a collaborative physician who signs a protocol with the state that takes responsibility but doesn’t have to be directly in the day-to-day care of patients.

“I think we have the opportunity to have more time with the patients and get to know them on a more personal basis,” Dochniak said. “The way that healthcare is moving, there’s not a lot of physicians who do primary or family practice anymore, so nurse practitioners are filling that gap.”

Dochniak and Wise have arranged their schedules so one of them is always available when the office is open. “We take care of each other,” Dochniak said. “When one of us is not here, the other one is here.”

Ideal Family Practice & Walk-In Express Care is located at 13475 Southern Blvd., Suite 100, in Loxahatchee Groves, just west of Palms West Hospital. Call (561) 231-5200 or visit for more information.


HEALTH: Dr. Bao T. Doan Brings Cosmetic Medicine Services To Tipsy Salonbar Locations

17_HEALTH Dr. Bao T

Wellington Health

Story by Ron Bukley

Photo by ???

Dr. Bao T. Doan is a well-known interventional radiologist, but she was looking for a more gratifying practice that brought happiness for her patients through cosmetic medicine, so she entered into a partnership with Tipsy Salonbar, which has five locations, including one in Wellington.

“I do intervention and surgeries through the arteries and the veins,” Doan said. “That’s my profession. I do biopsies, and basically any endovascular surgery.”

She has been in practice for 12 years and is prominent in her profession, but she also finds cosmetic medicine very gratifying. “I like everything that looks beautiful, like design,” Doan said.

She has taken training in cosmetic medicine over the years to pursue her interest in making people feel good about themselves through their appearance.

“Mostly women, but more and more men, feeling beautiful, it’s all about aesthetic,” she explained. “I got interested in Botox, particularly, about 10 years ago, so I went back and took several classes. I wasn’t ready to leave my job as a radiologist, so it was a balance.”

Doan started out with a clinic to do Botox treatments, but it was in a medical building, which was not her concept of a spa. This led to her partnership with Tipsy owner Beth Nguyen to practice cosmetic medicine in her spas.

“I think it should be a one-stop,” Doan said. “It’s all about beauty. You can come here, feel good about your hair, feel good about your nails, your skin and Botox while you’re there. Botox and fillers is what I do most here.”

Botox treatments, once controversial, have become more widely accepted, she said.

“People spend all this time and money on makeup, which does work… but when I do Botox, it really helps the patient feel younger and more confident,” Doan explained. “I don’t think Botox is for everybody, but for people who believe in it, I think I’m always happier to give that joy to them.”

Doan said that the spa environment is not as intimidating as a medical environment, and patients feel at ease talking with her about beauty and things that will make them feel better.

“It’s a new vision, and I think it’s unusual for a doctor to be in a salon/spa setting, but I think that’s going to be the future, because Botox is becoming more of a commodity than a sterile surgical procedure,” she said.

One of her most successful procedures is lip augmentation to give volume.

“As a physician and an interventional radiologist, I know the anatomy, I know where the arteries are and know to avoid them, so I think I get good results by being very intrinsic with all the muscles of the face and how they move and mostly how the arteries and veins are, to avoid the bruising and other issues,” Doan said. “I’m very comfortable with my hands, because that’s what I do all day long.”

Doan can also prescribe low-cost, pharmaceutical-quality sunscreens and anti-aging creams, and can give medical-grade chemical peels. She said that there are many ways to treat wrinkles, and plans to expand into new cosmetic treatments, including laser, high-intensity light and minimally invasive liposuction.

“There are many ways to treat wrinkles, and I want to be there for all of it,” she said. “I’m hoping to have a clinic where people can come and sit with me and talk, and together we can build a beauty plan,” Doan said.

Doan received her degree from the McGill University Health Center in Montreal, and has done extensive postdoctoral training. She is the author of numerous research presentations and publications in her field.

Tipsy’s Wellington location is at 10120 W. Forest Hill Blvd., Suite 100, in the Pointe at Wellington Green near Stonewood Grill & Tavern. Call (561) 791-5603 or visit for more information.