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Coming in March 2012 Effingham Orthopedic Services

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www.EffinghamHealth.org Christopher Mathews, MD


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CONTRIBUTORS

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Todd Wood

Todd began his professional photography career 12 years ago. He recently stepped down as editor for Effingham Magazine to pursue other interests in business, videography and personal photography. Though he is no longer with the magazine full-time, he could not imagine not working in some capacity with Effingham Magazine, so he still does photography as well as layout and design. Todd’s latest projects have become video oriented and he is working with various musicians and artists in several capacities.

Julie Hales owner/publisher julie@idpmagazines.com Mike Moseley account executive mike@idpmagazines.com Todd Wood layout/design/photography todd@idpmagazines.com Lea Allen administrative assistant/circulation lea@idpmagazines.com

Kathryn Turner

Lane Gallegos graphic design lane@idpmagazines.com

Clark Byron

Clark Byron is an award-winning singer/song writer. He, wife Elaine and daughter Sarah are newcomers to Savannah. A native New Yorker, Clark spent the last 26 years in Kansas City in various executive capacities and also did plenty of freelance writing. The Byrons moved to Savannah in November 2010 in fulfillment of a longtime dream. He is now a fulltime freelance feature and business writer whose services are much in demand. Clark is an urban history enthusiast and has a passion for all things nostalgic. He holds a doctorate in Ministry and is an avid student of Philosophy. Clark is an accomplished cook and enjoys regional and fine cuisine.

Barbara Russell

Barbara Russell is a freelance writer and photographer, and in the past she was a high school English teacher and a flight attendant. Always an avid horse person and riding instructor, she enjoys writing for equine publications and she is writing a young adult novel about horses. For several years she wrote feature stories and a history column for Effingham CloseUp, and she has been published in a variety of magazines. Currently she enjoys writing for Independence Day Publishing. Interviewing local people and having the opportunity to retell their unique stories is her passion.

Denise Gonsales

Denise began her professional photography career five years ago after freelancing for several photographers. She was drawn to wedding photography and soon Denise Gonsales Photography was born. She stresses the importance of communication between her company and their clients. What really makes her feel good is being able to look her clients in the eyes knowing that she gave her heart and soul to them, with each and every event. Denise takes only a limited number of weddings per year so that she is able to maintain that personal touch, thus giving each couple the attention that they deserve on their special day.

SUBSCRIPTIONS Subscribe to Effingham Magazine by submitting a check and subscription information form found in every issue. You may also subscribe by calling (912)826-2760. LETTERS TO THE PUBLISHER Write to us and tell us what you think. Effingham Magazine welcomes all letters to the publisher. Please send all letters via email to Julie Hales at julie@idpmagazines.com Letters to the publisher must have a phone number and name of contact. Phone numbers will not be published. ARTICLE SUBMISSIONS Effingham Magazine welcomes story ideas from our readers. If you have a story idea, or photo essay you would like to share, please submit ideas and material by emailing Julie Hales at julie@idpmagazines.com All articles and photos will be reviewed by the publisher, and if the articles and accompanying photos meet the criteria of Independence Day Publishing, Inc., the person submitting the material will be contacted. Stories or ideas for stories must be submitted by email. Only feature stories and photo essays about people, places or things in Effingham County will be considered. CALENDAR SECTION We’re looking for your information about clubs, organizations, events and meetings. For events in Apri/May 2012, copy must be submitted by April 2, 2012. Please email all copy to julie@ idpmagazines.com. Effingham Magazine is published bimonthly by Independence Day Publishing, Inc. Reproduction in whole or in part in any manner without the written permission of the publisher is strictly prohibited. Effingham Magazine 108 International Drive Rincon, GA 31326 (912) 826-2760

www.effinghammagazine.com

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Katie is a freelance writer and Effingham County native who enjoys meeting new and interesting people. She earned her English degree at Georgia Southern University, and caught the travel bug while studying abroad in Costa Rica, where she received a minor in Spanish. After college, she worked briefly in Yellowstone National Park, where she enjoyed hiking and photographing the scenery and the wildlife. She is always up for visiting new places, but she loves the south and is proud to call Effingham her home.


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CONTENTS February/March 2012

10

14

24

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features

10 Visionary Leader

Norma Jean Morgan talks about the hospital’s recent acheivement

42 When Losing is Winning

Guy and Michelle Cintron go on a mission to lose more than they gain.

14 The New Reality

The expansion of Effingham Hospital, now Effingham Health System

24 The Legend of the Yawn

For more than 40 years, Clif Yawn has been a martial arts luminary.

28

Road to Recovery Anthony Pascetti is recovering well from injuries while serving his country.

34 Fighting Childhood Cancer

Sam Giordano and his family are making their stand against childhood cancer.

38 Enjoying Life

Willie Tebeau has enjoyed her life so far...all 102 years of it.

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departments

09 Publisher’s Thoughts 46 Dining Guide 49 Effingham Weddings


PUBLISHER’S Thoughts

On the Cover

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Effingham Health System opens its doors

Norma Jean Morgan discusses the new expansion of Effingham Hospital.

Looking ahead......... It is hard to believe that 2012 is already in full swing. I hope that each of you have made some New Year’s resolutions. We certainly have. And, our number one resolution is to bring you, our readers, an even better Effingham Magazine than ever before. With this being our first issue of the new year, we feel confident we have started that resolution off with a bang. This issue serves as our annual Health and Wellness issue.... and it is our best yet! What better time to have this issue? It’s the beginning of the year.....everyone is in fitness mode. People are thinking of healthier foods, exercise and preventative care. And, certainly no better time to have an issue like this with the expansion of our very own Effingham Hospital. What a milestone! Our cover story is a familiar face, Mrs. Norma Jean Morgan. Mrs. Morgan is a native of Effingham County who has always had the betterment of this community in mind. She is a woman of loyalty, determination and faith. These qualities, along with her vision, have been a driving force behind our new Effingham Health System. Read about this new expansion, and our new state-of- the art facility. Health care in Effingham County is bigger and better than ever before. We no longer have to drive to Savannah for our health care needs...... everything we need is right here at home. We have also included some Julie Hales, Publisher great feature stories on people in our community. Some who have battled illnesses, others who have overcome adversity by making fitness a part of their lives and some who are battling still. Read their touching stories....I am sure you will see a familiar face or two. Also, you will find business profiles on some of our health care professionals in our community. Read these profiles and learn of all the health services we have available right here at our fingertips. As with any business, we have set a strategic plan for our new year. We will be adding new features that I feel will be a plus to all Effingham residents. Each of our issues in 2012 will have a certain theme, showcasing some of the best in our area. We are excited about the new year. We invite you to be a part of Effingham Magazine. We welcome any story ideas or added features you would like to see. Email me at Julie@idpmagazines.com and share your thoughts. Enjoy your reading!

Connect with us on Facebook. Be the first to know what is going on with Effingham Magazine and what new and exciting things we are working on. Become a fan today.

Effingham Magazine | February/March 2012 09


Norma Jean Morgan, CEO Effingham Health System

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COVER Story

“Where there is no vision, the people are scattered.” So goes the literal

Norma Jean Morgan

Visionary

translation of Proverbs 29:18. So goes also, the people with no leadership to instill a common vision. It takes a visionary leader to unite people in a single purpose and accomplish great things. As rural hospitals all over the country fight to keep their doors open, Effingham Hospital is expanding. Many wonder how. “I believe that leadership is the first answer,” said Norma Jean Morgan, the hospital’s chief executive officer. “Leadership is to garner all the players and to encourage them–to help them see the vision with you.” The recent expansion of Effingham Hospital is the direct result of her visionary leadership. “We have built a healthcare system,” she said with celebration in her voice. “We have moved from being a hospital and a nursing home to a healthcare system, having added primary care physicians and recruited specialty physicians.” Morgan is a native of Effingham County. “I have always had a residence in Effingham

Leadership Story by CLARK BYRON

Photos by TODD WOOD

County,” she said. She and husband, Ashley, live in the north end of the county near Clyo, about 10 miles from her childhood home in the Mizpah Church area. Ashley Morgan worked for 43 years as a machinist before retiring to do what he loves best: Farming. He and son, Michael, work about 3,000 acres. Morgan first came to Effingham Hospital in 1973 as a bookkeeper. She had attended

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The expansion has given Effingham Hospital a much greater appeal, opportunity and convenience for the citizens of Effingham County. Above - Staff members hard at work at their work stations in the new facility.

Georgia Southern University but said she learned on the job. “My training has been here. I had the opportunity to sit at the knee of Wendell Wilson who was the CPA for the organization,” she explained. “I learned how to keep the books for the organization.” Morgan filled that role for 13 years, before she was promoted to Assistant Administrator. Not long after, the position of Administrator of the Hospital and Nursing Home came open. Morgan was selected. She would fill the top spot for the next 10 years. In 1995, she left the hospital to build and run an assisted living facility in Savannah, where she would spend the next four years. Morgan has always called Effingham home. But there was a stretch of about six years when work took her to Atlanta. In 1999, she was recruited by the Department of Community Health to serve as the Director of Aging & Community Services. There, Morgan was responsible for the more than 20 Medicaid programs that pay for long-term care. She reported to the Commissioner of the Department of Community Health, who in turn, reports to the Governor. Morgan returned to Effingham County in 2005 to take

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the helm of Effingham Hospital again. She credits her time in Atlanta with providing her with a new leadership experience, a hands-on understanding of state and federal health programs, and the contacts necessary to make the much-needed hospital expansion a reality. “My current position has been best served by having been in Atlanta all those years, and having had the opportunity to work at that level of government,” she said. “Working with the Commissioner and the Governor’s office and all the long-term care providers in the state really prepared me to come back to Effingham, and to know what I needed to do to put this project together.” The hospital expansion project was launched in February 2008, with an initial presentation to the Effingham County Commission. In January 2011, there was a groundbreaking. The $30 million, 58,000 square-feet expansion was completed in February 2012. “We have gone much further than just the basics of a county hospital and nursing home,” she said. “We have built a healthcare system.” Morgan now describes Effingham Hospital as a bestpractice community hospital. “We’ve added physicians,


“We have gone much further than just the basics of a county hospital and nursing home. We have built a healthcare system.” recruited specialty physicians and added the Imaging Center,” she said. “That’s so much more than we had when I got here in December 2005.” The hospital is indeed recruiting more physicians. The expansion has given Effingham Hospital a much greater appeal. According to Morgan, calls from interested physicians have become a daily occurrence. She makes no apology for seeking and pursuing the most qualified people. “We are doing our best to offer an environment that you want to work in,” she said. “It’s a healing environment; a loving environment; one people will feel comfortable coming to.” As for her personal life, Morgan said the church was a mainstay of family life throughout her childhood. Her parents were members of Mizpah United Methodist Church. They began taking her to church when she was just two weeks old. She attends the very same church today. “That’s a very important part of my life,” she said. “I serve on several functions of the church. I enjoy it and I need that spiritual guidance.” Morgan loves to sing and play the piano. Not surprisingly, her favorite selections are hymns. She is partial to one that she said is an inspiration for her life and career. It’s called, “Others.” It opens with this powerful line:

Lord, help me live from day to day In such a self-forgetful way That even when I kneel to pray My prayer shall be for others. Some of her other interests include reading, particularly about the War Between the States. “I love history and I particularly like that period.” Morgan is a member of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. She is also the newly elected president of the Effingham Historical Society. “If we’re smart, we learn from our history. We seem to repeat our history in life in many ways,” she said. “I enjoy reading about what others have done and try to improve myself or stay away from what others have done that wasn’t successful.” Morgan’s gift for leadership is clearly evidenced by her continuous successes. She is sometimes asked, if she were to adopt a motto, what it would be. “My motto comes from Timothy,” she replies.” Be thou an example.” Morgan said that on many occasions in her career she has been praised, condemned and everything in between. “I truly believe that if you choose to be an example, you’re the winner.”

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REALITY

THE NEW

Story by CLARK BYRON • Photography by TODD WOOD

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THE EFFINGHAM HOSPITAL EXPANSION


The Effingham Hospital expansion will certainly rank among the great success stories in the region’s history. The $30 million, 58,000 square-foot enlargement of the county’s only medical center took just four years from concept to completion. It had been in the minds of Norma Jean Morgan, the hospital’s CEO, and the Effingham County Hospital Authority for quite some time. But the ball began to roll when Morgan and the ECHA made their first presentation of the project to county officials in February 2008.

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The new emergency room entrance at the newly expanded Effingham Health System

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ffingham Hospital was built in 1969 to serve the county’s need for a critical access hospital. It saw little if any updating in its first 43 years. It was reasonably well maintained, however. For older, struggling rural hospitals, that’s the exception, not the rule. The reality of the past several decades for rural hospitals around the country was that they were either failing or on the brink. In a last-ditch effort for survival, many sold out to larger, urban-based hospital corporations in hopes that a new infusion of capital would save an important community

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resource. The reality, however, is that it merely delays the inevitable. Financial realities are what they are, regardless of the size of the entity. Large healthcare corporations can no more afford to lose money than small ones can. It’s a simple matter of arithmetic. When reinvestment in a struggling community hospital fails to pay the needed dividends, the corporation must cut its losses and close the hospital. The tragic but unavoidable consequence is that once a community sells its moribund hospital to a large medical corporation, the community no longer has any control over the hospital’s future. That Effingham County didn’t choose to sell off the hospital when times got tough was its saving grace. The success story that followed is that of a community wise enough and united enough to chart its own course and create a new reality. The expansion project that was launched in early 2008 reached its completion in February of this year. The new hospital has officially opened. Because the facility was so well maintained several key areas needed only to be updated, not replaced. That meant vital capital could be concentrated on the expansion. What the community has now is a brand-new,


“The exciting thing about the Operating Room is the overall size of it and all the new equipment. We’re able to do a lot more cases. There’s more room in Recovery to serve more patients at one time.” -Patricia Parish, Operating Room Manager state-of-the-art, best-practice hospital–the centerpiece of the new Effingham Health System. It’s fair to say that Effingham Hospital has provided quality care for its entire existence. But with expansion and modernization comes greater access to the best care options. And nowhere is that more important or more prevalent than in the new Emergency Department. With large, modern, high-capacity hospitals just 40 miles away in Savannah, non-emergency medicine was within reasonable reach of Effingham County. The first and most important role a community hospital plays is in Emergency Medicine. The new Emergency Department is twice the size of its predecessor, which was located on the other side of the hospital before the expansion. There are now 10 spacious exam rooms providing greater space for doctors and nurses to work and better technology to be always within arm’s reach. There is a decontamination room and a secured isolation room. Walls instead of curtains now separate the patient treatment areas. Emergency patients can now be transported to other service areas in the hospital with maximum privacy. A central nursing station makes for more efficient, more expedient care in the area of the hospital that sees the most urgent and sometimes chaotic circumstances. Outside, the new private ambulance bay also ensures patient privacy, increases safety and provides office and workspace areas for EMS personnel. But make no mistake: This community hospital isn’t just for emergencies anymore. With the new expansion comes two 400 square-feet operating suites that accommodate a much broader range of surgeries. This, in turn, has attracted several of the finest, most qualified surgeons to Effingham County. “The exciting thing about the Operating Room is the overall size of it and all of the new equipment,” said Operating Room Manager Patricia Parrish. “We’re able to do a lot more cases.” Parrish said the biggest improvement she sees is the high level of patient privacy that was simply not possible before. “There’s more room in Recovery to serve more patients at one time,” said Parrish. “It used to be that patients had to recover in the same room where they had the procedure.” The vast majority of surgeries that used to require a trip to Savannah will be performed right here. Endoscopic procedures are also

Jamie Mercer Jamie Mercer is a member of the radiology team at Effingham County Hospital. She performs mammographies.. She is also a breast cancer survivor. In 2010, Jamie learned that she had breast cancer, thanks to a mammography that was done in the very place she worked and on the very same equipment she uses in her work every day. “It was coming time for my regular mammogram and I had felt something,” she said. “It was my day off and my birthday. I told my coworker, ‘you’re going to do my mammogram. It turned out to be a malignancy. I needed a biopsy and we just went from there.” Thankfully, Jamie and the team at Effingham County Hospital were able catch it in time. Fortunately, the damage was minimal. Surgery and chemotherapy has made Jamie cancer free. “My coworkers at the Imaging Center were very supportive,” she said, “as were my family and friends.” Though Jamie’s story has a happy ending, there’s no doubt that it was a very frightening experience. Most people don’t enjoy reliving such events, and Jamie is no exception. But she is willing to share her experience so that other women will know that early detection saves lives. “The reason I’m sharing my story is to let other people know that if you haven’t had your mammogram done yet, go get it done,” she said. “If my story will make people get mammograms, that’s great.”

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performed. The same goes for the hospital’s new Radiology Department, which boast a complete, ultramodern Women’s Imaging Center. “We’re very excited about our Women’s Center,” said Nancy Fleming, who manages Radiology. Fleming said they now have the most modern technology for digital mammography, DEXA scanning (for bone density), fluoroscopy (a special x-ray for soft tissue examination), a 16slice CT scanner, and ultrasound just for women. The Radiology Department is easily accessible from the Emergency Department. It is also convenient for outpatient diagnostic imaging in digital mammography, CT, MRI and X-ray. When modern preventive care such as digital mammograms is located close by, people are much more likely to keep recommended exam schedules. Like Radiology, a hospital’s Laboratory is essential to the diagnostic function of care. The Laboratory also provides the means and resources for blood transfusions, which are now automated. The Lab has relocated to the expanded space. Modernization and technology overhaul make it the highefficiency support the new hospital needs. “The new designs have helped us to improve our efficiencies,” said Laboratory

Ginger Kieffer, RN Ginger Kieffer, RN is a veteran member of the Cardiac Rehab team at Effingham County Hospital. Kieffer wants to raise awareness of the women’s side of heart disease. “The big news now is that, since 1984, more women have died every year than men from heart disease,” she said. “One of the reasons that has happened is because the symptoms for women are so different from men.” Kieffer explained that men are much more likely to have the classic symptoms of a heart attack than are women: Chest pain, nausea, sweating, and the ‘feeling of doom’ that comes with the event. Women, according to Kieffer, often have no symptoms at all. Sometimes the symptoms resemble those of a flu bug or stomach problem. Since women’s heart attack symptoms are often less severe and less obvious, it is important for women to be aware of their risk factors for heart disease, including family history, and not ignore symptoms that may not resemble the classic signs of a heart attack.

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A modern, digital mammography machine is now a part of the new Radiology Department.


Manager Denise Driggers. “We’ve added new equipment and automated our manual processes to better handle increasing volumes and better utilize our staff.” Its location adjacent to the Emergency Department means expedited results. Its proximity to the Admitting area and the Atrium waiting area makes it especially convenient for outpatient access. The relocation of Cardiopulmonary Services to the new area means more space, more privacy and the newest equipment. EKG, Echo testing, Holter monitoring studies, treadmill stress testing, and pulmonary function testing are all part of the landscape. “As we have opened the new building we have purchased new, more innovative equipment,” said Julie Long, Director of Rehab Services. “Physicians have a lot of confidence in new technology and are able to refer patients to us for diagnostic testing.” Long said the hospital is recruiting specialists from Savannah to see and treat their Effingham patients here. “They will have all the diagnostic tests they need and will be able to do their surgeries at Effingham also.” The Nursing Home has long provided first-quality care in a clean and caring environment. As part of the existing structure, the Nursing Home has undergone a thorough

Andy Exley It was in October 2009 when Andy Exley experienced the unthinkable. Exley had a heart attack. It was unthinkable because Exley, 63, was a svelte, active, nonsmoker. He had never smoked. He ate reasonably well and he and had plenty of things in life to keep him moving about. Two days before his brush with death, Exley had returned from a trip to Columbia, South Carolina. Exley went to bed as usual, experiencing no symptoms, no discomfort. At 8 a.m., things were quite different. He woke in a sweat. “I had never woke up with a sweat before,” he said. “I knew this might not be good.” Fortunately, Exley’s son, Steven, had the day off and was at home. As Exley got out of bed, pain came to the left side of his chest and quickly spread to the right. He immediately sat back down. “I called my son, and we got dressed,” said Exley. “He asked me if I wanted to go to Savannah or here. Something, I guess the good Lord, told me to get to Effingham Hospital, quick.” When Exley arrived at Effingham Hospital, he went into cardiac arrest. The emergency staff was able to resuscitate and stabilize him to make the trip to Savannah where he could receive comprehensive cardiac treatment. “Had that decision been to by pass this hospital and go to Savannah, I wouldn’t have made it,” said Exley . “The staff, the emergency room doctor and all the folks that worked on me, I really appreciate them. Had it not been for them, we wouldn’t be having this conversation today.”

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Alice Rhoda Ferrell Alice Ferrell is a sweet, spry, 89-year old who has lived at the Extended Care Facility at Effingham Hospital for the past five years. A lifetime resident of Effingham County, Alice is of the Gnann family that has been in Effingham County for many generations. She and her late husband, Floyd Ferrell, were teachers. Alice taught high school for 35 years. When Alice was still teaching, she had the foresight to purchase long-term care insurance. Several years back, Alice was diagnosed with Lupus. “I never thought that an old person could get Lupus,” she said. “My doctor said, ‘Miss Alice, you know you can’t go home and stay by yourself.’ I said then just let me stay in the nursing home. He said, ‘you mean that’s all right with you?’ I said, of course it is. He said ‘you don’t know how glad I am to hear you say that.’ ” Alice had served as a hospital volunteer, a Pink Lady, for 14 years before moving to the nursing home. “I knew a lot of the people here. I really felt at home,” she said. “It didn’t bother me at all.” Alice, with her walker, ambles up to the hospital twice a day. “I visit with the people I know there. It makes the time pass.” Alice receives excellent care and lives a peaceful, comfortable life at the nursing home. “I made up my mind I was coming here,” she said. “Nobody else decided I had to come here.”

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renovation and has added a modern, special care Alzheimer’s Unit. The Atrium is a spacious and comfortable patient/visitor waiting area. It is designed to be warm and peaceful. Beautifully decorated, the Atrium also features the Gallery; a grand wall display of the history of the hospital and the county in the works of local artists. The gift shop has also been relocated to the Atrium. “We’ve moved from being a hospital and nursing home to a healthcare system,” said CEO Norma Jean Morgan. “The availability of this hospital and being able to showcase it to physicians is the foundation for Effingham to have a bestpractice hospital.” Mike Murphy, Environment of Care Manager and head of the expansion project, spoke about the future: “There is a 20 year plan that the hospital authority has put together that can expand all the clinical spaces, emergency room, lab, radiology and surgical services. We have the availability of space that will also allow us to expand our hospital rooms.” The long and detailed account of what it took to make the Effingham Hospital expansion a reality is well documented by journalists all over the state. The political and financial drama has been thoroughly played out before an observing public. There’s no need to replay it here. What may be most important now is the moral: That when a community retains control of its vital assets, then the community can step in when those assets need revitalizing. When the community has the will, the community finds the way. As the nation’s forty-sixth fastest growing county and sixth fastest growing mid-sized county, Effingham is beginning to see itself differently. With a 40 percent growth rate over the last ten years, it becomes increasingly difficult to think of Effingham as purely rural. In medical terms, that means having the best quality acute, maintenance and preventative care available right here at home. For Effingham County, this is the New Reality.

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The Local Legend Karate Master Clif Yawn Story By CLARK BYRON Photos By TODD WOOD

H

ow does a man become a legend? What must he do? Who must he be? There are plenty of want-to-be legends out there asking themselves these very questions. The answers will always elude them. Nobody becomes a legend simply because that’s what he wants to be. Legends are people who have pursued their life’s passion and achieved remarkable things. Legends aren’t always widely known. Most famous people are not great, and many great people never become famous. But a legend is known where it matters. Such is the case with 67-year-old Karate master, Clif Yawn. For more than 40 years, Yawn has been a martial arts luminary in Effingham County and beyond.Yawn, a 50-year resident of Effingham County, was the first to introduce Karate here. For a long time, he was the only instructor. It all started back in the 1970s when Yawn was away working a construction job in Kentucky. One of his co-workers was a brown belt in Karate. Yawn learned some moves. He has always been active and particularly enjoys boxing and sparring. As soon as he got back to Rincon, Yawn looked for a Karate teacher. He found a school in Savannah and immediately enrolled himself and his two sons. “My teachers were real serious,” he recalled. “Back in the ‘70s, it was very strict, it was hard-core, and you didn’t get to mess up on anything. You can’t teach that way today. If you do, you won’t have any students at all.” In those early days, when Yawn and his team went to a tournament, somebody had to come back with a trophy. It was a requirement, and they did, every time. “You had to be tough back then,” he said. “There was no fighting gear, just bare feet and bare knuckles. It was supposed to be light contact but you got hurt a lot.” Yawn and his sons eventually grew weary of commuting back and forth to the school in Savannah, so he built a small 20’ x 20’ room atop his home in Rincon. There, he and his boys, Jeff and Glenn, worked out. It wasn’t long at all before others asked to work out with them. He and his sons had reached a competitive level and needed money to go to tournaments, so he began instructing. It covered the expense of competing. Soon, the second floor room simply wasn’t big enough to accommodate everyone. “I got the chance to buy the property where we’re at now (250 Chimney Road),” he said. Yawn built a modest one-level building there and opened his school in 1985. In no time at

Effingham Magazine |

February/March 2012 25


Clif Yawn, at his karate studio located on Chimney Road in Rincon. -Photo by TODD WOOD

all, student participation had grown to the point where that building was no longer adequate. Yawn had it demolished and replaced with a more spacious two-story facility. The school kept growing and Yawn kept adding on. For the next 15 years, Yawn, his two sons and other competitors from the school competed in some 40 tournaments a year. During that time, Yawn became president of the fledging South Georgia Karate Circuit. The circuit was badly in need of organizing and, with the help of many others, became a viable organization under his leadership. At the end of that 15-year period of intense tournament competition, Yawn took some time away to rest and focus on his school. “I didn’t want to just sit around so I went to work on it,” said Yawn. Today, Yawn’s school serves about 75 students of every age and skill level. “I think a lot of young ones now are inspired by the movies,” he said. “Parents want their kids to get into it, especially the young girls, which is a good thing. They should definitely get some martial arts background now because it will help protect them later on.” Entire families come because they want to work out together, and often continue there for years. Then, there are the troubled kids. A parent will bring in a

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February/March 2012 | Effingham Magazine

child to Yawn and say he’s out of control. She asks if he thinks he can help. Once enrolled, the student is required to listen to the instruction of the teachers. He is expected to do chores at home. When he addresses his mother, it’s yes ma’am and no ma’am. He is taught to be respectful and to do well in school. “Most of the time they come around,” said Yawn. “But you’ve got to show love. You’ve got to let them know you really care.” Yawn said that in the entire time he’s been teaching, he has had to dismiss just three students. Yawn will get the occasional 14- or 15-year-old who thinks he can beat up the world. “Even at my age of 67, I sometimes put on the gloves and step in,” he explained. “I teach them something they didn’t know before and they come away with a better attitude.” In his many years of teaching, Yawn has seen dozens like this. “I could swear up and down that somebody coming in wouldn’t last long,” he said. “Then, 10 or 15 years later, he’s still with you.” The kids go from contrary to confident, having learned respect for themselves and others, and gaining an enduring sense of accomplishment. Yawn’s entire family, including his wife Jeanne, has earned black belts. His son, Jeff, has since moved on to other interests. Glenn is still very involved and teaches the advanced classes. Glenn began his Karate training at the tender age of 4. He received his black belt at age 11. Naturally, the school competes in tournaments. Team spirit is strong. Discipline, respect and loyalty are always the order of the day. “We go to tournaments as a team,” said Yawn. “We support each other. We fight individually but we work as a team.” Over his long career, Yawn studied five different Karate styles, attaining the level of black belt in three. His highest levels came in the Chito Ryu Style (4th degree), and American Karate (6th degree). Today, Yawn is truly a legend in his own town. In 2005, he and several more of the country’s most respected instructors were inducted into the USA Karate Hall of Fame. “In anything you do, you’re only as good as who you surround yourself with,” he said. “I’ve got some good teachers in the school. They really want to help the kids.” Yawn is referring to eight other black belts that teach at the school. For a legend, Yawn is a truly humble man. He is grateful to everyone who has helped him become a success.


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Anthony Pascetti was born to be a soldier. The son of a First Sergeant in the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR) in the US Army, Pascetti says there was never any other career path for him. “Ever since the first grade, it’s always been face paint and BDU’s (Battle Dress Uniforms) for me on career day,” he says with a grin. “I never wanted to be anything other than be an infantryman in the army.” The Effingham County native enlisted in the army when he was twenty years old. It was not long before he was deployed overseas, where he was deeply entrenched in the war in Afghanistan. Working as a Mortar, Pascetti’s job consists of shooting mortars instead of the usual m4’s or m249’s of infantrymen. On the front lines of the war, Pascetti would have been no stranger to enemy fire, but in March of 2010, he and his convoy were sent on a mission he would never forget. While on a mission to pick up enemy soldiers, Pascetti and three other men were in the lead vehicle in the convoy. When starting out on a road called Route Chainsaw, silence fell on the vehicle; the three other men in Pascetti’s truck had recently been struck by an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) on this very same road. They were not on the road long before disaster struck. The vehicle, an M-ATV with an average weight of approximately nine tons, hit a roadside bomb, but the truck’s weight was no match for the IED. Pascetti’s M-ATV was blown into the air on contact. “It was a trip wire and when we hit it, the vehicle almost flipped over backward,” Pascetti recalls. “We came to rest in the crater that it left.” Luckily, Pascetti was seated in the rear of the truck, the farthest away from the bomb, but the other three men were all knocked unconscious by the blast. Pascetti’s body was thrust into the air, and when he came down, all of his weight and the weight of his gear came down on his back. The three other men in the truck also suffered injuries from the blast. “Everybody else was unconscious,” Pascetti says. “I’m the only one that remembers everything.” “It felt like slow motion,” says Pascetti. “It was remarkable. It was just crazy how everything was completely destroyed.” Even though Standard Operating Procedure dictates that a vehicle should keep moving when an IED goes off (to get out of the kill zone), Pascetti says the vehicle was obliterated beyond function. Several minutes after the blasts, the screams of the men inside still ring through Pascetti’s

28 February/March 2012 | Effingham Magazine


Chelsea and Anthony Pascetti

memory. “Eveyone’s screaming, ‘Are you Okay?’ Everyone’s screaming ‘Go, Go, Go!” he recalls vividly. Fortunately, all four men survived their encounter with the IED. They were all treated for traumatic brain injuries (TBI), and all four men received Purple Hearts for their injuries. With a TBI, even though there may be no physical evidence of harm, the patient still may experience symptoms forever. “Your brain swells, and you never stop having it,” he says. “Irritability, short term memory loss, balance problems—I still have the side effects.” In addition to his brain injury and his back problems, Pascetti also has to worry about a certain degree of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, which affects millions of soldiers. “You don’t deploy, certainly not as an infantryman, and come home without PTSD,” he explains. But other than a few nightmares, Pascetti has been doing well emotionally. Despite the traumatic events in Afghanistan, Pascetti has never stopped wanting to be in combat. The 21-year-old is an adrenaline junkie who says it was what he was meant to do. In fact, he plans on waiving his year at home to deploy again as soon as he can. “Get some while the getting’s good,” he jokes. “For someone like me, who’s only done one deployment and wants to do more…one deployment ain’t really cuttin’ it.” Pascetti’s wife Chelsea does not seem to mind his enthusiasm for battle at all. “If that’s what he wants to do, as long as he’s happy, it doesn’t really matter,” she says. Mrs. Pascetti has always known that the military is not just her husband’s career, but his passion.

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Private First Class Pascetti is no stranger to awards. His accolades include the Combat Infantry Badge, the National Defense Service Ribbon, the Afghanistan Campaign Ribbon, the Global War on Terrorism Service Ribbon, the Army Service Ribbon, the Army Overseas Ribbon, the NATO ISAF Ribbon, and an Army Commendation Ribbon. Even still, Pascetti is reluctant to boast of his accomplishments. He wears a cuff around each wrist, a reminder that fighting these wars does not come without a price. As he places each cuff on the table, he explains their significance. On one, Private First Class Gustavo A. Rios-Ordonez; on the other, 1st Lieutenant Demetrius Hellfire Frison—two men Pascetti knew well, and who died defending the country he loves. He wears the bracelets in memory of the friends he has lost. He tells me a story of each of these brave men, and as he does so, it is evident to see that this young man has experienced more than most men his age. After his experience with war, he says he sees the world differently than most civilians. “It opens your eyes a bit,” says Pascetti. “Whenever you come home, it’s just so easy.” He knows better than to take our freedom for granted. He is modest beyond words when asked about his Purple Heart. There is no sentiment for the actual award itself. When asked to comment on his its significance and his many accomplishments, he doesn’t respond right away. “You want a quote from me?” he asks. Looking down at his wrists, he says with finality, “I’m not a hero, but I know a couple.”


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Waging the War Again •Story by KATHRYN TURNER Photos by TODD WOOD•

Upon entering the Giordano home, a sprightly four-year-old eagerly runs to the door carrying a little stuffed elf. “It’s Elfie!” he exclaims with a giggle. The boy is Samuel Giordano, and though Christmas has come and gone, he does not let his mother pack up this elf with the other Christmas decorations. “This is not a regular elf on the shelf,” says his mother, Stephanie Giordano. “This is Catie’s Elf.”   “Elves from Catie” has been an inspiration to so many families battling childhood cancer, and the Giordano family is just one of many in the area who have been touched by her story. “Elves from Catie” is a program named after Catie Wilkins, who lost her battle with cancer, but whose memory lives on and continues to bring happiness to children in the form of toy elves. Though Sam is only four years old, he knows Catie’s story very well. Last November, Sam was diagnosed with a form of cancer known as Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia (ALL), which affects the body’s white blood cells. Understandably, the Giordano’s were shocked. Their son, who had virtually no signs or symptoms of any major illness, was diagnosed with cancer at just four years old. “My heart dropped,” Stephanie recalls. “There were no signs.” The most common signs of ALL include fever, bruising easily, joint pain and weakness. “I’ve always paid attention to things like that,” says Sam’s father, Terry. “That’s one sign—bruises. Bigger bruising on the abdominal area or the chest would’ve been a telltale sign. He didn’t have any of that.” Luckily, Sam had had a flu shot along with his other routine four-year-old shots. That flu shot, which doctors say could have exacerbated his condition and caused his fever to manifest, may have been the only reason the Giordano family found the cancer as early as they did. “When we gave him the flu shot, it aggravated it,” explains Stephanie. “I got two shots in my arm,” an enthusiastic Sam says, holding out his

34 February/March 2012 | Effingham Magazine

arms. Then he pulls down his shirt to model a colorful band-aid, which covers the port-a-cath in his chest. “He’s a very strong little boy,” his mother confirms. Since his cancer diagnosis, Sam’s bravery has baffled family and caregivers alike. His parents say he rarely even cries during his chemotherapy. When his mother explained that cancer was the name of the “bad germ” that was making him sick, Sam just looked at his mother and said, “We gotta fight this germ, Mommy, and we have to be strong.” And he has been. Within the first seven days of cancer treatment, Sam had two blood transfusions and a platelet transfusion. But the Giordano family never fails to see the positive in any situation. A particularly touching moment occurred during a blood transfusion when Sam asked where his new “good” blood was coming from. When his mother replied that somebody donated it and was giving him the gift of life, he just smiled and said, “Well, that was really nice of them, wasn’t it, Mommy?” The only thing more amazing than their son’s bravery has been the overwhelming support that the Giordano’s have received from the community. Stephanie and Terry cannot say enough about the outpouring of support that they have received since Sam’s diagnosis. “There’s not one person who has not bent over backwards without us even having to ask,” says an emotional Stephanie Giordano. Sam’s school, Rincon First Baptist, has shown immense support, and nothing could have been more

appreciated than when the Rincon Police Department presented Sam with his very own Elf from Catie. “It’s like her spirit is alive in these elves,” says Stephanie. Like most people, they never expected a first-hand experience with childhood cancer. As a family that has always been conscientious of the less fortunate, the Giordano’s never thought they would be on the receiving end. “We’re the givers, not the takers,” Stephanie explains. “And it is very hard to be in this seat.” Their friends and the community have sponsored events and fundraisers for Sam, and the Giordano’s want to keep giving back to other children battling cancer. When Sam’s treatment is over, they plan on giving any surplus funds back to the Children’s Hospital at Memorial. “We’re going to pay it forward,” Terry Giordano says. Most of all, Stephanie and Terry want to raise awareness about childhood cancer. Of every 500 babies, one of them will have some form of childhood cancer. And while cancer may not always be preventable, knowing the signs, symptoms, and statistics may give many parents a chance for early detection. The Giordano’s have a positive attitude and a determination that is amazing. “Don’t tell me there’s no hope, because


nst Childhood Cancer

Opposite Page - The Giordano family, Terry, Samuel and Stephanie. Above - Sam sits proudly on his four wheeler which he loves to ride. Left - Sam with his Catie’s Elf, “Elfie”.

that’s not an option,” says Stephanie. “I’m going to fight this thing like I do everything else—with everything in me.” They may have a long way to go in the recovery process, but they don’t seem worried a bit. They are confident that Sam will make a full recovery. “Don’t feel sorry for Sam,” they say. “We’re not having that!” The Giordano family has certainly been through a lot since November, but Sam has shown his bravery and strength through it all. He has proven

to his parents the resilience and spirit that exists in all children his age, and they know he will beat this disease. “He’s our little hero,” they say. And with the community behind him, this little hero stands a big chance. For more about Sam’s story, visit his website at www.caringbridge.org, key word samgiordano. To donate or participate in the Sam Giordano Golf Tournament on February 25th, email Robin Screen at rscreen3@bellsouth.net.

Effingham Magazine | February/March 2012

35


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Story by BARBARA W. RUSSELL Photo by TODD WOOD

Good Wins Over Adversity Ms. Willie Tebeau Has Enjoyed Her Whole Life: All 102 Years of It! “My family calls me a health nut,”

says Ms. Willie Tebeau who has lived within one mile of Springfield all of her life. She’s a tiny wisp of a woman, barely weighing in at 108 pounds, and at 102 years old, she maintains a healthy and active lifestyle. “Stay active and watch what you eat,” is her advice to anyone who wants to enjoy good health. Being a “health nut” may have started when she was a teenager. “I weighed 145 pounds when I was 14, and I said, ‘That won’t do,’ and I started counting calories at an early age,” she said. She shed the pounds and has maintained healthy eating habits throughout her lifetime, and she says that’s what “keeps her going”. “I eat oatmeal for breakfast,” she says, but her oatmeal is a special concoction. “I sprinkle it with raisins, add a teaspoon of olive oil and some apple sauce, and a big glob of peanut butter.” Her special oatmeal blend has served her well. She says it’s the most important meal of the day, and she’s been eating the same breakfast for over 20 years. Sweet potatoes have always been an important part of her diet. “A baked sweet potato and a glass of milk is a healthy meal,” she says. She remembers eating baked sweet potatoes at least twice

38 February/March 2012 | Effingham Magazine

Ms. Willie Tebeau enjoying her backyard.

a week when she was a child and even eating them as an after school snack. Exercise has also played an important part of her good health. It may have started when she was of school age and had to walk a mile every day to get to school. Her walking continued as an adult. For 15 to 20 years, she walked

two miles a day, for six days a week with her sister-in-law, Eula. But just walking wasn’t enough for Ms. Willie. She also had an exercise record at home that she used for regular workouts. For the past ten years, Ms. Willie has been exercising at the Senior Citizens Center in Springfield. They also had


“When I grew up there was no government aid whatsoever. We grew up making the best of everyting. There were no government handouts - You knew it was up to you to make it.” an exercise record, and that was what Ms. Willie and the other seniors used for workouts until the YMCA’s “Y on Wheels” program began there under the direction of Didi Sims. “Ms. Willie is the oldest one in the crowd,” said Ms. Sims, “and she’s in the best shape. If someone drops a weight, she’ll pick it up, and if I need a chair moved, she’ll move it, but what impresses me the most is her agility. She moves very fluently.” It’s hard to believe that she’s talking about a woman who is 102 years old. Ms. Willie’s doctors concur that she’s in good shape. “My heart and lungs and kidneys are in good shape,” she says, “but my shoulder and knee need therapy at least four times a week.” Although her shoulder and knee are temporarily keeping her from participating in the exercise class, Ms. Sims says that she would probably be in there if her doctors would let her. There’s one more thing that plays an important part of her good health, and that’s her positive attitude. “It seems like I’ve always enjoyed living,” she said. “When I grew up, there was no government aid whatsoever. We grew up making the best of everything. There were no government handouts - You knew it was up to you to make it.” She lived through the depression and two world wars. Positive attitudes were essential. Ms. Willie grew up on a “one horse farm” in Springfield, and she worked in the fields with her father, sister and brother. There were no tractors to till the soil and harvest the crops; they had only a work mule and a wagon. She said they pulled grass out of the field and helped harvest the crops, but she has no hard feelings for the hard work – “I always loved the outdoors,” she said, and there’s that positive attitude again. After working in the fields, she and her brother

would fish and hunt to help provide meals. “We ate rabbits and squirrels and possums,” she said. “We ate possums and taters.” That’s possums with sweet potatoes of course. “We didn’t go shopping,” said Ms. Willie. “We raised all our vegetables, fruit and meat. Every county had a little store, and Daddy brought home sugar, kerosene and salt. We never dreamed of the big stores they have today.” Going to school was a pleasure. It was a time to be with other children because when school wasn’t in session all the children were working in the fields. She attended Effingham Academy, a one room school house, until she graduated at the age of 16. Social gatherings were simple pleasures and special times, such as family reunions, Sunday school picnics and, of course, going to grandmothers. On Sundays, the whole family went to church in a wagon or a buggy. During the wars, shoes, gas, coffee, sugar and other essentials were rationed, and Ms. Willie and a friend traded sugar and coffee ration coupons. “She loved coffee, and I wanted sugar to make cookies for the children,” she said. “Gas was rationed. People could only get three gallons of gas a week, so they’d drive into Springfield and get groceries, leave their cars parked in the B and B parking lot, and walk to the movie and back. There was very little money and people had to spend their money wisely. During the depression nobody had anything. People would charge their groceries to feed their children, and the grocers lost their stores.” Good wins over adversity, and Ms. Willie remembers celebrating the first Armistice Day – to celebrate the end of WWI. The principal told everyone in school to get anything that makes noise, and he had the entire school march through Springfield making a joyful

noise! When she was 16, Ms. Willie graduated from school, and she became a teacher in an unusual way. School was to start in two weeks but they didn’t have a teacher. “My Sunday school teacher recommended me, and my parents thought it would be okay,” she said. They were right – she enjoyed teaching and was well-liked by her students. Schools were different then: “When I called roll, the children answered with a Bible verse,” she said. Some of the children would answer with a different verse each day or week, and Ms. Willie still remembers Horace Berry answering with the same Bible verse every day: “I was glad when they said unto me – let us go into the house of the Lord.” After calling roll, she would read a scripture and then they said The Lord’s Prayer. “There were very little problems with children misbehaving,” she said. “Children were taught to respect their teachers, and parents taught their children to behave. If they didn’t, when they got home, they got worse than the teacher gave them!” “I enjoy watching the young people grow up and become responsible citizens,” she says. Ms. Willie taught for four years, raised her three children: John, Lee Ellen and Jo Louisa, and was a substitute teacher for many years. She became a Pink Lady and retired when she was 91. “I’ve really enjoyed my whole life,” said Ms. Willie. “This is the day the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it!” “We grew up making the best of everything. There were no government handouts - You knew it was up to you to make it.”

Effingham Magazine |

February/March 2012 39


“Y On Wheels” The YMCA of Coastal Georgia is also making an investment in stronger communities through our “Y on Wheels” program. The “Y on Wheels” program helps bring the Y experience to those who cannot reach any of our YMCA facilities. The activities provided by our “Y on Wheels” bus are designed to create continual personal growth for all participants. Some of the activities provided during a “Y on Wheels” visit include arts and crafts, jump rope, field games and more. The Effingham YMCA Branch, the “Y on Wheels” program takes health and fitness to the Senior Citizens center in Springfield. Every Tuesday and Thursday, classes are available to all of the seniors who attend the center to keep them active and ageless. Participants range from their mid-60’s to 102 years old! Effingham YMCA 1224 Patriot Drive Rincon, GA 31326

(912) 826-2199

The “Y on Wheels” is an outreach which is paid for through the Priceless Gifts program.

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What A Great Buy! This singlewide mobile home has 2 bedrooms and 2 full baths. New flooring, paint and a brand new stove. Refrigerator, microwave and washer/dryer remain. Property includes 2 garages and a 2 car carport. Great screened in front porch with huge deck on back. Great for entertaining! Plenty of room for cars and storage/shop area. All this sits on .8 acres with mature oaks and a beautiful yard, all completely fenced in! Priced To Sell At $74,300!

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Effingham Magazine |

February/March 2012 41


Story by BARBARA W. RUSSELL Photos by TODD WOOD

Determined to Lose

On February 3rd of this year, Guy Cintron stepped onto the scales at the Y. It was his 40th birthday, and his current weight of 196 was better than any present - in less than seven months he had lost 98 pounds!

I

t’s a delicate subject –being overweight – and like many people, Guy and Michelle Cintron needed to lose much more than a few pounds. This couple challenged themselves to get in better shape, and after working out together for 192 days, they lost a combined total of 134 pounds. When they got married, Guy was in the Army. He was fit and trim, but when he got a medical discharge because of an injured ankle, his physical exercise slowed way down and he started adding excess pounds - having an injured ankle was a good excuse for not exercising. Michelle’s weight gain resulted mainly from having babies, but she did try intermittently to lose weight. After her last baby was born she got more serious about her exercise. She lost 36 pounds and tried to get Guy to exercise with her. She was concerned about his health. Guy had sleep apnea and possible hyper tension, although it was never diagnosed, “But I was definitely grumpy,” he said. “There were several medical issues that were going on throughout the last 8-10 years.” “For years, Michelle had been begging me to lose some weight,” said Guy. “She would go occasionally to the Y and would ask me to go with her, and I’d say, No, I’m tired, or I had a long day at work, or I don’t feel like it, or it’ll hurt my ankle.’ Just about any excuse you could think of.” “Then one day at work, a friend of mine was sitting at the

42 February/March 2012 | Effingham Magazine

end of a wooden bench, and I thought as a joke I would sit in the middle of it and shake it….and I broke the bench! It was embarrassing…. “Breaking the bench was my breaking point.” “That weekend I was bugging him again about coming to the Y,” said Michelle, “and he said, ‘Okay, let’s go.’ “I said, we’ll go on Monday after you get home from work. We’ll have dinner, and we’ll wait awhile, and we’ll go. So the weekend passed and I just knew he would blow me off come Monday, but he did not. On Monday, after dinner he got changed and he said, ‘Let’s go!’ I was really excited, but didn’t get my hopes up because things change you know.” “I was pretty excited when we went. When we got to the Y he got on the bike, and I said okay, but tomorrow you’re getting on the elliptical.” (An elliptical machine gives a cardiovascular workout and is used to simulate walking, running or stair climbing). The next day Guy did get on the elliptical machine, and he hated it. “The first time I got on that thing – I think it was just five minutes, and I just thought my heart was going to leave my body!” he said. “He calls it ‘Satan’s machine’!” said Michelle. But it was a beginning, and Michelle challenged Guy to lose 35 pounds. Workouts became part of their routine. They didn’t have a personal trainer, but if they had questions they


Guy and Michelle Cintron at the Effingham County YMCA in Rincon.

Effingham Magazine |

February/March 2012 43


talked to people at the Y. “Everyone is very knowledgeable,” said Michelle. “If I had any questions about what to do, they always showed me and told me how to do things. Everyone at the Y is very approachable.” In addition to working out at the Y, Guy discovered an application on his iPhone that boosted their calorie burning. It’s called My Fitness Pal. “Basically it’s a calorie counter/advisor sort of like Weight Watchers,” said Guy. “You enter your weight, height and all your information for that day, your goal, how much you want to lose, how many pounds you’re planning on losing in a week, and it tells you how many calories you can consume per day. It can also figure how many calories you burn when working out on different machines.” Wow. “Guy’s original goal was to just lose 35 pounds,” said Michelle, “and he passed that in three weeks! I said, ‘How in the heck?! What in the world?!’ and that’s when I started doing it (using My Fitness Pal) and I started seeing more results. The pounds started coming off. They were regulars at the Y and they enjoyed it. “A lot of times we’d be the last people leaving; we’d close the place down,” said Guy. “But in the beginning….Oh! I couldn’t stand the place!” Their workouts include some stretching, and some sit-ups, and sometimes they get on the rowing machine, but most of the time they use the elliptical machine. Guy even learned to like it. “I knew I had to burn a lot of calories,” he said, “and you can burn the most calories on that machine.” “He can work for 55-60 minutes on the elliptical and burn 700 calories!” said Michelle, “but I can only burn about 600. It

The Wendelken Agency The Agency

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depends on the intensity – he gets on there and sweats bullets!” Guy has reached his weight loss goal and he’s on maintenance now. He’s changed the settings on My Fitness Pal from losing two pounds a week to maintaining the weight, and he has to eat more calories to keep his weight up. “Now it’s hard,” he says, “because now I have to eat more food than I’m used to eating, and I get full so quickly.” That’s a problem most people would like to have! Guy also has good news about his injured ankle. “Believe it or not, since I’ve lost so much weight, it hasn’t hurt,” he said. Weight loss has changed Guy’s appearance. “Sometimes people don’t even recognize me,” he says, “and the people I work with don’t believe I went through this transformation. They think something’s wrong with me or that I’ve been sick.” After 192 days of working out and counting calories, Guy and Michelle have found that losing weight isn’t the only benefit. “After working out we go shopping, and we spend a lot more time together,” said Michelle. “I think it was very beneficial to our marriage….very, very beneficial.” The story of how they gained their excess weight doesn’t differ much from the millions of other Americans who are overweight - it’s their determination to lose it that sets them apart, and they proved that you don’t have to be on a television show with a personal trainer to do it. This couple challenged themselves to lose weight. They were more than successful, and now they can be an inspiration to others. “This (losing weight),” said Michelle, “is like winning the lottery –it’s getting your life back.”

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107 N. Columbia Avenue • Rincon, GA 31326 (Next to Bank of America)

44 February/March 2012 | Effingham Magazine

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Worship Directory Bethel Lutheran Church 1984 Highway 21 N., Springfield (912) 754-6561 Rev. Dr. Robert LeFavi Faith Baptist Church 1951 Highway 119 S., Guyton (912) 772-6259 • (912) 663-0044 Dr. Calvin Bradley, Pastor revbradley@windstream.net www.fbcguyton.org Gateway Community Church at Ebenezer Elementary 1198 Ebenezer Road, Rincon Andy Lamon, Pastor www.gatewaysavannah.com

Jerusalem Evangelical Lutheran Church 2966 Ebenezer Road, Rincon (912) 754-3915 Rev. John Barichivich jerusalemmlc@gmail.com www.jerusalematebenezer.org Springfield United Methodist Church 210 Cleveland Street, Springfield (912) 754-6646 www.springfieldumc.com Bible Lutheran Church Meeting at Blandford Elementary School 4650 McCall Road, Rincon (912) 826-0206 Andrew E. V. Krey, Pastor www.biblelutheranchurch.com

If you would like your church listed in our Worship Directory, please call Julie Hales at 826-2760 or email julie@idpmagazines for details.

AlterAtions by Carolyn All Types Of Alterations Weddings • Proms Men • Women • Children

Effingham Magazine!

Become A Fan... Keep up with us between issues! We will be posting pictures and information from each magazine!

108 International Drive • P.O. Box 1742 Rincon, Georgia 31326

By Appointment Only (912)826-7281 207 Byrd St •Rincon

(912) 826-2760 Effingham Magazine is a publication of Independence Day Publishing, Inc.

Effingham Magazine |

February/March 2012 45


The best foods in Effingham Qu ick

bites

Bobby’s Hometown Restaurant is located at 290 S. Columbia Avenue, Rincon, Georgia 31326. 912-826-5249

Story by BARBARA W. RUSSELL Photos by TODD WOOD

BOBBY’S Hometown Restaurant

I

t has been a life-long dream for Bobby to open his own restaurant. After opening in 2008, Bobby and Jeanette easily admit it took them about a year to find their niche: A mom and pop restaurant with the concentration on home cooking with a friendly atmosphere. In 2009 and 2010 they won Effingham Now’s award for “Best Family Restaurant”. From the moment you step though the front door of Bobby’s Hometown Restaurant, you’ll feel right at home, and that’s exactly how they want you to feel. “We greet everybody like they’re our neighbor,” says Jeanette, who works the front of the house and does all the catering. “We have two to three dozen people who eat with us every day. When we see their car pull in, we’ll have their drink and their place set for them at their spot, so they’ll feel comfortable, so they know they’re at home. Lunch is served every day between 11am and 3pm, and they are open every other Friday night with a unique “dinner theater” production which is produced by the Effingham

46 February/March 2012 | Effingham Magazine

Theater. “On other evenings we are available for private parties where we cater a menu especially for you,” said Jeanette. “There is no charge for the house or a room, just the meals.” Groups can also use the back room, middle room, or the room upstairs, for meetings or private parties anytime during the week – even lunch time. “Our food is true southern cooking,” says Jeanette. “Bobby makes everything from scratch and everything is fresh. All our salad dressings are made from scratch, and our tarter and cocktail sauce. We make our own batter for the chicken - it’s our own recipe. Our potatoes for our French fries: Bobby peels the potato and hand cuts it; we fry it. Our mashed potatoes: we peel the potato, we boil it. All our soups are homemade, and Bobby ‘hand patties’ our hamburgers.” The Hot Buffet includes several different vegetables aswell-as macaroni and cheese, potatoes, rice and gravy, greens, and always fried and baked chicken. “Some of the favorites are fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, fried okra and creamed corn,” says Bobby. “When I don’t put creamed corn on the buffet on Sundays, all I can hear is chatter: ‘Where’s the creamed corn? Where’s the creamed corn?’” Weight conscious guests can enjoy a bowl of homemade soup, the salad bar, and the many healthy choices on the buffet or the menu. Most guests choose the “All you can eat buffet,” but they can also order from the main menu, or from a special


“Hometown Hotdogs” menu. PRICES: Buffet $9 – includes drink, dessert and tax, and it’s all you can eat Menu items run from: $2.50 for side items to $8.99 for entrees “Customers love our wait staff,” says Jeanette. “We have really friendly front of the house people. We have dippers (the people who man the buffet) who are very friendly and care about the customers. They know many of the customers by name, and they help those who have special needs. No doubt about it, our food keeps them coming back, but they also feel that they’re at home here, and that’s what we want.” Bobby and Jeanette refer to their restaurant as ‘the house’. “After all,” said Bobby, “this was somebody’s home. They lived here. They loved here.” The home was built of stone in the 1940’s, and in recent years it had been used as another restaurant and a campaign headquarters, and had gotten in disrepair. “When we got here, this house was a wreck,” said Bobby. “We actually had a tree growing in the upstairs bathroom! We had to work for 3 1/2 months to clean the place up.” The inside has been completely refurbished, and it is cleaned to perfection. “We’re here 14 – 15 hours everyday,” said Bobby, “this is like our home. This restaurant is our world, and we want people to know they’re welcomed in it. We love the sound of conversations happening in the house and of people laughing. On Sundays, when it slows down in the kitchen back here, Jeanette and I will walk through the house, and we’ll go table to table to talk to

people. Sometimes we’ll pull up a chair and chat for a little while, and when it’s a new customer, we’ll make sure their food is to their liking. When people walk through the front door, we want them to feel that we genuinely care about them.” “We have people come from all over to get a home cooked meal,” said Jeanette. “We have a few snow birds that stop on their way south and north. We see them twice a year!” “Some say that our fried chicken is the best in Effingham County, but all we want is for you to come by and give us a try.”

• Mole Poblano • Baja Fish Tacos • Southwest Chicken Caesar Salad • Shrimp in Garlic Sauce • Chipotle Chicken Pasta

• Hot Wings • Nachos • Fajitas • Vegetarian Plates • Carne Asado • Full Bar

Plus All Your Favorites!

Happy Hour 5 -7 pM Monday-Friday! 586 S. Columbia Ave., Unit 4 (Behind Sonic in Rincon)

(912) 826-2689

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For 2011! Thanks Effingham! RESTAURANT

Daily Lunch Buffet: $ All You Can Eat! Sunday: Bobby’s Choice Monday: Salmon Patties Tuesday: Steak and Gravy Wednesday: Pork Chops Thursday: Meatloaf Friday: Baked & Fried Swai Fish Saturday: Bobby’s Choice

9.00

(inCludeS dRink & tAx)

A Few Of Our Buffet Favorites: • Baked & Fried Chicken • Mac & Cheese • Mashed Potatoes • White Rice • Brown Gravy • Homemade Soup • Collards, Turnips, or Cabbage

• Fried Okra or Okra and Tomatoes • Vegetables Of The Day • Salad Bar • Biscuits and Flat Cornbread • Desserts

New Winter Hours: Open Daily 11am - 3pm

290 S. Columbia Ave. Rincon, GA 31326

(912) 826-5249 Available by appointment for private events and catering! Call for details!

The way Southern cooking should be. That’s Bobby’s.

Zachary Wooten

Bruce Kirwan

(912) 826-5733 135 Goshen Park Suite 130 Rincon, Georgia 31326

Effingham Magazine |

February/March 2012 47


Visit Us At www.EffinghamMagazine.com

48 February/March 2012 | Effingham Magazine


EFFINGHAM WEDDINGS

51 52 54

PLANNING THE PERFECT HONEYMOON BURRIS WEDDING SKIN CAE AND MAKEUP FOR WEDDINGS

Photo By Tina Helmly Effingham Magazine

February/March 2012 49


Lora & Marcus

Batchelor

Photography by Tina Helmly

B

Bride and Groom: Lora Layne and Marcus Batchelor Venue: Meldrim Baptist Church Photographer: Tina Helmly

50 February/March 2012 | Effingham Magazine


EFFINGHAM WEDDINGS

B B

Effingham Magazine

February/March 2012 51


Tina Helmly Photography www.th-photography.org 912-429-9901 thelmly@rocketmail.com.

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52 February/March 2012 | Effingham Magazine

Lindsay & Bret Bach Wedding Reception Photographer Images by Brandi

BLANDFORD HOUSE Dedicated To Making Your Event Extraordinary Garden Lunches, Weddings, Receptions 436 Blandford Road • Rincon 667-6477 / 826-6477


effingham eye care “At Effingham Eye Care your eye health is our number one priority. Our doctors and staff are committed to providing superior service with a caring and personal touch. We strive to keep up with the latest technology in eye care so that we can meet all of your eye care needs in one convenient location.” Effingham Eye Care was established in Rincon in 2003, and Doctors Kerry and Sarah “Sally” Freeman are committed to providing quality eye care in a professional setting. To accommodate their growing practice, they recently moved into a brand new office with high tech equipment and an expanded optical with over 700 frames to choose from. Theirs is a full scope practice, and the many services provided include: • Comprehensive eye care for children and adults • State of the art equipment and technology • Treatment and evaluation of ocular diseases, including glaucoma, cataracts, eye infections, eye allergies, diabetic eye disease, and much more • Specialty contact lens fitting and evaluation • Full service optical with a wide selection of brand name frames Among the medical services offered are: • Diabetic Eye Care • Glaucoma Management • Treatment of Ocular Infections • Treatment of Ocular Injuries • Ocular Foreign Body Removal • Cataract Surgery Co-Management (Cataract surgeon, Dr. Bill Degenhart, with Georgia Eye Institute, comes to Effingham Eye Care twice a month and does cataract surgery at Effingham Hospital) Drs. Kerry and Sally Freeman are the only eye care specialists who live and practice in Effingham County, and one of their priorities is to give back to the community. Rincon has been their home since 1999, and their daughters attend Effingham County Schools: Anna is in the fourth grade at Blandford Elementary, and Kate is in the seventh grade at Ebenezer Middle School. The Freemans are founding members of St. Luke’s Episcopal Church, and are active supporters of various local charities. Dr. Sally is a member and past president of the Rincon Lions Club. “We are very much part of the community, and we feel a personal connection to our patients. We’ve become friends with a lot of them after having seen them year after year for their eye care. Our patients know that we are available to them whenever they need us and that we are not going anywhere. We are here for the long haul.”

Effingham Eye Care 6162 Highway 21 South (next to Waffle House)

(912)826-3949 EffinghamEyeCare.com


hamby chiropractic and wellness ltd

Dr. Matthew Hamby’s office is a fixture in the community. Dr. Hamby has provided chiropractic care to Effingham, Rincon, West Chatham, and Bryan County at the same location since 1989. Over the years, Dr. Hamby’s practice has added several important services including programs of health restoration and wellness. If you’ve never tried Chiropractic before, here are some things you need to know. Ill health, aches, pains and improper body movement/ mechanics are all signs that your body isn’t working effectively. Your brain, spinal cord and all your nerves (your Nervous System) control how your body works and how you feel. Physical, chemical or emotional stresses produce a defensive posture. Muscles contract, locking spinal joints that pinch or irritate nearby nerves. Lack of nervous system integrity sets the stage for discomfort, pain, disease and ill health. Spinal joints that aren’t moving correctly can irritate nearby nerves and soft tissue. Chiropractic adjustments support the return to normal function for these joints, reducing and eliminating the nervous system disruption. Then, health has the best opportunity to return to you. A thorough examination helps Dr. Hamby find these problem areas, called vertebral subluxations. Applying precise and careful pressure to specific area of the back and spine helps the body heal itself. We call these skilled maneuvers spinal adjustments. Health is achieved as proper function returns because the adjustments restore the nervous system’s integrity. In other words, as the subluxations are removed, you heal and your health and energy return. Patients frequently report a general sense of well-being and ease. Exercise and nutrition are vital to healing and health. Dr. Hamby offers nutritional counseling and has a personal trainer on staff to create an exercise regimen tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Deep tissue massage therapy is also available and can provide significant

benefits to muscle integrity. Newborns, infants, children, seniors, and even back surgery patients can receive chiropractic care safely. Adjustments are tailored to the patient’s size, age and particular health needs. Chiropractic isn’t simply about addressing pain; although we have been proven to be superior in this. Chiropractic is an overall model for natural health and wellness. Dr. Hamby and his team of professionals treat, counsel and coach patients to be well and remain healthy. Making the proper choices and adopting a lifestyle that promotes wellness is what Hamby Chiropractic and Wellness, Ltd. is all about. For more information on chiropractic and how Dr. Hamby can assist you with your healthcare needs visit us at www.hambychiro.com. If you don’t have a chiropractor as one of your health care advisers, you cannot know the options to drugs and surgery; and there are many!

Hamby Chiropractic and Wellness LTD Dr. Matthew Hamby 115 E. 5th Street • Rincon, GA 31326

912-826-4444


durden consulting services, llc Durden Consulting Services, LLC is a full-service provider of individual and family services, including mental health, substance abuse, counseling and therapy, advocacy, and parent mentoring. Services are specially designed to meet a wide range of psychosocial needs. As an approved CORE provider, Durden Consulting Services offers highly specialized, intensive in-home, family and community based service intended for high-risk children and adolescents whose treatment needs go beyond traditional therapeutic intervention. The Program seeks to engage the youth’s innate ability to work through deep personal and developmental problems. Youths learn techniques that foster personal growth and wellness, and increase the ability to function productively in the home, at school, and in the community. Family Therapy is a comprehensive, coordinated and multi-faceted service provided in a home and community-based setting. Families with compound challenges often face the possibility of fragmentation. The service fosters reintegration and greater solidarity as families are guided through the delicate process of identifying the underlying causes of these problems, and strengthens the family’s ability to function as an effective support system. In doing so, families also become more functional in their interaction with their own communities. Most services are provided on a three-month or six-month timetable. In addition to these services, Durden also offers Individual and Group Therapy, Couples Therapy, Christian Counseling, Parent Mentoring, Family and Youth Advocacy, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Assessments, and Intensive Family Intervention (IFI). As experts in the field of individual and family therapies, Durden also offers a full range of consulting services to organizations that provide similar therapeutic services. Training Programs and Workshops, Business Start Up and Development, CORE and IFI Program Set-Up, Policies & Procedures Development, Business Profitability Models, Chart Auditing and Compliance, Medical Records Set-up and Maintenance, Quality Assurance and Improvement Systems, and Strategic Planning. These services are designed to strengthen vital therapy providers and ensure a continuum of care. The CEO and Clinical Director is Kenneith Durden, Ed.D., LPC. Dr. Durden’s expert treatment staff includes licensed therapists, a physician, a nurse, and a psychologist. The professional administrative staff is ready to assist in making your treatment experience as convenient as possible. Durden Consulting currently accepts insurances for its therapeutic services, including Amerigroup, Cigna, Medicaid, Peachcare, Peachstate, Tricare, and United Behavioral Health Insurances. Uninsured clients are also welcome, with service fees assessed on a sliding scale.

Durden Consulting, LLC 5910 GA Hwy 21 South, Unit 6 Rincon, GA 31326

912-988-3649 durdenconsulting@gmail.com www.durdenconsulting.com


memorial health university physicians Memorial Health University Physicians are providing Effingham County residents with world-class primary and women’s healthcare at their Rincon office, located at 241 Silverwood Commercial Drive. Over the years, they have established a tradition of caring, courtesy and respect with their patients, many of whom are friends and neighbors. At MHUP – Rincon, Frances Decker, M.D., Minkailu Sesay, M.D., Rajesh Reddy, M.D., and Nurse Practitioner Angela Chumley deliver primary care for all ages, from birth to the geriatric years. Dr. Decker has lived and worked in Effingham County since 1991, when she opened a medical practice in Springfield. The Rincon office opened in 2004. The location has been the perfect fit for this avid golfer and supporter of the arts. “Effingham County is very familyoriented; people are friendly and open to newcomers,” she says. “My patients always stop and talk when I see them in the store or on the street. They make me feel as though I am both their physician and a friend.” Chumley echoes those sentiments. “I like the hometown feel of practicing in Effingham County,” she says. She lives nearby and is glad she works close enough to attend her children’s school activities and sports games. “I really enjoy the wide range of patients, from the very young to the very elderly,” says Dr. Reddy, who joined the practice last year. “There is a growing population in Rincon and we see a real need for primary care physicians in this area.” The Rincon office is one five locations for MHUP – Provident OB/GYN Associates. Todd Robinson, M.D., Melissa

Decker Crenshaw, M.D., and Paula Jones, nurse practitioner, see patients there each week. They provide a wide range of women’s health services, from comprehensive obstetrics and gynecology to urogynecology (incontinence), pelvic reconstruction surgery, advanced laparoscopic surgery and in-office ultrasound. The location of their Rincon office is a win-win for everyone, according to Jones. “Many of our patients do not want to drive to Savannah for their medical care,” she says. “Educators and students often schedule their appointments in the late afternoon so that they will not miss work or school. That would not be possible if they had to make the trip to Savannah. “I grew up in the small town of Port Wentworth, so the people of Effingham County are my kind of people,” says Jones, who has lived there for eight years. The Memorial physicians in Rincon work together to achieve one goal:

Melissa Decker crenshaw, M.D., and todd Robinson, M.D., of provident OB/Gyn Associates - Rincon

healthier, happier patients. “When I go home at the end of the day, it gives me great pleasure to know that I have helped my patients feel better, mentally or physically,” Jones says.

Rincon & Provident OB/GYN Associates

241 Silverwood Commercial Drive Rincon, GA 31326 MHUP – Rincon: 912-826-8802 MHUP – Provident OB/GYN Associates: 912-826-8820 memorialhealth.com

paula Jones, nurse practitioner for provident OB/Gyn Associates - Rincon.

Minkailu sesay, M.D., Frances Decker, M.D., Rajesh Reddy, M.D., and Angela chumley, n.p., of Memorial health university physicians - Rincon.


medicap pharmacy

Amy Jacobs, Pharm. D., is the Pharmacist and owner of the Medicap Pharmacy in Guyton, a full-service community pharmacy with a hometown appeal. Medicap provides accurate prescription service in 15 minutes or less. It is completely pharmacy focused, which means customers always receive personal attention from a qualified professional. “We make time for them,” said Amy. “We take to heart their care and concerns.” Medicap offers a full range of prescription and over-the-counter medications, nutritional and vitamin supplements, and many other health maintenance products. There’s a convenient drive-thru window. Flu shots are also available. You’ll find a variety of home health products, and a complete line of durable medical equipment such as wheel chairs, walkers, commode chairs, and canes. The pharmacy carries a full line of diabetes care items, such as diabetic shoes, testing supplies and hosiery. Medicap can file Medicare Part B and Part D claims for covered items and accepts all insurances. Amy conducts monthly diabetes education classes. Soon, she’ll be adding a heart healthy class where attendees learn effective ways to maintain heart health. They will work with their doctors and the pharmacist to track cholesterol levels and consolidate all medications and treatment. For your convenience, there is a digital photo processing ma-

chine and dry cleaning drop-off and pick-up service. The store also carries a selection of greeting cards. Medicap has many loyal customers because of the expert care, personal attention, and competitive prices they receive from Amy and her staff. When all you need is a great pharmacy, you can avoid the clutter and confusion of those other national drug store chains and go right to the source, pharmacist Amy Jacobs. Come by and meet Amy and her staff and expereince the Medicap difference.

Medicap Pharmacy 1 Hidden Creek Drive Guyton, GA 31326

(912) 772-9100 amy.jacobs@guytonmedicap.com


anna banister, anp Anna Banister, ANP, is a member of the Effingham Family Medicine team. She is an Adult Nurse Practitioner, which means she treats patients “Who are 13 years old and older through geriatric age .As far as health issues, I treat everything from coughs and colds, high blood pressure to heart disease. In addition, I am very focused on providing all kinds of preventative care for my patients, “she says. Anna says, “I had been a nurse for ten years and enjoyed it, but I wanted to go a step further and become an ANP so that I could advocate for my patients and have more control over their medical care.” A native of Pooler, GA she lives and works in her hometown community. About Effingham Family Medicine she says, “We have a really friendly customer service orientated office, in fact all of us live in Effingham. When you are in our office you are being treated by your friends and family because we are your neighbors!” Q: What trends in health care have you seen emerging? A: “There is an alarming trend in childhood obesity that is just now receiving national attention. Our goal as health care providers is to educate our patients and their parents regarding what constitutes a healthy diet and the importance of physical activity. It can be a sensitive issue but we have to go ahead and speak up because it is so crucial. Being proactive and using a preventative approach, such as cardio vascular exercise and healthy food choices, makes all the difference for our patients.” Q: What is one thing your patients and the community at large should or could be doing to maintain good health? A: “The one thing I would want for our community is to invest in themselves. Our community needs to see their good health as an asset and take all the steps they can to maintain their good health. Be proactive; go to the doctor’s office. I know it can be tough in hard financial times but you have to see continuing your health and well being as an investment in your future. “ Q: What does Effingham Family Medicine offer in terms of convenience?

A: “The services available here have grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years. No longer do our patients have to travel to obtain the high quality medical care they deserve. Most of what they need is right here!”

Anna Banister, ANP Effingham Family Medicine 1451 Highway 21 S., Suite H Springfield, GA 31329

912-754-1035


romualdo laygo, md Dr. Romualdo Laygo is Board Certified in Family Medicine. He has been serving patients in Effingham County in his own practice since 1976. In July of 2011, Dr. Laygo closed his office and joined the Effingham Health System. Family Medicine is at the core of quality health care for individuals and families. As the primary care provider, Dr. Laygo and his team coordinate care for many of his patients when they see specialists. Having a central point for patient care is enormously beneficial to integrated care and centralizing patient records. An increasing number of families are choosing to receive their primary care from a Family Medicine physician. This is a trend highly encouraged by the medical community. It is known as establishing a Medical Home. Integrated care for the family unit makes sense. Dr. Laygo’s practice helps families establish their medical home and his new practice in the Effingham Health System is drawing new families to him. Dr. Laygo’s new connection to Effingham Hospital means more treatment coordination when his patients need inpatient or outpatient hospital services. There is also a strong tie between Family Medicine and the other specialties within the Effingham Health System, which gives Dr. Laygo close professional relationships with other physicians within the system. With the expansion of Effingham Hospital comes new technologies and a greater capacity to serve more patients. As a physician within the Effingham Health System, Dr. Laygo now has easy access to the latest in testing, diagnostic and laboratory services that make patient care easier and better for everyone. Dr. Laygo’s new practice is growing quickly but he always takes the necessary time with each patient to understand and treat the issues. Being a medical home for many families, Dr. Laygo becomes more familiar with family life, which often plays a role in the treatment and wellness of individual family members. Families should consider establishing a medical home. It means integrated care for every member of the family. Dr. Laygo’s affiliation with Effingham Health Systems and the hospital puts enormous resources at his disposal for providing the finest care.

Romualdo Laygo, MD Effingham Family Medicine 1451 Highway 21 S., Suite H Springfield, GA 31329

912-754-1035


dr. james cornwell

Some things just never go out of style. Today’s Family Medicine physician is the very modern, state-of-the-art version of the good ole family doctor. Dr. James Cornwell numbers among the finest. Board certified in Family Medicine, Dr. Cornwell is a 2000 graduate of the Mercer University School of Medicine. Prior to medical school, Cornwell was a paramedic and a respiratory therapist. “Everybody in medical school thought I’d become either a Pulmonologist or an Emergency Medicine physician,” he said. “I didn’t want to be niched into one type of practice. I wanted to see a little bit of everything.” Family Medicine covers it all. Family physicians are trained to handle virtually any patient that comes through their doors. Patients who need a specialist’s care are referred out. But the breadth and depth of a Family Practice physician’s general expertise is unmatched in any other specialty. Dr. Cornwell has treated all ages in his practice, from 24 hours old to nearly 100. From the days of the family doctor, Family Medicine has focused on the family as a whole. When the entire family is cared for by the same doctor, the care of all is greatly enhanced. Treatment goes beyond the physical. The doctor gets to know the family as a unit. Family dynamics and their impact on the family’s health become evident. Bringing the whole family into the care of a Family Practice physician provides what medicine now calls ‘a medical home.’ This is enormously beneficial in the family’s ongoing continuum of care. Among other things, it provides a centralized repository for medical records and family health information when patients are referred to specialists. Other physicians communicate with the primary care doctor, the Family Practice physician, who then provides a seamless coordination of all care. Dr. Cornwell prides himself on one essential thing: The high level of care he and his staff provide to patients. His indispensible right-hand person is Allie Roddenberry, RN. In an age where patients are often rushed through doctor visits, Dr. Cornwell and nurse Roddenberry spend time with patients and families. The practice is often busy but never hurried. As Dr. Cornwell approaches his fifth anniversary serving the people of Effingham County, he’ll soon be adding a nurse practitioner. What a great place for your family’s Medical Home!

James Cornwell, MD Effingham Family Medicine 800 Towne Park Drive • Suite 100 Rincon GA 31326

912-826-0052


dr. christopher j. mathews, m.d. Dr. Christopher J. Mathews, M.D. came to Savannah in 2003 after many years in the US Army, where he received his medical training, and where he was Chief of Family Practice at Fort Stewart, GA. Currently Dr. Mathews is the Chief of Staff at Effingham Hospital and the Primary Care Physician at Effingham Family Medicine, at the Goshen Road, Rincon location. Dr. Mathews says, “Treating people in the military is the same as treating people herein Effingham. Families and retirees have the same medical issues in both venues. “ About Effingham Health System he says, “Effingham Health System is intentionally trying to provide quality care for our community and is continually building a system that provides care for patients in their own community. The focus is never on the bottom line, it is about the people of Effingham County. You can see it in the staff and in the facility. We are completely focused on quality care at every level.” Patient care services provided within the Effingham Health System include: • Children & Pediatrics: Newborn, Pediatric and Well Child Care • Adult Acute Care: Acute Injury Evaluation and Referrals • Annual Employment Physicals • Cancer Screenings • Dermatology and Lesion Biopsies • Geriatric Care • Management of Acute and Chronic Disease • Sports Medicine and Physicals • Well Woman Care Q:What do you suggest to ensure good health throughout one’s lifetime? A: “When you are younger it is good to make a visit to a physician and get a family history on record. We can ascertain your genetic predispositions before you have health issues. You don’t want to be doing all the background work when you are forty!” Q: What do you see as major trends in your practice? A: “The majority of chronic health problems that plague people in middle age stem from smoking and improper diet and exercise. We want our patients to be able to ‘deal with it’ now before problems arise. Education on these issues is key for our patients and we are able to provide that information, which sometimes is all someone needs in order to start making healthier lifestyle choices.” Dr. Mathews says, “An important component is that we provide availability and convenient care without having to drive into Savannah. The last thing anyone wants to do when they are ill is to worry about getting to the health care provider. Patients can access all levels of excellent primary care right here in their own neighborhoods and communities.”

Dr. Christopher J. Mathews, M.D. Effingham Family Medicine 100 Goshen Drive Rincon GA 31326 912-826-6000


Janice Ford, FNP Janice Ford, FNP is a Family Nurse Practitioner at the Effingham Family Medicine Office at Twenty One, in Springfield. A relatively new role in medicine, a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) is a licensed nurse who has completed additional medical training that enables them to provide health assessments, direct care and teaching, particularly around family health and wellbeing. The FNP works in conjunction with family primary care physicians and other health care professionals. Janice says, “At Effingham Family medicine, we have a holistic approach to patient care. We treat the person, not just the symptoms.” As stated on www.effinghamhealth.org “Our perspective on primary internal medicine seeks a balance between the technical/scientific side of healthcare delivery and the humanistic aspect of caring for patients holistically.” A native of Springfield, Georgia, Janice was born and raised “A half mile away from where I live now!” Fitting for a practitioner of Family medicine, Janice and her husband raised four sons, who range in age from 24 to 34 years old. “Our job was to raise them up and get them through school so they could go out on their own and be successful and I am proud to say that all four sons are doing well.” Janice says, “My specialty is women’s health. My role includes providing up to the date solid education to provide the patient with the tools they need take good care of themselves. It is very important that patients address medical issues that can be changed through lifestyle and behavioral changes and choices. In addition, heredity health issues can be dealt with and monitored so that patients can be healthy people.” Q: What are the most important words of wisdom you could tell people in order to improve their health and well being? A: “Moderation in everything you do. You don’t need to overdo anything! And people need to stay aware of their own bodies. If you feel something is happening, get in to the doctor’s office and let’s take care of it!” says Janice.”We do everything in our office, and what we can’t do we can make sure the patient is taken care of through referrals to specialized care.” Q: What guides you in your work with patients? A: “When I get one on one with a patient and get to know them, I believe God helps me and they also have a higher power to help them too.”

Janice Ford, FNP Effingham Family Medicine 1451 Highway 21 S., Suite H Springfield, GA 31329

912-754-1035


felicia d. kennicott, pa Felicia D. Kennicott, PA is the Physician Assistant at the Effingham Family Medicine location on Goshen Road, Rincon GA. A Physician Assistant works with preventing, maintaining, and treating illness and injury by providing a broad range of health care. They conduct physical exams, diagnose and treat illnesses, order and interpret tests, counsel on preventive health care, assist in surgery, give medical orders and write prescriptions. Felicia says, “Being a Physician Assistant means I am an independent practitioner, working under the supervision of a doctor, doing routine medical care and taking care of patients.” Felicia moved to Georgia from New Mexico seven years ago and says, “New Mexico to Georgia was quite a difference! I love it here, I love the vegetation, the climate, the food, and I love everything about the south. The people here are wonderful; they are very warm and welcoming.” She lives here with her husband Nick and their two “sweet little girls” ages eight weeks and two and a half years old. Q: Who do you see in your practice? A: “I see all different ages of patients and I do a lot of work with women’s health care, including women’s annual exams. Many women are more comfortable seeing a female practitioner and we are able to provide that service. We strive to provide our patients what they want and need in quality health care.” She says, “Prevention is key to maintaining good health. I spend a lot of time talking to patients and reminding them about the benefits of preventive care and the value of maintaining a healthy lifestyle. For example, a diagnosis of high blood pressure may not seem like a big deal today but if left untreated or unchecked it will become a big problem. There are so many positive steps patients can take to improve their health before it becomes tomorrow’s crisis.” Q: What part of your job do you find especially satisfying? A: “I really enjoy being able to educate people about their health. It is very rewarding to work with patients as they make changes and we can see the positive impact these changes bring to their overall well being.” Q: If you could impart one healthy change to the whole community, what would that be? A:“Stop smoking! It seems like many people are still smoking, including far too many young people. Be good to yourself and your body and stop smoking!”

Felicia D. Kennicott, PA Effingham Family Medicine 100 Goshen Rincon GA 31326

912-826-6000


rincon medical center urgent care Rincon Medical Center Urgent Care offers a high quality option when you or someone you love needs to see a doctor right away, without having to go to an expensive emergency room. You’ll receive prompt, courteous and expert care provided in a warm, friendly environment. No appointment is necessary. Walk in anytime for immediate, affordable care. Dr. Slavko Kukucka is Board Certified in Family Medicine. Dr. Kukucka is a knowledgeable, experienced, and caring physician serving all your urgent care needs. Rincon Medical Center Urgent Care provides Walk-in care, Preventative care, Workers Compensation injury care, and Limited On-site Medical Prescriptions. The center is equipped to provide - Acute Illness treatment, Minor Surgery, Minor Orthopedic and Joint Injection Procedures, Complete Physical Exams (including sports and work physicals), Basic Lab and X-ray Services, Tetanus and Influenza Vaccinations, D.O.T. Physicals, and Drug Screen Panels 5 and 11. Rincon Medical Center Urgent Care also offers an affordable, effective, doctor-supervised Weight Loss Program that provides a Phentermine Prescription (30 Days), Vitamin B-12 Shot, regular body measurements to chart progress, and a Healthy Eating and Exercise Guidebook. The facility is also equipped to handle most work related injuries. Walk-in patients receive efficient and expert care. Some work injury services available at Rincon Medical Center Urgent Care are digital X-rays, laceration repair, foreign body removal, treatment of injuries due to falls, heat exhaustion treatment, and treatment for adverse reactions. Most medical, surgical and orthopedic conditions can be treated on site. Rincon Medical Center Urgent Care is the perfect place for treatment of work related injuries. Premium medical care ensures the shortest possible work absence due to the injury treated. Costs to both employers and employees are much lower than emergency rooms and other expensive treatment options for minor injuries. The Rincon Medical Center Urgent Care staff is expert in the communication process that engages and informs all concerned parties, including the patient, the employer, the medical staff, and the insurance company. Rincon Medical Center Urgent Care accepts most major insurance. Walk-in hours are Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday, 9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

Rincon Medical Center Urgent Care Dr. Slavko Kukucka 119 Chimney Road • Rincon, GA 31326

(912)295-5560


YMCA

Every day the Effingham YMCA, a branch of the YMCA of Coastal Georgia, serves as a gathering place for the community. Kids pour in after school to play and do homework. Seniors meet for luncheons, group activities and to connect with one another. Teens gather for programs such as Christian Leadership Academy and learn valuable career and college readiness skills. Adults come to a place where they have the time to focus on their personal wellness and health. The Y works to advance its cause to strengthen community through its 3 areas of focus; youth development, healthy living, and social responsibility. Y programs are developed to provide individuals with safe and enriching environments to try new things, develop skills, meet new people and help individuals reach their full potential. The Effingham Y continues to provide much needed programs and services to the local community. All of this is and more is accomplished while putting forth the Y mission to put Christian Principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all. The Effingham YMCA leadership team strives to deliver the mission of the YMCA every day:

Executive Branch Director: Kim Dennis Office Manager: Emily Greene Childcare Director: Heather Smith Fitness, Sports, and Aquatics Director: Tracy Davis Community Wellness Coordinator: Lori Sowers The 2011 year has been full of wonderful accomplishments and the Participation reports reflect the dedication and commitment put forth by the Leadership Team. In the past year over 3,000 residents were active members, 270 children learned how to swim, Fitness classes had a weekly average of 120 participants, 560 children received care in a safe and nurturing environment, and 525 youth committed to good sportsmanship through the youth sports program at the Y. “We all need the Y,” says Kim Dennis, executive branch director of Effingham’s YMCA. “We are blessed to live in a community that has a resource like the Y.” In order to assure that no one is turned away from Y programs or membership due to their inability to pay, financial assistance is available. When you give to the Y, you are funding life-changing programs that help children, adults and families learn, grow and thrive. Funds raised will support a parent

with after school care, enroll a pre-diabetic in the Y Diabetes Prevention Program, provide a child with swimming lessons, and give an individual the chance to begin their path to a healthier self. These are just a few examples of the many ways your gift can make an impact in someone’s life. Gifts can be made online at Ymcaofcoastalga.org or by visiting the Effingham YMCA at 1224 Patriot Drive, Rincon GA 31326. To learn more about how you can offer support please contact Kim Dennis at 912-826-2199.

Effingham YMCA 1224 Patriot Drive Rincon, GA 31326

(912) 826-2199


john d. paletta, md the GeorGia institute for plastic surGery

“It has been a privilege serving the people of Effingham County” Dr. Paletta has been practicing in the county since relocating to southeast Georgia eight years ago. The decision to have cosmetic surgery can be intimidating. When it comes to choosing a plastic surgeon, there’s no substitute for comfort and confidence, which means there’s no substitute for expertise. John D. Paletta, MD, of The Georgia Institute For Plastic Surgery, has the track record of success that instills the highest confidence. Dr. Paletta and his staff provide an environment free of pressure. His expert staff will guide patients through the entire process. The same people you see when you first walk in are the same people who remain with you throughout the entire process. The initial consultation provides the insight patients need to make the right decisions about their desired results. Dr. Paletta

uses the perfect blend of surgical skill and artistic interpretation in conjunction with the patient’s wishes to achieve the desired result. Facial Cosmetic Surgery, Breast Surgery, Body Contouring Surgery, and Non-Surgical Options are all available. Please call or email Dr. Paletta if you have questions about specific procedures, we would be happy to provide you with information or schedule a personalized consultation. When considering cosmetic surgery, it is important that you choose a surgeon with the very best qualifications. Dr. Paletta is a graduate of one of the nation’s premier plastic surgery programs at The University of Pittsburgh. He is Board Certified in Plastic Surgery. Dr. Paletta previously served as Interim Chief - Division of Plastic Surgery at Creighton University Medical Center, currently he is the Chief of Plastic Surgery at

Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah. The Georgia Institute For Plastic Surgery is the busiest plastic surgery practice in the Savannah area. A big reason is Dr. John Paletta. He cares, he listens, and he delivers the desired results.

The Georgia Institute for Plastic Surgery

Springfield/Effingham Office 459 Hwy 119 S • Springfield, GA 31329

912-644-8224 | 800-260-7135 mycosmeticsurgeon.md DrPaletta@mycosmeticsurgeon.md


hospice savannah

L to R: Social worker Ed Fahey, LCSW; Chaplain archie Seabrooks, MDiv; nurse Colleen McCormick, Rn, chpn; Bereavement Counselor Barbara Moss, MSW. Hospice Savannah was the very first hospice in this area. It is a United Way supported agency and one of the few nonprofit hospices in the region. Hospice Savannah was started in 1979 through a grassroots effort on behalf of a community that truly needed its own hospice organization. The hospice truly belongs to the community that founded it. That community has extended beyond the boundaries of Chatham County and Hospice Savannah has had a presence in Effingham County for decades. Many Effingham County residents have served their neighbors as hospice volunteers since the beginning. Much of the staff that serve patients in Effingham County live here. Barbara Moss is one of the faces of Hospice Savannah in Effingham County. Barbara has a passion for helping people cope with grief and loss. She is no stranger to loss. A resident of New Orleans, she fled her city in August of 2005 shortly before Hurricane Katrina struck. Barbara lost her home, her friends and her career.

Several years ago, Barbara settled in Effingham County and became a grief counselor with Hospice Savannah’s Full Circle bereavement program. She provides bereavement counseling in Effingham County to any child, teen, or adult at no charge. Grief issues need not be related to a hospice death. Barbara is a member of the Rotary Club of Effingham County and provides grief support and counseling in Effingham Schools and local businesses. Hospice Savannah conducts an overnight children’s Grief Camp held at the New Ebenezer Retreat and Conference Center in Rincon. This year’s camp is the first weekend in May. It is open to any child under the age of 18 needing grief support. When a child experiences a loss by death, the signs of grief distress may not always be evident. Children tend to internalize negative emotion, especially when it endures for a year or more. They often feel their loss is a unique experience that their peers wouldn’t understand. Grief Camp helps kids know they are not alone and that others their own age are

having similar struggles. Barbara can be seen at the Full Circle office in Savannah or is available Monday afternoons or Tuesdays in Effingham County to counsel children or adults. Her office is located in the United Way Service Center building in Rincon. To schedule an appointment, call 912-620-1089.

Hospice Savannah 912-355-2289 wwww.HospiceSavannahHelps.org


pearle vision center / coastal eye associates

Pearle Vision Center/Coastal Eye Associates in Pooler provides a wide range of comprehensive eye care products and services. The Pooler location opened in 2008 to provide Pooler and Effingham customers a convenient alternative to driving into Savannah for the very best eye care. Owner, John Janvier, O.D., F.A.A.O., is a highly regarded optometrist in the Lowcountry. The Pooler location is Dr. Janvier’s second. He is also the owner of the Pearle Vision Center/Coastal Eye Associates office in Bluffton. Pearle Vision Center/Coastal Eye Associates in Pooler has two other optometrist on staff, Dr. Jessica Sirak-Smith, OD and Dr, Tamara Beckett. Dr. Sirak-Smith graduated from Pennsylvania College of Optometry and has been in private practice and refractive surgery for the last 10 years. Dr. Beckett is a recent graduate of graduated from NOVA Southeastern University. Coastal Eye Associates provides complete eye care for patients of all ages. Comprehensive eye examinations address every part and characteristic of the eye, inside and out. Exams check for Glaucoma, cataracts

and all other eye diseases. Visual skills and acuity are carefully evaluated. Special attention is given to patients with risk factors for eye disease, such as high blood pressure, diabetes and other systemic diseases. Only the latest, most up-to-date diagnostic equipment is used. The staff takes great pride in their accuracy of their eyeglass prescriptions. You’ll find the very latest in specialty contact lenses, as well as the best in disposable soft lenses. There are new lenses designed to correct astigmatism and bifocal soft lenses are a popular innovation. However, if you prefer the more traditional rigid contact lenses, Coastal Eye Associates carries the most advanced products with gas-permeable lens materials that greatly enhance eye health and comfort. Pearl Vision Centers are known nationwide for state-of-the-art optical laboratories, and there’s one right in our community. Precision fabrication and repair of eyeglasses is performed every day. The lab can also tint, coat, surface and edge spectacle lenses. There is a large assortment of quality frame

and lens designs available. Highly qualified opticians adjust and custom fit your glasses for extended comfort and vision. Dr. Janvier and his staff are not just great eye care professionals. They are active members of the community, providing inkind and volunteer support to local charities and free eye screenings through schools and the YMCA. Dr. Janvier also supports the Lions Club’s many sight programs. Hours of operation are Monday-Friday, 9-6. Walk-ins are welcome. Pearle Vision Center/Coastal Eye Associates accepts most insurance and welcomes private pay clients.

Pearle Vision Center Coastal Eye Associates The Shops at Godley Station 105 Grand Central Blvd., Suite 110 Pooler, GA 31322

(912)450-9300


savannah speech and hearing center Since 1954, the legacy of Savannah Speech and Hearing Center has been one of hard work, innovative solutions, and an unwavering commitment to meeting the speech, language, and hearing needs of children and adults throughout the community. Our dedicated and experienced audiologists evaluate, diagnose, and manage hearing loss and hearing related disorders. Our audiologists provide comprehensive hearing assessments and offer a full range of hearing instruments for children and adults. Our Center also serves as a cochlear implant specialty program for audiology in the area. Additional services include industrial hearing services, hearing aid repair, and hearing aid adjustments. Hearing loss affects a significant portion of the population and can have drastic effects on a person’s lifestyle and personality. If you or someone you know is suffering from a hearing loss, please bring them in for a hearing evaluation. Hearing aids are much more dynamic and cosmetically appealing than ever before. An appropriately fit hearing aid can make a significant difference in a person’s quality of life. Our audiologists realize each patient is unique and has individual needs and will work with you to make sure that your needs are met. For more than 10 years, Savannah Speech and Hearing Center has also been providing services to Effingham County with an office located at the United Way Effingham Service Center in Rincon. Dr. Sheana Richardson, Lead Audiologist and Associate Director at Savannah Speech and Hearing Center, provides audiological services at our Rincon office. She has served this area for 11 years and is a resident of Effingham County. Please call (912) 355-4601 to schedule an appointment with one of our audiologists in either the Savannah or the Rincon office.

Savannah Speech and Hearing Center 1206 E. 66th Street Savannah, GA 31404

(912) 355-4601 www.speechandhearingsav.org


fitness witness

I

f you’re tired of the regular old gym experience that leaves you feeling unsatisfied after a workout and are looking for a solution that provides not only a well-rounded but intelligent fitness routine that is a short drive away, then Lisa Ridgdill of Pooler would like to see you in class. Ridgdill is the owner/operator of Fitness Witness in Pooler. A group fitness studio that offers services that can’t be found at a gym. “It is my desire to offer group fitness classes and personal training to the community with a focus on getting results, in a fun and safe manner,” Ridgdill said. “We don’t have a room full of treadmills. We don’t have a weight room. When you come in, you’re coming in for a class. So there is structure. If someone is looking for structure and a really good workout, this is the way to do it.” The new, larger studio will offer the public brand new services. A new class schedule with a variety of different styles of group fitness will be announced after the re-opening. A new feature, previous unavailable, is child care. Along with the addition of a new facility, Fitness Witness will have a smaller studio available for beginner classes and a more personalized workout, as well as a massage therapy room. The fitness center also offers a specialized version of yoga fusion that is sure to not only be a good time, but a good workout. Fitness Witness also offers something that can be found nowhere else in the area: cardio drums. A percussion based group fitness class that involves drumming and exercising at the same time.

Ridgdill admits, “It’s so much fun. It’s a scream.” Along with cardio drums, a full class with BOSU is offered. Fitness Witness is one of the few fitness centers with enough equipment to offer the specialized exercise course. Starting in February, World Self Defense Arts Association instructor, Master Michael Vanderpool will be teaching Tae Kwon Do at Fitness Witness. Master Vanderpool has been teaching Grandmaster Tong Choo Choi’s style of Tae Kwon Do for over twenty-five years. Classes will be Monday and Wednesday evenings from 7:30 to 9:00. Adults and children seven and older are welcome. Email: TKDMasterV@gmail.com or call 330-212-0645 for details. For more information and soon to be updated class schedule visit www.fitnesswitness.com

Fitness Witness 305 SE Hwy 80 • Pooler, GA 31322

(912)655-5046

www.fitnesswitness.com New larger locatioN! child care available!


rincon recovery resources

Not sure what to expect when walking into a counseling center? Anisa Grantham, owner of Rincon Recovery Resources and Counseling, wants to make it easier for those who enter her doors. “Not everyone who comes here wants to be here, most likely something is going on in life that has them seeking help. That alone is tough. I want our environment to bring some calm to their world if only for a short time”, stated Grantham. Opening the doors in 2006, Rincon Recovery provides counseling for those struggling with substance abuse (alcohol, drugs, and food) and what Grantham refers to as emotional wellness. “Mental health gets a bad wrap, so let’s call it something different … quality of life...emotional wellness, whatever we call it; people know when they are not okay.” As a licensed professional counselor, she has found that more people are seeking

counseling for life struggles, stress, anxiety, grief, codependency and depression. “Life happens, whether we embrace it or not, it’s going to happen”, said Grantham. Rincon Recovery programs include individual sessions, substance abuse level – 1 treatment, DUI clinical evaluations for first and multiple offenders, parents with children divorce group, and weight loss surgery pre/post –op counseling/workshops. Having dealt with her own addiction, she brings a different perspective and style. Grantham added “The problem is what brings someone in. The solution is what brings freedom. I consider myself a solution based counselor.” Rincon Recovery is grateful for the opportunity to provide quality services to our community. “It is a gift to walk with our clients on their journey of healing and recovery.”

Rincon Recovery Resources, LLC

613 Towne Park Dr. West, Suite 103 Rincon, GA 31326

(912) 826-0918 www.rinconrecovery.com


INVESTO RS WANTED ALSO!

Seasons of Japan is Coming to Florida and Caifornia! 455 Pooler Pkwy, Pooler 912-748-9383 New Publix Shopping Center

Feb/Mar 2012 Effingham Magazine  

Magazine for Living, Entertainment, and Culture for Effingham County, GA

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