Page 1

A Publication of


{Docs} Serving DeKalb, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale Counties

Metro Atlanta’s


The ABCs of Obamacare

Keeping fit through yoga Conyers Pink Pooch Parade


Fall 2013

Peachtree Surgical & Bariatrics, Atlanta, Georgia



thousands lose


r. Titus D. Duncan is president and CEO of Peachtree Surgical & Bariatrics (PSB) in Atlanta, Georgia. Regarded as a pioneer in Minimally Invasive Bariatric Surgery, he is board certified and has extensive training and experience in weight loss surgery, gallbladder, thyroid, and hernia surgery procedures. Dr. Duncan holds clinical status at Morehouse School of Medicine as an Associate Professor of Surgery and is Director of Minimally Invasive and Bariatric Surgery at Morehouse and Atlanta Medical Center. Dr. Duncan founded Peachtree Surgical & Bariatrics in 1985. Today, PSB has two offices in the Atlanta area. Providing exceptional medical care, PSB is designated a Center of Excellence as certified by the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery. PSB assists morbidly obese and obese individuals in losing excess weight by providing gastric bypass surgery, gastric sleeve surgery and gastric banding surgery. Dr. Duncan has pioneered a technique for revision surgery for those patients who have had the surgery in the past but who either have not lost to their weight loss goals or who have begun to regain their weight again. With some of the most skilled and highly-trained surgeons in the country, Dr. Duncan and his team at Peachtree Surgical & Bariatrics have performed over 7,000 weight loss surgical procedures. Many of the patients who have shed in excess of 100 pounds following surgery have taken center stage to show off their life-changing transformations in the annual PSB bariatric fashion show. Dr. Duncan says that weight loss isn’t the only benefit that patients experience at PSB. He and his team also equip patients with the knowledge they need to live healthy and support mechanisms to avoid aging prematurely.

Titus D. Duncan, MD, FACS

“Our team is dedicated not only to educating patients about the benefits of healthy eating and exercise, but teaching them how to maintain that lifestyle through effective anti-aging mechanisms.”

“At Peachtree Surgical & Bariatrics, surgery is only a small part of the process. We are committed to providing patients with a holistic approach that goes beyond diet and exercise,” said Dr. Duncan. “Our team is dedicated not only to educating patients about the benefits of healthy eating and exercise, but teaching them how to maintain that lifestyle through effective anti-aging mechanisms. Our team approach also provides individuals with exercise and psychological support that make long-term weight loss an absolute achievable goal.” Just as Dr. Duncan has transformed lives through weight loss surgery, he also has helped people with thyroid conditions. Dr. Duncan is one of the first surgeons in the U.S. to successfully perform an Endoscopic Transaxillary approach to remove the thyroid and parathyroid gland. To avoid ugly scarring, the procedure involves making tiny incisions in the underarm, instead of the neck. Dr. Duncan has made numerous national and international presentations and has published extensively on topics related to minimally invasive and bariatric surgery. Dr. Duncan frequently does health news reporting for Channel 11, Channel 5, CNN AND HLN.

Peachtree Surgical & Bariatrics

Downtown 285 Boulevard NE, Suite 120, Atlanta 404-881-8020

Peachtree Surgical & Bariatrics

Buckhead 4200 Northside Parkway, Bldg. 8B, Atlanta 404-236-7555

Atlanta Ambulatory Surgery Center

4200 Northside Parkway, Bldg. 8A, Atlanta 404-233-3833 Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. To 5 p.m.

Visit us online at | 3

Dr. Titus D. Duncan, M.D.

Dr. Vintonne’ Naiden, M.D.

Dr. Chineta Eure-Miller, M.D.

Peachtree Surgical & Bariatrics

OB/GYN Women’s Specialists of Georgia, P.C. Page 7

Kaiser Permanente ObstetricianGynecologist Page 11

Page 2

Dr. Carmen Echols, M.D. Flat Shoals Internal Medicine Page 13


Mind Over Matter: Stories of Inspiration On Common Ground News’ Sharlene Brown shares the triumphs of her brother-in-law, who battled sickle cell anemia ...18 Life Coach Stefanie Haggins is helping people connect with their inner-selves through yoga ...26 The Greater Lithonia Chamber and Stone Mountain Zeta Phi Beta sorority rally for Stoneview Elementary School ...36




The ABCs of Obamacare

Moms Run This Town

Healthy Bodies

What you need to know about the new Affordable Care Act

Fitness is No. 1 goal of moms’ group

An MLK football player credits Vitamin D as a “secret weapon.”

Walking for A Cause

Conyers Pink Pooch Parade lets the dogs out to fight breast cancer ... 28 Stan Watson leads the way in breast cancer awareness with walk ... 32

4 | • FALL 2013

We’re on the move...

New Location. New Name. Morehouse Medical Associates is now Morehouse Healthcare. Enhanced culturallyconnected healthcare and our continued commitment to the community.

We’re in your neighborhood, accepting new patients. Morehouse Healthcare 1800 Howell Mill Rd. Atlanta, GA 30318

Comprehensive Family Healthcare Center 1513 East Cleveland Avenue, Bldg. 500 East Point, GA 30344

Schedule an appointment today...Call 404-756-1400 | 5


Free online workshops offer help for chronic diseases

he National Council on Aging and Stanford University have teamed up to offer online workshops for people living with chronic diseases. The Better Choices, Better Health™ workshops are designed to help people who have ongoing health conditions such as diabetes, asthma, lung disease and arthritis, with self-management techniques. The six-week, guided program offers participants the opportunity to connect with one another online, do self-tests and other activities. A pair of trained facilitators moderate each workshop. Participants share tips on dealing with pain, fatigue and stress and learn about nutrition

and exercise choices from one another and the experts. All of the information is designed to help patients learn better ways to talk with their doctors and family about their health. Because of support from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there is no cost to participate in the workshops. There are no set class times. Participants log in and join the session at times best suited for them. For more information on the free workshops, visit

4770 Covington Hwy, Decatur, GA 30035

Classically Provocative. Engineered for Excellence. Designed for Drivers. Come see “Mrs. Z” today for your special Superior discount!

Tradition Takes A New Turn The All New 2014 Impala 6 | • FALL 2013

The only dealer in Georgia to offer Lifetime Powertrain Protection on New & Pre-Owned vehicles at No Cost to you!


OB/GYN Women Specialists of Georgia, P.C.

Certified healthcare for women by women


s a woman searching for optimal healthcare, who better to turn to than a female physician whose passion is women’s health? Dr. Vintonné Naiden founded OB/GYN Women Specialists of Georgia, P.C. in Decatur for that very reason. She has been serving women for 35 years with one goal in mind: providing excellent healthcare for them through education on the benefits of healthy checkups, nutrition and exercise. “I am dedicated to prevention over intervention. I love my job because whether it’s breast cancer, hypertension, diabetes, obesity, memory loss or even food sensitivity testing, I consider it an honor to educate the people I serve about the importance of maintaining good overall health,” said Dr. Naiden, who opened her practice in 1991. “We focus on listening and helping patients take a productive role in their own healthcare.” OB/GYN Women Specialists of Georgia, P.C. is comprised of Dr. Naiden and three other female staffers who are dedicated to healthy lifestyles. The office offers a wide range of services including detox and purification programs, food sensitivity testing, weight loss and weight management counseling, infertility evaluations and urodynamics testing of the kidneys and bladder. Dr. Naiden’s Decatur practice offers several inpatient procedures on site including ultrasounds, sterilization surgery and thermography, a test that uses heat for early detection of breast abnormalities. The test is one that can reduce the risk of breast cancer. Dr. Naiden prides herself on treating the whole woman, stressing nutrition as the key in achieving a healthy lifestyle. She offers nutritional IV treatment to provide optimal health supplements and encourages patients to meditate. “I strongly encourage my patients to meditate daily because it is an excellent way to relieve stress,” says Dr. Naiden, who has incorporated holistic practices to her gynecological services. “If people were to meditate 20 minutes every day, their memory could improve and they could reduce their risk of developing hypertension.”

With prevention always on her radar, Dr. Naiden is also concerned about preventing breast cancer, the second leading cause of cancer death in women. According to the American Cancer Society (ACS), approximately 1 out of 8 women in the United States will develop breast cancer in their lifetime. Dr. Naiden says women can decrease their risks of getting breast cancer through education, dietary changes and by getting the proper amount of vitamin D. “One way to decrease your risk of breast cancer is by making sure you’re taking appropriate amounts of Vitamin D and to have your doctor check your Vitamin D level. Vitamin D can also reduce colon cancer and depression. We offer certain tests that will tell you your risks for developing breast cancer,” said Dr. Naiden. “One test is the Estronex test, which measures different levels of estrogen in the body, so you can find out if you are at an increased risk. Certain types of estrogen levels will make you more prone to developing cancer.” Dr. Naiden is not only board certified in Obsterics and Gynecology, but also Integrative Holistic Medicine. She received her medical education at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. She plans to open a Holistic Integrative Medical Center in the near future. OB/GYN Women Specialists of Georgia, P.C. is located at 3951 Snapfinger Parkway, Suite 350, Decatur. For more information, call 404-284-5498 or visit www.obgyn4women. com.

Dr. Vintonné Naiden, FACOG,ABIHM | 7

Healthy Living




6-7 p.m., DeKalb Medical Auditorium at North Decatur Campus, Community Room at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale. Join a DeKalb Medical navigator at this seminar that focuses on breast care, as well as on general healthcare for women . Men are welcome to learn more about the healthcare needs of the special women in their life.

6-7 p.m., DeKalb Medical Theatre at North Decatur campus. Join DeKalb Medical orthopedic surgeon Jeff Traub, M.D., as he talks about the latest advances in the treatment of knee conditions—including knee replacement surgery. Guests wishing to take a tour of the Joint Solutions Center should meet in the theatre at 5 p.m.

Special Breast Cancer Awareness Month Seminars

Knee Pain Options—Are You A Candidate?



The Benefits of Hip Replacement surgery

Stroke Prevention: Assessing Your Risk 6-7 p.m., Dr. Bobby Bailey Tower Auditorium on North Decatur Campus, Community Room at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale. Join Chika Ugwuoke, a DeKalb Medical stroke educator, as she discusses symptoms and treatment of strokes. Learn how to evaluate your risk for stroke as well as important steps you can take to reduce your risk of stroke.

6-7 p.m., DeKalb Medical Theatre at North Decatur campus. Join DeKalb Medical orthopedic surgeon Chris Haraszti, M.D., as he talks about the latest advances in the treatment of hip conditions—including hip replacement surgery. Guests wishing to take a tour of the Joint Solutions Center should meet in the theatre at 5 p.m.

Office Hours: Monday - Wednesday • 8 a.m.Hours: - 5 p.m. Monday - Wednesday • 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. Office • Thursday • 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.• Friday•• Thursday 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.• 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.• Friday • 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Pharmaceutical Representatives and Physicians Receive 15% Off Catering

Kenley’s Catering

Address: DeKalb Medical Center at Hillandale DeKalb Medical Center at Hillandale 5910 Hillandale Drive • Suite 301 • Lithonia, GA Address: 30058 For Appointments: 678-418-21205910 Hillandale Drive • Suite 301 • Lithonia, GA 30058

For Appointments: 678-418-2120

Office Hours: Monday - Wednesday • 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. • Thursday • 8 a.m. - 7 p.m.• Friday • 8 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Address: DeKalb Medical Center at Hillandale 5910 Hillandale Drive • Suite 301 • Lithonia, GA 30058 For Appointments: 678-418-2120 8 | • FALL 2013

75 Piedmont Ave. N.E., Suite 152, Atlanta, GA

Order online at




12:30 to 5:30 p.m., Community Room at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale. Give blood and receive a free lunch and a chance to win a $25 gas card. Although preregistration is not required, you can register by going to and entering DeKalb Medical’s sponsor code: demece. To register by telephone or for more information, call 404-501-WELL.

6-8 p.m., Dr. Bobbie Bailey Tower Auditorium, North Decatur campus. Few things change your life more than having a baby. Whether you are just starting to contemplate having a baby or it’s the only thing on your mind, DeKalb Medical’s team is here to help. We invite you to join us for our Pondering Pregnancy panel of experts to hear tips on what to expect during pregnancy, ask questions and tour our maternity area.

Blood Drive

Pondering Pregnancy?


Your Heart and Peripheral Vascular Disease 6-7 p.m., Community Room at DeKalb Medical at Hillandale. Join Kristi Kinsey-Gotier, M.D., an internal medicine specialist, as she discusses the relationship between vascular disease and heart health. Each person attending will receive a coupon for a free vascular screening that is valued at $140.

More Healthcare Topics: You’re invited to learn more about a wide range of healthcare topics. Light refreshments will be served. All events are free, but registration is required. Call 404-501-WELL or visit www.

Providing quality, affordable, and culturally sensitive healthcare for over 30 years. 404-298-8998 •

Health Insurance Scope of Services We accept most Marketplace Enrollment • Family Practice insurances Sliding fee Assistance • Pediatric Health • Obstetrics & Gynecology 404-298-8998 ext 379 scale available • Prescription Assistance Program • Medicaid Certification Health & Wellness Classes Free Prescription Delivery Service Available • Podiatry • Behavioral health Four Locations to better serve you: Stone Mountain 770 Village Square Drive

Stone Mountain, GA 30083


Kensington Office Park 4151 Memorial Drive Decatur, GA 30032 404-941-2116

Decatur 1760 Candler Road Decatur, GA 30032 404-286-2215

Rockdale 977 Taylor Street S.W. Conyers, GA 30012 678-210-2700

Healing our community, one home at a time | 9

Treating Patients. Healing People.

Georgia Urology delivers the most advanced urological available.

As the largest urology practice in the Southeast, our 41 highlytrained and experienced urologists specialize in the medical and surgical management of all genitourinary conditions in men, women, adolescents and children including: • Urological cancers (including prostate, kidney, bladder, and testicular)

• Erectile dysfunction

• Male and female incontinence • Kidney stones

• Male reproductive health and infertility (including vasectomy and vasectomy reversal)

• Prostate problems

• Pediatric urology

• Urinary tract infections

Kidney Stone Hotline

Appointments within 24 business hours for kidney stone pain. 1-855-STONE11

To learn more visit or call 404-256-1844 10 | • FALL 2013

Your Lifetime Health Partner!

Why Having a



Primary Care Physician

So Important

or many people, making sure their children and family members receive regular health checkups is near the top of their list, but many neglect their own health and well being. Having a primary care physician (PCP) can help assure that you take care of yourself as well. Making sure you obtain a PCP and scheduling regular appointments is vital to your long-term health. “Creating and building that relationship with your doctor is the key to Dr. Echols is a board-certified family medicine physician. She maintaining good health overall,” stresses Carmen Echols, M.D., received her bachelor’s degree in Biology from Xavier University a family medicine physician practicing at Flat Shoals Internal of Louisiana, her medical degree at Wayne State University in Medicine located in Decatur. Your PCP will be able to provide Detroit, Michigan, and completed her internship and preventive care that may help avoid serious illnesses down the residency in Family Medicine at Georgia road. “Without a PCP,” she explains,” some people will Health Sciences University in Augusta, either wait until they are really sick before they Georgia. She is a member of the American decide to make an appointment or they’ll make Academy of Family Physicians and the an unnecessary trip to the emergency room for Georgia Academy of Family Physicians. simple cold and flu symptoms, which usually She is also a member of Gamma will cost the patient more money out of Gamma Chi Sorority, Inc. pocket.” Either way it’s a losing scenario. Dr. Echols’ special medical With a PCP they can be seen and taken care of interests include (but are not limited right away. to) adolescent medicine, diabetes, Dr. Echols goes on to share that the hypertension, women’s health, and doctor/patient relationship should function the integrative and holistic medicine. Patients same as any good marriage or relationshipcan visit her for annual and school with open and honest communication. Yes, physicals (including pap smears); education the doctor will know your medical history, family and management of chronic illnesses such as history and even personal lifestyle habits to hypertension, diabetes, high cholesterol, some degree, but communicating freely etc., as well as acute illnesses such as and letting your physician get to know colds, flu and rashes. Dr. Echols is able you will provide him/her with enough to see patients ages 7 and up. All knowledge to recommend the children must have completed their best treatment and care for you. initial series of pediatric shots. Additionally, your PCP can refer you to a specialist, if necessary, and can assist with coordinating any outside care. Your PCP will also make sure to remind you of your annual screenings, which are important for early detection, as well as any needed immunizations. Whether you are physically fit or someone dealing with new or chronic health issues, having a PCP gives you the best chance of enjoying a healthy, active life. Carmen Echols, M.D.

To schedule an appointment with Carmen Echols, M.D., contact her office at 404.585.5049. Flat Shoals Internal Medicine’s office is located at 4153-B Flat Shoals Parkway, Suite 200, Decatur, GA 30034. Visit us online at | 11

Serving Rockdale County and the surrounding Atlanta area since 1978! Now accepting Cigna, Metlife and Guardian Insurances

We Cater to patients that do not have insurance One Hour denture and partial repairs while you wait (Laboratory on Premises)

770-483-4469 1916 Iris Dr. SW Conyers GA 30094

(Located on the I -20 Access Rd.)

Dr. Fraser

You don’t have to suffer with loose of slipping Dentures! We have the solution Sedation Available Financing Available

Quality Care, Affordable Pricing, and Excellent Customer Service

Call for an Appointment or Walk-ins Welcome

Dr. Blackburn Drs. Fraser and Blackburn are both specialist in their respective fields, both SERVICES OFFERED doctors have served our country in the US military. Sports Physical • Post Surgical Rehabilitation Injured ? Therapist for • Diabetic Fitness Program the 5 time State Pain? • Children’s Ages 8 and up Championship • Hand Therapy "We can help" Miller Grove • Sports Medicine Basketball Team


Damon S. Williams, R.P.T.,S.T.S.,C.E.S., Clinical Director

New hours: Mon - Friday 9-4 Saturdays 9-2


WWW.CONYERSDENTURES.COM • Motor Vehicle Accidents • Arthritic Conditions • Pain Management • Sports Injuries • Neck & Back Pain • Work Accidents

“No Long Waiting Period”

Advanced Physical Therapy & Sports Medicine Clinic LITHONIA LOCATION 8052 Mall Pkwy, Suite 203 Lithonia, GA 30058

“Where the Healing Begins ” 678-526-5400

BUCKHEAD LOCATION 3338 Peachtree Rd Atlanta. GA 30326

“The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill” The AlterG Anti-Gravity Treadmill gives you the opportunity to rehab from surgery, or train through injury, without pain. AlterG’s unique unweighting technology reduces the impact of walking or running, while your body goes through the normal healing process.

1380 Milstead Avenue Suite A • Conyers, GA 30012

(Across from Rockdale Medical Ctr. ER)



General & Cosmetic Dentistry Adults & Children 3+ Yrs Old Se Habla Espanol Robin T. Bingham D.D.S.

Services Offered: • Post Surgical • Motor Vehicle Accidents Rehabilitation   • Sports Injuries • Sports Medicine  • Work Accidents  • Pain Management


Accepting Most Private Insurances/PPO’s No Charge Consultations Medicaid • Peachstate • Amerigroup On Implants Wellcare • Care Credit Provider

NEW PATIENT SPECIAL $185 10% OFF BASIC Exam • X-Rays* • Cleaning**

12 | • FALL 2013



*Non Insured *DO274,D0220, D0230 **Patients with periodontal disease excluded. Patients Only

Worked with NFL San Diego Chargers 2013 Training Camp

Damon S. Williams, RPT, STS, CES

Clinical Director

Kaiser Permanente Of Georgia


ake time to take care of yourself—those are words that Dr. Chineta Eure-Miller lives by and it is the advice she gives to her patients at the Kaiser Permanente Panola Medical Center in Lithonia. A board-certified obstetrician-gynecologist Eure-Miller joined The Southeast Permanente Medical Group, which cares exclusively for Kaiser Permanente members, in 2010. Her philosophy of caring for the “whole person” aligns with Kaiser Permanente’s commitment to helping people achieve total health— mind, body and spirit. She believes the path to total health begins with preventive care. By identifying risk factors and health concerns early, Eure-Miller helps her patients avoid more invasive treatments down the road. She receives alerts through Kaiser Permanente’s electronic medical record system when patients are due for routine screenings, such as pelvic exams and mammograms, so she can ensure patients receive the preventive care they need. In fact, Kaiser Permanente leads the state in providing breast and cervical cancer screenings. Before she wore a white coat and stethoscope, Eure-Miller was educating West African communities on the importance of safe drinking water as a Peace Corp volunteer. But it was during her free time, while shadowing a midwife in the Republic of Benin, that she found her true passion. Holding a lantern as the midwife helped women bring life into the world, EureMiller was inspired to pursue a career in obstetrics and gynecology. A graduate of the University of North Carolina— Chapel Hill School of Medicine, Eure-Miller completed her internship and residency at Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta. Committed to serving the underserved, she then completed a fellowship in epidemiology at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which focused on preventing mother-to-child transmission of HIV in African countries. Eure-Miller also put her skills as an obstetrician-gynecologist to work on the Navajo Indian Reservation in Tuba City, Arizona before joining Kaiser Permanente. Creating healthier communities in metro Atlanta and beyond is a personal and professional mission for Eure-Miller. To motivate her patients at Kaiser Permanente to adopt healthier lifestyles, she strives to lead by example. The working mother-of-two maintains her health by exercising regularly and remaining spiritually connected. To find balance, EureMiller also believes in taking a little time off to take care of herself. An avid traveler, she has visited more than 20 countries and is fluent in French. To learn more about Dr. Chineta Eure-Miller and other Kaiser Permanente physicians, visit

Dr. Chineta Eure-Miller


Kaiser Permanente has 30 state-of-theart facilities and more than 400 top doctors in the Atlanta area alone. We offer affordable, personalized coverage, with no restrictions on pre-existing conditions. To learn more, including whether you qualify for financial assistance for coverage, visit | 13

In this March 23, 2010, photo, President Barack Obama signs the Affordable Care Act in the East Room of the White House in Washington.

What you need to know about the new

Affordable Care Act By Valerie J. Morgan


pen enrollment for the nation’s Affordable Care Act kicked off Oct. 1, 2013 in preparation for the new law, which takes effect Jan. 1, 2014. With nearly 2 million uninsured residents

in Georgia, hundreds of “Champions for Coverage” are spreading the word that it’s time to get signed up for a healthcare plan. The deadline to sign up is March 31, 2014. Since Georgia is one of 36 states that opposed the Act before it passed in 2010, has lagged behind in educating consumers about the sweeping healthcare reform law. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius says those like the American Nurses Association that have signed up for the “Champions for Coverage” network nationwide is now helping states like Georgia catch up and get ready for the health exchanges. The goal of the new law, also known as Obamacare, is to expand and improve access to healthcare for the masses throughout the country. Here’s a look at how the new law will be applied: Individual Mandate – U.S. citizens and legal resi-

14 | • FALL 2013

dents are now required to purchase a “qualifying” health plan or they may keep the plan they now have. In Georgia, residents can shop for a plan at The cost depends on one’s income and the type of coverage desired. Some people will qualify for “premium credits” provided by the federal government that will make premiums more affordable. Others will receive federal subsidies to bring the cost down and some will see reduced costs in what they’re currently paying. Individuals who do not have coverage will have to pay a penalty when they file their federal income taxes for the following years. The timeline and fees for penalties are as follows: 2014 - $95 2015 - $325 2016 - $695 After 2016, the penalty will be increased annually based on the current cost of living adjustment Medicaid Expansion – When the Affordable Care Act was passed, it offered states around the country the opportunity to expand eligibility for Medicaid to poor adults without children (those who earn less than $15,282 a year). In Georgia, an additional 640,000 people would

Atlanta Heart Specialists Delivering State-of-the-Art, Compassionate Care

404-856-3550 • 2665 N. Decatur Road, Ste 320 • Decatur, GA 30030

Bakhtiar Ali, MD - Cardiologist Intervention Dr. Bakhtiar Ali joined Atlanta Heart Specialists after completing his intervention cardiology training at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. Prior to that, he spent three years at the University of Texas - Houston for his general cardiology fellowship. He completed his internal medicine residency at Wayne State University in Detroit, MI. At Mount Sinai; Dr. Ali was trained by renowned faculty to perform successful procedures in patients with complicated disease while maintaining one of the lowest complication rates in the nation. He brings that expertise to the Metro Atlanta Area. In addition to coronary and peripheral angiography and intervention, Dr. Ali is trained to perform nuclear stress testing, echocardiography and transesophageal echocardiograms (TEE). He is proficient in advanced invasive imaging techniques including intravascular ultrasound (IVUS) and optical coherence topography (OCT) as well as invasive physiological assessments of coronary lesions using fractional flow reserve (FFR). Dr. Ali is board certified in Internal Medicine and Cardiology. He has also successfully passed the National Board of Echocardiography Exam of Special Competence in Adult Echocardiography. Dr. Ali spent two years at Atlanta VA Medical Center/ Emory University pursuing his interest in cardiovascular research. His research interest includes cardiopulmonary resuscitation, emergency management and cardiac arrest. He has been published in multiple journals including the New England Journal of Medicine and Annals of Internal Medicine. He has also presented his research at the annual American Heart Association Meeting and is a recipient of the American Heart Association’s Council on Cardiopulmonary, Perioperative and Critical Care’s (CPCC) 2007 Junior Investigator Travel Stipend Award. Dr. Ali is married with one son. He personally enjoys spending his free time with his family, playing tennis and traveling.

Dr. Binu Kunjummen - Cardiologist Intervention Dr. Binu Kunjummen is board certified in Internal Medicine with expertise in Peripheal Angiograms and interventions. His specialty includes· Stents,· Coronary Intervention· Coronary Atherectomy and Percutaneous Coronary Intervention. Dr. Binu Kunjummen earned his medical degree at Ross School of Medicine in Portsmouth, Dominica. He completed his internal medicine residency at Muhlenberg Regional Medical Center in Plainfield, NJ. Dr. Kunjummen completed three fellowships in different sub-specialties of cardiology: a pacemaker and device fellowship at Newark Beth Israel Hospital in Newark, NJ; Cardiology fellowship at Tulane University School of Medicine and interventional cardiology fellowship at the University of Texas School of Medicine in Houston Texas. Dr.Binu Kunjummen is married with two children, a son and a daughter. He enjoys watching movies, reading and spending time with his family.

Zoubin Alikhani, MD, FACC  Cardiac Electrophysiologist Dr. Alikhani is a cardiologist with extensive sub-specialized training in Cardiac Electrophysiology (EP). His clinical interests include the management of syncope, prevention of sudden cardiac death, the medical and catheter-based management of cardiac arrhythmia’s including ablation of atrial fibrillation and ventricular tachycardias, and also cardiac pacemaker and defibrillator implantation, and cardiac resynchronization therapies. Dr. Alikhani is board certified in Cardiac Echocardiography and Nuclear Cardiology. Dr. Alikhani graduated from Tehran University of Medical Sciences where he ranked highest in his class. Then, he completed a postdoctoral fellowship in Molecular Biology at Boston University. He completed his Internal Medicine residency at St. Luke’s – Roosevelt Hospital Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. Dr. Alikhani completed his cardiovascular fellowship at Tufts University - St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center and cardiac electrophysiology fellowship at Harvard University - Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. His research in the field of cardiology and arrhythmia has led to many presentations at different conferences including Heart Rhythm Society (HRS), including many publications in very prestigious scientific journals. Dr. Alikhani is member of the American Medical Association, American College of Cardiology, American Heart Association, Heart Rythm Society and Massachusetts Medical Society. In his personal time he enjoys spending time with his family, traveling, tennis and music. | 15

have been eligible for Medicaid. Georgia, however, did not elect to expand Medicaid. As a result, Georgia citizens who are ineligible for the individual mandate will not have access to insurance through the state’s Medicaid program. Those who have children and receive Medicaid now, however, will continue to do so. Health Insurance Marketplace –The U.S. government’s website,, is where citizens can shop for a suitable healthcare plan. The Family and Individual Marketplace will help with enrollment in private health insurance, Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). Visit the website and a trained person (navigator) will guide you through your options. Employer Requirements – As of January 2015, employers with 50 or more full-time employees will be required to offer qualified health insurance coverage. Employers who do not offer coverage will be assessed a penalty of $2,000 per full-time employee. Employers with 50 or more full-time employees that offer coverage that does not meet the minimum federal requirements will have to pay the lesser of $3,000 for each employee receiving a premium credit or $2,000 for each full-time employee. Employers with less than 200 employees can purchase insurance from the Small Business Health Options Program for their employees and receive tax-credits to assist with the costs. Although businesses with less than 50 employees are not required to buy coverage for their employees, they will receive a tax credit if they pay at least 50 percent of their fulltime employees’ premium costs.

Here’s Help To shop for a healthcare plan, visit website. To speak with someone 24 hours/7days a week, call at 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325). For more information, call the Urban League of Greater Atlanta at 404-6591150 or Morehouse School of Medicine at 404-752-1500. Source: The Urban League of Greater Atlanta and Morehouse School of Medicine. The two entities are providing information on the Affordable Care Act to help Georgia residents get enrolled in a healthcare plan. Their goal is to improve health disparities throughout the nation.   

16 | • FALL 2013

Mental Health Care

Dr. Nathaniel A. Wilson, III

offers full spectrum of mental health


he Atlanta Center for Family Wellness, LLC offers a full spectrum of mental health care for both, children and adults under Dr. Nathaniel A. Wilson, Psy.D. “There is no profession that I can think of that is as rewarding as being a psychologist,” said Dr. Wilson, who opened the practice in 2005. “I help people examine their difficulties, assist with perspectives for change and witness the choices they’ve made to lead to healthier lives. I love being a part of that entire process.” Dr. Wilson says his practice is dedicated to going beyond the surface and serving the entire family. “Over the years I have found that a child with a problem may actually be a reflection of something their parents are going through or went through in their past; the adage, children learn what they live, is an example of this,” said Dr. Wilson. “As our namesake states, we want to serve the entire family. Healthy families lead to a healthy community.” Services for children and teens at the Atlanta Center for Family Wellness, LLC include individual and group treatment, family counseling and psychological testing, specialized intervention for substance use, differing mental health problems such as ADHD and depression, as well as counseling for unresolved trauma, academic difficulty, and life skills development. “In addition to individual and group intervention, our adults equally benefit from psychological testing services, workshops and seminars, and access to staff with expertise in a number of areas, including life planning and career advisement. We also deal with parenting and divorce issues, while still keeping a focus on both women’s and men’s issues that may arise,” said Dr. Wilson, who offers marriage and couples’ counseling as well. “Our marital couples and partners counseling is focused on assisting individuals to realize improved levels of communication with each other. From interventions involving relationship

coaching to premarital counseling, our services are designed to help resolve the challenges individuals face with their relationships and other issues.” Dr. Wilson earned his Doctorate degree in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver. A member of the Association of Black Psychologists and the Georgia Psychological Association, he is a founding board member of Community Wellness, LLC in Atlanta. Dr. Wilson also serves on the advisory board for a Fulton County School project at Alonzo A. Crim High School in Atlanta. The project is still under development, but Dr. Wilson says he plans to help students improve academic achievement through counseling and offer them new ways to enjoy science and math. As an author, he has successfully launched a children’s book series based upon his clinical practice with children and families. The first book in this series is “Jessie’s Big Move.” Dr. Wilson says he believes it is important to work closely with parents, mentors, caregivers, churches, schools and others in the community. That’s why his practice, he said, offers community-focused intervention for troubled youths and their families. “I truly believe it takes an entire community to raise a healthy child. We provide services that can improve academic achievement, emotions and behavior, as well as decision-making and social skills,” said Dr. Wilson, who has used TV and radio mediums in the past to coach and educate others on wellness. The Atlanta Center for Family Wellness, LLC has a dedicated staff of eight people including Dr. Wilson and certified family counselor Clevevoya Jordan. The practice is located at 1401 Peachtree Street, Suite 210, Atlanta. For more information, call 404-550-9981 or visit www. | 17

A triumphant battle against sickle cell anemia


By Sharlene Brown

ou would have to know him to really understand his victory. We said good night to Rick D. Taylor on Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013. He died peacefully after being hospitalized two and a half weeks. An intelligent, sharp, fun-loving husband and father who was respected and liked by many, Rick was my brotherin-law. My sister, Karen, doted on him; he was the love of her life. Rick died from sickle cell anemia at age 46, defying physicians’ diagnosis that he wouldn’t live past 25. Rick lived a quality life managing sickle cell, a hereditary blood disorder. In the U.S., an estimated 70,000 to 100,00 people, mainly African Americans, have sickle cell anemia. The disease occurs in about 1 in every 500 African Americans, according to the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute. Rick was not medically diagnosed with sickle cell until he was 18. He was a

Rick D. Taylor

freshman in college, active in the football program at Middle Tennessee State University. A physician from Meharry Medical College in Knoxville, Tennessee discovered the disease after performing several tests.   Even after learning that he had sickle cell, Rick continued being active. He worked out at the gym, bicycled, traveled, and competed in gun competitions.  He

mastered gun competitions and won several awards throughout the years. As a working professional, Rick defied the odds. Many people inflicted with sickle cell normally cannot work. Rick achieved double majors in finance and actuarial science. During his 20year career, he worked as Budget and Fiscal Policy Director for the City of Atlanta and as a senior accounting analyst with Cox Communications. He also worked in South Africa for a year.  Rick’s outlook on life was to enjoy and respect every day God gives you and make the best of it.  He often spoke to kids who had sickle cell, encouraging them to go beyond what they saw as their limitations. They marveled at his muscular physique. We honor Rick’s life and pray that more attention will be given to medical research in finding cures and manageable treatments for those stricken with sickle cell.

We are pleased to introduce Our Primary Care doctors.



• Medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, internship and residency at Mercer University Medical College in Georgia

• Medical degree from the Medical College of Georgia and Ahwaz University of Medical Sciences in Iran, residency in General Surgery at Ahwaz University of Medical Sciences, boardcertified in family medicine, boardcertified general surgeon

• Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Georgia Academy of Family Practice, oversees all clinical and medical operations and coordinated care at ConcentraEdgewood Primary Care

• 20 years of experience in Family Medicine and General Surgery, develops diagnostic and management plans for patients, member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians

Edgewood 1220 Caroline St., Suite A 230 Atlanta, GA 30307

Sandy Springs 6334 Roswell Road NE, Suite B Sandy Springs, GA 30328



©2013 Concentra Operating Corporation. All rights reserved.

18 | • FALL 2013

Committed to Quality Care Getting Results You Can Feel! Dr. Annette Boone-Hicks has lived by this motto since establishing The Boone Clinic, P.C. in 2003. This highly spiritually motivated doctor has used her passion for Chiropractic to help many individuals and families access the benefits of chiropractic care so that they may live happier, healthier and more productive lives. She accomplishes this with high energy, creating a positive atmosphere along with her staff. Dr. Annette Boone-Hicks believes that “infants, children and adults deserve to be healthy from the time they are born through their last breath of life.” Such strong beliefs were instilled in Dr. Boone-Hicks Dr. Annette as the youngest child of 13 siblings, born in Pickens, Mississippi. She earned a BA in Biology PreMedicine at Mississippi State University in Starkville, Mississippi and furthered her education at Life Chiropractic University in Marietta, Georgia, where she received a Doctorate of Chiropractic Degree.


Dr. Boone-Hicks has always exemplified excellence and she will continue to extend her invitation to get sick people well. The Boone Clinic, P.C. is conveniently located off Highway 78 not far from the historic Stone Mountain Park. Dr. Boone-Hicks and her staff welcomes the community to a practice where they are “Committed to Quality Care; Getting the Results You Can Feel.”

Call today for your free consultation!

The Boone Clinic, P.C.

5370 Highway 78, Suite 730 • Stone Mountain, GA 30087


www.thebo o n e c l i n i c .c o m | 19

Photos by Joshua Smith

‘Moms Run This Town’

keep DeKalb/Rockdale moms moving By Joshua Smith Helping with homework, cooking dinner and carpooling in today’s world, most moms are too busy to take a break and relax, let alone exercise. However, a running group in the Conyers/Covington area is helping to get mothers moving. “It’s not just about running, motivation, support, or making new friends. Some women have even made their own little clubs out of our club just so they can run together everyday,” said Chapter Leader Shannon Smith. “I think it’s really important for moms to know that something like this exists so they can get out there, make their runs a little easier and get healthier while still enjoying themselves.” The Conyers/Covington/Social Circle Chapter of the National “Moms Run This Town” club meets three times a week to run and encourage each other to live healthier lives. In just over a year, the running club has grown to more than 200 women. “With this club, you know people are counting on you. Sometimes, I don’t feel like waking up early Saturday morning to run numerous miles, but when you know 20 other women are waiting on you to run, it gives you that drive to go ahead with it, said Smith, who started the chapter in 2012 with seven of her friends. “It’s easy to find a group of women who want to go to the movies,

20 | • SPRING 2013

but not as easy to find women who want to run every week. We keep each other going.” The group is made up of all levels. There are joggers, runners, speedsters and marathon runners in the club. “I’ve been in the club for almost six months and it’s been a great experience every since my first run with them,” says Jennifer Williams, a member of the club who is a personal trainer. “I have met some really good women that I would have never known, if it wasn’t for Moms Run This Town.” Moms Run This Town started in 2010. It has now grown to 500 chapters nationwide and in Canada. New chapters are popping up every day, and thousands of women across the country are having fun, receiving support, meeting new goals and making new friends. “I found out about this National club on Facebook. Now, we use Facebook to give and receive support, tips and motivation. We also host fun nights out and coffee meet ups,” said Smith. “This is a free club, but the support, motivation and friendship you receive is priceless.” To join the Covington/Conyers/Social Circle MRTT, search for “Covington/Conyers Moms Run This Town” on Facebook. There are other local chapters as well, and you can find out where they are located by visiting You can also e-mail the group at

Specialists in the Detection and Treatment of Digestive Diseases, Hepatitis and Colon Cancer

The Board Certified specialists at Atlanta Gastroenterology Associates are experts in colon cancer screenings and evaluating and treating every type of digestive disorder, including: • Crohn’s Disease • Ulcerative Colitis • Acid Reflux | Ulcers

• Liver Disease | Hepatitis • Barrett’s Esophagus • Diarrhea | Constipation

• Intestinal Polyps • Irritable Bowel Syndrome • Hemorrhoids

In addition to nine state-of-the-art endoscopy centers where most outpatient procedures are performed, AGA provides highly specialized care through these divisions: • SE Center for Functional GI & Motility Disorders • Center for Crohn’s Disease & Ulcerative Colitis • Infusion Services • Advanced Center for GI Therapeutics

• The Center for GI Imaging • Center for Clinical Research • The Liver Center • The Hemorrhoid Clinic With these convenient locations, taking charge of your health has never been easier. In DeKalb Decatur | Lithonia In Fulton Alpharetta | Atlanta Medical Center Camp Creek | College Park Emory Midtown | Johns Creek Northside | Piedmont West | Roswell Saint Joseph’s Hospital Campus In Gwinnett Duluth | Lawrenceville | Snellville In Henry Locust Grove | Stockbridge In Rockdale Conyers

Providing nutrition counseling and safe, painless hemorrhoid banding For more information about the location nearest you: | 1.866.GO.TO.AGA [468.6242] AGA is a participating provider for Medicare, Medicaid and most healthcare plans offered in Georgia. | 21

Dedicated to pediatric emergencies


hildren’s Healthcare of Atlanta has the only dedicated Level I and Level II pediatric trauma centers in the state. This means we

offer the highest level of emergency and surgical care, and our specialists are ready to treat your child’s most serious injury or illness at a moment’s notice. We also have a transport team that uses dedicated pediatric ambulances and helicopters to provide mobilized intensive

care to your child on the way to the hospital. Only about 6 percent of hospitals in the country have emergency departments that are fully equipped to handle children. We have three dedicated pediatric emergency departments right here in Atlanta. Your children and teens have access to board-certified pediatric doctors and specialists 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Because we treat

more children than other hospitals in the nation—more than 200,000 emergency visits a year, an average of more than 550 patients a day—our pediatric-trained staff understands the special physical and emotional care that children and teens require. From specialized diagnostics and treatments to equipment made to fit children, our emergency departments are prepared to help handle pediatric medical emergencies.

About Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta

22 | • SPRING 2013

Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, a notfor-profit organization, is committed to enhancing the lives of children through excellence in patient care, research and education. Managing more than half a million patient visits annually at three hospitals and 20 neighborhood locations, Children’s is one of the largest clinical care providers for children in the country. Children’s offers access to more than 60 pediatric specialties and programs and is ranked among the top children’s hospitals by Parents magazine and U.S.News & World Report. With generous philanthropic and volunteer support, Children’s has made an impact in the lives of children in Georgia, the United States and throughout the world. Visit for more information.

In an EmErgEncy

WhEn mInutEs



rEmEmbEr hoW closE WE arE. If your child has a medical emergency, experience is crucial. So it’s good to know that the emergency department at Hughes Spalding is staffed by board-certified emergency medicine pediatricians who can handle everything from fevers to broken bones. To learn more, visit

©2013 Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta at Hughes Spalding is owned by Grady Health System® and managed by HSOC Inc., an affiliate of Children’s. Some physicians and affiliated healthcare professionals who perform services at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta are independent providers and are not our employees.

Children’s at hughes spalding - 35 Jesse hill Jr. drive se, atlanta | 23

Vitamin D

Photo by Joshua Smith

“Battle of the Borders” MVP Alanmicheal Harkness(center with trophy) joins his fellow Martin Luther King High School Defensive Linemen Keyshawn Parrish, Marty Graves, William Leggett and Arden Key for a picture in MLK’s gymnasium.

MLK’s Alanmicheal Harkness’

secret weapon off the field


By Joshua Smith

laying football on the gridiron requires hard work, dedication and a will to win. All those attributes help

players win throughout the football season, but it never hurts to have a little extra help to get you through the long workouts and playing time it takes to compete in Georgia high school football. Alanmichael Harkness, who plays for Lithonia’s Martin Luther King High School in DeKalb County, says that’s where Vitamin D supplements can come in handy. “Vitamin D can contribute to a good workout at the gym and a good performance on the football field,” said Harkness, a senior defensive linebacker who stands 6’3 and weighs 230 pounds. “Vitamin D is good for the ligaments and it’s good for your skin, too.”

24 | • FALL 2013

This year, Harkness reaped the benefits of taking Vitamin D during MLK’s season opener. “I ended up playing through an injury when an offensive lineman fell on my leg during a play in the first half,” said Harkness, who was named the Most Valuable Player in the Battle of the Borders Aug. 31, 2013 game. Harkness made two sacks and three tackles, one for a loss, in MLK’s win over the Blanche Ely Tigers of Pompano, Florida--41-15. Harkness said along with exercise, his secret weapon was at work. “Having good workouts and taking Vitamin D contributed to my ability to play through the injury and be able to help my team win,” said Harkness. Harkness thanks Dr. L. Ray Mathis, a trauma surgeon at Atlanta’s Grady Hospital, with educating MLK’s team about the benefits of Vitamin D supplements to improve performance

on the field and in the classroom. The team has won the region championship three years in a row. The 2011 season marked a turning point for MLK with the team reducing injuries by almost 100 percent and concussions to just one over two seasons. Matthews is not surprised by the results from the Vitamin D regimen. “Basically, you’re giving the body what it needs to heal itself,” said Matthews. “If you give the body the right nutrients, the way God designed the body, it will heal itself.”       Matthews has studied the use of Vitamin D in trauma patients, as well as in students like those at MLK High, and he has seen positive outcomes. “Vitamin D regulates the immune response and inflammatory response systems,” said Matthews. “We treat all our ICU patients with vitamin D3, which is one of the most powerful anti-inflammatory agents.”

Introducing our new Providers:

Barbara Washington, PNP

Dorie Saxon, MD

We are committed to building strong physician-patient relationships that promote high quality healthcare services Healthcare and Routine Care Services • Immunizations • Ear Piercing • Asthma Management • Sport Physical • Hearing and Vision Screening • Newborn Assessment • ADHD Consults • Developmental Screening • Most Insurances Accepted •

Jacqurline Sulton, MD, FAAP

Anissa Sharifi, MD, FAAP



Monday- Friday 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Saturday Availability





5700 Hillandale Drive Suite 150 Lithonia, GA 30058 770-670-6100

Servicing the DeKalb Community for over 20 years OCG Top Docs • SPRING EDITION | 25

Yoga Connecting with Your Inner-Self By Mackenzie N. Morgan


t dawn, when many are still sleeping, Steffanie Haggins is enjoying her breakfast of yoga. She sits cross-legged on the floor in a comfortable spot in her home as she takes deep breaths, meditating about her goals, her life, and God. “God, I want to serve you,” she prays. “I am your vessel. Use me for your good.” For more than five years, Haggins has had the same hourlong morning routine. Through meditation, stretching, posing and breathing exercises, she cleanses and prepares her mind and body for the day. Several times a week, the certified yoga instructor and life coach trains others at her studio in Decatur. She also offers free stretching and yoga classes at the Salem Panola Library in Lithonia. Haggins explains the healing benefits of connecting with one’s inner-self through yoga. Her classes are not just for the young; she offers a “Senior Fitness & Flexibility” class for the young at heart. Adults of every age come to her “Introduction to Yoga and Meditation” class. “Ignorance is expensive. If you don’t take the time to invest in your health and learn how to take care of yourself through preventive measures, then you’ll pay at the pharmacy,” Haggins said. As a child growing up in Chicago, Haggins was introduced to yoga by her father, who raised her and her brother alone. Her

Steffanie Haggins teaches yoga students the art of balance at her studio in Decatur.

26 | • SPRING 2013

father enrolled her in charm school, a Debutante program, modeling school and cheerleading. He instilled principles of self-love by encouraging her to wear her hair natural and embrace the beautiful black skin she was in. They were values she would return to later as an adult. As a woman, Haggins went through an abusive marriage. She divorced, rebuilt her life and eventually became a life coach helping others to re-invent themselves to reach their full potential. “I show people that they have the power to overcome their own obstacles and uncover the roadblocks that are hindering their progress,” said Haggins. “I help them discover their unique needs and make them accountable for the small and the big things. I set a clear strategy for them to achieve their success.” Through yoga and meditation, Haggins hopes to inspire others to feel great about being who they are and taking charge of their health. “Physically, I look and feel great,” says Haggins, who struggled with being overweight several years ago before she decided to make some lifestyle changes. “Nothing excites me more

Photos by By Mackenzie N. Morgan

Steffanie Haggins

than helping people learn to like themselves. I hope people will understand the value of how simple breathing and stretching can make them feel better physically and mentally.” For more information on Studio Steffanie, visit www., e-mail, or call 678-330-8139. | 27

Walk for a Cause

Photos by Joshua Smith

Conyers Pink Pooch Parade By Joshua Smith Pink was everywhere in Olde Town Conyers. Pink T-shirts. Pink sunglasses. Pink hair. Pink balloons. People and their dogs came together decked out in pink to offer a new spin on breast cancer awareness with the Pink Pooch Parade, a first in Conyers. The October canine parade started in Olde Town on Main Street and ended at Pine Log Park, about a mile away. Families joined the Newton High School Marching Band, Rockdale County Post 1 Commissioner Oz Nesbitt and friendly characters such as “Scooby-Doo” in walking to raise money for breast cancer awareness. “It was a wonderful common cause, a great day for Rockdale County,” Nesbitt said. It was a dog’s world. Vendors selling canine clothes, veterinarians and dog trainers greeted the crowd at Pine Log Park, where festivities followed the parade. More than 300 people walked in the parade, said Pink Pooch organizer Tara Nestich. The parade raised money to support breast 28 | • FALL 2013

cancer patients and breast health programs in Georgia. Nestich, who owns Pampered Puppy, a dog grooming business in Conyers, said the fun-filled Sunday afternoon event was a way for her

to remember relatives who succumbed to breast cancer and support for a close friend who is now battling the disease. “Both of my grandmothers died of breast cancer when I was a child and recently, a friend of mines battled the disease and underwent a double mastectomy,” Nestich said. ‘This is personal for me.” At the parade, dogs were dressed in pink, some from head to toe, wearing pink nail polish to match their doggie outfits. Many were on pink leashes, while others rode in pink wagons and even baby strollers. “This parade celebrates awareness and Man’s best friend,” said Nesbitt, who walked his small dog, “Sophie,” in the parade. “I really believe that this will grow and grow. This is a special event.” Nestich said the idea for the Pink Pooch Parade emerged after she had a conversation with Commissioner Nesbitt about what the community could do to raise money to fight breast cancer locally. Both, Nestich and Nesbitt, say they plan to make the parade an annual event in Rockdale.

Painting the town pink

Photos by Joshua Smith


sually, Sundays in downtown Conyers are quiet, business are closed and people are tucked away in their homes as they prepare for the work week. But on Oct. 6, residents and their pets painted the town pink as they marched in the city’s first Pink Pooch Parade. The Rockdale Sheriff’s Department closed off Main Street as participants, led by the Newton County High School marching band, walked and waved from the Conyers Pavilion to Pine Log Park. | 29




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30 | • FALL 2013

Erich Graham Randolph, MD


Tonya Echols Cole, MD

he experienced and compassionate radiation oncologists, Dr. Erich Randolph and Dr. Tonya Echols Cole along with the staff of Atlanta Oncology Associates work together in our state-of-the-art facility at Hillandale to provide a cancer treatment and/or management strategy customized according to each patient’s needs and concerns.

Our patients often receive other treatments such as chemotherapy, hormone therapy or surgery, as well as radiation therapy. To ensure the best possible outcome, this multidisciplinary approach requires collaboration and coordination among the specialists on a patient’s treatment team. The major goal of radiation therapy is to maximize curing cancer while maintaining optimal organ function and quality of life. Because each patient’s case presents unique challenges and requires individualized attention, we urge you to consult your radiation oncologist about which treatment plan is best for you. It is extremely important to seek out an expert team of physicians who specialize in your type of cancer to insure optimal outcome.

Dr. Tonya Echols Cole treats all solid tumors including, breast cancer, lung cancer, central nervous system malignancies, gynecologic malignancies, rectal cancers, skin cancers, prostate and lymphoma. She also treats benign diseases such as keloids. Dr. Cole has practiced radiation oncology in the Atlanta area since 1998. Her special interests include the treatment of breast and gynecologic malignancies.

Dr. Erich Randolph special interests in radiation oncology are prostate, breast, and colorectal cancers. After graduating from Yale University, Dr. Randolph received his medical degree at Mount Sinai School of Medicine and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at Emory University Affiliated Hospitals. Following this, Dr. Randolph completed a fellowship in radiotherapy at M.D. Anderson Hospital. Dr. Randolph was a member of the American Cancer Society and served on the advisory Board at the Atlanta City Unit. He is also a member and past President of the Atlanta Medical Association, past Chairman of the Board of the Atlanta Medical Association, member of the Medical Association of Atlanta and the National Medical Association, The Gilbert H. Fletcher Society, and The American Society of Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology. He served as Vice- Chair of the Grady Hospital- Fulton Dekalb Hospital Authority. Dr. Randolph is the winner of a 2008 Atlanta Business Chronicle Health Care Heroes Award in the Physician category. Dr. Randolph was just named to Atlanta Magazine’s Top Doctors. Physician selection to this honor is based on peer review.

Dr. Cole received her B.A. from The Johns Hopkins University. Then she received her medical degree from University of Cincinnati College of Medicine and completed her residency in internal medicine at University of Cincinnati Hospital and her residency in radiation oncology at University of Cincinnati Barrett Cancer Center where was as Chief Resident. Dr. Cole is a member of the American Society for Therapeutic Radiology and Oncology, The Atlanta Regional Clinical Oncology Program and the American Brachytherapy Society. She is active in the community and has served on numerous boards including the American Red Cross Minority Recruitment Board, and Youth Vibe, Inc.

Atlanta Oncology Associates @ Hillandale 2745 DeKalb Medical Parkway, Suite 100 I Lithonia, Georgia 30058 770-255-7470 [phone] I 770-255-7471 [fax] | 31

Walk for a Cause

South DeKalb’s

Breast Cancer Walk draws hundreds S

uper District Commissioner Stan Watson brought more than 300 walkers to South DeKalb County to hit the ground walking for breast cancer awareness in October. Several local churches including New Birth Missionary Baptist Church, Green Pastures Christian Ministries and Greater Traveler’s Rest Baptist Church, were among the houses of worship that joined the walk, praying as a group before taking off. A number of fraternity and sorority members also participated. “This is a wonderful event. I believe this is the first walk of its kind in DeKalb County,” said Commissioner Watson, who represents Super District 7, which encompasses half of DeKalb County. “Every year, we want this walk to be bigger and better. Next year, we want 1,000 walkers.” The walk started at Chapel Hill Elementary School in Decatur and ended about a mile away at Greater Travelers Rest Baptist Church. County officials including DeKalb County Superior Court Clerk Debra DeBerry and DeKalb County Board of Health District Director Elizabeth Ford joined Watson in the walk, which helped to raised money for DeKalb Medical at Hillandale’s cancer programs. “My wife, Pam, is a breast cancer survivor of 15 years, so this walk hits home for me,” said Watson. “We have done things such as awareness breakfasts in the past, but this year, we wanted an event that we could take to the streets and take action for such a great cause.”

32 | • FALL 2013

Dr. Sonya Windham-Wilder

8180 Mall Parkway Suite 810 Lithonia, GA 30038 770-484-4994


Family Dentistry at Stonecrest, LLC

Dr. Melissa Brown

8052 Mall Parkway Ste #102 Lithonia, Georgia 30038 678-323-7144

“Creating Smiles with Caring Hands”

Ages: 1-18 Hours: • TV’s in all exam rooms Mon 9 a.m.- 6 p.m Tue – Thur 8-a.m.-5p.m. • Digital X-ray • Video Game Area • Calm Caring Environment for kids


Most Insurance Plans Accepted Including: Peachcare & Medicaid CareCredit • Patient Payment Plans | 33



DeKalb Medical Primary Care

South DeKalb













Stone Mountain



H Y-12 4








Flat Shoals



Rockbridge Eastside



Winn Way







D’town Decatur






Killian Hill Mountain East


North Decatur













N Tucker












O 5F




Oak Grove LA VIS TA




HWY -124













DeKalb Medical Hosptial Other Hospital






Primary Care Offices



H DeKalb Medical Hospital 1. Centerville Primary Care 2. Downtown Decatur Family Medicine 3. Flat Shoals Internal Medicine 4. Killian Hill Primary Care 5. Montreal Internal Medicine 6. Mountain East Family Medicine 7. North Decatur Primary Care 8. North Tucker Primary Care

34 | • FALL 2013

Other Hospital 9.HOak Grove Family Medicine 10. Rockbridge Family Medicine 11. Rockbridge Family Medicine- Snellville 12. Stonecrest Primary Care 13. Stone Mountain Primary Care 14. South DeKalb Primary Care 15. Winn Way Internal Medicine

Dr. Alvin V. Griffin

––––––––––– Family Practice of Conyers ––––––––––– Alvin V. Griffin, MD is a native of Greensboro, North Carolina and has been practicing in Rockdale and DeKalb counties for more than 15 years. A graduate of Fisk University in Nashville, TN, he earned his Doctor of Medicine Degree at Meharry Medical College. Dr. Griffin functions primarily as a family practitioner while also serving as Associate Medical Director for a hospice and palliative care outpatient unit. Additionally, he devotes his time and expertise providing sports physi-

cals to the DeKalb County School System, where he has served as team physician for Stephenson High School for the past 15 years. His involvement in the DeKalb School system goes beyond practicing medicine: He also served on the Parent Advisory Committee and the Blue Ribbon Task Force for the school system. Prior to opening is practice, Dr. Griffin earned the position of chief resident and was a member of the teaching faculty at Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta. He acquired

extensive post-graduate training by completing two fellowships, faculty development at Morehouse School of Medicine and a geriatric academic fellowship at East Carolina School of Medicine in Greenville, NC. Currently, he is affiliated with the National Medical Association, the Atlanta Medical Association, and the Georgia Academy of Family Physicians. Dr. Griffin served on the board of directors for East Metro IPA in Rockdale County from 1999-2003 and the Rockdale Immediate Care Center, where he was medical director. A member of the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity, Dr. Griffin has received numerous accolades such as the “Outstanding Young Men of America” award and the “Dollars and Sense Outstanding Young Physicians Award.” Recently, Dr. Griffin merged his practice with LifePoint Hospitals, where he will continue to offer primary care services in the east metro area. Family Practice of Conyers was the first primary care practice acquired by LifePoint Hospital in the state of Georgia. Rockdale Hospital is the first affiliate hospital with LifePoint Hospital in the state of Georgia. Dr. Griffin offers a variety of services including diabetes management, hypertension, workers’ compensation, chronic illnesses, and sports medicine. Dr. Griffin is looking forward to a great working partnership with LifePoint. This partnership will allow the practice to provide expanded services for its patients. Dr. Griffin has been married to Pamela Griffin for 31 years. They are the proud parents of four wonderful children.

Family Practice of Conyers is located 1039 E. Freeway Drive, Conyers, 30094. 770-922-0076. | 35

Photos by Glenn L. Morgan

Doreen Carter dances in victory at the finish.

Greater Lithonia Chamber of Commerce, Zetas rally for Stoneview Elementary

Stonecrest Wal-Mart Manager John Moreno and his wife, Analisa (left), Zeta sister Karen Hughes, Greater Lithonia Chamber President Doreen Carter and Stoneview Principal Ledra Jemison pose for the camera after finishing the benefit walk.


By Valerie J. Morgan

oreen Carter didn’t know if she was actually up to completing a walk that was just under three miles. For months, she’d been limping around on her left leg--the swelling and pain had made walking difficult. So, to be on the safe side, Carter asked a volunteer to drive the walking route just in case she or someone else like the mom and toddler who were in the group needed a ride. As it turned out, the president of the Greater Lithonia Chamber of Commerce walked the entire distance and was thrilled when she crossed the finish line within an hour. Carter danced a victory jig. So did the mom and toddler. Carter proved that some things really are worth the personal sacrifice. And in this case, her sweat equity--and those of the army who walked with her--was for the kids at 36 | • FALL 2013

Stoneview Elementary School in Lithonia. Thanks to the Chamber, which is celebrating its 20-year anniversary this year, Stoneview’s playground will get the plastic mulch to make the play zone safer for students. The Chamber’s fundraiser was a prelude to the business group’s anniversary luncheon, where U.S. Congressman Hank Johnson will be the guest speaker on Nov. 8. “We are so excited about all of the activities the Chamber has planned this year. When we met with the principal of Stoneview, she told us that she would really like to have mulch for the playground because they didn’t have any,” said Carter. “The project was one that fit with what we wanted to do to help the environment, bridge the education community and the business community, and create a vibrant, healthy place for children.” The Stone Mountain Chapter of Zeta Phi Beta helped organize the event, which included a health fair, which was held at the school, where the walk ended. The fair feataured free health screenings, goodie bags and free food. Stoneview’s Principal Ledra Jemison thanked the crowd of supporters. “I just want to thank everyone for coming out. We really appreciate all of the support,” Jemison said. The fair’s sponsors included Full Body Rejuvenation, which provided free mini body massages, Kaiser Permanente, DeKalb Medical at Hillandale, and Peach State Federal Credit Union. Other participants included McDonald’s, Zaxby’s, Wayfield Foods, Kroger, Publix, Target and L.A. Fitness, which provided two trainers to conduct the warm-up exercises before the walk.

Photos by Glenn L. Morgan | 37

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