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Dr.Vallette Staying Sharp, Winning Races for Suntree’s March of Dimes


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The Key to Ovarian Health


There’s an App For That Braces at Any Age Train Smart! Dr. Borghei’s Love of Education Extreme Doctors Life Lessons on Being a Doctor HypnoBirthing?

Cover Photo by Keith Betterley Betterley Photographic



New Surgical Center to Provide High-Tech Service of a Hospital, Convenience of a Clinic By Linda Wiggins and George White


hen the Surgery Center of Viera opens in April as hoped, it will have all the comforts of a towering hospital, with the convenience and ease of a corner neighborhood doctor’s office. It’s location at 7955 Spyglass Hill Road in Viera borders Suntree, the last available southwest corner lot at Baytree Boulevard that has now filled in the impressive Medical Mile westward to Murrell Road. In addition to the three full-service, state-of-the-art operating rooms with an optional private VIP recovery suite on the east side of the 20,000-square-foot complex, the new Viera Medical Center will also house Millennium Medical Management’s Deuk Spine Institute and Brevard Heart & Vascular Institute on the west side. A common entry at the center features a beautifully designed covered archway for drop-off and pick-up reminiscent of a Frank Lloyd Wright design, with a cream exterior trimmed in clean dark lines. “We are beyond excited,” said Karen Foley, human resources generalist for Deuk Spine/Brevard Heart. The team is hoping for an early completion to construction for a ribbon cutting on April 4—for the memorable numeric date of 04/04/14. Plans entail moving over from the current location just a few doors down, at 8043 Spyglass, which will likely but put on the market, Foley said.

Physicians involved in Deuk Spine Institute include Dr. Ara J. Deukmedjian, Dr. Bharat C. Patel, and Dr. Vijay Katukuri. Physicians involved in Brevard Heart & Vascular Institute include Hong Jeong, MD. January 2014 • Volume 1, Number 1

In the future, the new center also will feature a second, 24,000-square-foot building for diagnositics and other medical-related purposes to the west of the new building, Foley said. Deukmedjian detailed the concept.

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“Current plans include state-of-the-art medical imaging, clinics and a surgery center capable of performing the most advanced spinal surgery in the world using medical lasers and endoscopy. Through collaboration, medical experts will be able to provide the highest quality medical care to patients in Florida and serve as a medical destination for patients suffering from chronic back and neck pain from around the world,’’ Deukmedjian said.

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DESIGN Mike Oliver

WRITERS Jeff Navin • Katie Parsons George White • Linda Wiggins

“Patients receiving treatment at our new facility will enjoy the same high-quality care and successful treatments they are accustomed to in a more efficient and patient-centered environment. We will be able to provide all aspects of treatment for spinal and orthopedic conditions including diagnostic testing, clinical care and surgery all within one central convenient location,” Deukmedjian said. n For more information, call 321-751-3389 or go to

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A sister publication to Viera Voice. All material contained in Viera MD print or electronic versions is strictly copyrighted and all rights are reserved. Duplication or reproduction of this magazine in whole or in part is prohibited without permission of Bluewater Creative Group, Inc. We cannot accept liability for omissions or typographical errors. Listings, feature articles or advertisements do not constitute an endorsement. Opinions expressed are not necessarily those  of the publisher. Viera MD is a free publication and is available at many Viera physician and other business offices.

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Early Cancer Detection Key to Ovarian Health By Linda Wiggins


he smell of a rose. The stroke of a child’s cheek. An embrace from the new love of her life.

These are things Dianne Hranicky of Viera would not have lived to enjoy if she hadn’t been treated for ovarian cancer. It would not have been diagnosed had it not been for her doctor. “He’s the one who really saved my life. He was on his game that day of the exam,” she said of her gynecologist, Dr. Mark McTammany of Melbourne. “I just feel so blessed and happy to be alive. I wonder why I was spared, and I know it was for a reason. I am supposed to encourage other women to get regular exams, be aware of what is normal for them, and if something becomes irregular, to respect what their body is telling them. It can save their life.” Hranicky promotes the annual Run for Her Life: Knock Out Women’s Cancer, Be a Hero for Hope each year. The event is hosted by the Space Coast Ovarian/Gynecological Cancer Alliance, of which Hranicky is a member. The cancer is difficult to catch, and can evade traditional tests such as the Pap test, which is for cervical cancer, and the CA125 blood test, which will be inconclusive at best. Hranicky can look back and remember feeling tired, maybe a few pounds heaver, but she thought nothing of it, chalking it up to exhaustion from relocating to Brevard, happiness from her recent marriage to her soul mate, and the notion that “maybe that’s just the way it is going into my 50s.” McTammany took an action first that many doctors take last. Or never. He felt a suspicious thickening of the tissue and pursued a trans-vaginal ultrasound. It revealed a cyst with a cancerous nodule inside. Hranicky’s diagnosis at stage 1 cancer is very rare because it typically is not found until later, sometimes stage 4. There is no stage 5. “Many of the women I’ve met along this journey say they had symptoms and were passed around from doctor to specialist and so on,” Hranicky said. “One friend was treated for gastrointestinal issues and beyond for two and a half years, and by the time it was diagnosed, she was terminal.”

Dianne Hranicky credits Dr. Mark McTammany for saving her life. Photo by Linda Wiggins

McTammany routinely recommends getting a BRACAnalysis to determine whether a woman has genetic pre-disposition to ovarian or breast cancer—an issue spotlighted recently by actress Angelina Jolie—and is proactive in diagnostics as well. “If a patient has unexplained bloating or other gastric issues, menstrual irregularities that can’t be explained, pelvic pain, urinary urgency, fatigue, we eliminate ovarian cancer first, rather than leave it as the last likelihood. This can affect women of any age, even teens,” McTammany said. n For more information, go to or call Dr. Mark McTammany’s office at 321-749-5176.

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letter from the editor



t takes a special person to become a doctor. There’s the education, the hard work, the sacrifice of selfish immediate wants in favor of the long-term need to be service to others. It’s no wonder, then, that doctors who work hard often play hard as well. In this issue are good examples of doctors who excel in sports as they do in their professions, making them good role models for the healthy lifestyles they promote. Whether you are an extreme-to-traditional sports participant or perhaps a fan, the Viera/Suntree area is the perfect place for you. There is no shortage of opportunities for fun physical fitness, whether it be yoga, karate, soccer or any number of other offerings at our parks and recreation centers and senior centers. Families in our area want the best for their children’s health, and that means they insist on the best healthcare for their children, as well as themselves so that they may remain healthy for their children. In 2012, baby boomers began to join the senior-age group as they turned 65. Their parents, the second-largest population in U.S. history, are beginning to look at health-supported communities, requiring an increasing degree of healthcare services. Healthcare shoppers for this age group include baby boomers looking for the best care for their parents. These are the reasons we at Bluewater Creative Group launched Viera MD. Our families and seniors want the very best healthcare solutions available. As the publisher of Viera Voice and Senior Life newspapers, we also put out the annual Boomer Guide that features the best choices in healthcare and beyond. We put on major boomer and senior expos each spring and fall at exciting locations. It is our commitment with Viera MD to search out and showcase the best health and medical practices and the providers who practice there so that our Viera/Suntree families and seniors can add years to their life, and life to their years. To your good health,

Jill Gaines, Founder and CEO Bluewater Creative Group


Software-Free App Improves Patient Flow, Service, Profits By Linda Wiggins


ric Hardoon is still part owner of Suntree Internal Medicine, along with his father and siblings, but his future has gone beyond the Melbourne practice. The software-free computer app he created to help move patients through waiting rooms is being marketed around the world, as well as across the busy medical community developing in Viera and Suntree.

Eric Hardoon

Physician’s assistant Regi Joseph updates patient flow on a wall-mounted tablet. A physician is then alerted via smartphone of the patient’s room location.

“It’s great for patients who don’t want to spend an hour or more in a waiting room never knowing when they will be called in, only to wait again in the examination room,” said Hardoon, creator of the computer app, also used in dentistry and other high-volume medical practices. The service is run from a system off site, or “cloud,” so it does not even require computer software, just a high-speed wireless Internet connection.

“Medical and dental facilities generate revenue based on the number of patients they can serve in a given day. ensures that number can be increased without hurting patient care,” he added. “My goal is to help businesses but at the same time also help their customers to receive better service and care.” Offered as a web-based application, works on any PC, Mac, tablet or smartphone with a wireless or mobile Internet connection. Providers working within a large practice can know at a glance the exam room location of the next patient they are scheduled to serve. The app eliminates unnecessary wait time and ensures providers never enter the wrong patient room as a result of faulty information. And, because the application is accessed in the cloud, updating patient room information is easily accomplished through the dashboard from any authorized location. Abe Hardoon, M.D., head physician at Suntree Internal Medicine— the first beta test site for the app—said he was impressed with the capabilities of the app, and not simply because it was created by a family member. “I was skeptical at first, even with a free beta testing. I’ve seen other software applications come and go that promise to improve efficiency in the medical office. Every one of them

ended up wasting our time and causing more problems than they promised to address. I expected the same with this one. “But when the app launched, and all of our providers had immediate access to the dashboard, the benefits were clear. Our office staff as a whole was impressed with the functionality and the improved efficiency within our office in just one day.” Walking through the door of the Suntree Internal building at 903 Jordan Blass Drive, located across the street from the Suntree/ Viera Library, it is clear there is something different in place. There is a constant buzz throughout the large waiting area, which is dotted with flat screen TVs and assorted magazines and newspapers, and behind the check-in counter as well. Signs posted everywhere promise a $25 gift certificate to any patient whose wait for a scheduled appointment exceeds 30 minutes. The 10,000-square-foot facility is home to four providers and 18 exam rooms. Future plans entail moving the practice across N. Wickham Road to a large medical condo community under development, to include many more providers and additional medical practices of all varieties and specialties. The app is expected to increase service and patient flow exponentially. “Any misdirection in exam rooms, disorganization of patient flow or even human error can delay service,” Eric Hardoon said. “This not only costs Suntree $25, it can also create a frustrated patient who may or may not come back for a future visit. With the introduction of, Suntree can maximize the efficiency within the practice and ensure no patient is ever left waiting close to the 30 minutes.” n For more information, go to or call 321-259-9500. Do you have favorite apps that you use to help your patients, or that you recommend to patients for their use? Contact or call 321-242-1235 and you may be featured in the April-June issue of Viera MD. VIERA MD MAGAZINE




By George White


dvances in orthodontics that hide braces from view have prompted an increasing number of health-conscious older patients to finally get their teeth where they should be, according to a Brevard orthodontist. Columbian-born Natalia Valderrama started out in dentistry in her home country. She moved to Texas in 2000 and relocated here about a year ago. The transition of her profession to older patients was not easy, she said. Many potential patients had to overcome the longstanding public stigma that braces were only for the young. “People before thought that ortho was only for teenagers, so there were very few cases for adults. If they missed the opportunity (as teens), that was it.” “You know how life is. You get married, you have children and then you don’t focus on yourself. But I think now it is different because the world is more competitive and people are more active as they get older. We have more adults from their 30s and 40s taking a more healthy approach and they realize that they can get ortho and it will work,’’ she said. Formerly, braces were anything but hidden “and there were bands around the brackets. Now they have mini brackets that are more comfortable and more aesthetic and they come in clear, so that makes the adults more comfortable,’’ she said. Clear trays used to position teeth, now put out by several companies, provide a means to move the teeth into place. Their advantage, besides being less visible, is that they can be removed for flossing, Valderrama said. However, patients must be diligent in keeping their trays in place the correct amount of time. If not, she said, an entire new set may need to be ordered. The final of the main three options for adults—and the most stealth— uses custom-made metal braces hidden on the back sides of the teeth, inside the mouth. “They’re invisible because they go inside,’’ she said. As with anything in life, cost is tied to important factors, and in the case of braces for adults, the key factor is how apparent they are, she said. “These are appliances, they’re vehicles that can take you from point A to point B. They can take you from having crowding, not a good smile, to having a perfect smile. We pick together as a team which vehicle you want to drive. Do you want to drive a Toyota, a Honda or a Ferrari?” she said. The choice for the patient largely hinges on profession, she said. “It depends on what your priorities are between work life, personality and what you want to accomplish,’’ she said. Valderamma’s practice now includes 20 percent adults. n For more information, call Christie Dental of Palm Bay, 5201 S Babcock St. 321-722-4400. Dr. Natalia Valderrama Photo by George White


Train Smart, Don’t Overtrain By George White


o matter what age you start, intense exercise in pursuit of an athletic goal is something that needs to be done correctly to maintain good health. That’s the message sports medicine specialist Dr. Ryan Wood often gives to patients after they sustain training injuries. And such concerns should begin with parents who feel their young child, age 6 to 8, could be an elite athlete, he said. “Avoiding overtraining at any age is important, especially the young ages; we have the tendency to find stress fractures in young females,’’ Wood said. For athletes about 12 years old, the concerns center around growth plates which can be damaged by overuse, he said. “They’re very prone in areas where the growth plates are still open. The ligaments, tendons and muscles can actually have injuries that last from six to 12 weeks. When they overtrain at that age, there’s complete traumatic injury at that growth plate and that can lead to delayed growth,’’ Wood said.

People who work out seven days a week “end up feeling more fatigued because they’ve not given the body time to heal,’’ he said. Wood said he suggests that his patients increase exercise gradually. “If you haven’t worked out, we try to go up 10 percent per week. We get a goal and go for 10 weeks toward that goal. All of it is about setting a goal and Dr. Ryan Wood achieving small increments at a time. Everything is about adaptation. You can’t just go into a gym and lift 400 pounds. You can’t just go run a marathon,’’ he said. Wood suggests a strategic approach to ensure success, or at least avoid injury. “If you go toward the whole max, you’re going to overtrain immediately and get set back for six to 12 weeks. When you’re hurting too much, you just avoid working out at all. It happens about 90 percent of the time,’’ Wood said.

It’s ironic, but overtraining early can lead to negative competitive results.

Stretching is another key, especially for the older runners age 65 and older.

“We found out that runners have slower times, reduced speed and decreased endurance levels,’’ he said.

“Any form of exercise is a benefit for that age group. The recommendation is 30 minutes, five days a week. We try to shoot for 60 percent of your maximum heart rate,’’ he said.

For weekend warriors in their mid-40s, there are different issues, Wood said. “They need to remember that any form of exercise causes micro-trauma to muscles. The only way that muscle tissue ever responds and grows at a normal level is resting. What happens is these people overtrain and there’s no re-growth,’’ he said.

The bottom line to exercise at any age is for the participant to set goals, stay aware “and look for warning signs’’ of injuries or other medical problems, he said. n


| 11

H a r d Wo r k , L ov e O f E d u c at i o n Still Fuels Borghei To T h i s D a y By Jeff Navin


f he had to, Dr. Hassan Borghei still could make an impressive pizza.

Borghei, who lives in the Baytree neighborhood of Suntree and practices gastroenterology and internal medicine in Cocoa Beach, left Iran in 1982 shortly before his 16th birthday. After a year of navigating through the process of immigration in Germany, Borghei eventually reached the United States and settled in Philadelphia. His older brother, Hossein, had arrived a year earlier. “I worked 16 years in pizza shops,’’ said Borghei, who turned 47 this year. “There was a huge Greek community that knew a lot about Persians. They took us in because they knew we were hard workers and honest. That was a huge help for us, to show us the way. They were such a help in us becoming successful.’’ The youngest brother, Bernard, arrived a year later. Borghei’s parents, Ali and Fay, came the year after that. Ali Borghei was the associate dean of an engineering school. After the Iranian revolution in 1979, the family was worried about possible political persecution. “It was very exciting to be here,’’ Borghei said. “We were proud of ourselves, working and going to school. It took me six years to finish college, but I did it with no loans. Philadelphia is a great city, with a lot of college students and jobs for those students.’’ Borghei’s parents opened a bakery to help support the family. Hassan Borghei could see his father’s sacrifice. “It was hard for him at 50 years old to start from the beginning,’’ Borghei said. “He never practiced engineering; he was an associate dean. When the students needed something, he got it for them, whether it was the best labs or books. It was hard for him to watch us, but we were still fortunate to live in America. The alternative would have been terrible.’’ During their days in Iran, the Borghei children all attended private school. “We were so protected; we weren’t aware of the revolution until the very last days,’’ said Borghei, who is approaching his seventh year in Florida. “Things were changing before I knew it. Then, they started to come after the people they didn’t like. That’s when my parents decided that we had to leave.’’


After graduating from Temple University with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, Borghei decided to follow his brother into the medical field. Hossein Borghei, who went on to become a hemotologist and oncologist, was in medical school at the time. “I remember shadowing an experienced engineer,’’ Borghei said. “He told me, ‘Always have a resume on your desk. You never know when you’ll need it.’ Being an engineer can be unstable. You can get laid off. Just look at the NASA situation. When business is good, there are plenty of jobs. But when business isn’t good…. A doctor can lead a much more stable life.’’ Moving from mathematics to advanced science wasn’t a difficult adjustment for Borghei, who was accustomed to hard work in all of his pursuits. “Medical school (at Philadelphia College) was all about learning a huge volume of information in a short period of time,’’ he said. “As an engineer, I was able to figure it out. There was a lot of memorization, but you can’t just get by on memorization. You have to understand the concepts and how the nerves and muscles work together.’’ While commuting to work one morning, Borghei heard an advertisement on satellite radio discussing Mathnasium franchises. He and his wife, Elly, decided to buy one of the franchises, which they recently opened. The learning centers help children conquer their fears of math as well as encourage top students to excel at a higher rate.

Being an engineer can be unstable. When business is good, there are plenty of jobs. But when business isn’t good…. A doctor can lead a much more stable life.

“I always wanted to do something like this, but I didn’t know how to do it,’’ Borghei said. “This is a perfect fit for us. America is 36th in the world (in math proficiency) and Florida is one of the lowest-ranked states. This can help kids get a good job where they won’t get laid off. We can fight the Great Recession with education. Life is about problem solving, whether it be in your marriage or in raising your kids. The logic in mathematics will help.’’ Borghei hired Pam Jordan, a longtime teacher, to be director of the Mathnasium of Viera. She was a patient, when a simple conversation evolved into a business relationship. “There is some sort of barrier with children and mathematics,’’ Borghei said. “We don’t just see it in the U.S., we see it everywhere. We have to teach math at their own level. There are so many tools to use—graphics and toys. We want them to put the calculator down until they’re much older. We want them to do the mental math and put it on paper before using the calculator.”

Pam Jordan with Dr. Borghei at Suntree’s Mathnasium

Borghei, who still roots for all the sports teams in Philadelphia, also is proud of the work that he and his colleagues in gastroenterology and internal medicine have accomplished in the past few years. “We’ve seen a 50 percent reduction in colon cancer deaths,’’ Borghei said. “That’s quite an achievement. We’re also doing a better job of treating Barrett’s, which is long-term heartburn where you can get cancer of the esophagus.’’ n

PhotoMD by MAGAZINE Keith Betterley VIERA | 13


Triathlete, doctor, family man keeps it balanced By George White


ou might think that any doctor who competes in Ironman races—2.4-mile swim, 112-mile bicycle ride, 26.2-mile run—would be obsessed with training and work to the exclusion of all else. Dr. James Shaffer, pulmonary and critical care specialist for Health First, proves that being an elite triathlete can help in all areas of life, if kept in the proper perspective. Shaffer started competing in triathlons after taking up cycling in 2007 to heal a running-related injury. After several shorterlength sprint and Olympic distance triathlons, he decided to try his hand at Ironman. He has competed in two, finishing the 2011 Ironman New Zealand. “For first-timers, the competition takes at least 12 to 18 months to prepare. It is an inherently selfish activity. On the other hand, doing it together can be a wonderful experience that builds connectivity and memories, unlike a lot of experiences,’’ he said. Shaffer remembers when, as a self-described overweight kid, his dad motivated him to get off the couch. “We ran a lot when I was a kid but it was just in the neighborhood around the block, which was a big deal for me. I didn’t do any organized running—track or cross country—in high school. I didn’t get into it competitively until I was in medical school,’’ he said. But to do so meant that, at age 40, Shaffer had to learn to swim correctly. “I could tread water and I did water sports, but I didn’t know how to propel myself efficiently through the water. I looked very impaired. I took my first lessons with a teacher who teaches babies to swim,’’ Shaffer said. After learning the basics, it was time to get up to speed.

Dr. James Shaffer

Photo by Keith Betterley

“I swam with some of our area’s leading triathletes and picked up pearls here and there. Most of it is practice, practice, practice. For me, after seven years, I’m maybe a little faster than the other guys in my age group. That took a lot of work because I’m not a natural swimmer by any means,’’ Shaffer said. All that training and competing can take a toll on family, unless the sport can become a family affair, he said. Shaffer’s two sons have had to exercise every day since they started to walk and both now compete in triathlons. “My wife and I still train and we do a half-dozen races every year. It’s a family value being fit, eating right, taking care of your body and your mind and your spirit. It’s more a lifestyle. Some guys take it way to the extreme. If all you do is train and you get out of balance, that’s no good either,’’ he said. And with that proper balance in mind, Shaffer looks forward to a lifetime of family fitness. “For me, being an athlete is a way of life. It affects my sleep, what I eat, training everyday. It makes me perform better as a communicator, as a thinker. I can do more effectively,‘’ Shaffer said. n VIERA MD MAGAZINE

| 15


Championship Cup Series photos by Gregory Stephens




r. Julio Vallette doesn’t run from a challenge—or ride away from a challenge if he’s on his Yamaha R6 motorcycle.

“The future challenges for me will be going to the expert class,” said Vallette, who has been riding motorcycles since he was 17 and competing for the past four years.

As the director of Neonatology at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne, Vallette has a demanding work schedule. For fun, he competes in the Championship Cup Series of the Florida Regional Roadracing Championships.

“The margins are so tight and everyone is so good. If you make one mistake, you could be passed by four people.”

It’s also for passion. Every single dollar that every single sponsor pays to appear on his racing bike and uniform goes to help Suntree’s March of Dimes save babies’ lives.

“I got back into riding motorcycles about 15 years ago,” Vallette said. “There’s much

Besides the Yamaha R6, Vallette and wife Susan have ridden Ducati and BMW motorcycles.

more of a risk on the street than on the track. People equate the track with more speed, but it’s in a more controlled and regulated environment. In street riding, you have to be careful since the other drivers are more focused on what is going on inside their car rather than outside their car.” Vallette assumes the driver of a car is not paying attention to him or his motorcycle. “The driver could be disinterested,” Vallette said. “Texting and cell phones are

Last year, Vallette won the Florida Formula 40 Middleweight Amateur title and finished third in the Florida GP Middleweight Amateur division, Florida GTU Amateur division, and Florida SuperBike Middleweight Amateur division. In addition to the March of Dimes logo, his bike is decked out in the nonprofit’s signature purple and gold. Valette has worked closely with the March of Dimes for nearly his entire career in medicine and was the chairman of the March of Dimes Signature Chefs Auction, which has been one of its biggest fundraisers under Greg Stephens, the director of the Space Coast March of Dimes. The March of Dimes, which was founded by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1938 in a quest to treat and eliminate polio, has worked to improve the health of pregnant women and their babies since its inception. “Riding a motorcycle helps me keep my mind sharp,” said Vallette, who will turn 54 this year. “It’s just like if I am in front of a patient. You’ve got to keep your mind sharp.” The season begins and ends at Homestead Miami Speedway, with events scheduled for both February and December. The highlight of the season will be the Oct. 31 annual Race of Champions at Daytona International Speedway.

Photo by Keith Betterley VIERA MD MAGAZINE

| 17

Dr. Vallette with his wife Gloria after winning the Florida Formula 40 Middleweight Amateur title.

Dr. Julio Vallette said riding a motorcycle helps him keep his mind sharp, which is vital to his role as director of Neonatology at Holmes Regional Medical Center in Melbourne.

a recipe for disaster. You’ve got to be smart when you’re riding and treat it like flying an airplane. I have a checklist every time I go out. I have no alcohol within 24 hours of driving and I never ride when I’m upset or have strong emotions.”

about future opportunities for him and his family. He also predicted the eventual violence, which led to a military takeover and President Salvador Allende’s death on the same day in 1973. Vallette Sr. and wife Gloria now live in Viera.

He loves the sport, but his priorities are elsewhere.

Vallette Jr. graduated from the University of Missouri in 1982 and the University of Missouri’s medical school in Columbia in 1987. He served his pediatric residency at the University of South Florida from 1987 to 1990, and his fellowship at the University of Miami and Jackson Memorial in 1990. His nonprofit work is just as important in preparing him for success, he said.

“Riding a motorcycle is fun. The challenges at the hospital are far more important, and the problems will be bigger as the community grows,” Vallette said. “The problems have become more heterogeneous. As the future comes upon us, the healthcare picture will be something in front of us. We need to work closely with hospitals and more tightly with the financial margins of those hospitals. We’ve got to be more efficient and try to be more proactive and not reactive. That’s the key in life’s endeavors when you’re fraught with responsibility.” In 1964, Vallette’s father, Julio Vallette Sr., moved the family to the United States. The elder Vallette was student president at the Universidad de Chile in the capital city of Santiago. He saw the beginnings of a shift to communism and was concerned

“The March of Dimes is really our biggest ally in neonatology,” Vallette said. “We’re both concerned with the health and welfare of the newborn. The March of Dimes does so much locally. We have to educate people and let them know it’s not just a kiosk in a local hospital.” n To reach Vallette, call Holmes Regional Medical Center at 321- 434-7000.

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Beyond Medicine:

Life Lessons on Being a Doctor Suntree Neurosurgeon Teaches Medical Lifestyle to UCF Student By Katie parsons


here are some lessons that simply cannot be learned without living them. George Saad, 20, recently got a summer crash course in what being a doctor is really like by shadowing one. From May until August, the University of Central Florida student followed Suntree-based neurosurgeon Dr. Basil Theodotou.

Saad is in his third year as a biomedical sciences major and plans to apply to medical school at UCF when his undergraduate courses are complete. “I’m not sure of a specialty just yet,” Saad said. “But I know I want to be a doctor.” Theodotou has known Saad since the student was still in elementary school. The two families both attend St. Katherine’s Greek Orthodox Church in Suntree. When Theodotou heard that Saad wanted a better look at the lifestyle of a doctor, he was enthusiastic to work with Saad over summer break. “This is not just any student asking to learn,” Theodotou said. “He is a close friend and an excellent student at that.” In technical terms, Saad says he has learned a great deal — like how to sew wounds, recognize diseases and read MRI scans. But the training goes beyond the basic medical aspect. “I’ve been able to see what being a doctor, particularly a trauma doctor, means in terms of lifestyle,” Saad said. “I see what a commitment it really is to be in this profession.” The apprenticeship setup is teaching the master a thing or two as well.

Dr. Basil Theodotou shows George Saad the basics of MRI medical scans Photo by Keith Betterley

“I’ve had to take a step back and learn how to better explain the things that I do every day,” Theodotou said. “I’ve had to speak more simply, and cut out the flowery language to be a better teacher.” Theodotou said that the demands of neurosurgery are different from other specializations Saad could ultimately choose. The psychological aspects of handling trauma cases and the affected family members are a very real and present part of the job.

He has seen what it all really means, being a trauma doctor. There are some really important lessons there that cannot be duplicated in a textbook.” “Trauma is something that affects the young, mainly people who are not paying attention,” he said. “Not all our patients are on the gurney, but the injuries we deal with are often devastating to the individuals and the people who love them.” Saad has been with Theodotou when bad news has been delivered, either in his practice in Suntree or at Holmes Regional Medical Center. In addition to typical

8-to-5 office hours, Saad has accompanied Theodotou on emergency calls at all hours. “He has seen what it all really means, being a trauma doctor. There are some really important lessons there that cannot be duplicated in a textbook,” Theodotou said. Learning from a more experienced doctor is vital to medical education, Theodotou said. His own mentor was his father, also a neurosurgeon. He saw firsthand growing up what it meant to be a doctor who is often called in emergency situations, so he knew what taking on that responsibility would mean in his life. Theodotou’s oldest son is in medical school at the University of Miami and his two others are undergraduates at Georgetown University. “I find that I am a better one-on-one teacher, “ Theodotou said. “Some doctors teach better in group settings, but the individual setup with George has worked really well in my case.” Though he is now back in more typical college settings, Saad hopes to have another chance at firsthand learning from his own mentor. Theodotou said his door is always open for the aspiring doctor. “He is always welcome to come back and learn even more,” Theodotou said. “And I’m happy to give him a real-life look at his chosen profession.” n VIERA MD MAGAZINE

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Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center Opens Valve Clinic FIRST IN BREVARD COUNTY


ealth First Holmes Regional Medical Center recently opened its Heart & Vascular services, the newly opened Valve Clinic — the first one in Brevard County. An estimated 1.5 million people in the United States suffer from aortic stenosis (AS). The Valve Clinic at Health First Holmes Regional provides a comprehensive and team approach to wellness. A variety of medical experts design individualized treatment options, ensuring all patients receive the right care at the right place at the right time. “Only a few years ago, treatments for heart valve diseases were limited and left many patients without treatment options”, said Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center cardiovascular thoracic surgeon Dr. Matthew Campbell. “Thanks to advancements in technology, we are now able to help these patients and provide them with the best treatment options possible.” Severe symptomatic AS is a life-threatening condition. Without treatment, the two-year mortality rate is as high as 50 percent.


In many cases, aortic valve disease can show no signs or symptoms until it worsens to a critical state. Not treated, severe aortic stenosis can lead to death due to cardiac arrest, heart failure, stroke or end-stage organ failure. In addition, there is no medical management for aortic stenosis. Treatment options at the Valve Clinic at Health First Holmes Regional Medical Center include the following: Traditional Aortic Valve Replacement Invasive Aortic Valve Replacement n Referral for Trans-Catheter Aortic Valve Replacement (TAVR) n Balloon Aortic Valuplasty n Palliative Medical Management n

n Minimally

For more information, please call 321-434-8258.

HypnoBirthing A CALMER WAY TO GO By George White


xpectant mothers fretting over the impending intensity of labor and delivery may want to try HypnoBirthing, a birthing technique that stresses relaxation over drugs, which is now available locally. Those initial uneasy feelings can start a chain reaction of negativity, said Marie Montemurno of Viera, a certified HypnoBirthing practioner. “It’s actually that fear itself that causes the pain. Fear causes tension. Tension causes pain. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy,’’ she said. HypnoBirthing was created in 1992 by Marie Mongan as a way to mitigate birth pains through guided imagery, visualization and breathing. The method teaches you that in the absence of fear and tension, or special medical circumstances, severe pain does not have to accompany labor. With HypnoBirthing, women are given the tools to learn self-hypnosis, Montemurno said.

Not in a trance or asleep, what you will experience is similar to daydreaming, or focusing, like what occurs when you are engrossed in a book or a movie or staring into a fire, according to its website.

“If you’re afraid, your ‘fight-or-flight’ response kicks in. So when that happens, your body prepares to run or defend, so your reproductive system is not number one on the list. If you go into labor believing that, that’s what you are going to get. We don‘t say it will be pain free. We‘re saying it will be a more pleasant experience,’’ she said. Montemurno went through HypnoBirthing training in The Villages this spring, and taught her first class in May and June for three couples. Included in the tuition fee is the testbook “HypnoBirthing, A Celebration of Life,’’ three self-hypnosis practice tapes and informational handouts. n For more information, call 321-266-1559 or go to

Marie Montemurno with her son Asher

“The body is able to relax, the muscles are able to do what they need to do and the process just goes so much more quickly. The whole thing is about not being afraid,’’ she said. The birth of 5-year-old son Asher took five hours of labor. Her firstborn took two days. The modern Western culture is programmed to believe that birth is frightening and painful.

Photo by George White VIERA MD MAGAZINE

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Mauricio J. Castellon, M.D., FACS

Rohit Parihar, M.D.

Board Certified Reconstructive and Plastic Surgeon

Board Certified Ophthalmologist

His training includes general, plastic and reconstructive surgery at Albany Medical Center in New York. His undergraduate study was at the University of Florida and he received his Doctor of Medicine degree from the Ponce School of Medicine. He is an active member of the American Society of Plastic Surgeons and the American Medical Association.

1499 South Harbor City Blvd. Suite 301 Melbourne, FL 32901 321.729.9909

Dr. Parihar earned his medical degree at Saint Louis University School of Medicine where he went on to complete an ophthalmology residency after an internship at Saint John’s Mercy Medical Center in Saint Louis, Missouri. His focus is General Ophthalmology and Cataract Surgery. Dr. Parihar is accepting patients in Florida Eye Associates’ Melbourne and Palm Bay locations. 502 E New Haven Ave. Melbourne, FL 32901 161 Malabar Road Palm Bay, FL 32907 321.727.2020

Lindy Tolleson, D.C.

Chris Edwards, DDS & Julia Bunker, DDS

Doctor of Chiropractic • Acupuncture Certified

Board Certified in Integrative Biologic Dental Medicine

Diversified Technique, SOT blocking, Thompson Drop Technique, Activator, Neuromuscular Rehabilitation, Whole Body Vibration Therapy, E-STIM, Ultrasound, Lifestyle Counseling, Nutritional Advice Education: Logan College of Chiropractic, Chesterfield, MO

3682 N. Wickham Rd. Melbourne, FL 32935 (look for the bright green building) 321.253.3273


Dr. Chris Edwards earned a BS with honors at Temple University and did a general practice Residency at the Queen’s Medical Center in Honolulu. Dr. Julia Bunker obtained her Medical / Dental degree in Stomatology in Bashkiria, Russia and practiced there before moving to the United States where she obtained her American DDS with honors at NYU. 8247 Devereux Drive Viera, FL 32940 321.751.7775


& Joint Center

of Florida Specialists in Knee, Hip and Shoulder Replacement

Phone: 321.956.1501

Welcome to the Orthopaedic practice of Daniel L. King, M.D. Our practice specializes in the operative and non-operative care of the painful knee, hip and shoulder. Advances in surgical techniques and materials have led to state-of-the-art surgical solutions provided to you at our center. Dr. King is MAKOplasty速 certified to perform partial knee replacements and hip replacements using the RIO速 Robotic Arm Interactive Orthopedic System. Most hip replacements can now be done utilizing a less invasive anterior technique. Most knee replacements are now done without cutting the quadriceps tendon. Both techniques may result in less pain, and quicker recovery. Dr. King and his Physician Assistants David A. Harris, PA-C and Wilberto Olivera, PA-C provide experienced care and judgment for patients utilizing optimal materials and techniques. We are now conveniently located in Viera

2328 Medico Lane, Melbourne, FL 32940 in the new Viera Medical Park. We are located at the northeast corner of the intersection between Stadium Parkway and Wickham Rd.

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