Page 1

Ads-DEC20.indd 2

12/15/20 2:36 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 1

12/14/20 3:08 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 2

12/14/20 3:18 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 3

12/14/20 3:18 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 4

12/14/20 3:18 PM

january 2021

the outsiders 2021



Come out and play with six local outdoor enthusiasts. We get the inside scoop on their outside worlds—sharing everything from sporty snacks and fitness regimes to essential equipment, beginner tips and favored spots. Cruise off-road, camp off-grid, ride waves, paddle groves, watch birds and dive for fish: These adventurists find escape through their respective pastimes and passions in the natural wonders of the Gulf Coast and beyond. Written by Brittany Mattie, Andrew Fabian and Olivia Liang | Illustrations by Chris Leverett.

paying wellness forward 56 Self-care has been a big buzzword during the pandemic, as people look inward and deeply examine their personal well-being. Instead of waiting for symptoms to arise, patients are now proactively focusing on staying healthy and preventing issues before they start. Local professionals—from cardiologists and family practice doctors to physical therapists and bodyworkers—are weighing in on what seems to be a cultural shift from clients’ inaction to proactivity. Written by Abby Weingarten | Photography by Wyatt Kostygan.

SRQJAN21_TOC.indd 5

12/15/20 8:09 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 6

12/14/20 3:18 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 7

12/14/20 3:19 PM


january 2021


STORY PROJECT Florida Center for Early Childhood

Cover: SaraFresh Mermaid smoothie,

photography by Wyatt Kosytgan. Previous page: The Outsiders 2021 get you ready for trail running with Chase Pettey, photo courtesy of Chase Pettey, @theadventuretrainer. Clockwise this page: Christmas Panettone handmade by ATRIA Bread+Cafe, artist Clark Prosperi in his Sarasota studio, CROP juices bottled; photography by Wyatt Kostygan.

srqist 16

Lynn Morris of SaraFresh trades in her mobile juice truck for a Rosemary District brick and mortar. Fly Dance Fitness Studio teaches dancers how to let loose, build confidence and break a sweat. Fitness instructor Krista DiTucci brings Zumba to Zoom for at-home routines. Jeff Riggan unearths buried treasures to handmake Gulf Coast pirate art, handsomely dubbed Bayou Buccaneers.

culture city


The Sarasota Cuban Ballet School has established itself as a premier United States destination for the Cuban technique. Some would say he’s already made it, but oil-realism painter Clark Prosperi keeps searching for what’s next.



Upbeet + Rooted kicks off the New Year with an online grocery shop of all vegan, cruelty-free foods and goods. Play make-believe with your passport for a

tropical staycation at AMI’s Bali Hai Beach Resort.



Atria Bakery + Cafe encourages loaf lovers to indulge on craft pastries and beverages. Where to find Sarasota’s most tortilla-ly amazing tacos. CROP Juice reaffirms its mission to put customer health and wellness first with a shift to a new, larger location. Trading days of traipsing around grocery store aisles with curbside pickup.

TOP DOCTORS 75 SECOND EDITION | 2020 SRQ TOP DOCTORS MEDICAL RESOURCE GUIDE The individuals who have been honored in this year’s prestigious 2020 SRQ TOP DOCTORS | PEER REVIEW program have received the overwhelming support of colleagues in the medical professional communities of Greater Sarasota including Palmetto and Palmetto Bay, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, Venice and North Port, Florida. We appreciate the doctors who participated in the program this past summer by sharing their thoughtful nominations—it is your insight that makes it possible for us to provide the readers of SRQ Magazine with this noteworthy guide to the highly-regarded doctors in the region.

8 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local

SRQJAN21_TOC.indd 8

12/15/20 8:02 PM


You can make a difference in the life of a child in need by donating today. “BRIE” STARTED ATTENDING THE FLORIDA CENTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD’S STARFISH ACADEMY PRESCHOOL IN 2018 after being placed in foster care. Despite the trauma Brie had been exposed to, she always seemed to exude happiness. “From the moment she started attending the Florida Center, I think the entire staff agreed that she was special. Her laugh, her smile, and her radiating joy were just contagious,” said Sara, an occupational therapist at the school. Brie began receiving wrap-around services including speechlanguage, occupational and mental health therapies throughout her day. She was also evaluated for fetal alcohol spectrum disorder at The Florida Center’s FASD Diagnostic Clinic. A team of experts determined that Brie suffered cognitive damage caused by her mother drinking alcohol during pregnancy. The early treatments Brie received helped immensely. In 2019, she graduated from voluntary pre-kindergarten (VPK) and started kindergarten on time. She continued receiving outpatient services at The Florida Center and her bond with her occupational therapist, Sara, grew stronger by the day. Sara and her husband made the decision to adopt Brie. In 2020, after spending 1,010 days in foster care, Brie was officially adopted into her forever family. A drive-by parade was held in her honor to celebrate the big day. “Being able to follow her story and be a small part of her journey as her occupational therapist was amazing, but taking the next steps to prepare for her to join our family forever is the greatest choice my husband and I have ever made,” Sara said.

ABOUT THE FLORIDA CENTER For more than 40 years, The Florida Center for Early Childhood has been the leading provider of therapeutic services, early education and healthy development for young children in southwest Florida, offering a seamless delivery of services for the whole child and their family. Today, the agency is nationally recognized for its early childhood expertise in a variety of specialties. The Florida Center provides developmental therapies, mental health counseling, Starfish Academy preschool, the Healthy Families home-visiting program, and the state’s only Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders clinic. For more information, visit or call 941-371-8820.

THE FLORIDA CENTER FOR EARLY CHILDHOOD 4620 17th St., Sarasota, FL 34235 | 6929 Outreach Way, North Port, FL 34287 | 941-371-8820 |

2021-01-STORYPROJECT-EarlyChildhood.indd 9

12/15/20 4:22 PM







Wyatt Kostygan




Ariel Chates



Phil Lederer, Jacob Ogles CONTRIBUTING EDITORS

Andrew Fabian, Olivia Liang, Abby Weingarten COPYEDITOR

Maude Campbell


Evan Sigmund, Woody Woodman DESIGN CONTRIBUTOR Winona Nasser EDITORIAL INTERN Grace Castilow







Suzanne Munroe Julie Mayer Magnifico Rob Wardlaw CLIENT SERVICES AND MARKETING MANAGER

The magazine in your hands offers enormous insight into our community, but the most informed in our community follow our constant coverage of Sarasota and the Bradenton Area in SRQ Daily. The electronic newsletter is a must-read in thousands of inboxes. Check our special editions: the Monday Business Edition, the Wednesday Philanthropy Edition, the Friday Weekend Edition and the much-discussed Saturday Perspectives Edition, featuring a diverse range of opinions from the region’s top pundits and newsmakers. SIGN UP

The “SRQ” in SRQ magazine originates from the designated call letters for the local Sarasota Bradenton International Airport. “SR” was the original abbreviation for the airport before the growth in total number of airports required the use of a three-letter code. Letters like “X” and “Q” were used as filler, thus the original “SR” was revised to “SRQ,” much as the Los Angeles airport became “LAX.” As a regional publication committed to the residents of and visitors to both Sarasota and Manatee counties, SRQ captures the place that we call home.


SUBSCRIBE TO THE PRINT AND DIGITAL EDITION Join our readers in the pleasurable experience of receiving SRQ magazine in your mailbox every month during season and bimonthly during the summer. To reserve your subscription, provide your information and payment online. You can set up multiple addresses, renewals and special instructions directly through your online account. When you subscribe online, your first print issue will arrive in your mailbox in 4–6 weeks. Subscribe online at SRQMAG.COM/SUBSCRIBE. Contact us via email at Vol. 24, Issue 231 Copyright © 2021 SRQ MEDIA. SRQ: Live Local | Love Locall. Sarasota and Bradenton Area is published 10 times a year. IMPORTANT NOTICE: The entire contents of SRQ are copyrighted by Trafalger Communications, Inc. Column and department names are property of Trafalger Communications, Inc. and may not be used or reproduced without express written permission of the publisher. SUBSCRIPTION: Subscriptions to SRQ are $36 for 20 issues. Single copies are $4 at area newsstands.

SRQJAN21_Masthead.indd 10

12/15/20 3:52 PM




2021 Best of

SRQ local

Our readers love to share their favorites in the Annual Best of SRQ Local Readers Competition. For 2021, we’ve moved to a powerful, brand-new online platform that makes it even easier for you to nominate and vote for your locally-owned favorites in Sarasota, Bradenton Area, Lakewood Ranch, Venice, Siesta Key, Longboat Key and Palmetto. Last month, you nominated your favorite local establishment, people, dining, nonprofits and shopping. Next, the winning entries who receive the most nominations in each category will make it onto the Official Best of SRQ Local Voting Ballot which is released for final voting this month. You will be able to vote for your top pick of the crème de la crème. We’ll share your stories and your favorites in the wellloved April 2021 edition of SRQ Magazine.

We’ve tabulated your nominations and will announce the finalists on January 20th online and in social media @srqmag.



12/15/20 8:04 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 12

12/14/20 3:19 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 13

12/14/20 3:19 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 14

12/14/20 3:19 PM


Below: SaraFresh owner Lynn Morris and her daughter at the new storefront in the Rosemary District.



SaraFresh Juice moves mobile rove to a fixed destination.

Brittany Mattie

ALAS, THOSE WHO AVIDLY SOUGHT OUT THE BRIGHT WHITE TRUCK posted up on 1st Street at the Sarasota Farmers Market may feel a kneejerk reaction to fight back tears when they hear SaraFresh Juice has officially given up its seven-year parking spot at the Saturday downtown market. We’re sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but ’tis true: Founder and owner Lynn Morris has sold her beloved mobile juice shop on wheels. But don’t fret for long Gingeraid, Bright Eyes and Liquid Sunshine juice lovers—SaraFresh isn’t folding or going into retirement at all. PHOTOGRAPHY BY WYATT KOSTYGAN.

SRQIST_JAN21.indd 15

srq magazine_ JAN21 live local | 15

12/15/20 2:47 PM



found within the truck have taken up expanded shelf space within an anchored residence with more frequented accessibility. “For seven years, I had my truck at the Sarasota Farmers Market—it will always be my first love—but it made it challenging for some,” she shares. “Finally, a place where locals can easily access my juice!” Taking over the cozy 250-square-foot cinder block space adjacent to The Overton restaurant, SaraFresh has been quietly and softly opening its first brick-and-mortar juice shop during the last month of 2020. With a grand opening planned the first week of January 2021, Morris is more than ready to have a permanent place to call home. “Having a storefront has been a dream of mine for many years,” she says. “I intend to give the same love and attention as I did on the truck and market to the Rosemary District now, which is my new home—of not only my business, but my personal address as well.” Aside from blending up more of SaraFresh’s soughtafter juice elixirs and vegan ice creams, the new shop will also feature an apothecary wall highlighting various superfoods and adaptogenic herbs that can be added to smoothies and its elevated bowls of acai or pitaya with house-made almond milk, buckwheat granola, Thai coconut yogurt, fresh-cut fruit, assorted drizzles and 16 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local

SRQIST_JAN21.indd 16

Below left to right: Elevated acai bowl and the PB&J smoothie.

salubrious toppings. “The apothecary wall features adaptogens like pearl, yin powder and lion’s mane to educate, inspire and enhance health and well-being, which is more important than ever these days.” Morris says. Formerly bottled and sold in plastic containers, SaraFresh will be switching over to glass bottles for takeaway juices. With an ordering system up and running online, or by texting JUICE to 31313, customers now have easy access to a curbside pickup option or a fast and convenient grab-and-go destination to snag cold-pressed juices, smoothies or bowls seven days a week. Though, if customers decide they’re in no rush and have time to kill or work to get done, they’re welcomed to snug up in the sun at the outdoor tables and chairs. With the ideal location and Google address to proudly call her own now, Morris plans to expand on the fun, alfresco vibe locals have come to enjoy in the lively courtyard off of Boulevard of the Arts, which has hosted various outdoor artisan markets, yoga events, live music and collaborative pop-ups. “Christian Hershman and I are constantly chatting up ideas on how to complement the offerings at The Overton and collaborate to make the customer experience even better,” she says. “Being part of the Rosemary District is super exciting—with its urban vibe, lots of open space, dogs, kids, yoga. It’s inspiring to me.” SRQ PHOTOGRAPHY BY WYATT KOSTYGAN.

12/15/20 7:24 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 17

12/14/20 3:19 PM


Below: Krista DiTucci producing her newest Zoomba class from home.


Fitness instructor krista ditucci leads step and sweat routines through the screen. Abby Weingarten

WHAT DO YOU GET WHEN YOU TEACH ZUMBA CLASSES VIA ZOOM? “Zoomba,” of course—and it’s fitness instructor Krista DiTucci’s answer to mid-pandemic online fitness. The ultra-popular aerobic workout, which is inspired by Latin American rhythms, is not just for gym studios anymore. Two years into teaching, DiTucci pivoted to offering virtual classes. She hasn’t looked back. “I started teaching virtual classes right after the gyms shut down in March. There are so many great things about teaching Zumba virtually,” she says. “I’m able to connect with friends, instructors and family members from all over the country who I would not have had the chance to dance with otherwise.” DiTucci currently teaches in-person classes twice a week at Crunch Fitness in West Bradenton, as well as online classes one to two times a week upon request. Participants can watch her livestreamed Zoom classes or opt for prerecorded classes through a service called ZIN Studio. “It’s really nice to be able to just throw my Zumba clothes on right before class and be ready to go. I would love for this trend to continue after the pandemic,” DiTucci says. “It’s great to be able to offer classes to people who may not be able to make it to the gym due to time constraints, costs, transportation or other personal reasons.” But the most fulfilling part is seeing the effect it has on attendees during a time of limited interpersonal contact. It’s a total spirit lifter. “I’ve had students tell me that the ability to keep dancing has been their main source of happiness and inspiration during the pandemic,” she says. “It makes my heart so happy to see their smiles and sweat on the other end of the screen.” SRQ To join a class, email for details or go to

18 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local

SRQIST_JAN21.indd 18


12/15/20 3:00 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 19

12/14/20 3:20 PM


PIRATES OF THE MANATEE-AN These hand-crafted pirates are not cursed—they’re just built that way. Phil Lederer

JEFF RIGGAN MADE GROUND IN MANATEE COUNTY just before the pandemic first peaked in Florida. A native Floridian returning from an Atlanta

sojourn, folks may have recognized Riggan from his days haunting the Orlando scene, plying his trade at everything from murals and signage for mom-and-pop stores to building multiuse television sets for Nickelodeon shows and sculpting intricate and grand attractions for Universal Studios, like Poseidon’s Fury at Islands of Adventure, but this returned figure was a different man than the one they once knew, some strange and demented Geppetto borne to these shores on the weft of a strange tide and under cover of a peculiar fog. And he didn’t come alone. He calls them Bayou Buccaneers, this motley crew delivered of his own hands’ creation. Armed to the hand-carved teeth with miniature muskets and cutlasses, they bear names like Calico Jack and Captain Sawtooth—not to mention a whole bevy of beards: Blackbeard, Yellowbeard, Gingerbeard, etc.—all looking rather cadaverous and ghastly because the inner voice guiding their twisted creator consists of helpful tips like “put the skeleton on the outside.” Most while away the day engaged in eternal combat in one of Riggan’s many nautical dioramas; others remain mere heads leering with bare-toothed grimaces and jack-o’-lantern grins that entreat Riggan to complete his task and give them bodies and names and weapons and arms to wield them against their warring brethren. And he will. When the time is right. When they learn to speak. The birth of a Bayou Buccaneer begins with the face. Taking a block of simple pine, Riggan grinds out the bulbous cranium and drawn cheeks and eye sockets like sunken wells that comprise the base skeletal features of a carven corsair. Then he sets it aside, half-formed and new to the world, to decide what it wants to be. “I have to give in to the free will of these characters,” the mad creator says. “They speak to me.” Only thus compelled to duty by obligation to his creation will he continue. With flotsam bodies formed of furniture bits and shaker peg limbs, Riggan strings all his piratical progeny together with baling wire sinew, each one coming out both sturdy and fully posable. Some get hooks; some get hands. Some get guns; some get knives. But the characters behind his creations emerge in the adornment of their faces—in the painting of gold teeth and wrapping of bandannas, the moth-eaten hats and the long scraggly hair sprouting from chin and scalp, hand-teased and affixed with toothpicks and epoxy. Riggan never knows exactly how each Bayou Buccaneer will turn out, but the end result is always a little bit nurture, a little bit nature, as his craft adapts to his reality. Summed up: “I have to build something. What can I do with what I have on hand?” In true pirate fashion, there is no plan, only the currents of creation and Riggan’s hand on the rudder. SRQ 20 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local

SRQIST_JAN21.indd 20


12/15/20 3:08 PM

Ads-JAN21.indd 21

12/15/20 7:54 PM



Below: Fly Dance owners Kari Schroeter and Stacey Marks

Nightclub Cardio at Fly Dance Fitness Studio. Brittany Mattie FORGET BRIGHT, FLOURESCENT GYM LIGHTING, machines you have to wipe DNA off of, and the sounds of man grunts and heavy dumbbells

dropping to the floor. Fly Dance studio is your own personal nightclub and fitness escape. Darkened for sultry ambiance with colorful club lighting to enhance the feeling of being out on the town with your best friends, Fly Dance studio is a retreat from the outside world where you can exercise/dance like no one is watching. “We do fitness the fun way,” say co-owners Kari Schroeter and Stacey Marks, both certified group instructors. “Both our studio layout and fitness classes are designed to make clients feel as if they’re in a crazy-fun nightclub and having the time of their lives!” Once you’ve stepped foot into the room with light-bulb letters spelling out, “‘You So Fly”’ on the wall adjacent to floor-toceiling mirrors, you’ll be hardened to go back to dragging your feet on the treadmill at the gym and putting earbuds in to watch the TV screen above playing reruns of Friends. Schroeter and Marks’ hip-hop playlists keep the vibe alive and high in all of their classes—classes that are offered in three types of fun formats: Throw Down, Dance2Fit and From The Top. If you prefer to get the blood pumping and break a sweat to Biggie Smalls instead of meditative yoga music, then Throw Down’s unapologetic, hip-shaking classes may be the down-and-dirty workout you’ve been shamelessly searching for. In From the Top class, test your memory and coordination by learning a combination and dancing repetitively to a variety of music from then and now. You’ll match the music and step to the beat with a constant change of pace that keeps you on your toes, increases your heart rate and, by the end, has you breathing heavier and challenging your memory retention. “These classes activate memory recall, as clients perform the hundreds of dance routines we’ve choreographed in our studio over the years. The more our clients attend class, the more likely our dance routines become second nature and allow for some serious booty-shakin’ fun.” You’ll step back into the parking lot smiling, sweating and having burned over 800 calories. The confidence boost, alone, Schroeter and Marks say, is a major impact, and innately comes with mastering new steps and skills. “Our goal is for every client to leave class incredibly sweaty and in a much happier mindset than when they first entered our doors,” the trainers say. “We are all about building strong bodies and sharp minds.” SRQ


SRQIST_JAN21.indd 22

12/15/20 3:09 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 23

12/14/20 3:20 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 24

12/14/20 3:21 PM


culture city

PASSION IN MOTION Behind the scenes with the founders of the Sarasota Cuban Ballet. Abby Weingarten

AS THE FOUNDERS OF THE SARASOTA CUBAN BALLET SCHOOL (SCBS) embark on a new decade of collaborations and recitals, they reflect on how much the company has evolved. High-performing students have flocked to classes from across the globe, scholarships and local children’s programs have been created, and a stellar reputation has been built in the community. Husband-and-wife team Ariel Serrano and Wilmian Hernandez, originally from Cuba, launched the school in 2011. It has gone on to catapult multiple professional dance careers and inspire countless area schoolchildren. “We are establishing the school as the United States destination for a ballet program based on the Cuban technique,” Serrano says. “We want to be a place where a dancer can receive the support and experience needed to launch a career.” And that begins with proper, highly disciplined training. The Cuban style of ballet is renowned for athleticism, passion and grace, and it incorporates influences from the major classical schools of ballet (Russian, British, French and Italian). Developed in the 1940s by Cuban dancer Fernando Alonso, the Cuban style has produced some of the world’s most lauded dancers, and professional companies are increasingly embracing the techniques. The Royal Ballet’s Carlos Acosta, as well as former American Ballet Theatre principal dancers Jose Manuel Carreño and Xiomara Reyes, are among the stars who were trained in the Cuban style. PHOTOGRAPHY COURTESY OF SARASOTA CUBAN BALLET.


srq magazine_ JAN21 live local | 25

12/15/20 3:32 PM

culture city


at the elite Cuban National Ballet School and have performed internationally. In 1993, they moved to Sarasota to join The Sarasota Ballet. As the artistic directors as well as the founders of the SCBS, they teach classes at all levels for students from age three to adult. The heart of the school’s program is a rigorous training course designed to ultimately prepare talented, serious young dancers for professional careers. “We provide the highest quality of training in a caring, supportive atmosphere to dance students of all ages, whether or not they pursue a career in dance,” Serrano says. The student body is diverse, both ethnically and economically, and there is a feeling of family among the dancers. Dancers who move on to professional companies regularly come back to the school to visit, perform and mentor new students. At least one third of the preprofessional dancers receive scholarships. Helping students is a major component of the school, and Serrano and Hernandez aim to introduce children in the local community to as many dance opportunities as possible. Charitable, youth-centered causes are deeply dear to their hearts. Serrano was raised in a poor family in Cuba, and he credits participating in a serious ballet program with preventing him from engaging in risky

behaviors. His mission now is to replicate that positive experience from his childhood. As a young boy, Serrano was not interested in schoolwork, and did not understand why he was required to study ballet. But the more he grew and trained, he overcame his negativity and recognized the multiple benefits of the sport. Ballet made Serrano physically strong, stimulated his curiosity and changed his attitude about learning. He realized, for instance, that there was a purpose to learning math (because counting steps and remembering time are crucial skills in dancing). Serrano is committed to providing a similar opportunity to low-income children in Sarasota; he does so through the SCBS passion project, Dance for a Future. This free two-year program is geared toward students in grades four and five who attend Title 1 schools (where at least 40 percent of the student body is low-income and the population is largely comprised of minorities). These students have minimal exposure to the culture that the community has to offer, and most families cannot afford to pay for their children to attend ballet lessons. Students in the program attend two hours of dance class two afternoons a week, and transportation and snacks are provided. In addition to dance lessons, the students receive dance shoes, leotards and tights (and

everything else they may need for classes and performances). Those who demonstrate a commitment to studying dance and stay with the program for the two years are offered scholarships to join the SCBS preprofessional program. “We honor Sarasota’s distinction as a cultural center that embraces a diversity of students and performers; and we instill in our community an appreciation of the Cuban style of ballet,” Serrano says. “We want to provide a place where young artists can grow and excel on the pathway to becoming professional dancers.” During the pandemic, the company has offered live-streamed performances and is exploring the possibility of presenting a small outdoor show this winter. Classes for all levels and ages have been held at the studio, and staff have strictly adhered to all COVID-19-related safety precautions recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the state of Florida and Sarasota County. Many former students who had “graduated” to professional companies returned to Sarasota to train at the studio in preparation for when their currently closed ballet companies reopen. “Like other businesses and arts groups, this has been a difficult time for us,” Serrano says. “But we are glad to report that we are surviving the pandemic and looking toward the future.” SRQ

26 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local


12/15/20 3:33 PM

Ads-JAN21.indd 27

12/15/20 7:55 PM

culture city


Never complacent, painter Clark Prosperi wonders what’s next. Andrew Fabian

WITH THE MUSIC PLAYING AND HIS BRUSH TO THE CANVAS, a visitor to Clark Prosperi’s studio might find themselves knocking twice to coax him to the door. Currently affixed to his easel is a commission from one of his adoring collectors, a portrait of their two King Charles spaniels. A laptop is zoomed in on the eye of one of the dogs as Prosperi tries to fathom the intricate refractions of light in the dog’s shiny orb. Between the exquisite photorealism he employs and the large size of the canvas, this level of detail is doubly important. “More than anything now, I try to train myself to see color and light and make sense of it,” he says. He talks a lot about training and practicing for someone with his level of success, though he considers himself a great striver more than a great artist. “You have to keep pushing yourself stylistically and with technique,” he says, and for this reason, he makes it a point to spend time with other painters, probing for the essence of their approach, watching the way they work, hoping in this way to elevate his own skill and exercise the senses with which he experiences the living world inside the canvas. “Sometimes the best way to get better is to watch how a great artist does things.” In his early days in the advertising industry, he never had to look hard for that inspiration. “I started when I was 17, and I was very, very lucky to be around a lot of really great artists and designers,” he says, “and I was like a magnet pulling on all of these influences.” His career took him all over the world and brought him into the orbit

28 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local



12/15/20 3:37 PM

This page: Clark Prosperi brings life to white canvases with oil paints.

of luminaries like Milton Glaser and David Bowie (once, in an elevator). “Maybe they thought I was crazy, but I never missed an opportunity to rub shoulders with great artists and get some of that energy,” he says. Another word he uses frequently is “curious.” “I’ve always been curious about everything since I was a little kid,” he says, “and I was never afraid to ask questions.” His curiosity means that no subject matter is off-limits for his interpretation on a canvas. Scattered around his studio is a variety of paintings—a Coco Chanel perfume bottle, a loggerhead sea turtle, a crab—that demonstrates Prosperi’s wandering eye finds beauty in places where others see the mundane. The objects feature a style he has been working on for a couple years, a rendering of an object or animal on a white background

culture city brushed on with colored oil paints. “Actually, I was stressing out trying to decide the background for the crab,” he says, “and my sister said, ‘Why do you need a background?’” The resulting crustacean pops from the canvas as though from a hole in the sand, assertive but without ostentation, the light across its back so delicate, warm and true to life that his studio seems less real by comparison. The style—accessible, refined, technically masterful—certainly found an audience in the region and nobody would fault him for hammering that note ad nauseam. But he has plans for new subject matters and styles, new techniques and new horizons in the development of his craft. “You can’t stop working toward something,” he says, “you have to just keep asking yourself, ‘What’s next?’” SRQ

srq magazine_ JAN21 live local | 29


12/15/20 3:40 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 30

12/14/20 3:22 PM



VIRTUALLY HARMLESS The future is bright and cruelty-free for Upbeet + Rooted e-marketplace. Brittany Mattie

GOOD THINGS SEEM TO COME IN PAIRS, and the mother-daughter duo behind Upbeet + Rooted is no exception. But they aren’t the only unit of

two. Their shared credo combines a perpetually cheerful disposition with a grounded ethos hell-bent on cruelty-free living. Diane Mantel and Kim Bohstedt launched their plant-based pop-up market, Upbeet + Rooted, with an optimistic and dedicated approach to cultivating more eco-minded consumerism. “We both have always had this crazy love affair with animals and wanted this venture to bring awareness to saving the animals and doing no harm to them,” says Mantel. “It became an all-inclusive ‘do no harm’ idea that we wanted to share with the world.” Upbeet + Rooted uniquely supported small, plant-based makers and local purveyors through its always sold-out pop-up events, which made appearances on the streets of Tampa, St. Pete and Sarasota since its start in 2019. The company’s audience and strong following have continued to evolve—with vegan living and plant-based products becoming more popularly precedent, and the advocacy to shop local reinforced by a challenging year for small businesses. But because most of 2020’s public-gathering events had to take a back seat (more like thrown in the trunk), Mantel and Bohstedt were forced to find a creative way to replicate their in-person business model to an online platform.


CARGO_SRQJAN21.indd 31

srq magazine_ JAN21 live local | 31

12/15/20 3:14 PM


Below: Mother and daughter team creates a new virtual space for cruelty-free products like the Matzo Project line.

ADAMANT ON KEEPING THEIR VENDORS AFLOAT and furthering their mission to be the go-to outlet for shopping clean, cruelty-free products, Upbeet + Rooted refocused operations by creating a new concept that was more “COVID-friendly,” they say. In November 2020, Mantel and Bohstedt announced the launch of an e-marketplace to kick off the new year, which the pair have been restlessly growing and updating for months to become a fun, approachable and trustworthy source that empowers vegan living and a virtual community centered around the good of animals, people and small businesses across the country. Reflecting their consumers’ changing priorities and reinforcing their presence, Upbeet + Rooted successfully morphed into an online apothecary and grocer for the eco-minded consumer and vegan shopper. Its “No-Harm Marketplace” operates through their Instagram page and website, and includes a combination of local and national brands/vendors that Mantel and Bohstedt have either met personally through their previous markets or found through the cyberworld. “Going virtual allows more people to discover the brands we love and trust, and allows people access to these products they have not had before,” explains Bohstedt. The debut Season One collection launched January 1 with 13 thoughtfully chosen flagship brands that will be placed in a rotating selection. Each “season” will last three months, then will rotate out its selected stock to feature more products they’re passionate about and believe in to sustain a cruelty-free lifestyle. These brands practice total transparency and go beyond mass consumerism to feature clean, hip and modern items. Upcycled carrot juice pulp made into Seconds “Carrot Crackers” promotes no wasted food, while Froozeballs rolls raw ingredients into plant-powered energy balls for the active snackers and Up to Good Sparkling Cascara Clean Energy Drink comes sustainably brewed from the coffee fruit, not the bean. Upbeet + Rooted does hours upon hours of online research to find the snacks you’d prefer to fill your pantry with—and may not necessarily be available at big box grocery stores. “Every item is vetted to support brands that share our values while taking the guesswork out of the customer experience,” they say. Look out also for The Modern Pop plant-based fruit pops and fudgesicles, JOYA adaptogenic elixir blends and herbal supplements, Pineapple Collaborative tin-can olive oils, Core & Rind creamy dairy-free cashew cheese sauces, Brekki’s ready-to-eat Overnight Oats with ancient grains, FRONKS organic nut mylks, Joolies date snacks and Spero Foods sunflower cream cheese. “We typically search for brands we can get behind whose mission aligns with our ‘do no harm’ mantra—that’s first and foremost,” Mantel shares. “Then we look for things such as their aesthetic, what their story is about and if they are open to joining our community of like-minded brands that network to promote and support each other.” SRQ

32 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local

CARGO_SRQJAN21.indd 32


12/15/20 3:23 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 33

12/14/20 3:22 PM



Out-of-office but close to home on a staycation. Brittany Mttie

WHERE THE CRYSTAL-QUARTZ SAND APPEARS like the powdery white snow of climates closer to the poles, Floridians are forgoing trips to ski resorts for beach resorts—taking the 30-to 40-degree temperature difference to skim down to their swimmies rather than bulk up in down feather. And since we are more inclined than ever to forfeit flight booking and stay put this winter, we’re realizing just now how spoiled we are to be “stuck” in a locale with warm winter months and places to staycation that feel more like a tropical paradise than a hometown outing. Just up Gulf Drive and on the professional vacationers’ island of Anna Maria Island, Bali Hai Beach Resort exists for guests to dip their toes into some off-the-clock hedonism and make believe they’ve traveled to a distant land. Here, find the weekend warriors recouping on dire relaxation. The pure pursuit of pleasure is sought with luxury spa services, cocktails that come in coconuts, waterfront suites and tropical oasis amenities. “Since purchasing the property in early 2019, we have already been renovating and transforming Bali Hai into an island-style sanctuary with a heavy focus on serenity and spaciousness, so we were quickly inclined to such additional adjustments,” says Director of Operations Ryan Schmidt. “Our new cabanas, beach and pool loungers/umbrellas are well spaced out and quite private. These are extraordinary times, privacy is an extraordinary amenity. An amenity our guests deserve.” With two acres of lush, tranquil paradise to stake its own, Bali Hai’s sun-drenched locale and property may actually trick you into thinking you’ve traveled to the exotic Indonesian archipelago, but, really, you’re likely within 5–30 miles of your driveway.

34 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local

CARGO_SRQJAN21.indd 34


12/15/20 3:28 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 35

12/14/20 3:23 PM


GUESTS CAN START TICKING OFF THEIR TODOS at the on-site Sea & Sol Spa, tucked away

in a quiet oasis near Bali Hai’s tropical pool. From a Seaweed Body Wrap with an aloe-based gel that combines three types of dehydrated seaweed and lavender oil to replenish and moisturize the body after a day in the sun to a full-body Island Scrub with exfoliating sugar or salt scrubs, soothing warm-towel wipe down and coconut oil massage, it’s easy to pretend you’re on PTO on a lavish, luxury trip far away. Meanwhile, the Face Glow basks hot towels on your face combined with a special facial massage that layers all-natural made-in-Florida products to gently clean and hydrate your skin and is combined with an aroma-scalp massage, while Reflexology treats your feet to luscious pure shea butter for hydration and an ancient technique of firm pressure used on reflex points to restore the entire body. And for the couples who prefer to unwind and unknot together, Shared Serenity allows you both to relax side by side while one highly skilled massage therapist floats back and forth between two of you with hot packs, essential oils and healing hands. After you and your partner are all loosened up physically, loosen up mentally with a few signature cocktails at the Bali Hai Lounge.

Below: Bali Hai Beachfront Resort, 6900 Gulf Dr., Holmes Beach, 941-254-6609,, @balihaibeachfrontresort

The Rum “Stumbler” mixes fresh pineapple, banana liquor, blackberry brandy, orange and cranberry dark rum in a glass to brazenly retox after your detoxifying massage. The Bali Hai Tai is the lounge’s version of the betterknown Mai Tai vacation drink with Orgeat and Curaçao, and the Anna Maria Limeade is a refreshing libation of vodka, fresh lime, melon liqueur and a bubbly topper. The Under the Frangipani cocktail is a florally fantastic choice for gin, elderflower and prosecco lovers, while the Tropical Mojito Crush combines bursting flavors of Combier Liqueur d’Orange, lime, agave and mint. Meanwhile, Whiskey by the Pool, with smoked pineapple amaro and bourbon maraschino, and the Smoky Sunset Pineapple Margarita, with reposado tequila, mezcal, pineapple, agave, fresh lime and a “sunset” floater, make you equal parts relieved and stoked you have a room to stay the night. Guests can also go into full-send vacation mode with a frozen daiquiri or piña colada, or even create their own mule with Bundaberg Ginger Beer and the spirit of their choice, “because we aren’t in Russia,” as the lounge menu cheekily states. After a fulfilling day of salt scrub massages, saltwater swims and salt-rimmed drinks, retreat to one of the brand-new Balinese-

inspired guest room suites. “90 percent of our hotel accommodations are actually comprised of either one- or two- bedroom suites, which are just huge,” says Schmidt. “Their overall square footage cannot even be compared to a typical hotel room.” Fully furnished to include sliding, wooden-shutter glass doors that open to spacious balconies and blue views for days, enjoy king-size canopy beds with superior bedding, cypress root tables, carved wood accents, rattan hanging light fixtures, coastal-chic accents and all the comforts of home. Wood-grain tile and floating shelves adorn the newly designed kitchens, while full private bathrooms feature smart lighting, backlit LED mirrors and an impressive tub to soak any remaining stressors away. And with over 300 feet of pristine beachfront—which may be soft and white, but it doesn’t give frostbite—head back down to catch a dreamy Gulf Coast sunset. Or, head onto the 5,500 square feet of verdant diamond turf courtyard to play cornhole in your open-toed sandals. While we extend our sincerest condolences to Northerners bundled up this winter with no escape from the snow, we’re happy to show some skin and soak in the sun gracing AMI while we patiently wait to use our passports again for islands more international. SRQ

36 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local

CARGO_SRQJAN21.indd 36

12/15/20 3:30 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 37

12/14/20 3:23 PM


12/15/20 5:22 PM

The guys gracing the next few pages give us the inside scoop on their outside worlds— sharing everything from sporty snacks and fitness regimes to essential equipment, beginner tips and favored spots. Cruise offroad, camp offgrid, ride waves, paddle groves, watch birds and dive for fish: These adventurists find escape through their respective pastimes and passions in the natural wonders of the Gulf Coast and beyond. This is that wake-up call off the couch you’ve been waiting for. Gear up and get out there.



srq magazine_ JAN21 live local | 39


12/15/20 5:22 PM


Favorite Spots to Kayak Vamo Road leads straight to Little Sarasota Bay with an intimate and isolated creek leading the way. Emerson Point Preserve for access to the Tampa Bay, Manatee River and Terra Ceia Bay. You can go miles into a mangrove. Experience both backcountry waters and more mainstream bays. Bird Key allows for kayaking with a view while combating currents for some extra cardio. Paddle along the coast of downtown and weave through the pillars of the Ringling Bridge. Explore, explore and explore some more. Visit the Sarasota County website for public launches and their features.



With one hand on the steering wheel and the other resting out the window, Anthony Rinaldi halts at a stop sign and peers down an unfamiliar side street. At the end, the sun shines down on the bay. His sea legs step to the gas while his eager hands turn the wheel to the potential launch zone. Grabbing his vessel, he sinks and settles slightly into the water as the smell of undisturbed salty sea rises to his nose. Three deliberate paddles and he’s off. “No other boat can get where a kayak can go, he says. “And if you can carry it, you can launch it anywhere.” Born in Sarasota and raised on its waters, Rinaldi found himself in a typical Florida situation when he was 16—he wanted to buy a boat. But cruel reality put its foot down as the price point rose out of reach for the high school sophomore. “I just needed something,” he remembers, something manageable and affordable to get him out on the water whenever an opportunity might arise. That’s when a cheap Walmart kayak entered his life. Rinaldi learned the ins and outs of kayaking in his backyard lake—shifting weight and establishing rhythm while alligators waited for him to flip. The seat of the starter kayak broke on its third venture but it didn’t matter much—the kayaking obsession had already taken hold. Now full-grown and working at Economy Tackle Dolphin Paddlesports, Rinaldi has advanced from amateur to Pro Staff for Hobie, a water sport equipment manufacturer and world leader in pedal-driven kayak design. “The sport has gotten so much bigger in the last year,” he says, referencing COVID-19 and the widespread urge to be outside doing something, anything. Kayaking groups and new explorers have left Economy Tackle empty of kayaks for months at a time—sold out due to locals’ newfound desire for a full-body workout to escape the entrapment of staying indoors. “It’s really simple: Give me a pole, a paddle, a pair of pliers and some lures, and I’m good to go.”— O.LIANG Economy Tackle Dolphin Paddlesports, 6018 South Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-922-9671,, @economy-tackle. 40 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local


12/15/20 5:23 PM

Below: Black Diamond LiteWirecaribiner, Chaco Odyssey water sandals, Sea to Summit ultra-sil dry sacks, Hobie fiber shaft paddle, and (not showsn) Stick It anchor pin kayak system. Economy Tackle Dolphin Paddlesports, 6018 South Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-922-9671,, @economy_tackle

Top Gear While some kayakers weigh themselves down with 200-plus pounds of equipment, simplicity and time are the best solutions. I didn’t invest in accessories until a year and a half into my kayaking crusade, but you learn what you want down the road.

The Hobie Mirage Outback kayak is the ideal all-in-one vessel for up-and-coming or dedicated kayakers who hope to venture out for exercise, fishing or some laid back pedal paddling. Measuring 12’8”, the newly designed seat, wide hull for casting and favorable tracking abilities make it easy to break through the waves and cruise anywhere and everywhere. Anchor pins (also called stake-out poles) are by far the most effective tools to temporarily

anchor yourself in shallow water or at a mangrove shoreline for inshore fishing. Keep in mind, anchor pins can come in various materials such as PVC, wood, plastic and carbon fiber. Metal anchors are often the go-tos for their ability to stay better anchored at the bottom. However, wood anchor pins, though lighter in weight, are more noninvasive. Try the Moonlighter Flat Stik (5 1/2-foot) recommended for kayaks and small vessels to anchor in up to 5-feet of water. Always be prepared with a dry bag to store and carry your essential belongings such as phone, wallet and keys, as well as a pair of water shoes or booties in case shallows, shores or wadable waters entice your exploratory spirit.

Nourishment + Snackage

Fitness + Training Tips Kayaking is the sport that ages and intensifies with you. Luckily enough, there’s no need to train for a day out on the water. Instead, the sea itself will get you whipped into shape. The current and the water and the wind—it really does restrain your arms. You use a lot of your shoulders and your core paddling. The traditional kayaks strengthen your upper body, but swimming laps and lifting weights will certainly help in building those back, shoulder and arm muscles to go the extra distance. Meanwhile, the pedal-driven Hobies gear more towards a rigorous, full-body exercise.

Water, water and more water. The tap should do-ya. Organic Lemon Pomegranate bars from Detwiler’s Farm Market Albacore tuna salad from Morton’s Gourmet Market

Insider Tips Decide whether you’re a peddler or a paddler. While Hurricanes are the classic kayak option with a variety of sit-in or sit-on-top models that all weigh under 45 pounds, Hobies, pedal-driven kayaks, have revolutionized the industry for a fast and stable experience that relies more on the legs, though a paddle never hurts.

Level up with kayak fishing. I go out in my Hobie Pro Angler practically everyday. For general kayak fishing—trying to figure out where to kayak, what to do on the boat, how to control it—it’s like any sport. You just have to figure out your routine. It’s all about drifting, moving with the current until you’re two to three feet away from a redfish or on top of a snook.

Feel comfortable relinquishing control. When juggling wind, waves, fish or failed wayfaring, embrace the art of multitasking and settle into the sea. Whether you’re adventuring from a new launch zone or flowing with the tide, sometimes you just have to let Mother Nature take you, embrace the drift and enjoy the ride. srq magazine_ JAN21 live local | 41


12/15/20 5:25 PM


12/15/20 5:28 PM


Favorite Spots to Hike It is hard to beat the Italian Dolomites. Small day pack, exquisite mountain scenery, bed to call home at night, relatively easy hiking, Italian food and wine. Did I mention the mountain scenery? Another truly unbelievable trip is the Fakahatchee Strand, two hours south of here. Nothing like it anywhere else on the planet. Just about anywhere out West. But nothing beats any time in the outside world. Even if it is in Red Bug Slough, Circus Hammock or Myakka, you are getting outside where nature exists.


Trekking from out of the woods and onto Fruitville Road, Brian Luther can be found in his boots on the retail floor of Environeers, helping outdoorsy customers pick out suitable equipment and/or outfitting them for their next adventure. He also runs Ripple Adventures travel company, which coordinates backpacking hiking trips to the rugged parts of Florida, including Ocala National Forest and camping along the Suwannee River. “Better bring your hammock when we hit Everglades because there isn’t a dry spot to set up a camp!” The travel company also organizes out-of-state bucket list trips, including a spring and fall trip to complete the Georgia section of the Appalachian Trail and taking you out West to the Rockies, Sierras and Cascades. “I’m here to allow people to push their boundaries, stretch outside their comfort zones to enable greater personal growth,” he says. “It just happens that my office is the great outdoors.” How did Luther find himself guiding groups through backcountry experiences, you might ask? “It was 1995 and I was the ‘victim’ in a mock scenario teaching new backpackers, like myself at the time, how to deal with blisters. I was lying on my belly, looking back over my shoulder at the instructor and the rest of the group circled around my blistered heel. It was then that I realized that this instructor was getting paid to teach this. Her classroom was this mountaintop, her office view was 360 degrees of pure beauty and her position was what I wanted,” shares Luther. After asking the instructor what he needed to do to follow her path, Luther would spend the next 25 years calibrating a compass in the sticks. “I get to bring people into their ‘first time I ever…’ experience,” he says. “Playing an integral part of someone’s personal growth is a monumental achievement. Countless times I have witnessed that exact moment when the door to the mind has been blown open and the person is left awestruck. Smiles become temporarily cemented into place.” Being an experiential wilderness educator—whether it is with himself, his three-year-old daughter and wife, or as a professional with clients on trail or in the mountains—Luther loves everything outside, far from state roads or cell reception. Getting immersed and lost in nature, he says, “is where I am supposed to be and that is what makes me happy.”— B. MATTIE Tour Guide and Founder of Ripple Adventures, 5317 Fruitville Rd., Ste. 223, Sarasota,, OPPOSITE PAGE, IMAGE COURTESY OF BRIAN LUTHER.


srq magazine_ JAN21 live local | 43

12/15/20 5:28 PM

THE OUTSIDERS Top Gear Way too much individual attention is needed for gear and clothing choices that getting a proper fit in both is paramount to having a great experience. This is where shopping online is lacking. There’s no better place than Environeers right here in our own backyard. Getting a personal hands-on touch from experienced sales staff is crucial before the beginning of your trip. We spend the time to properly fit you into a backpack, show you how to set up a tent and explain how to use a water filter.

Fitness + Training Tips

Personally, the brands I wear and carry are: Smartwool, Salewa, Mountain Hardwear, Cascade Designs, Arc’teryx, Osprey and Granite Gear

The only way to get in shape for doing what you want to do is to do what you are desiring to do. Wear your pack with weight and gradually add to increase your total pack weight. Eventually, build yourself up to carry eight to 12 pounds more than you plan to when you hit the trail. It will then be lighter in weight. The best place to train: Celery Fields hill. Do not just hike the pathways; you have to hike up and down the sides of the hill. Best time: early morning for sunrises, less heat and hearing hungry growls from the Big Cat Habitat right next door.

Above: Osprey Aura AG 65 Backpack , KEEN Targhee III Mid Waterproof Hiking Boot, Superfeet Trailblazer Comfort Insoles, Black Diamond Storm 400 Headlamp , Leki Legend Micro Carbon Trekking Pole, Nemo Aurora 2P & Footprint Tent , Marmot Never Winter Sleeping Bag. Environeers Adventure Outfitters, 5373 Fruitville Rd., Sarasota, 941-371-6208,, @environeersSRQ

Beginner Tips

Nourishment + Snackage

Hands down, I believe that getting some initial knowledge from a local, area or field guide is the safest, smartest way to start your learning process. Once you have the hard skills down, then you can begin to establish a rhythm that you can test yourself in other conditions. Here in Florida, we are blessed with lots of sun and warmth. But what will you be like when it is less than desirable conditions? Practice makes perfect, and you cannot be perfect if you haven’t hiked in nasty, inhospitable, unpredictable weather. Take up a few courses to get yourself educated and acclimated before heading out. Ripple Adventures offers level I and II classes in Orienteering to help you become adept at land navigation, using a compass and other bearing fundamentals that will teach you how to navigate in nature and force your foot travel to the next level. Knotty Time teaches you the basics of tying knots and hitches, as well as how to keep your tent or tarp held down tightly. And Backpacking 101/201 covers everything from what you would need to have in your pack to experiential education on the finest ways to make the outside more on your side.

I am a foodie when on the trail, as well as when at home. I try to spend my money in localized, mom-and-pop shops. I love the dehydrated cheese bites from Moon Cheese, Sweetwood Jerky and Good to Go food packs are excellent for when I need a quick grab-and-go meal. I also make my own organic, gluten-free dehydrated meals from scratch. Nothing can make a wet, cold and dreary day camping any better than a fulfilling meal. Also, Instant coffee. Go with a bag of your favorite bean and try it backcountry style. Ripple Adventure’s Coffee in the Field class teaches hikers how to make a morning brew off the grid.

44 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local



12/15/20 5:30 PM


12/15/20 5:30 PM


12/15/20 5:35 PM



If the weather is nice, expect to find Danyar Khaiboulin somewhere on, in or under the water. Born and raised in Anna Maria Island, water is something that has always been a integral part of his life. It wasn’t until later, though, did he realize that holding one’s breath while plunging to deeper depths has a technical term: free diving. “I got into free diving and spearfishing over a decade ago and immediately knew that this was my type of fun,” he shares. Upon learning the basics in his home waters, he took his skills to places like Louisiana, Key West and beyond. But the Gulf of Mexico remains his stomping grounds where he spends most of his free time chasing grouper and mangrove snapper around shallow structures and reefs. His proficiency for spearfishing large game has led him on commercial diving trips where he’s shot miraculously big fish. “I focused on honing my craft, which turned into a lifestyle—allowing me to meet some incredible people and travel to remarkable places.” Khaiboulin has since started Danyar Diving school, becoming a personal instructor and guide with the ability to endure static breath holds of six minutes and three minutes of active swimming underwater. Without scuba gear, he’s been to depths of 150 to 200 feet. He is now called upon by local dive shops such as Scuba Quest—having recently hosted a series of free free-diving seminars for curious beginners. His presentations include tips/techniques on how to increase your breath-holding, safety concerns, equipment needs and what goes into getting your Level 1 Certification Course to properly free dive. “I prefer the challenge of spearfishing on breath-hold as it is a more primitive, sustainable way to harvest the freshest-caught seafood. One dive, one shot, one fish, and I haven’t bought seafood since,” he states. Khaiboulin has a strong group of fellow divers who avidly jump on the boat with him—adamant about watching each other’s backs while hunting out in the elements. And it’s no secret that his favorite time of the year to go spearfishing is in the winter when fish school up and move inshore, the water becomes clearer and the boat traffic subsides due to the cooler temps. “I love this city and am grateful to be able to experience everything that the local gulf waters have to offer year-round,” he says. “I will always be drawn to the sea, and as the years pass, I realize what Jacques Cousteau meant when he wrote, ‘The sea, once it casts its spell, holds one in its net of wonder forever.’” — B. MATTIE Free-Diving Instructor and Fishing Guide, @danyar_diving,

Fitness + Training Tips The absolute best way to train for free diving and spearfishing is to go free diving and spearfishing as much as you can. Additionally, I try to stay consistent on my dry-apnea training and dive the freshwater springs here in Florida when I can’t get offshore. Stretching and staying hydrated is essential. Pairing free diving with spearfishing allows me to selectively harvest and provide fresh seafood for my family and friends. If you think you have what it takes to take the plunge, then come take a free-diving class with your local instructor and fathom the ocean on a deeper level.



srq magazine_ JAN21 live local | 47

12/15/20 5:47 PM


Nourishment + Snackage With all your freediving gear packed, it is time to load the cooler with ice and get some lunch essentials. Staying hydrated is very important while you dive. On most days, I will try to finish a gallon jug of water. For lunch, I like to pack fruit, stone crab claws (when in season) and make homemade snapper ceviche. Ceviche is a South American seafood dish made from raw fish marinated in citrus juices, topped with fresh peppers, onions, tomatoes, mangos, cilantro and jalapeños. It is light and packed full of nutrients to keep me diving well throughout the day.

Top Gear Keeping your gear organized and maintained is crucial to having a successful day in the water. Long-blade fins are a must, along with a comfortable mask, snorkel, weight belt, an underwater timer/watch and a full body wetsuit for the winter months. Sarasota Scuba Quest supplies me on all my diving adventures and has all the essential gear with quality brands that one would need to get started in free diving. We have teamed up to bring the best aquatic experience possible to anyone interested in free diving.

Left: Aqua Lung i200C dive computer watch. Mares mask star liquidskin mask Omer opencell mix 3D wetsuit Deep See aqua glide fins Hammerhead proteus spearguns Riffe rubber weight belt Scuba Quest, 1055 South Tamiami Trl., Sarasota, 941-366-1530, @sarasotascubaquest, and 3318 Manatee Ave. W, Bradenton, 941-745-2511, @ bradentonscubaquest

Beginner Tips There are many resources online to get started. YouTube is a great platform to learn and discover virtually. Some of my favorite channels to watch include YBS Youngbloods, Adam Freediver, Daniel Mann and Back2Basics Adventures. Additionally, there are local Facebook groups that you can join, learn from and network. I am an active member of the Tampa Freedive Spearfishing group and the Tampa Bay Spearfishing group.

Favorite Spots to Free Dive + Spearfish On calm days when seas are flat, I often find myself pointing the bow west and heading offshore. The Gulf of Mexico has incredible fisheries and many mesmerizing dive sites to choose from. My favorite spots to dive tend to be old wrecks. These sunken vessels attract a plethora of diverse marine life. It is common to see clouds of baitfish, barracudas, groupers, snappers, cobia and massive goliath groupers on a single-breath-hold dive. If it is too rough to go offshore, Sarasota Bay becomes my playground. The first gag grouper I ever speared was at New Pass, now over a decade ago. I still remember the exact rock he was under and how delicious the meal turned out to be. There are numerous artificial reefs scattered throughout the bay, which all hold fish, including snappers, sheepshead, grouper and occasionally even stone crabs. Traveling south on Siesta Key down to Crescent Beach you will run into a hidden gem called Point of Rocks. This area is full of large picturesque boulders and flat moss-covered rocks adjacent to the beach. Growing up, I would frequent this easily accessible spot and it seldom disappointed. Shore dives can be tricky and one must learn how to time the tides to avoid diving in murky waters.

Free diving and spearfishing are team sports. The iron-clad rule is that one should never dive alone. The local diving community is a tightly knit group, but most good divers are generous with their knowledge. If you put in the effort and show respect, you will find new dive buddies and perhaps lifelong friends. The etiquette is pretty simple: show up prepared on time, bring ice, chip in for boat fuel and never leave without helping to wash the boat or fillet the day’s catch. Arguably the fastest and easiest way to get into this sport is to take a class. A good instructor can shorten your learning curve tenfold. Breaking bad habits is tough, especially with free diving. Taking a free-diving class will teach you to dive safer, deeper and longer. You will learn about crucial safety protocols, how to “deep” breathe effectively, specific stretches, diaphragm control, efficient finning techniques, proper buoyancy, effective relaxation, dive physiology, peak inhalations, O2/CO2 tolerances, Frenzel equalization and much more.

48 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local


12/15/20 6:30 PM



When it comes to outdoor sports, personal trainer and self-proclaimed kid-at-heart Chase Pettey is as strong of an advocate to get outside and get the blood pumping as anybody. The former Missourian can be found fitness training himself, and others, at Sarasota’s Definition Fit gym. Pettey got into all things “adventure” about six years ago, and most recently, taking up off-roading activities like mountain biking. “I love the adrenaline rush you get with every ride,” he says. “I am certainly no expert, but adventuring isn’t about being great at something, it’s about getting outdoors and disconnecting from technology, all while enjoying something that fills you up.” In the summer when it gets too hot and humid here, Pettey travels out of state once or twice a month to ride, and in the winter months, he does laps for training at least every other week at Red Bug Slough to keep in shape for snowboarding season and trips out west. “I like riding solo, but mostly with friends. I mainly go out with Dave Weiner—co-owner of Definition Fit—and do my best just to keep up!” These days, Pettey stays busy with his new company, GTFO (Get the “F” Outside), launching January 20. At first glance, it appears to be simply a cool hat company with various outdoorsy landscape prints, but it is so much more. Every hat was created with the intention to inspire and give back: 50 percent of its profit goes to instilling purpose in the lives of individuals with exceptionalities through adventure. Each trucker hat design started as an adventure story—experienced by someone on the GTFO team—and from each experience/story, a lesson was learned and passed along by being printed in ink on the inside of every cap. Though GTFO is just getting off the ground, it is already making great strides to helping a wide range of participants with mental and physical exceptionalities. “We focus on the potential of an individual, and then we help them understand and see that potential within themselves through new adventurous activities,” says Pettey. “Findings suggest that outdoor education and wilderness programs can foster mental health in youths, young adults and spark a childlike mentality in older generations. We want to educate people on the growth that can come from outdoor adventures in an unfamiliar natural physical environment.” — B.MATTIE Personal Trainer and Founder of GTFO Co., @gtfoco,,, @theadventuretrainer. IMAGE COURTESY OF CHASE PETTEY.


srq magazine_ JAN21 live local | 49

12/15/20 8:49 PM

Favorite Spots to Trail Run or BIke Moab, Utah is one of the most beautiful places for backcountry running or biking. Red rocks as tall as skyscrapers and natural trails—the way Mother Nature intended. When it comes to local spots, Alafia River State Park is probably my favorite place to ride and within an hour drive. I would recommend going here before heading somewhere more mountainous to train and practice technique. Snowmass, Colorado, is my favorite place to visit when I want to do some man-made downhill mountain biking. The wide variety of greens, blues and blacks are great for any level rider, but what really makes this location are the views.

Beginner Tips Go with an experienced rider so you can focus on enjoying the ride when you first get started or else you risk getting lost, getting a flat tire you can’t change, etc. And if you do intend to go out alone, ALWAYS tell someone where you’re going to run or ride, how long you’ll be and that you’ll check in with them periodically. This way if something were to happen, you are covered. Don’t buy a bike right out the gate. Rent a high-quality bike at first, so you have a bike with great suspension that allows for more forgiveness when you do make mistakes. Get sufficient saddle time—what I mean by this is, sit on a stationary bike and get used to sitting on that seat for at least an hour. If you skip this step, then expect to walk funny for a solid three to four days after your first ride!

50 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local


12/15/20 6:32 PM

THE OUTSIDERS Top Gear Always remember: The tree always wins. So be prepared to buy a good helmet with MIPS technology. I personally have a Smith Optics helmet; you can find them at local bike shops. Fox Racing gloves help reduce the numbness in my hands from vibration. Plus, when you first start and are dealing with feeling nervous, you don’t want to be gripping with sweaty hands. Quad Lock case mountain bike handle kit is the best mounting kit I have found for holding my iPhone in place while riding. This will come in handy when you start to plan your own routes and want to watch your training metrics while riding. Five Ten Trailcross LT shoes by Adidas are designed with high-friction for outdoor sports, specifically climbing, trail running and mountain biking. The grip on the bottom of these shoes is perfect and glues you to the pedals. I prefer these over clip-ins because I like to bail if need be.

Left: Village Bikes, 3898 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-3667702, 8111 Lakewood Main St. #108, Bradenton, 941-388-0550,, @villagebikesfl. Ryder Bikes, 5275 University Pkwy. #135, Bradenton, 941-3510000, Sarasota Cycle, 3800 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-366-4144. Fleet Feet, 711 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-894-3338,, @fleetfeetsrq. Fit2Run, 1400 Main St., Sarasota, 941-364-2400,, @ fit2runsrq

Nourishment + Snackage Hydration is key to any good ride—I cannot emphasize this enough. You can do water, but I recommend finding a good hydration supplement for added energy. I personally drink Liquid IV Hydration Multiplier, which you can buy online in all different flavors. Any local athletic store, vitamin and supplement shop will carry electrolyte hydration powder options as well. Super Value Nutrition, 5842 Bee Ridge Rd., Sarasota, 941-342-1908, Carb-heavy snacks are essential. You want foods that are extremely easy to digest and that provide glucose for your muscles as they begin to run out of glycogen.This will allow energy production to continue at a high rate. I like peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and Honey Stinger Organic Sports Nutrition waffles, energy chews, protein bars, and gels, which you can get at Environeers. They also have other really good carb-heavy/endurance snacks!

Fitness + Training Tips Get saddle time and do longer rides on a stationary bike in a controlled environment. This allows you to also test snacks and certain drinks to see how your body responds instead of having a bad reaction out on the trails.Practice changing a tire and making it second nature. I struggle making myself do this as well, but it is important to be prepared for those really bad situations. Train for muscle endurance. I recommend isometrics for long periods of time and high reps to test and build up lactate thresholds. Lastly, just get out in Mother Nature. Nothing beats hitting the trails and just doing it. This helps a person disconnect from the daily routine, allowing them the mental space to dissect their self-concept and identity. IMAGE COURTESY OF CHASE PETTY.


srq magazine_ JAN21 live local | 51

12/15/20 6:32 PM


Nourishment + Snackage Apricot Paleo Granola from local Sarasota Farmers Market vendor Flex Bar Company. Curry Quinoa Salad to take with me from CROP Juice. And an iced Matcha Lemonade from Perq Coffee Bar.


Arrive early. When a rare bird crops up on birding message boards, I like to arrive just before dawn to increase my chances of a sighting. Most birds are also most active during the early morning hours as insects warm up and become easier to forage. Use eBird. Cornell University’s Ornithology Lab created a portal for birders that includes a vast database of birding locations, species and ways for birders to connect with one another. The portal can also compile a birder’s sightings into a running list to help keep track of milestones. Join Sarasota’s Chapter of the Audubon Society. With a headquarters at popular birding destination, Celery Fields, the Sarasota Chapter of the Audubon Society offers tons of resources and information for local birders. In addition, the nonprofit group is instrumental in preserve local rural areas as habitats for birds and other animals, and as green spaces for humans.


Sharp-eyed and well outfitted, John Groskopf fits the mold of the birding archetype. The local is an avid member of the Sarasota Audubon Society—a local chapter of the National Audubon Society—dedicated to the protection, conservation and enjoyment of birds, wildlife and the environment here in Sarasota. Members volunteer to conserve and restore the region’s natural ecosystems that primarily inhabit birds and other wildlife. “I always keep my camera handy because I always seem to find something worth photographing,” says John Groskopf, a seasoned birder with an appetite for rarities. One early morning, from 1000 yards away, Groskopf sights what he believes to be a hermit warbler through his Celestron Regal M2 80ED scope. Endemic to the coast of the Northwestern United States, the diminutive bird, all of 5 inches long with a wingspan of 8 inches, has never been reported in Florida. He zooms in for a closer inspection, noting the bright yellow head, the greys and blacks on its body, the white stripes on its wings. The avian admirer reaches into his knapsack and pulls out another implement, this one with a Sigma Sport 150-600mm lens. He goes for the shot. The Sigma zoom lens was attached to a Canon 7D Mark II, and between its 20 megapixels and the length of the lens, not much escapes Groskopf’s sharp eye. “If you see me walking around with the camera, you can definitely tell you have a hardcore birder in front of you,” he says. The hermit warbler above was spotted in Palm Beach County this past September, and word spread quickly enough through Cornell University’s eBird database that by the time he arrived, there were 30-40 birders chasing after it. “The adrenaline was pumping, I was making phone calls to friends,” says Groskopf, “it was everything that defines birding.” — A. FABIAN Birder and Member of the Sarasota Audubon Society & Nature Center,, 941-726-8816. 52 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local



12/15/20 5:49 PM

Favorite Spots to Bird Watch

Top Gear

Though Siesta Beach gets crowded during the day, I love to get out and search for gulls and terns that might not be native to the area. Last year, we had a California gull that was documented for the first time this far East. I like to get out in the morning before the typical Siesta Key crowds arrive and catch the birds when they touch down from their roosting area just North of Sarasota. While relatively new to the birding scene, the Sarasota County parks department recently cleared away large swatches of underbrush at the back of the Bay Street Park that has made it more accessible. It’s a great place to just sit and watch and unwind. Last winter, I spotted a Broadwing, the first reliable sighting in the county.

Though newcomers will be glad to hear that birding can be accomplished without the use of expensive equipment, the seasoned birder demands the superpowers afforded by good, telescoping glass.

Canon 7D Mark II DSLR This camera comes chock full of features for the avid bird watcher, like a 20-megapixel crop sensor, lightning-quick auto focus and legendary Canon quality. Sigma sport 150600mm lens. A good lens often costs more than the camera body itself, but this Sigma zoom lens helps ensure your shots are crystal clear no matter how far away the subject. Celestron Regal M2 80ED spotting scope. With the ability to zoom up to 60x, no bird will ever be beyond the reach of this scope. All Terrain herbal armor natural insect repellent, an oil-based, DEET-free spray to help combat the mosquitos and bugs. Outdoor Research sombriolet sun hat and/or CoolNet UV+ Florida buff to keep you protected and cool in the hot Florida sun. CB’s Saltwater Outfitters, 1249 Stickney Point Rd., Sarasota, 941-349-4400, cbsoutfitters. com, @cbsoutfitters.


12/15/20 5:50 PM

Training Tips


Living here, we don’t have waves all the time, so you have to find other ways to cross-train. Stretching is important, yoga is really good, any sort of cardio activity or biometric-style calisthenics. I enjoy doing martial arts for balance and to challenge my brain. Jiu-jitsi, in particular, is good because it requires a lot of strategy—your opponent is always changing and unexpecting, like a wave. You never know what’s coming at you, so you’re always adjusting and trying to read the next move before it comes. Wolfpack Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Martial Arts, 3627 Webber St., Unit B, Sarasota, 941-3509606, Learning how to read the online surf reports on Surfline or Magic Seaweed, which tells you the wind knots and direction, swell feet, and times of low and high tide, calculated by nearby buoys.


When Brett Telinger was a wee lad in middle school here in Sarasota, he found himself in the library at school, drawn to a book that displayed guys making surfboards. Intrigued and hooked from just a few page flips, Telinger started putting his feelers out there to figure out how to get into making wave-riding vessels himself. “My aunt knew this guy, Juan Rodriguez, from going and getting old boards at garage sales. He had his own shop in town, One World Surf, and has been building boards here for the last 50 years or so. He’s pretty known throughout California and Hawaii with some of the founding fathers of surfing.” Telinger later found himself at a local surf contest with his dad where he met Rodriguez for the first time. A week later, he was in One World Surf shop sweeping the floor of sawdust and apprenticing under Rodriguez’ wing. On Telinger’s 13th birthday, Rodriguez gifted him his first legit longboard—further cultivating his love for noseriding rollers breaking off of the jetties. “Through him, I just kept meeting cool, older surfer guys and bumming rides to the beach. I found there’s a small, tight-knit community here. It’s sort of this hidden gem in the rough—an unlikely, unexpected spot for the reach it’s had,” he says. “The Gulf Coast is like a tree that has branches that reach out to all these other places in the world. There are multiple generations that have grown up learning on the beaches here, they’ve traveled and been all over the world, some have moved on to bigger things [waves], and some are still here, but they’ve all started out on, or have been impacted by, Gulf Coast surf.” Telinger now has his own brand and studio here, dubbed Gum Surfboards. Adopting the traditional board-building tactics he learned as a kid, by using his “caveman hands,” as he likes to call them, he creates custom shortboards and logs. Everything from carving, shaping, painting and glassing, Telinger’s designs pay homage to the nostalgic ’60s to ’70s transitional surf culture. And the tiny but mighty surfing community palpitating from Anna Maria Island down to South Venice Jetty can spot a Gum in the lineup in a heartbeat. Much of his commissioned work largely comes from word-of-mouth business, a loyal local following who place more attention and care into what they’re riding in the water than on the road—eager for the next touch-and-go cold front swell or passing tropical storm to grab their prized Gum and jump in their barely operable pickup to catch a few before or after work. “We don’t get waves all that often, so when we do, it makes it that much more special, the community becomes like family.” — B. MATTIE Board Shaper and Founder of Gum Surfboards,,, @gumsurfboards 54 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local


12/15/20 5:52 PM

THE OUTSIDERS Top Gear Favorite Spots to Surf

I try to shop American-made companies like Birdwell Beach Britches boardshorts, Xcel wetsuits and George Greenough - True Ames surfboard fins. And when I can, I support local. I love the guys over at Compound Boardshop. If you ever need anything surf-related, you can get a YETI cooler or tumblr, Sticky Bumps surf wax, a rashguard, Sun Bum sunscreen, Dakine surf leashes and roof rack straps. They also have this awesome beach tent setup you can get for those long, hot days in and out of the water when you need to escape the saltwater and sun. Compound Boardshop, 3604 S. Osprey Ave., Sarasota, @ compoundboardshop. GUM Surfboards: Magic Sam / Reverse Log / Mini Planning Hull

Florida’s West Coast central region will always be my favorite. It’s my home and is best suited and most conducive for longboarding. Think from Treasure Island to Nokomis and down to Captiva. For more convenient and consistent surf when it’s totally flat here, head to the east coast of Florida, between Fort Pierce and Jacksonville. The drive over is a straight shoot on State Road 70 and is so pretty early in the morning driving as the sun is coming up over the cow pastures as the fog is burning off. Rincon, Puerto Rico, is great when Florida is going through a dry spell and you want to get a taste of some more tropical waters, foreign breaks. It’s a quick-and-easy, usually cheap, flight you can pull off in a two to three day trip. In peak season, there are fun, friendly waves to ride all along the northwest side of the island.

Nourishment + Snackage

Beginner Tips

An insulated tumbler for lots of water to stay hydrated is a must. Definitely a Publix sub, a bag of Goldfish, maybe some fresh-cut fruit and an iced coffee from Perq or Buddy Brew. Maybe grab a pizza from Origin Craft Beer + Pizza Café after a tiring session.

The nice thing about surfing is that once you get all your equipment, there’s no membership fee to keep going. Play make believe surfing before you go out. Put your board in the sand and practice paddling and popping up before actually getting into the water. It’s not a bad idea either to invest in lessons with a local surf shop or coach who knows the breaks. Naji Taha is a professional rider for the local ZAP team of Venice and offers skimboarding and surfing lessons at Manasota Beach, Middle Beach, Englewood Beach and Nokomis Beach. Contact NajiTaha@hotmail. com, 941-468-6723, @najitaha191 for one-on-one lessons.

Some safety tips. Don’t have your board in front of you walking out into the breaking waves. That’s how people get smacked in the face by their board and get hurt. It’s just as important learning the techniques to get out past the break as the actual surfing portion. It’s also important for people to be realistic with themselves on their skill level. If you’re just learning, try and surf farther down the beach away from the main peak where the more skilled surfers will congregate. It’s not a bad idea to read up on surf etiquette and understanding the general guidelines to keep in mind when in the lineup. srq magazine_ JAN21 live local | 55


12/15/20 5:55 PM

PAYING WELLNESS FORWARD Prioritizing health in a pandemic with a holistic approach to prevention.


FEATURE_Preventative Medicine.indd 56

12/15/20 4:27 PM

FEATURE_Preventative Medicine.indd 57

12/15/20 4:26 PM

FEATURE_Preventative Medicine.indd 58

12/15/20 4:25 PM




Self-care has been a big buzzword during the pandemic, as people look inward and deeply examine their personal well-being. Patients are focused on taking a more holistic approach by working to prevent issues before they start instead of waiting for symptoms to arise. Local professionals—from cardiologists and family practice doctors to physical therapists and bodyworkers—are weighing in on what seems to be a cultural shift from clients’ inaction to proactivity. They are championing the importance of exploring an integrative, preventative approach—and always looking for connections in the body (such as hormones, diet, exercise, cardiovascular health and mental wellness) that may lead them to prescribe lasting solutions. These leaders are watching people in Sarasota– Manatee take health into their own hands, and they are guiding them every step of the way. Meet Dianne Glass, a licensed acupuncture physician and massage therapist with a virtual Yamuna Body Rolling studio; Jennifer Danahy, a physical therapist and certified lymphedema therapist with the Physical Therapy Center at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center; Dr. Karen Brainard, a board-certified family practitioner of integrative and holistic medicine, and co-owner of Bradenton East Integrative Medicine; and Dr. Chippy Ajithan, a board-certified cardiologist with Heart Specialists of Sarasota, who heads the Dr. Dean Ornish and RENEW lifestyle medicine programs at Sarasota Memorial Hospital.

Inspiring Behavioral Changes DR. KAREN BRAINARD OF Bradenton East

Integrative Medicine ( helps her patients self-advocate. She views herself as an adviser to her patients who can address nutritional, physical, emotional and spiritual needs in order to help them achieve lasting good health. She stays current on the use of natural, pharmaceutical and technological treatments, and subscribes to the idea that each of these options has a place in an integrative approach to medicine. Her particular areas of clinical concern are diabetes, cardiovascular disease, asthma and women’s health. Navigating the pandemic has been a learning experience for Dr. Brainard as a practitioner, she says. Some of her patients who were previously on track to a holistic, proactive approach have stepped back and lost motivation. “A lot of people want to prevent things from developing—and to focus on nutrition and self-care (emotional, spiritual, exercisebased). People have lots of good ideas and intentions, but people who have been going in that direction have really had a hard time since March,” Dr. Brainard says. “Although you might think it’s the perfect opportunity to take your

walks and eat at home because you have so much extra time, the emotional challenge of dealing with the isolation from the physical presence of other human beings is demotivating. Some people have thrived by having no external demands, but not most people.” Dr. Brainard understands, but the shift surprises her. “I naively thought people would be able to move into the other gear when they were freed up from all the responsibility. People think, ‘If I had more free time, I’d be able to do X, Y or Z,’ but if you don’t have the emotional energy, it’s hard to make yourself do behavioral change,” Dr. Brainard says. “So I’ve been doing some brainstorming with people about what they think could be one thing for them that was a positive trigger in the past that could motivate them. Maybe they feel really joyful if they put on ’70s rock ’n’ roll music or just sit by the river—little things that give them a feeling of peaceful reconnection to the world.” But that world outside is also flawed— namely the medical world. “The system is not integrated at all, and even I have difficulty being able to get another practitioner on the phone in the middle of the

Previous spread, left to right: Dianne Glass, a licensed acupuncture physician and massage therapist with Yamuna Body Rolling and Dr. Chippy Ajithan, a board certified cardiologist with Heart Specialists of Sarasota. This spread, left to right: Physical therapist and lymphedema therapist with the Physical Therapy Center at Lakewood Ranch Medical Center Jennifer Danahy and Dr. Karen Brainard, a board-certified family practitioner of integrative and holistic medicine and co-owner of Bradenton East Integrative Medicine.

srq magazine_ JAN21 live local | 59

FEATURE_Preventative Medicine.indd 59

12/15/20 4:25 PM




workday. So the practical reality is that you have to work with the patient to advocate for themselves and look at where the connections are, and to seek out practitioners who are open to new ways of looking at things,” Dr. Brainard says. “I think one of the big roles of the family doctor is to be the recipient of all the different information from all the specialists and to translate it into normal English for the patient. I do try to say, ‘This is what your cardiologist has said, this is what the G.I. has said, etc., and this is what it means.’ Sometimes, you have joint symptoms that are related to G.I. symptoms, but you may not see they’re related. Having one person who is like the captain of the ship who can take all the information and explain it is so important.” Dr. Brainard has seen the working evidence of that approach. “We try to really get to know people individually and provide them with continuity of care, and to meet them where they are and craft a plan for them that’s individualized. To see somebody go from feeling miserable every day to having energy and joy again gives me a lot of satisfaction,” Dr. Brainard says. “That cascade of self-discovery and how long-lasting that is is what has kept me inspired.”

Encouraging Well Care DIANNE GLASS, A SARASOTA NATIVE, became

a massage therapist in 1981, studied bodywork in Spain and now runs a virtual Yamuna Body Rolling studio (, an innovative approach to body alignment and strengthening. She offers biweekly Zoom classes and, during non-pandemic times, leads destination retreats. “What I do is supereffective work and, in as little as five minutes, you can affect change in the body. I’ve worked with many top athletes, working toward recovery and preventing injury,” Glass says. “We try to keep clients doing the things they love for as long as they can.” And people are chasing this objective, maybe now more than ever. “I think self-care is at the top of people’s minds nowadays, especially this past year,” Glass says. “A positive side effect of being in quarantine is

“I think we have a ‘sick care’ system, not a ‘well care’ system in America, which is a huge problem. Even specializing in medicine the way we do, you learn one body part and that’s it.” —DIANNE GLASS

that people learned how to use a computer and go online and exercise.” They did so not just for physical exercise but for mental stability. Glass’ video subscriptions took off as a result of the quarantine, as clients would often work out with her on their lunchbreaks. “During lockdown, people were like, ‘I need to keep my immune system going. I need to exercise, just for my own sanity.’ Now I’ve got all the Boomers on Zoom,” Glass says. “And honestly, what we were doing before as a culture wasn’t working—grinding through 40-hour workweeks and coming home exhausted. It was not sustainable.” Neither is the American health-care system, Glass says. “I think we have a ‘sick care’ system, not a ‘well care’ system in America, which is a huge problem. Even specializing in medicine the way we do, you learn one body part and that’s it,” Glass says. “But our bodies don’t work that way. Our bodies are holistic.” With this in mind, Glass is always referring clients to renowned nutritionists, chiropractors and surgeons, fortifying her network. “What is often called an ‘alternative’ approach to wellness is really just integrative medicine, and a lot of it isn’t covered by insurance, unfortunately,” Glass says. “I’d like to see more support and coverage for that so it is affordable and sustainable for people.” While clients often view Glass as a

one-stop shop because she can work on them structurally (and she also does acupuncture and nutrition), she doesn’t want to be “all things to all people,” she says. “I’ll refer people to a medical doctor, an orthopedic surgeon, dermatologists, sports medicine doctors, even oncologists when I fear there’s maybe something deeper going on there,” Glass says. “I think having a team of healers, especially if you’re going through a health crisis, is good because there are so many different pathways to healing.”


Jennifer Danahy comes in. She has been a physical therapist for 20 years, and with the Lakewood Ranch Medical Center ( for five. Danahy specializes in women’s health, including pelvic floor disorders (which are often overlooked in the traditional medicine world, at least in Florida). She wishes more integrative approaches were available in the area, for women especially. “There are so few pelvic floor therapists, especially in this area, and health care is lacking in Florida for the services my patients need,”

60 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local

FEATURE_Preventative Medicine.indd 60

12/15/20 4:17 PM


Danahy says. “In other parts of the country, like Chicago and San Francisco, there are pelvic health centers where you can meet with a nutritionist, a gynecologist, a hypnotist, a physical therapist, a urologist and a psychologist. I’d give anything to have those resources all in one place to help guide my patients.” Sadly, America does not prioritize pelvic care the way other countries, like France, do, Danahy says. “In France, it’s mandatory to do physical therapy to train your pelvic floor, but finding an OB/GYN that is going to be willing to work with you and send you to therapy during pregnancy or postpartum here is hard to do,” Danahy says. “In an ideal world, the best thing to do is to find a good primary care practitioner that aligns with your goals. And it’s so important to be honest, to say, ‘This is where I am and this is where I want my health care to go.’ A lot of people are taught that the doctor knows best, but, really, they’re there to guide you to making an informed decision.” Women, who tend to put their own health on the back burner in favor of helping others, are starting to change course, Danahy says. “I’m seeing them being more proactive. The age range of my patients is dropping. When I started, it was women 75 and older. Now the average age is 40s and 50s,” Danahy says. “Women have sought me out, which is great. And I always tell people, ‘Listen to your body. Don’t push a symptom aside because you feel like it’s normal. I think, sometimes, women kind of step back and say, “I don’t want to be a complainer.” But I tell them to be a savvy consumer. Do your research ahead of time and come prepared. Know how you want your care to go and find a doctor who is willing to guide you, not necessarily dictate to you.”

Healing Heart & Mind DR. CHIPPY AJITHAN ( is a board-certified cardiologist with Heart Specialists of Sarasota and was named Sarasota Memorial Hospital’s 2019 Physician of the Year. But her practice is moving into a more mind-body-soul approach, as she heads the Dr. Dean Ornish and RENEW lifestyle medicine programs at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. After 20 years in practice as a cardiologist,

her focus on treating chronic ailments has shifted toward lifestyle as the key to preventing, healing and even reversing disease. “Meditation is the prescription for change and, when combined with movement, nutrition and self-love, real transformation of body, mind and spirit can occur,” Dr. Ajithan says. “For clients willing to put in the work, healing is not only possible, it is a life-altering reality—one which allows a person to reach his or her full potential.” Transitioning to this holistic technique has been critical to Dr. Ajithan as a well-rounded practitioner. “The majority of a physician’s time is spent addressing chronic disease. But I feel that every physician needs to shift to addressing the root cause of why these disease patterns keep occurring. Since 2019, we’ve noticed a shift in life expectancy. The curve is trending down,” Dr. Ajithan says. “Wellness is really crafted from nutrition, physical activity, stress management and loving connection. We’re creating meaningful changes in people’s health and that’s now my focus.” Dr. Ajithan is now hosting meditation sessions and promoting the Dr. Ornish method of healthy living (which has been known to help prevent heart disease). “I still intend to practice cardiology because people want to come in to see a doctor, have medication handed to them, and have stents and bypass procedures. There are some things we absolutely need. We need a surgeon to fix a valve. And when you’re in the throes of a heart attack, that’s not the time to talk about nutrition,” Dr. Ajithan says. “But as soon as the procedure and life-altering intervention takes place, you have to kick into gear the behavioral modification, because that’s where the healing happens.”



The healing goes deep. “The healing doesn’t happen if you don’t love yourself, if you don’t forgive your own transgressions or move past your mistakes. I really want to get this message out there, that it takes an incredible effort to create conscious healing,” Dr. Ajithan says. “It’s integrating all of these aspects into your well-being. If you need a chiropractor to reset you, go to one. If you need a massage therapist to help you with stress, do it. The only provision I give is: make sure that practitioner is authentic.” That is certainly not always the case. “We’re doing such a horrible job in the medical field right now. We’re just giving people medications and subjecting them to surgeries. They go back to doing exactly what they’re doing and come back with another heart attack,” Dr. Ajithan says. “I can’t do it anymore. It’s eating up my soul. At the end of the day, I feel like I should be able to make a bigger difference in society. Incremental changes cause exponential shifts in health. But when, as doctors, do we ever stop to really figure out what’s going on with a patient?” Meditation allows for that reflection, says Dr. Ajithan (who started practicing the technique at age 15 and now meditates twice daily for 20 to 60 minutes). “We cannot realize our infinite potential until we stop what we’re doing, put everything down and go inward. If you don’t manage stress, even if you manage your diet, everything goes out the window. It falls apart,” Dr. Ajithan says. “Meditation allows you the strength to deal with adversity, and the ability to bounce back from any event and to do it with a sense of equanimity.” And, during a global pandemic, what could be more important than that? SRQ

“Wellness is really crafted from nutrition, physical activity, stress management and loving connection.We’re creating meaningful changes in people’s health and now that’s my focus.” —DR. CHIPPY AJITHAN

srq magazine_ JAN21 live local | 61

FEATURE_Preventative Medicine.indd 61

12/15/20 4:17 PM


Below: Breaking into the fresh-baked crumb of The Rustic Loaf.


Atria bakery/Cafe raises the bar for artisanal bread and coffee. Brittany Mattie

62 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local

FORAGE_JAN21.indd 62


12/15/20 7:50 PM

ATRIA, 4120 Lakewood Ranch Blvd., Bradenton,,

srq magazine_ JAN21 live local | 63

FORAGE_JAN21.indd 63

12/15/20 4:57 PM


Below clockwise: The Louis Panettone is the Louis Vuitton of bread, also known as Panettone, the classic Italian Christmas bread. At ATRIA, these take two full days to make start to finish. Packed with currants, cherries, cranberries, apricots, sultanas and house candied mandarins, all soaked in VS Brandy snf crowned with 24k edible gold leaf.

FRESH-MILLED FLOUR. FILTERED WATER. SEA SALT. THAT’S IT. The makers and bakers behind Atria Bread + Coffee believe in a simple recipe and a simplistic aesthetic for the bakery/coffee shop. Doors opened on Lakewood Ranch Boulevard with the wholesome scent of freshbaked Hokkaido Milk Bread and fresh-brewed Counter Culture coffee permeating through the dreamy, open air space. Anytime you’re eager to obtain your morning dose of fuel and nutrition, consume your vitamin Bs from the salutary grains of bread and beans of coffee, while soaking in the gleaming vitamin D that saturates Atria’s interior: a lighting design effect created from the purple-tinted film translucently enveloping the top row of windows of the storefront. At the optimal hour and angle of day, the space becomes sun-drenched in purple-pink streaks of light that cascade over the crisp white walls, matte-black plateware and iridescent utensils sporting their own metallic sheen. Social groups and solo creatives gather at the elongated communal table situated beside the floor-to-ceiling windows and appreciate the minimalist design, paired with divine details and accompanied with elevated fare that looks as good as it tastes. Each loaf of bread begins with the starter or “levain,” a mix of equal parts flour, filtered water and wild yeasts that naturally live in Florida. “Nurturing the perfect levain is like raising a family,” says Owner Jim Angus. “You need to figure out what each member needs to reach their full potential, then create the perfect environment to make them feel safe. This environment where the wild yeast calls home is something we take great care to create. These microorganisms are the life force of our bread.” Angus and his team mix this bountiful batter of dough the day before baking, then let it sit in a tempered room to rest and hydrate at a sublime ratio. While commercial breads typically have a hydration of 60 percent, artisan breads garner a higher hydration, resulting in a chewier texture and more open crumb. In bakers’ parlance, the “crumb” is the unique pattern and size of holes inside each loaf of bread that determines its density, mouthfeel and flavor. Artisan breads made with high-hydration dough typically have a more desirable, open and irregular crumb. And for Atria, enduring quality remains a standard—so patience remains a virtue. This higher hydration and timing technique is what creates that coveted open crumb within its stash of early AM goodness. But before it even makes it to the shelves for hungry patrons, the natural yeasts must thrive and slowly ferment over the next 14 hours “to maximize nutrients and digestibility.”

64 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local

FORAGE_JAN21.indd 64


12/15/20 7:24 PM

In this leavening process, the yeast and bacteria in the dough convert carbohydrates to carbon dioxide gas and alcohol, creating an airy texture and developing flavor in the bread. Once fully fermented and well rested, the loaves are shaped by hand before being proofed overnight in a wooden basket known as a “banneton.” The loaves are yet again left to ferment—this time for 12–16 hours before Atria’s bakers individually score each one with a razor known as a “lame.” Finally, the batch of hand-molded dough loaves are shimmeyed onto the stone hearth deck of the oven of roughly 200 degrees Fahrenheit. What escapes from the hot bed are round, risen, sapid victuals—showing off a contrasting finish. Outside: a glistening, golden and caramelized crust. Inside: a custardy, sweet and lightly acidic crumb with an airy bounce to its delicate interior that will spring back when you press a finger to it. Its signature Rustic Bread—with its beautifully

burnished, crispy crust and its tender yielding crumb—can be ordered at the counter, along with a Gibraltar Matcha or Nitro Cold Brew. From Indigo Lemonade, made of fresh lemon, butterfly pea syrup and sparkling water, to Frescaras, naturally sweet, fruitful and herbaceous soda waters, baristas happily sling zippy attractive beverages. Meanwhile, the bakers in the back restlessly sift and whip up pastry goods like laminated, flaky chocolate hazelnut scones, cinnamon date rolls with an apricot glaze, fluffy cranberry orange zest muffins and decadent cookies made of dark chocolate, fresh-milled buckwheat flour and house sourdough starter. “Our team has been amazing, they have helped us become more than just a coffee shop or bakery,” shares Angus. “We have launched full catering services, onsite holiday party bookings, online ordering for curbside pick up, and continued to launch more breakfast and lunch items.” For get-

togethers of business or pleasure, Atria’s popular bread catering option includes small and large breadboards of three or six loaves. From Double Dutch Cocoa Rye, Ancient Grain and Olive Oil Brioche to Seasonal Porridge Bread, Scottish Highland Load and more, each order comes accompanied with a container of house-cultured butter. For toast aficionados, take advantage of the catering option for a toast board—chock-full of spread options including the obligatory avocado with a poached egg and Aleppo chili, pesto and cream cheese, seasonal jams, almond butter with sea salt, cinnamon sugar with butter, red beet hummus and a fresh fruit toast with Plant City strawberries, Parmesan, ricotta, tarragon and vanilla gastrique. Atria has indeed raised the bar, and bread, for fellowists to reach. SRQ

srq magazine_ JAN21 live local | 65

FORAGE_JAN21.indd 65

12/15/20 4:41 PM

FORAGE_JAN21.indd 66

12/15/20 8:14 PM







yW ya


Ko s












TA CO ad T d H a so das E W ut h o h- f W A of he - t at LK he t IL -b o y or ou D de r O r win S be N st ter ID s. w it h E t


spots will have you scheduling taco night every day of the week. From authentic and modern to vegan: Tacos are brilliant in their versatility and customization. Virtually anything you can dream up can become a taco if you serve it in a tortilla, but these restaurants have perfected their flavors for the perfect roundup of classic Mexican fare and new-age combinations.

FORAGE_JAN21.indd 67



12/15/20 4:59 PM


FORAGE_JAN21.indd 68

12/15/20 4:59 PM

Below: Husband/wife co-owners Keith Campbell and Karen Odierna. CROP Juice, 1480 Stickney Point Rd., Sarasota, @cropjuice


For CROP Juice, the pandemic presented an opportunity to reaffirm the mission inherent in its business model.he-border bests. Andrew Fabian | Photography by Wyatt Kostygan.

THE IDEA FOR CROP JUICE CAME TO COFOUNDER KAREN ODIERNA while working as an oncology nurse. With a frontrow seat to hundreds of cancer stories—some more successful than others—she noticed a recurring throughline. “I realized that people weren’t putting anything good in their bodies,” she says. Whether patients turned to chemo, radiation or alternative therapies, Odierna found that the ones who began taking their diets more seriously seemed to have better outcomes. While the medicinal properties of cold-pressed juice are a subject of debate in the scientific and medical communities, what is not up for debate is that Odierna and husband/cofounder Keith Campbell spend a lot of time thinking about the health and well-being of their customers. And in the shadow of COVID-19, the survival of CROP Juice depended as much on this mission as it did on sensible business moves. “We decided when things got really bad to close for two weeks,” says Campbell. Though the company was considered an essential business and was allowed to remain open, the closure ensured the safety of CROP’s staff and customers while the married pair

reconfigured their business. “We already took infection control really seriously,” says Odierna, “and we started with masks early on.” Take-out orders already comprised a sizable slice of their revenue pie, but they added a touchless outdoor pickup system, developed their call-in ordering protocols and expanded their delivery options to accommodate those of their customers who did not feel comfortable coming in. “We were doing our best to protect people,” says Odierna, “and we felt like we owed it to them to figure it out.” With a loyal customer base and a little help from a Paycheck Protection Program loan, CROP managed to stay in the black. But the pandemic still threw a wrench into their trajectory. “With our downtown store, it was difficult to enforce social distancing and masks,” says Campbell, “so we passed on renewing the lease and opted to close the store.” The pandemic also forced them to think long and hard about the Stickney Point location they signed a lease on in May 2019. “We had to ask ourselves, ‘What is this thing and what does it mean to us?’” says Campbell. Supplies seemed to get delayed later and later,

while contractors and subcontractors were hard to come by with so many homeowners using their downtime to start remodeling projects. “We wanted to make sure we weren’t pouring money into something that wasn’t gonna work,” says Campbell, who saw the build-out delayed six months. After months of nonstop anxiety dealing with closures, reconfigurations, construction and the incessant uncertainty of a novel virus, the Stickney Point location finally opened in October. “I almost don’t believe it’s happening,” jokes Odierna. In a way, the location is the culmination of their steadfast commitment to the community of health-conscious eaters who rely on CROP to keep their bodies loaded with nutrients, particularly the immuno-compromised customers who swear by the product. “We’ve always prided ourselves on being really nutrient-dense, and we think we have a fiveor six-year record of really helping people heal through nutrition,” says Campbell, “and when we have cancer patients come to us straight from getting a diagnosis, that’s very humbling. It changes you.” SRQ srq magazine_ JAN21 live local | 69

FORAGE_JAN21.indd 69

12/15/20 5:04 PM


GRAB AND GO Curbside local groceries. Abby Weingarten

THE DAYS OF TRAIPSING AROUND GROCERY STORE AISLES and perusing merchandise may be a bit passé since the pandemic has popularized curbside pickup. What used to feel like an unremarkable routine—hopping in the car at any hour for a quick food item pickup at a local market—now poses safety concerns for many consumers (especially those who may not be able to make the early morning windows that are often designated for at-risk shoppers). While curbside options abound at big-box chains such as Walmart, Target, Aldi, Whole Foods Market and Publix, local companies are also catering to the Sarasota–Manatee community with their own brand of personalized service. As of September, 85 percent of shoppers had increased their use of curbside pickup during the pandemic, and 79 percent reported that a contactless store pickup was “very important” to them, according to Incisiv’s 2020 Shopper Study. Pre-COVID-19, numerous stores had already offered curbside pickup, but other retailers either introduced the option during lockdown measures in the spring or greatly improved their previous systems. Morton’s Gourmet Market, Detwiler’s Farm Market and Richard’s Foodporium are among the area locales that are giving customers the freedom to remain in their cars while the associates do the shopping. Items can be ordered directly from the computer or with a quick phone call, and masked employees bring the goods right to the trunk. It is a quick, convenient alternative that often only requires a 10- to 15-minute parking commitment. And, during an era when supporting small businesses is paramount, why not forgo the shopping hassle, pull up, sit in the airconditioning, get goodies and further the local economy, all at the same time? These three spots have perfected the process, but be sure to do some research before pulling up—as hours, protocols and inventories vary. SRQ

RICHARD’S FOODPORIUM has multiple locations throughout Sarasota-Manatee and other nearby parts of the state, and the store’s concept appeals to customers who prefer a small and intimate shopping experience. The independently owned natural foods retailer has been serving Southwest Florida since 1979 with organic edible and bath products, from-scratch nut butters and bulk specialty foods like granola and dried fruit. For Richard’s new curbside pickup program, customers can call or email any participating local store, offer information on the items they wish to purchase and select an approximate pickup time. A Richard’s associate will do the shopping for the customer, provide the order total and take payment right over the phone. Customers are just asked to call the store upon arrival so that a Richard’s associate can bring the bags out to the vehicle. Check the store website for monthly deals on supplements, essential oils, soaps and teas (as well as inventive recipe ideas). Every Sunday, Richard’s also offers a 10 percent discount for seniors, students, military personnel and first responders.


FARM MARKET has numerous locations in the bi-county area, but curbside pickup is only available at the Clark Road (Sarasota) and Palmetto spots. The market offers fresh produce, a full-service butchery, a seafood shop, an Amish-style deli with meats and cheeses, natural groceries, a wellness department, a farmhouse bakery with scratch-made treats and an old-fashioned ice cream shop with locally made blends. Detwiler’s has a fast-tracked online ordering option that allows the store to offer more than 5,000 items to its customers. Just create an account, place an order and select a preferred arrival date and time. Associates shop for the customer and bring the order to the vehicle (a text message is even sent to the customer when the order is ready for pickup). Check the weekly flyer for deals and browse the grab-and-go premade sub, salad and healthy protein smoothie selections. Detwiler’s is known for sourcing high-quality foods from within 100 miles of its stores, which bolsters the statewide farming industry.

MORTON’S GOURMET MARKET has been Sarasota’s premier full-service specialty food store for decades—family-owned by four generations of Mortons since 1969. The locale is stocked with a bakery and coffee shop, prime meats and seafood, prepared meals from scratch, an extensive wine selection, cheeses and pâtés from around the world, a deli and a full-service catering department. The store now offers local delivery and in-store/curbside pickup options. Same-day pickup may even be available if an order is placed online by 10 am. Once the order is placed, a customer service representative will contact the shopper with available pickup times. Freshness is prioritized, with flavorful inventory like deli salads (an Israeli couscous salad, a quinoa edamame salad and a pad Thai shrimp salad), house-made deli subs, and an array of premade holiday meals and luxury gift baskets.

Detwiler’s Farm Market (curbside pickup available at Clark Road and Palmetto locations), 941-378-2727, Richard’s Foodporium (various locations), 941-893-8617, Morton’s Gourmet Market, 1924 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941-955-9856, 70 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local

FORAGE_JAN21.indd 70


12/15/20 5:04 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 71

12/14/20 3:24 PM



GROVE 10670 Boardwalk Loop, Lakewood Ranch, 941-893-4321. CONTEMPORARY GOURMET DINING GROVE Restaurant, Patio and Ballroom is the newest offshoot of PIER 22, the award-winning waterfront destination headed by restaurateurs Hugh Miller and Greg Campbell. A full-service restaurant and events venue offering contemporary gourmet dining. The menu is elevated yet approachable and locally inspired. Housemade dishes emphasize fresh seasonal ingredients as well as innovative cooking methods, and with 27,000 square feet of dining space including an elegant 400 person ballroom there’s room for everyone at the table! M-Th 11:30am-10pm, F-Sa 11:30am-12am, Sun 11am-10pm. MARINA JACK 2 Marina Plaza, Sarasota, 941-365-4232. SEAFOOD, STEAKS AND PASTA The Sarasota landmark offers its customers exceptional food and great atmosphere while dining on the water. Come to the dining room on the second floor and try some new items on the dinner menu. Start with braised mussels in a chorizo broth or short rib tostadas, which feature Gouda cheese and pulled slow-braised short rib. Open daily for lunch and dinner. M–Su 11:15am–11pm. MORTON’S GOURMET MARKET 1924 South Osprey Ave., Sarasota, 941955-9856. GOURMET GROCER It’s the place where you can spend a lazy Sunday morning sipping coffee and breaking off pieces of a scone, a frenetic Friday evening collecting rare cheeses, meat and wine for Saturday’s soiree or a quick lunchtime bite to go. For the la er, Morton’s fresh-made sushi, salad bar or ready-to-go tea sandwiches are longstanding local faves. M–Sa 7am–8pm. Su 9am–6pm. PIER 22 1200 1st Ave W, Bradenton, 941-748-8087. CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN Pier 22 takes waterfront dining to a new level. On the mouth of the Manatee River, the picturesque se ing is relaxing and the perfect backdrop for any outing. With over 26,000 square feet of space, Pier 22 also offers catering and space for events. They focus on fresh, homemade fare and unique twists on everyday dishes. For lunch, try their so -shell crab sandwich with jalapeno tartar sauce, with a side of poutine. While watching the sunset on the patio, dine on their fresh game of the day, sourced from around the world and always a surprise. M-Th 11:30am – 10pm. F-Sa 11:30am-10:30pm. Su 11am-10pm. Happy hour daily 3pm-7pm and Sunday Brunch 11am-3pm. TSUNAMI SUSHI & HIBACHI GRILL 100 Central Ave, Suite 1022, Sarasota, 941-366-1033. ASIAN FUSION In the heart of downtown Sarasota Florida, Tsunami Sushi and Hibachi Grill stands alone for creative sushi, fresh sashimi and a new spin on asian fusion--all at remarkable prices. FRESH SUSHI- Made fresh before your eyes by their talented chefs. FULL BARThey feature a full bar, with specialty cocktails like the Hibiscus Rose, Japanese Julep and Shinsu Sour. ASIAN ENTREES- Fresh and flavorful with the unique taste of Japan. M-F 11am-Close; Sat/Sun 12pm-Close; Closed Daily 2:30-4:30pm.

2021-01 Nosh.indd 72

12/12/20 12:35 PM

S R Q M AG A Z I N E J A N 2 02 1 : : N O S H R E STAU R A N T P O RT FO L I O

2021-01 Nosh.indd 73

12/12/20 12:35 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 74

12/14/20 3:24 PM

2nd edition



SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 75

12/15/20 6:06 PM


TOP DOCTORS Welcome to the second edition of the 2020 SRQ TOP DOCTORS MEDICAL RESOURCE GUIDE.We are deeply grateful to the medical and nursing professionals who are dedicated to supporting our community through this challenging time. The individuals who have been honored in this year's prestigious SRQ TOP DOCTORS | PEER REVIEW program have received the overwhelming support of colleagues in the medical professional communities of Greater Sarasota including Palmetto and Palmetto Bay, Anna Maria, Holmes Beach, Bradenton, Lakewood Ranch, Sarasota, Venice and North Port, Florida. The Colorado-based team at DataJoe Research facilitates all aspects of the online peer-voting process and conducting government references. We appreciate the doctors who participated in the program this year by sharing their thoughtful nominations, which included Exceptional Nurses—it is your insight that makes it possible for us to provide the readers of SRQ Magazine with this noteworthy guide to the highly-regarded doctors in the region.

Get to know some of this year's honorees as they share their expertise and insight.


76 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local —top doctors medical guide: second edition

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 76

12/15/20 7:07 PM




COULD YOU EACH DESCRIBE YOUR PRACTICE AND WHAT SERVICES YOU OFFER? Dr. Fabian A. Ramos of Ramos Center: I service patients in chronic pain. Pain can be devastating. It can change your life, the life of your loved ones. Normally these patients that come to our practice are patients that have been neglected for a long time. We try to tell them from the beginning; we understand you're in pain, and we have so many things that we can offer to them, from medical management, from mental health counseling to an addiction medicine specialist so


we can help take some patients off opioids. The primary focus of what I do is offer the interventional tools to change the pain-to diagnose the generators of pain and change them. Our specialty has evolved in amazing ways over the last twenty years. We're able to offer patients implantables that are very minimally invasive, that can change your ability to function significantly; fusions that we do are almost like injecting glue into some of the open joints. We have stimulators that we put in the spine to change the perception of pain. We have the ability to go into the vertebra and make a very




precise cut of the specific nerves that carry that pain signal. We're very, very happy that, for the most part, the majority of patients that come to our offices in pain will have some improvement in their pain and improvement of their function. Dr. Daniel M. Cooper of Cooper Concierge Cardiology and Internal Medicine: So about five years ago, what we did is we converted a practice from a conventional general cardiology and electrophysiology sub-specialty practice into a full concierge model. We provide, which is unique, an all in one kind of private practice because I've maintained my board

certification in internal medicine. So my practice now includes internal medicine, general medicine, general cardiology, and electrophysiology, which is a subspecialty of cardiology that deals with electrical problems of the heart. I'm your doctor, whether you have a sore throat or a cardiac arrest. And because we a private practice, I contract directly with the client, not with their insurance company. Dr. Ronald Torrance of Regenexx Tampa Bay: I specialize in sports medicine. My practice is Regenexx Tampa Bay. We have offices in Sarasota, St. Pete and, Tampa. Our practice specializes in regenerative


SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 77

12/14/20 3:45 PM


ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS DR. DANIEL M. COOPER, MD, FACC, COOPER CONCIERGE CARDIOLOGY AND INTERNAL MEDICINE Highly trained in Cardiology, Electrophysiology and Pacing by the Cleveland Clinic, the number #1 Heart Hospital in the USA, Dr. Cooper is Board Certified in Cardiology and Internal Medicine, having trained at Buffalo General Hospital, the flagship Internal Medicine program of the State University of New York. He has a ended the Harvard Medical School Internal Medicine Recertification. Dr. Cooper is the Associate Professor of Cardiology and Medicine, FSU College of Medicine. Over the past two decades Dr Cooper has cared for a wide range of outpatient ailments from common infections, diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension; to complex hospital medical and heart emergencies.

DR. FABIAN A. RAMOS, FIPP, DABA, DABIPP, DABPM, RAMOS CENTER Dr. Fabian A. Ramos, FIPP, DABA, DABIPP, DABPM is triple board certified by the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians, American Board of Pain Medicine, and the American Board of Anesthesiology, where he ranked in the 99th Percentile Nationwide. As the recipient of the 2018 Champion of Prevention in Healthcare Award by Drug Free Manatee and the 2018 Community Health Advocacy Award from the Sarasota Medical Alliance Foundation & Society, Dr. Ramos is recognized for his impact in preventing and reducing substance abuse within our community. As of 2019, Castle Connolly Ltd. has formally included Dr. Ramos in their prestigious Top Doctor Database.


medicine-platelet, rich plasma, bone marrow aspirate concentrate. We get our bone marrow derived from stem cells. We offer a non-surgical alternative to orthopedics, and that's why we're aligned with Regenexx. It gives us the ability to bring the highest quality regenerative products to our patients. Our mission is to get patients back to what they love to do. And that's what we love to do-we love to treat our patients. We offer a comprehensive approach— Dr. Ramos has that same comprehensive approach in his practice. TELL US ABOUT THE HISTORY BEHIND REGENERATIVE MEDICINE. Dr. Torrance: The last 30 years are where regenerative medicine was really pioneered. But you can go back further to Dr. George Hackett and prolotherapy, which was first established in the 1930s. Prolotherapy is kind of the basis for thinking about how platelet-rich plasma and bone marrow can drive stem cells. We're causing new inflammation that causes healing. For a time, medical thinking was that steroids and cortisone were these amazing discoveries, but with more knowledge, we can see that often steroids actually cause more harm than good in the long run. Innovators in the field really advanced regenerative medicine, about 30 years ago where they started looking at AVN or avascular necrosis where you're having bone die and you’re trying to figure out a way to stimulate that bone to essentially regenerate. Now we can treat that with bone marrow-derived stem cells now. Our company has been doing this in the United States for about 15 years, and we have a university-style lab. We have 40 locations throughout the United States that really specialize in this, and it is really bringing regenerative medicine to the forefront of orthopedic care.

IT MUST BE AMAZING TO HAVE THAT HUMAN EXPERIENCE WITH A PATIENT—OF SEEING THEM COME IN SICK, MEETING THEM AND GETTING TO KNOW THEIR GOALS, AND THEN TO SEE THEM, LATER, IMPROVED AND REACHING FOR THOSE GOALS. Dr. Cooper: One of the things that I tried to teach my medical students is that for the majority of patients, you first need to sit down and listen to what they have to tell you. Then, you can ask the right questions. And I teach the old practice of the stethoscope. With a stethoscope and a good physical exam, faster even than it would take you to just order an echocardiogram or an ultrasound, you already know what the answer is probably going to be. You learn to hear what a murmur sounds like, what other issues sound like. I hear from patients a lot, "the doctor didn't even touch me, but he ordered ten exams; a cat scan and an MRI." The doctors don't have the time. You also incorporate the latest tests; more and more the insurance companies are limiting how many you can do, and it's always possible you will be practicing in an underdeveloped country where the power can go out or in another nation that won't OK the test; like the English National Health System where they won't pay for the tests, WE WOULD LIKE TO HEAR FROM EACH OF YOU ABOUT THE PATIENTS THAT COME INTO YOUR PRACTICES AND HOW YOU WORK WITH THEM IN WAYS THAT ARE UNIQUE TO YOUR PRACTICE. Dr. Ramos: My typical story is that there is a grandmother or grandfather that wants to travel and wants to have their two or three weeks of vacation, they want to play with the grandchildren, and they are in pain. The misery of the restriction is not being able

to be independent. As a human being, they are looking forward to those moments. I remembered a well-known priest that came to us with cancer of the spine. The cancer had not responded to treatment. The priest knew he was going to die. But the only thing he still wanted to do was to preach. He wanted to stand and preach. He came in a wheelchair, and I was able to do a de-bulking of the tumors in the spine. We worked on five of the vertebra that had solid tumors. The pain went away in two, three hours, and it gave him almost two more years where he was able to continue walking, and of course, standing and preaching. That was an unbelievable result. Dr. Torrance: I'm thinking of a patient as well. I can still see her being wheeled through the door. Her husband, who she was separated from, but who was still helping care for her, was pushing her wheelchair, and he was at stage four cancer and in bad shape as well. She had terrible knee arthritis in both knees. She's overweight. She's been told by multiple orthopedic surgeons that they really don't recommend a knee replacement at her size. Even sitting, she was at a ten for pain in the right knee. I proposed to her that we do a bone marrow-derived STEM cell treatment for her knee. Her goal was to lose 20 pounds and then get up and go line dancing. Well, we perform the treatment, and, maybe six months later, she's emailing me that her knees are now maybe a two or three out of ten. She's line dancing three nights a week. She's lost weight, and has finished the beginner line dancing class, and moved on to the intermediate line dancing class. The ex-husband who was caring for her had passed away from his cancer, and it's easy to imagine how poorly her life would have been going without continued on page 80

78 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local —top doctors medical guide: second edition

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 78

12/14/20 3:45 PM



Daniel M. Cooper MD, FACC

HONOREE Cardiology

Highly trained in Cardiology, Electrophysiology and Pacing by the Cleveland Clinic, the number #1 Heart Hospital in the USA, Dr. Cooper is Board Certified in Cardiology and Internal Medicine, having trained at Buffalo General Hospital, the flagship Internal Medicine program of the State University of New York. He has attended the Harvard Medical School Internal Medicine Recertification. Dr. Cooper is the Associate Professor of Cardiology and Medicine, FSU College of Medicine. Over the past two decades Dr Cooper has cared for a wide range of outpatient ailments from common infections, diabetes, cholesterol, hypertension; to complex hospital medical and heart emergencies.

ABOUT THE PRACTICE Over the past six years Dr Cooper has aimed to provide highly personalized medical care to a small group of patients in his Concierge practice. In addition to Primary Care and General Medicine, Dr. Cooper provides Cardiology and Electrophysiology care to his patients with an office equipped for multiple types of non-invasive heart examinations which include Echocardiograms, treadmill Stress-Tests, Electrocardiograms, and Pacemaker/ICD interrogations. Our patients find reassurance in having the ability to directly speak with Dr. Cooper 24/7 and be evaluated either at home, our Office or at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Same-day appointments and extended visits provide you with the ability to have all your needs met. We are the only Concierge practice providing all-inone General Medicine, Cardiology, and the specialty of Cardiac Electrophysiology. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO BE RECOGNIZED BY YOUR PEERS FOR SRQ TOP DOCTOR? It is a great honor and responsibility to be recognized by the Medical Staff as a Top Cardiologist and Internist in the Sarasota Medical community. In my position as Associate Professor of Cardiology and Medicine of Florida State University College of Medicine, I emphasize to my medical students the need to be well informed and skilled. The necessity to develop excellent bedside manners with empathy, is one of the pillars of medical care. It is of paramount importance to develop the ability and time to communicate effectively with patients, their families and with the consulting medical team. “The healing of my patients starts with a caring relationship and provides the cornerstone for my role as a physician, a teacher and a friend”.


Cardiology Internal Medicine Electrophysiology Arrhythmias Pacemaker/ICD

COOPER CONCIERGE CARDIOLOGY & INTERNAL MEDICINE 1875 Floyd Street, Sarasota, FL 34239 941.955.7060 |

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 79

12/14/20 3:50 PM


ABOUT THE PARTICIPANTS DR. RONALD TORRANCE II, DO, REGENEXX TAMPA BAY Ronald Torrance II, DO, is a non-surgical orthopedic physician specializing in Sports Medicine at Regenexx Tampa Bay. He graduated from Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine and is board certified in Family Medicine and Sports Medicine. He has published in peer-reviewed journals and is an invited speaker at national medical conferences. Dr. Torrance’s practice focuses on interventional regenerative orthopedics, specializing in Regenexx procedures, which are patented stem cell and platelet treatments for injuries and arthritis using advanced image guidance. Regenexx has published nearly half of all orthopedic-stem-cell research and completed 111,350+ procedures.

reading the ability to care for herself and enjoy herself. Dr. Cooper: The age of my patients can vary all the way from my youngest patient at 25 years to my oldest at 102. I also have a large group of patients that are the middle-aged patients, high thirties, forties, fifties, that don't have much in terms of symptoms, but they have a very, very busy lifestyle. Perhaps they are an executive with a busy workload, and a regular practice just does not cut it for them. They can't go to a waiting room and sit for an hour. With me, they can schedule their appointments either the day before or the same day. We are not rushed; we may meet for an hour if the patient needs it. That's one of the advantages of concierge care that you can limit the number of patients


and fully dedicate yourself to each and every patient as much as they need. My farthest away experience was with one of our patients that decided on his bucket list to go to Antarctica. And I got this, you know, crystal clear call from, from the ship and this doctor who obviously was French-speaking in broken English, trying to explain. Well, I speak many languages, French, Spanish, Portuguese, and others, and that has helped me help patients around the world. I was able to speak with this doctor in French. There was an orthopedic surgeon that he was trying to treat that a hypertensive crisis on this patient, and I was able to give him recommendations for the situation and for my particular client. Then I was able to call ahead to their destiantion port so as soon as the ship arrived, they could continue to deal with that accelerated uncontrolled hypertension. So these are some of the things that you just won't be able to get in a conventional practice because you don't have that accessibility. The doctors don't have the time. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE YOUR FIELD? Dr. Cooper: A lot of times in cardiology, when that was my focus, we would already get patients well into their acute heart emergency, not having had the chance to do that prevention. We could have been implementing a medical strategy before the emergency situation happened. So one of the things that I find in my practice at this point is that I can modify things or have patients access me before we realize that their first heart attack has happened. One of the rewarding things is for them to come up to me and say, "you know, I'm in my fifties, but my dad had a heart attack at age 50, and I'm getting to that age, and I'm not sure if I'm doing everything right." You might assess them and find that they have silent heart disease that was

previously unrecognized. So it's that it is actually quite rewarding for me to be able to get ahead of the problems. And that wasn't possible in a practice that was dependent on insurance plans. Dr. Ramos: Well, in my case, it was an emergent sub-specialty. That made it very attractive, very exciting. It's near my background, which is anesthesia. I liked that I was going to be in contact with the patient, which is something very different from anesthesia. There is a book, "The Fight Against Pain," that I read, and it described the evolution of anesthesia as a field and how it connects to the fight against pain. I love this field. Dr. Torrance: I was lucky to be visiting family in Sarasota and attending a conference at the same time when I ran into the founder of my practice center, James Lieber. He invited me to come by the office and see what he was doing with the new techniques. This was over Thanksgiving Break, and a visit became an interview, which became a job offer. Now, after four years, I can say I love it. Just like Dr. Ramos say, you get to put your hands on patients, and you get to get them back to doing the things they love. That's really our mission, to help people get out of pain in the best way. Often people we see have been offered very extensive surgeries or procedures, and those surgeries or procedures have risks, and they may have been offered a 50/50 chance of seeing improvement. So they're coming to us, looking for a non-surgical alternative for an orthopedic condition. YOU ALL SEEM TO BE DOCTORS THAT THRIVE ON CHANGE. Dr. Ramos: Well, I personally love, love change. I glad that that's my element. I preach that into the office every single time. Change is an opportunity to grow and to serve in a better way. Big insti-

tutions can be slow to bring new techniques in, and we are able to lead in that. We are trying right now to get one of our area hospitals credentialed for a new procedure. Once it's done, that will be another new treatment option for our community, and we will be the first to bring it here. The newest treatments evolve from different institutions and different parts of the world. It's still a field with so much new discovery that there maybe two or three important emerging discoveries a the same time around the world. The good thing is that, through the years, your hands are already trained. The only thing that you need to do is to learn the steps, the equipment, and then you can do it. Dr. Torrance: I think that all physicians are lifetime learners - inquisitive and curious. That has brought the doctors here to the forefront of what we're doing, like Dr. Ramos, for those of us on the frontier of medicine. For our practice, that's helping people find non-surgical alternatives. The exiting orthopedic model is a little bit archaic. It's a "hardware" model where you put things back together. Instead, we are looking at how the body has an innate ability to heal itself. For many needs, we are trying to utilize the body's healing cells to help it heal itself. That's what really appeals to patients and to us as physicians. Dr. Cooper: And I think that's a good way of putting it. One of the things that we love is when we have a challenge. And, if we have the time, what we are supposed to do as physicians is to research the possibilities. Sometimes the research helps not only the patient in front of you but the rest of your practice. At the beginning of the COVID situation, February and March, none of us knew what we were dealing with. But through colleagues and through Cleaveland Clinic alumni, I was able to find out from physicians in

80 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local —top doctors medical guide: second edition

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 80

12/14/20 3:45 PM


Italy that the situation was really dire-before it hit the news. As a personal example, I was already telling my son, who lives in New York City, to wear masks and not take the elevator, even when the initial recommendations were that masks were not necessary. I heard from a doctor in Korea that he disagreed with the initial recommendations. I reached out to see if hydroxychloroquine was working or not. We have a couple of close colleagues in Israel, early on I was contacting them trying to find out what were they seeing? One is the chief of radiology in Ashkelon, and the other a professor at Tel Aviv University. So all this curiosity enhances your delivery of care and also your capability of teaching as well. DESCRIBE THE EXPERIENCE THAT A NEW PATIENT WILL HAVE ON ARRIVING AT YOUR OFFICES. Dr. Ramos: First, our new patient scheduler gathers all the information from the patient. We request records before the patient comes, the patient fills out a questionnaire, so before they even set foot in the door, we have begun to analyze which patients we are likely going to be able to help or not. Normally 80 to 75% of the applicants continue through to become patients. We have a selection process, but once the patient is here, we know so much about them, we have all their records, and then we can walk the patient through the different modalities that are indicated for that particular patient. It's not a cookie-cutter type of approach. So the comfort of the patient is that as soon as you walk into the office, we are here to treat you as an individual. Dr. Cooper: We take our time. We have the capability of spending an hour and a half, sometimes even two hours with them reviewing all the medical records, a good general medical exam and a good,

very focused cardiology exam. I combine what an internist would do and what a cardiologist would do into a single exam. We do all our non-invasive heart evaluation in our office as part of the package. So we do the stress test, we do the ultrasound, I have all the equipment also to assess all the electrical problems of the heart. For the first month, we're a bit busier with the patient, and after that, we start seeing patients on a regular visit, whether it's every three months, if it's routine or let's say a patient that's unstable, we could be seeing them every week until they stabilized. Dr. Torrance: For our practice, there is a 60-minute evaluation with the physician also gathering all the information from their past evaluations, past treatments, their history, we do a physical, but we also do a diagnostic ultrasound on all of our patients to take a look at what's going on in the inside. Whether they have a rotator cuff tear or a knee meniscus tear, or an ACL tear, we really want to get to the root cause of the problem. Once we are treating certain conditions, we may platelet-rich plasma that we do with a blood draw. If we are using the patient's bone marrow-derived stem cells, then we use image guidance. That's really what the Regenexx brand is all about. It's about image, guidance, superior, quality products, and high-quality physicians. With the patient, we discuss the best options that we can offer. We discuss whether they're a candidate, number one. Are you a poor candidate, a fair candidate, or a good candidate for one of our procedures? Or do we need to send to somebody like Dr. Ramos or to an orthopedic surgeon-not everybody's a candidate for a regenerate procedure? We want you to have the best option possible for the best outcome possible.


DO PEOPLE WAIT LONGER THAN THEY SHOULD TO GET HELP? Dr. Ramos: Pain is very associated with your lifestyle. Genes play a role, but a significant amount of pain is self-inflicted. Patients may have made lifestyle choices that have played a significant role in their condition. It's not easy. Normally the patient has had ten doctors telling them exactly the same thing. We want to help with the pain, but the lifestyle conversation is always on the table. Dr. Cooper: Let's put it this way, patients that understand what we are trying to do for them, as opposed to just giving them a prescription, say, take this twice a day. That's less effective than spending a few minutes teaching about their disease or problem and about the forms of treatment. Dr. Torrance: Pain can be devastating. I had a bone marrow-derived stem cell treatment for my shoulder. It was a nagging pain for a long time, and then one day, the call to action was asking myself, "are you going to let that pain control you? The thing that owns you and doesn't allow you to do what you want to do, or are you going to step up and find some sort of solution to get you out of that pain? I would say that pain is the thief of joy in life; it takes away from some of the things that you take for granted on a day-to-day basis-taking a walk outside, taking a walk stroll with your spouse around the block, doing anything. Dr. Ramos and I see patients in this kind of chronic pain conundrum. I'm grateful that, especially in the past three to five years, people aren't taking chronic medications as much. We're really finding now that alternative medicine is becoming the mainstream medicine, and that's what Dr. Ramos and myself practice. We're helping you get back to doing the things you love without pain so that you can enjoy life again.

HOW DO YOU FIND OR DEFINE SUCCESS IN TREATING A PATIENT? Dr. Cooper: For me, the private model and personalized care have brought us back to being a diagnostician like the old doctors used to be. You have to have time to think about a patient to come up with a differential diagnosis. That's what I teach to medical students. Your initial assessment is very important. So shortness of breath-it could be a heart problem, it could be a lung problem, it could be a metabolic problem. You have to line up all your thoughts and, in your mind, assess. If you are in a rush, you will go for the most obvious diagnosis in the room. I call that the "shotgun approach," so it's "OK, we think he may have a heart problem, we're going to do A, B, C, D E exams, and let's see him in a month and see what happens." Now, with time to assess, we can determine which exams we do and don't need. Maybe we do check-in areas that could be causing the problems but aren't obvious. To be successful in your treatment, you need time, and you need a clear head, a clear thought process to be able to formulate the prevention and the treatment. Dr. Ramos: The assessment of pain is often described as a measurement of intensity, you know, pain on a ten-point scale, but the function is something different. If you are a three in pain, but it's made you sedentary at home, and on many medications, then that three is quite important. We want to take the patient in pain, diagnose, treat, and make you functional. Is the pain affecting mental health? Are you fearful of doing certain things? The pain can give people depression. That's why the specialty of man treatment is a joyful one for me; I not only want to treat your pain but also as a human being. Dr. Torrance: I agree that it's about the whole person. I've

srq magazine_ JAN21 live local —top doctors medical guide: second edition | 81

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 81

12/14/20 3:45 PM


looked a lot at functional medicine. I did a year-long training course with Chris Kresser. He's an acupuncturist who specializes in really looking for the root cause of conditions and issues. Most times, the root cause of our problems is inflammation. It really is the basis for a lot of the chronic pain that people are in. So when a patient sees me, I'm also looking at their dietary habits, their exercise habits, their sleep habits, everything that could be contributing to their condition. Sometimes patients don't realize that they're really causing a vicious cycle of chronic pain by eating processed foods, eating tons of sugar. If we can address the root cause, and then we can begin to influence the other things in their lives that can be contributing to that root cause. Dr. Ramos: There is a frequent conversation. If a patient, for example, with degeneration type of pain in the spine or joints, we always encourage the patient to eat with a balanced, correct diet. If you eat too much sugar too much, un-balanced omega-six versus omega three, you are going to end up with an inflammatory condition. Now, it doesn't mean that everybody's going to follow. I said earlier that it is not an easy conversation, and other doctors have already told them the same. Something has to click for the patients. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MOST EXCITING NEW TREATMENTS IN YOUR FIELD? Dr. Torrance: The innovations that we're really pioneering are looking at percutaneous ways to repair partial tears of the rotator cuff, and partial tears of the ACL where you don't have to go through arthroscopic surgery. We have two randomized control trials on each, showing that we can percutaneously help regenerate these injuries. So you don't have to necessarily have to go to surgery to get these areas


to heal. Our CEO has a mission for Regenix that our innovations reduce the number of elective orthopedic surgeries by 70% by 2030. I feel with the new modalities coming for the people, it's a certainly attainable mission. Dr. Ramos: In my area, there are many new techniques that will improve life for my patients. For example, a person with spinal stenosis and the inability to walk because of leg numbness due to the pressure on the nerves—the old technique involved removing bone from the spine through a laminectomy, a major surgery. Now we have a procedure where we can install a small device that simply prevents the vertebra from flexing in the one spot and that stops the compression. It's a fifteen-minute deployment. So many emerging techniques-for joints, for degenerative discs, for chronic abdominal pain. Pain that used to be very hard to treat is often now something we can reduce or even resolve. WHAT ABOUT THE EFFECT OF PSYCHOLOGICAL ISSUES ON HEALTH? Dr. Cooper: You know, a lot of times, an illness or an ailment could be simply a reactive depression. I mean, it's a significant psychological issue that's been going on that is masquerading under the surface. You know that can confuse doctors that don't have a chance to interview the patient and understand the patient. So sometimes the intervention needed is to take care of their reactive depression. That can solve a lot of problems. From aches and pains to feeling weak, psychological problems can be manifested in many ways in patients. Some patients react through their skin. Some patients are GI sensitive. Some patients will manifest themselves as heart symptoms; palpitations, anxiety, chest pain. So once again, having

the capability to get to know your patients, as a cardiologist, I could be testing and then ask, "wait for a second, I just did a stress test. I just did an echocardiogram and EKG. I don't see any evidence of structural heart disease. Why is he having palpitations?" And you will end up finding out that the basal heart rate is higher because of a psychological issue. This is just that issue of finding root causes. Whether you are in orthopedics or dealing with back pain, you have to look at all the factors to come to a conclusion. THERE MUST BE PEOPLE WHO ARE LIVING WITH PAIN TODAY BECAUSE THE DIAGNOSIS AND TREATMENT THEY WERE GIVEN TEN YEARS AGO SEEMED RISKY AND INVASIVE, BUT THEY ARE NOT AWARE THAT THERE ARE NEW, SIMPLER OPTIONS. Dr. Torrance: I think that's the call to action; there's no need to live in pain. And if you didn't like the solutions offered in the past, there are other solutions out there, such as regenerative treatments, which consist of platelet-rich plasma, prolotherapy, a bone marrow aspirate concentrate, and fat micronized fat. Fat has done fantastic things for knees. We're asking all the patients out there who are living in some sort of acute or chronic pain and have been told they need a surgical intervention that seems very invasive; you don't need to live in pain. I treat others the way I want to be treated and how I'd want my family members treated. And I really, I believe that our practice personifies exactly what that means. I've treated my mother, I've treated my father, and they both have had good outcomes. I'm going to treat you like family. That's really the biggest thing. I'm going to give them the best recommendation I can, and if I can't help them, I'm going to give them a referral to somebody who

can. Dr. Ramos: It's necessary to have a complete comprehensive diagnosis. Once you have the correct diagnosis and if you are disabled, looking at pain as intensity, functionality, and medications, then make the next step. Can you treat the cause? There's no point in treating the symptom if the treatments or therapies are going to be successful. From my perspective, we're going to treat you as the human being that you are; we're going to understand your pain. We're going to offer to you only the best advice that we can have-fairness; and honesty are good principles that should give you reassurance as a patient. PEOPLE OFTEN, AND DISPROPORTIONATELY MEN, PUT OFF TAKING CARE OF ISSUES THEY KNOW ARE GETTING WORSE Dr. Cooper: If you're having a problem, you're my patient. We can work on a plan based on the testing we do on our new patients to avoid issues, and when issues do arise, then, well, I'm the attending physician for them at Sarasota Memorial, meaning I don't delegate them to a hospitalist. You call me if it's chest pain, I'll meet you in an emergency room, I'll admit you, I will be the quarterback organizing whatever specialists you may need. If you need to be admitted to the intensive care unit, I'm your cardiologist; I'm your internist. If needed, I'll consult you with a pulmonologist or surgeon. I remain the quarterback of your medical care as opposed to the punter of your medical care. And that's very important. And you gotta be able to be the patient advocate whether the issue is right now, or if it's a consultation with a neurologist that may not happen for three months. SRQ

82 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local —top doctors medical guide: second edition

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 82

12/14/20 3:45 PM

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 83

12/14/20 3:45 PM


Arthur Valadie, MD

David Cashen, MD

Douglas Constant, MD

Orthopedic Surgery

Orthopedic Surgery

Pain Management

Patrick Dermarkarian, MD Spine Surgery

Gennady Gekht, MD

Daniel Lamar, MD

Pain Management

Orthopedic Surgery Sports Medicine

Rising Stars Less Than 5 Years in Practice

With over 45 years of dedicated service to patients throughout the BradentonSarasota area, physicians from Coastal Orthopedics have earned a sterling reputation as leading local authorities on surgical and non-surgical treatment methods for patients suffering orthopedic injuries or traumas, and any who experience chronic muscle, joint, or back pain. Each physician is deeply committed to providing personalized, patient-centered care, and strives to customize treatment plans for each patient’s specific needs, lifestyle, and diagnosis. For patients, the combination of state-of-the-art services such as MRI, orthopedic bracing, physical therapy and outpatient surgical suites enable seamless care through all stages of treatment and recovery. Privileges with Blake Medical Center, Doctors Hospital, Lakewood Ranch Medical Center, and Manatee Memorial Hospital.

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 84

12/14/20 3:46 PM

WE TREAT YOU BETTER. Coastal Orthopedics is proud to recognize twelve 2020 SRQ Top Doctors for their commitment to excellence in medicine. As members of Coastal Orthopedics’ board-certified team of physicians and surgeons, these physicians specialize in providing personalized care across a wide range of subspecialties.

Andrés O’Daly, MD Orthopedic Surgery

Laura Ottaviani, DO

Sara Simmons, MD

Justin Sirianni, MD

Eric Sundberg, MD

Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation

Hand Surgery

Pain Management

Spine Surgery

Alan Valadie, MD Orthopedic Surgery


6015 Pointe West Boulevard | 5101 4th Ave. Circle East, Suite 500 | 8340 Lakewood Ranch Boulevard, 3rd Floor

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 85


12/14/20 3:46 PM

2020 Top Doctors There was a time, not long ago, when area residents traveled out of town seeking expertise for their complicated medical problems. Now, however, a cadre of top-of-the-line physicians who would be the envy of any community have made the Sarasota area their home. “We have worked hard to bring the best and the brightest to this community,” notes John Steele, M.D., a founding member of Intercoastal. “Our mission has always been to provide the highest quality health care. The success of Intercoastal is the result of quality and hard work by each of the physicians who make up the group.” Intercoastal Medical Group is proud of its physician colleagues who have been named by their peers for SRQ Top Docs.

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 86

Suzanne Lutton

Hakim Morsli

Wende Kozlow

Jesus Perez




Endocrinology Diabetes

Robert J. Summerlee Gastroenterology

Robert Browning

Jon Yenari

David Reichel

Ricardo Yaryura

Randy B. Powell

General Surgery


Internal Medicine

Interventional Cardiology

Family Medicine

Matthew D. Byers

Richard Aranibar

Joe T. Kelley

Luis G. Guzman




Ear, Nose & Throat

12/15/20 2:29 PM

INTERCOASTAL MEDICAL GROUP is a physician-owned and led organization, consisting of more

than 100 physicians in more than 20 specialties, serving Sarasota and Manatee counties with multiple locations. Founded in 1993, Intercoastal features a team of board certified, experienced physicians, all of

whom completed their residency training programs in either the United States or Canada. The physicians

at Intercoastal Medical Group are highly recruited, nationally — coming from some of the best medical

institutions across the country. Intercoastal offers this area’s most current technology and resources, allowing for fast and accurate diagnostic tests and procedures at conveniently located Intercoastal facilities. No matter your health concern, Intercoastal Medical Group provides seamless care through the shared accessibility of medical records among all of our specialists. Patients have access to weekend care clinics

and superior services such as a 10,500-square-foot state-of-the-art ambulatory surgery center, where more

than 8,000 surgeries are performed a year. Intercoastal services also include physical therapy, audiology, clinical laboratory and a wealth of diagnostic imaging options.


SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 87

12/14/20 3:47 PM



Gregory Farino




• • • • •

WHAT SETS YOU APART FROM OTHERS? The physicians at 360 ORTHOPEDICS have a total of over 140 years of experience in the medical field providing treatment from “head to toe” with the most up-to-date technology. Our locations are self-contained so that you may have all your orthopedic visits at one location, and even in one visit! This convenience allows you to see your physician, have an x-ray/MRI, undergo physical therapy, and receive durable medical equipment all in one place. We are unique in our ability to offer same day or next day appointments for our patients when needed.

I received a B.S. in Biology at DeSales University and my medical degree at Temple University Medical School. That was followed with an orthopedic residency at Penn State University and a fellowship in hand and wrist at the University of Pittsburgh. As an advocate for personalized care, I’ve always treated patients as family members. I talk to them about their challenges, offer the best possible solutions, and together, we come to a consensus as to the best treatment for their situation. I’m trained in the latest techniques for hand and wrist conditions and strongly believe in staying involved in all aspects of patient care from initial diagnosis to post-operative rehabilitation.

Jeffrey Silverstein


Orthopedic Surgery SPECIALTIES


• • • • •

HOW DOES YOUR PRACTICE HELP TO IMPROVE THE LIVES OF YOUR PATIENTS? Our name says it all … we treat our patients with a 360 degree view of their health for comprehensive and compassionate care. In the center of our logo, you will find the word “hope” displaying our wish for every patient. Our colors of blue and green represent trust, wisdom, balance, health, and renewal.

Carpal / Cubital Tunnel Syndrome Trigger Finger Hand / Wrist / Digital Fracture Ulnar Nerve Damage Tendinitis

Hip and knee replacement Direct anterior hip replacement Revision hip/knee replacement Partial knee replacementt Robotic Surgery

I received a B.S. in Biology at Indiana University and my medical degree at West Virginia School of Medicine. That was followed with residency at the Chicago Medical Center and a Fellowship in hip and knee reconstruction at FL Orthopedic Institute. As an advocate for improving quality of life for my patients, I believe open communication between physician and patient as key to successful outcomes. I’m trained in the latest techniques for hip and knee replacements including direct anterior hip replacements and traumatic fractures. When applicable, I perform less invasive techniques including muscle sparing incisions, partial knee replacements, robotic assisted technology, and custom patient specific implants.

360 ORTHOPEDICS SARASOTA | LAKEWOOD RANCH | VENICE 941.360.2233 | Appointments can be requested via website. 88 | srq magazine_ JAN21 —top doctors medical guide

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 88

12/14/20 3:50 PM

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 89

12/14/20 3:48 PM



Michael Barron


Dr. Barron is from Cincinnati Ohio and received his BS in Microbiology from the Ohio State University and graduated from the Ohio State University College of Medicine. He completed Internal Medicine training at Christ Hospital in Cincinnati and completed Fellowships in Cardiology and Interventional Cardiology at Tulane University where he was fully trained in all aspects of general cardiology, interventional cardiology, and peripheral vascular interventions. Moving to Sarasota in 2000 he received the 2002 Physician of the Year Award from Doctors Hospital of Sarasota. Dr. Barron is on staff at Sarasota Memorial Hospital and Doctors Hospital of Sarasota.

ABOUT THE PRACTICE Cardiovascular Spe-

cialists of Sarasota is a full-service cardiovascular practice where patients are seen Monday thru Friday and all testing is performed and interpreted in the office. Testing includes nuclear stress testing and treadmill stress testing for diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease, echocardiography for diagnosis and treatment of congestive heart failure and valvular heart disease, Holter monitoring and 30-day ambulatory telemetry monitoring for diagnosis and treatment of arrhythmias. In addition, all aspects of vascular ultrasound are performed including carotid, abdominal, renal, and lower extremity arterial and venous duplex scanning for assessment and treatment of peripheral vascular disease. Dr. Barron came to Sarasota in 2000 joining the largest cardiovascular group in town at the time but has been a solo practitioner since 2016. He takes great pride in giving his patients the most individualized care possible. He does not utilize mid-level practitioners so every patient in the practice will be seen by him. In addition, he rounds on every one of his hospitalized patients 7 days a week in the hospital assuring that each of his patients is evaluated and treated by their own cardiologist who knows them best. Dr. Barron strives to identify and help implement lifestyle changes to further improve the quality of life of his patients.


General Cardiology Interventional Cardiology Vascular Disease

CARDIOVASCULAR SPECIALISTS OF SARASOTA 5741 Bee Ridge Road, Ste 470 Sarasota, FL 34233 941.377.8266 | Fax 941.378.9545 90 | srq magazine_ JAN21 —top doctors medical guide

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 90

12/14/20 3:52 PM



James M. Cottom DPM, FACFAS

HONOREE Foot and Ankle Surgeon

Dr. Cottom received his bachelor’s degree with honors from Michigan State University. In 2002 he graduated Magna Cum Laude from Scholl College / Finch University, in Chicago, Illinois. Subsequently, he completed a three-year surgical residency in reconstructive and trauma surgery of the foot and ankle at the Detroit Medical Center/Wayne State University, in Detroit, Michigan. In addition, he completed an AO International Trauma Fellowship in Seattle, WA, an Ilizarov Fellowship in Kurgan, Russia as well as a 12-month orthopedic foot and ankle Fellowship in Columbus, Ohio. Dr. Cottom has been in practice in the Sarasota area since 2007.

ABOUT THE PRACTICE At Florida Orthopedic Foot & Ankle Center (FLOFAC), our team of board-certified specialists care for men, women and children. We strive to provide the best foot, ankle and leg care on the Gulf Coast. From routine foot care, to state-ofthe-art total ankle replacement, our patients receive individualized, compassionate care in an office equipped with the most innovative technologies in lower extremity care. Dr. James Cottom and his team provide treatment for a full range of foot and ankle conditions and ailments. The fellowship-trained team cares for sprains, arthritis, fractures, sports injuries, and traumatic injuries of the foot, ankle and leg. Our doctors specialize in trauma and reconstructive surgery, offering a a variety of advanced arthroscopic procedures, joint replacements, ligament and tendon repairs, and deformity correction surgeries. In addition, the FLOFAC team provides cutting-edge regenerative treatments like shockwave therapy, platelet rich plasma, BMAC and amniotic flowable injections. We offer physical therapy in the office as well. WHAT SETS YOUR PRACTICE APART?

Individualized, state of the art compassionate treatment. It is simple, we have focused our patient care on the most important aspect, the patient! Our new office is state of the art with an environment that is very relaxing and comfortable. This has also allowed us to limit how many patients we see each day so that each patient receives the appropriate time that is needed with the physician. With an inviting, family-friendly environment and a practice that treats its patients’ time with as much respect as their own, it's time to schedule with the team at FLOFAC!


Non-operative and surgical treatment of foot, ankle and leg issues Arthritis including Total Ankle Replacement Arthroscopic Surgery Minimally Invasive Surgery Complex deformity correction

FLORIDA ORTHOPEDIC FOOT & ANKLE CENTER (FLOFAC) 1630 S. Tuttle Ave., Sarasota, FL 34239 941.924.8777 |

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 91

12/14/20 3:52 PM



John A. Galat MD

HONOREE Cardiovascular Surgery

Originally from Mansfield, Ohio, John A. Galat, M.D., came to Florida in 1993 where he joined the Ocala Heart Institute after finishing his training at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. While in Ocala, he was instrumental in establishing many cardiac surgical programs in Florida and throughout the world, including China, Mongolia, Albania and Kenya. In 2002 he launched the cardiovascular surgery program at Venice Regional Bayfront Health. In 2018 he returned to Venice as a full-time cardiothoracic surgeon to build on the hospital’s multidisciplinary cardiac surgical program. He is employed by Gulf Coast HMA Physician Management, LLC, d/b/a Gulf Coast Medical Group.


A key difference in our practice is that many of our team members are solely dedicated to heart surgery patients. Our anesthesiologist only works with our surgical team and then provides critical care management for our patients after surgery. Our patients and their families also benefit from having nurses who are dedicated to the heart team before, during and after surgery. This continuity of care is rare among heart programs, and I believe it is a key reason for our patients’ positive outcomes.


Being recognized by my peers is an honor I share with the entire heart team at Venice Regional Bayfront Health. Everyone is an expert in their role, from educating patients before and after surgery, to providing advanced surgical procedures by highly experienced surgeons, and delivering outstanding nursing care from nurses who are dedicated solely to heart surgery patients. Our anesthesiologist likewise is dedicated to our team and provides continuity of care from surgery through recovery. Many of the nurses, anesthesia and surgical technicians have worked with us since the inception of the program.


Coronary artery bypass including “off-pump” and multiple arterial grafts Valve repairs and replacement including minimally invasive approaches and TAVR Aortic aneurysm surveillance and repair including endovascular Carotid artery surgery

GULF COAST MEDICAL GROUP CARDIOTHORACIC SURGERY ASSOCIATES 600 Nokomis Ave. Suite 207, Venice, FL 34285 941.486.6770 | 92 | srq magazine_ JAN21 —top doctors medical guide

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 92

12/14/20 3:53 PM



Sampath Manickam

HONOREE Rheumatology Rising Stars 5 Years in Practice

A native of India who moved to Florida at a young age, Sampath Manickam, MD, joined Gulf Coast Medical Group Rheumatology in 2017 after completing extensive medical training for internal medicine and rheumatology. He attended the Leonard Miller School of Medicine at the University of Miami; conducted his internal medicine residency at JFK Medical Center in Atlantis, Florida; and completed a rheumatology fellowship at Augusta University in Augusta, Georgia.



Medical Group Rheumatology provides care for the entire spectrum of rheumatic disease, including rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteoporosis, lupus, gout, vasculitis, and other conditions. The practice features exam rooms, a full infusion suite, on-site lab, X-ray center and ultrasound capabilities, soft tissue injection, joint aspirations and injections to help manage your condition. Our clinic administers several specialty medicines in our infusion center. Our infusion clinic is able to provide biologic infusions, rheumatoid arthritis treatments, and osteoporosis medicines. Our team works closely with other Gulf Coast Medical Group specialties to provide comprehensive rheumatic disease management and treatment


Gulf Coast Medical Group Rheumatology combines new medical technologies, medicines and treatments with a personal, patient-focused approach. Extensive counseling with patients about theirconditions provides a basis for treating and managing complex rheumatic conditions. Our team looks at the whole patient, tailoring treatment to the individual, which may include considering holistic approaches. Our in-house diagnostic capabilities and infusion suite provide for continuity of care and convenience for patients to accelerate treatment and management of conditions.


Rheumatoid arthritis Psoriatic arthritis Osteoporosis Osteoarthritis Lupus

GULF COAST MEDICAL GROUP RHEUMATOLOGY 8383 S Tamiami Trail, Sarasota, FL 34238 844.366.9362 |

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 93

12/14/20 3:53 PM



Ian M. Kahane MD

HONOREE Internal Mediciine Rising Stars 5 Years in Practice

Dr. Kahane has always aspired to become a physician since the age of three. Very few children complete grade school, middle school, high school, and beyond with a singular career vision in mind. However, Dr. Kahane never wavered from his dream to become a physician. He completed his medical school at Ross University School of Medicine in 2015 and became an established member of the Bradenton community by becoming a part of the first ever residency class at Blake Medical Center. While there he served one year as Chief Internal Medicine resident. From there Dr. Kahane knew he wanted to remain in the Bradenton area and help impact this community. He founded Complete Care in July 2019 and since then has been leading the charge to improve the lives of his patients.


At Complete Care our doctors root their care in devotion. Leading with old-fashioned compassion and combining it with cutting edge medicine is what separates Dr. Kahane and Complete Care from other primary care practices. From the moment you walk into the office, all the way through meeting Dr. Kahane, until you leave, you will notice an amazing difference in the level of medical care and the amount of understanding Dr. Kahane has for his patients.


Dr Kahane believes that the patient should be the manager of their health and that the physician is an advisor; giving power to the patients so they can make better healthcare decisions for themselves. Empowering patients with knowledge and combining it with the most cutting edge medicine leads to superior care and faster diagnosis. If you want top-notch healthcare, you want a physician like Ian M. Kahane, MD Specialties: Diabetes, Autoimmune Diseases, Migraines, Joint Pain, Allergy.

SPECIALTIES (not limited to) • • • • • • •

Autoimmune Diseases High Blood Pressure Influenza and Allergies Diabetes and Gout Insomnia and Anxiety Prolotherapy and PreP Weight Loss

COMPLETE CARE 3303 Manatee Ave W, Bradenton, FL 34205 941.748.8069 | 94 | srq magazine_ JAN21 —top doctors medical guide

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 94

12/14/20 3:53 PM



Pamela Chapman DO

HONOREE Rising Stars 5 Years in Practice

A native of South Louisiana, Dr. Chapman studied at Louisiana State University, earning a bachelor of science in biochemistry. She relocated to Florida for medical school, receiving her doctorate in Osteopathic Medicine from LECOM. She went on to serve as Chief Patient Advocate and Chief Resident in Family Medicine at Saint Petersburg General Hospital. Board Certified in Family Medicine and OMT, Dr. Chapman currently resides and practices medicine in Bradenton, Florida. She is a member of IFM, AOA, ACOFP, and AAFP. Dr. Chapman and her husband love spending time on Anna Maria Island, camping, and traveling together.

ABOUT THE PRACTICE At The Beauty and Wellness Institute, Dr. Chapman offers Functional Medicine and Aesthetics services to help women feel beautiful inside and out. Board Certified in Family Medicine and trained in Functional Medicine through the Institute of Functional Medicine, Dr. Chapman has combined her passion for health, aesthetics and community into a practice bringing women together to enjoy dynamic, youthful lives. She focuses on underlying root causes of chronic illness and encourages a holistic approach to healing through extended one on one visits as well as group visits that can promote support and accountability. Trained in Aesthetics, she also offers non-surgical cosmetic procedures including Botox, Fillers, Kybella, HIFU for skin tightening and targeted fat reduction, Vaginal Rejuvenation, Laser Hair Removal, and more. WHAT SETS YOUR PRACTICE APART?

I understand women. We have more on our plates than ever before. We’re taking care of the home, children, our parents, running businesses, supporting our friends, and so much more. It can become overwhelming. So at The Beauty and Wellness Institute, I strive to hold a space for women to slow down. Whether a woman comes in with health concerns or she is seeking help with physical features, she should leave feeling confident and cared for. I also try to simplify Functional Medicine for my patients. I hear too often that they have been recommended a multitude of expensive supplements but don’t know what any of them do. Women’s lives are complicated enough, if we can keep things simple, we can create lasting change.


Functional Medicine Women's Health Aesthetics

THE BEAUTY & WELLNESS INSTITUTE 5861 Cortez Rd W, Bradenton, FL 34210 | 941.202.2106 info@thebeautyandwellnessinstitute |

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 95

12/14/20 3:54 PM



Andrew Marlowe MD

HONOREE Otalaryngology Ear Nose Throat

Dr. Marlowe prides himself on a long and successful ENT career in Sarasota. He has cared for patients with complex and life altering issues with knowledge and compassion, winning awards for being recognized as “most compassionate doctor.” Dr. Marlowe’s general ENT practice routinely treats hearing loss, vertigo, headaches, and sinus disease of all types. His engineering degree and a fellowship in otology make him uniquely qualified to treat hearing loss with every available option from surgery, to hearing aids, EarLens and implants. He extends the same passion to aesthetics, with the understanding that looking better leads to feeling better. Our goal is to make you look and feel rejuvenated with a natural appearance that will have your friends guessing how you did it.

ABOUT THE PRACTICE The same desire to

help our patients with their ear, nose and throat issues has led us to expand into the realm of aesthetics. We are now offering the broadest range of non-invasive and minimally invasive facial rejuvenation procedures to help you look and FEEL better with minimal, or no downtime. Morpheus8 – a micro-needle radio frequency device that causes dramatic skin tightening, and resurfacing. FACEtite and ACCUtite – a radio frequency device that offers minimally invasive facial re-contouring (remove jowls and under chin fat and wrinkles) that are sure signs of aging. PicoSure – the absolute best laser treatment for skin discoloration and tattoo removal. It works on things nothing else can touch. Works differently from all other lasers. Other Treatments – toxins, fillers, and laser fat reduction round out our offerings.


Dr. Marlowe successfully continues to confront his patients chronic or unusual medical problems that have not responded to prior treatment. With the knowledge that if you look better, you will FEEL better, we’ve expanded our range of services to include facial aesthetics. Dr. Marlowe and his staff have selected the procedures based on the strict criteria of “What would I have done for me?” We are currently proud to offer a large variety of technologies and knowledge to address the largest range of concerns in the best way possible. Our procedures are done in office and have little to no downtime.


Otololaryngology Audiology Aesthetics

MARLOWE & MARRS ENT CENTER FOR HEARING & AESTHETICS 5432 Bee Ridge Rd., Suite 150, Sarasota FL 34233 941.379.3277 |

96 | srq magazine_ JAN21 —top doctors medical guide

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 96

12/14/20 3:54 PM



Ashok Sastry & Nishant Bhensdadia

HONOREE Nephrology

Dr. Ashok Sastry and Dr. Nishant Bhensdadia work as team members for Nephrology Associates of Sarasota and practice consultative nephrology in all aspects of the discipline. Nephrology Associates serves to assist patients with a wide range of conditions, including electrolyte abnormalities, hypertension, chronic kidney disease and end stage renal disease. The practice, which is comprised of physicians and staff from the local community, has worked tirelessly for our patients to treat kidney disease. The physicians are strong advocates for our patients and support autonomy in the medical decision-making process. Both Dr. Sastry and Bhensdadia are focused on patient outcomes and compassionate care. Nephrology Associates of Sarasota has been in practice since 2004 and continues to be committed to the Sarasota community; we serve our patients with two locations, in Sarasota and Lakewood Ranch.



pleted his internship and residency in Internal Medicine and Nephrology fellowship at the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. He has served as Medical Director of several area dialysis facilities. In addition to serving as Vice President of the Florida Society of Nephrology, Dr. Sastry is committed to medical education. He holds the position of Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine and Subspecialty Coordinator in Nephrology for the Florida State University Internal Medicine Residency Program at Sarasota Memorial Hospital, and enjoys teaching and mentoring resident physicians and medical students.





Dr. Bhensdadia completed his Nephrology and Hypertension fellowship at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston, South Carolina. He has served as Medical Director of several area dialysis facilities in the area. Dr. Bhensdadia was named Nephrology Chief for Sarasota Memorial Health Care System for 2020-2021. Dr. Bhensdadia contributes to the community by teaching and mentoring medical students and resident physicians in his role as Assistant Professor of Clinical Medicine and Teaching Faculty in Nephrology for Florida State University Internal Medicine Residency Program at Sarasota Memorial Hospital. Dr. Sastry and Dr. Bhensdadia are honored to be selected as two of this year’s Sarasota Top Doctors by their peers in a community comprised of highly trained, compassionate and accomplished physicians.

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 97

Dr. Ashok Sastry

Dr. Nishant Bhensdadia


Electrolyte Abnormalities Hypertension Chronic Kidney Disease End Stage Renal Disease

NEPHROLOGY ASSOCIATES OF SARASOTA 1921 Waldemere Street, Suite 413 Sarasota, FL 34239 941.917.6585 |

12/14/20 3:54 PM



HONOREE Barbara Fleener, M.D. CarolaFleener, M.D.

Pediatrics General Legacy 30 Years; Pediatrics General

Barbara Fleener MD and Carola Fleener MD ABOUT THE PRACTICE The Sarasota Children’s

Clinic is a Pediatric Medical Practice which has helped three generations of children grow up healthier since it opened 40 years ago. Our mission is to create a supportive and informal environment that reduces anxiety levels in parents and children and empowers them to participate in achieving their health goals. We are fortunate to have a highly skilled and dedicated team of professionals helping us to accomplish this goal. We have an open-door policy for all patients – this includes 24 hour access to a physician and the flexibility to help a child who might need to be seen right away. Our practice philosophy is one with a holistic focus and our mission is to provide our families with the best medical care possible within a safe, caring and professional environment.


ta Children’s Clinic has obtained a national award of excellence certifying that we have achieved one of the highest standards of medical practice: we are certified as a Patient-Centered Medical Home by the AAAHC. That means this medical practice provides wrap-around medical and social care to our patients. Using a Team approach which includes and empowers patient participation, we lead patients through the health care delivery system and show them how to obtain needed resources and services in our community. All three of our providers enjoy giving back to the community and often volunteer time in local churches providing free physicals and school supplies for less privileged children. Our passion for this community motivates us to remove barriers to medical care so it has been the greatest honor to have been chosen by our peers and the community of Sarasota for recognition with the Top Doctors Award!

Dr. Barbara Fleener, left, earned her Bachelor’s Degree at Florida State University and her M.D. degree at Ponce School of Medicine in Puerto Rico. She completed her training at the lauded Washington University St. Louis Children’s Hospital after which she joined her mother Dr. Carola Fleener and D.N.P. Lisa Ann Bernard in practice here in Sarasota. She brought the most up-to-date pediatric knowledge to share with her mother and the pediatric nurse practitioner’s years of experience. She is Board Certified by the American Board of Pediatrics. Dr. Carola Fleener, right, obtained her M.D. degree at the University of Carabobo in Venezuela following which she was in training at All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg Fl. and then joined her family here in Sarasota to practice at the Sarasota Children’s Clinic in 1988. She is boarded in Family Medicine by ABPS. Lisa Ann Bernard, D.N.P. came up through the ranks, achieving certification as LPN, RN, ARNP and now Doctorate of Nursing Science at the University of South Florida. She is a Certified Lactation Counselor and she has been a member of this team for over 20 years. She has broad expertise and empathy and always provides our patients with that bit of extra attention and caring.


Well Care & Immunizations Behavior & Developmental Issues Certified Breastfeeding Support Allergy Evaluations/Treatment

SARASOTA CHILDREN'S CLINIC The Medical Center of Sarasota | 3920 Bee Ridge Road, Building A, Suite.C, Sarasota, Fl. 34233 | 941.923.3667 |

98 | srq magazine_ JAN21 —top doctors medical guide

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 98

12/14/20 3:55 PM

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 99

12/14/20 3:55 PM



Alberico J. Sessa MD


Sarasota Surgical Arts, the name says it all! This is where surgical excellence, safety, and art collide. Alberico Sessa, MD is an artist. An expert in Cosmetic Surgery. An expert is defined as 10,000 hours performing a task. After 14 years and 7000+ cosmetic procedures completed at his surgical facility – I would say Dr. Sessa is an expert. It's all in the training.

HONOREE Cosmetic Surgery

Dr. Sessa started his career in Dental school, where he learned that a tenth of a millimeter can make all the difference. He then went to medical school and onto Oral and Maxillofacial surgery at Charity Hospital in New Orleans for six years. This is were he learned to take apart the bony structures of the head and face and put them back together better than before. The training culminated in a year long post-graduate fellowship in Cosmetic Surgery of the face and body. This is where it all came together. It was at this fellowship, that every day, he along side his mentor performed cosmetic surgery in a private facility. Under this tutelage, he was able to hone his skills performing complex breast, tummy, face, and nasal surgery. This expertise allowed him to come to Sarasota in 2007 and begin practicing at the highest level immediately. Thousands of surgeries completed, five patient choice awards, hundreds of 5-star reviews across multiple platforms, and Thousands of thrilled patients. He is a diplomate of Both the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery as well as the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery. Fellowship director, and American Board of Cosmetic Surgery Board examiner for the past four years.

Alberico Sessa, MD, is a perfectionist. The surgery is never completed until it is perfect. The first questions asked at a consultation are to find out exactly what is the patient’s idea of beauty and what they are concerned about. Then the journey begins. Sarasota Surgical Arts provides an array of Cosmetic surgery to help the Breast, Body, or the Face. Some of the procedures performed: facelift, breast Augmentation, Tummy tuck, Breast lift, Breast reduction, liposuction, rhinoplasty, eyelid surgery, Laser skin resurfacing. Non surgical options are also found at Sarasota Surgical Arts: Venus freeze —a skin-tightening procedure that works. Vanquish is an all-in-one treatment to dissolve fat and tighten skin, both painless and inexpensive. A medi-spa, along with a knowledgeable aesthetician, is also onsite. Skin peels, facials, derma planing, “PRP” facials (Vampire), micro-needling, as well as micro-blading for eyebrows are performed. We also have our very own skin care line-DR AL’s RX. All Cosmetic Surgery is performed at his private surgical facility. This facility is certified by the Florida Board of Medicine yearly. The anesthesia is provided by a board certified practitioner with 32 years of experience.


Cosmetic Surgery

SARASOTA SURGICAL ARTS 4143 Clark Road, Sarasota, FL 34233 941.313.7746 |

100 | srq magazine_ JAN21 —top doctors medical guide

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 100

12/14/20 3:56 PM

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 101

12/14/20 3:56 PM



Ki Hassler




1215 Jacaranda Blvd. Venice, FL 34292 941.451.8282 |


WHAT SETS YOU APART? While most practices have moved towards a corporate model of medicine, Dr. Hassler has focused on providing personalized attention and exceptional medical treatment for her patients for 15 years. She and her staff know patients by name and she is proud of the relationships she’s developed, encouraging patients to call before they develop a serious problem. Patients are her top priority and her staff prides themselves on quick response time and appointment scheduling to meet patient needs. She enjoys sharing her interests with patients, and encourages support of local arts, of which she is a long time supporter. With her hands-on approach to patient care, Dr. Hassler and her staff provide high quality medical treatment with a personal touch that sets her apart from the crowd.

Lorraine Cho Chung Hing


Cardiovascular Prevention Heart Failure Cardiac Arrhythmias Coronary Disease

Ki Hassler, D.O., F.A.C.C. is a board-certified cardiologist who practices in Venice, Florida. She is a graduate of Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed her training in Internal Medicine and Cardiology at Sun Coast Hospital. She sees a wide range of cardiovascular patients and has a special interest in preventative medicine and congestive heart failure management. She enjoys spending time with her human and furry family, as well as traveling, exercising and photography.




1500 E Venice Ave #103, Venice, FL 34292 941.485.4700


ABOUT THE PRACTICE At Florida Kidney Physicians our mission is to provide compassionate, exceptional quality care to patients with hypertension, electrolyte abnormalities, and acute as well as chronic kidney diseases. We continue our expertise in providing care to patients who require in-center hemodialysis at dialysis facilities and home therapies, including peritoneal dialysis and home hemodialysis. Patient care is our focus. We aim to optimize quality of life in patients with acute and chronic kidney issues. We refer patients for kidney transplantation when feasible. It is definitely an honor to be nominated by our community as a SRQ TOP DOCTOR for providing outstanding nephrology care.


Internal Medicine Nephrology

Dr. Lorraine Cho Chung Hing graduated from the University of South Florida, College of Medicine in 1999. She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Nephrology. In 2010, Dr. Cho founded the Florida Kidney Institute PA., in Venice. More recently her practice has merged with Florida Kidney Physicians LLC, enabling her to be part of an outstanding group with the continued mission of improving the lives of people with kidney disease.Affiliations include Venice Regional Bayfront Health, Englewood Community Hospital, Sarasota Memorial Healthcare System and Encompass Health Rehabilitation Hospital of Sarasota. Dr. Cho also serves as the medical director at two dialysis centers in the Venice community.

102 | srq magazine_ JAN21 —top doctors medical guide

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 102

12/14/20 4:12 PM

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 103

12/14/20 4:12 PM



Jordana Hollen


5664 Bee Ridge Rd. Suite 203 Sarasota, FL 34233 | 877.422.9355


ABOUT THE PRACTICE At Bluestone Psychiatry, a physician-founded and led practice, we feel grateful to provide our patients and their families with a dignified, compassionate behavioral health experience. We partner with our patients to build solid connections and trust. Building upon this trust, we incorporate evidence-based treatments including psychotherapy and medication management, as appropriate. Bluestone Psychiatry encourages our patients to set goals, and more importantly, achieve these goals. We appreciate that everyone is unique, and we strive to tailor our treatment plans to each individual. It is an absolute privilege to build these relationships, and we will always strive to create an environment that facilitates the best treatment outcomes.

Anna Widmyer




Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery


WHAT SETS YOUR PRACTICE APART? Plastic surgery has been a lifelong passion for Dr. Widmyer, which helps set her apart in the highly competitive cosmetic and reconstructive surgery field. Dr. Widmyer has a keen eye for asymmetry and is truly dedicated to her patients. Every procedure she performs is preceded by an interactive consultation to answer your questions as well as comprehensive follow up appointments. She believes that everyone is naturally beautiful and unique in their own way. She also understands that most people have insecurities that can hold them back in their life. Plastic and reconstructive surgery is a way to restore form and function, whether you are recovering from cancer, childbirth, massive weight loss, or simply wanting to look as young as you feel. Her purpose is to enhance your natural beauty and to give you the confidence that you need and deserve.


Women’s Health Mood and Anxiety Disorders Psychopharmacology Psychotherapy

Dr. Jordana Hollen is a Board Certified Psychiatrist with extensive training in psychopharmacology, mood and anxiety disorders, women’s health, ADHD, psychotherapy and TMS. Dr. Hollen graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Honors Program, and she completed her Psychiatry residency training at the University of Florida. She has experience as a Medical Director and Psychiatry instructor for trainees, as well as nine years of outpatient psychiatric practice.

ANNA WIDMYER, MD 11509 Palmbrush Trail, Suite 202 Lakewood Ranch, FL 34202 | 941.500.3350 1715 Stickney Point Road, Sarasota, FL 34231 | 941.927.2447


Breast cancer reconstruction Breast augmentation/mastopexy Abdominoplasty Liposuction Surgical and nonsurgical facial rejuvenation

Dr. Widmyer is originally a native of Delaware and completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Notre Dame followed by medical school at Jefferson Medical College in Philadelphia. She then continued her education with general surgery residency in Allentown, Pennsylvania at Lehigh Valley Health Network and an additional 3 years of plastic surgery training at Summa Health Network in Akron, Ohio. She was recruited into the Lakewood Ranch Community in 2017 for her expertise in breast reconstruction and also offers a variety of cosmetic surgeries including facial, breast and body rejuvenation to help you look and feel your best.

104 | srq magazine_ JAN21 —top doctors medical guide

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 104

12/14/20 4:12 PM

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 105

12/14/20 4:12 PM



Jennifer Swanson



Obstetrics and Gynecology

Main: 8340 Lakewood Ranch Blvd. Ste #140 Bradenton, FL 34202 | 941.907.9298 1958 Prospect St., Sarasota, FL 34239


ABOUT THE PRACTICE Lakewood Ranch Obstetrics and Gynecology is unique in that it is composed of all women practitioners. In fact, our motto is “Caring for Women, by Women” and together our team provides comprehensive care to women of all ages in a supportive, compassionate, family-friendly environment. Our pregnant patients deliver at Sarasota Memorial Hospital which offers world class medical care. Teaming together with Maternal Fetal Medicine doctors and Neonatal Intensive Care specialists, we offer the best possible care to our patients and newborns. Gynecological services include office surgery and ultrasounds. Nitrous oxide administration is now available, and most procedures are pain free. If gynecological surgery is needed, our three board certified physicians emphasize minimally invasive techniques and robotics. We are committed to providing exceptional OB/GYN care to all our patients.

Donald Negroski


Pregnancy Menopause Infertility Abnormal Pap smears Dysfunctional uterine bleeding and pelvic pain

Jennifer Swanson, M.D graduated from Boston College where she majored in Biology. She attended Medical College of Pennsylvania/Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where she obtained her Doctor of Medicine degree. She completed her Obstetrics and Gynecology residency program in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at the Western Pennsylvania Hospital which is affiliated with Temple University School of Medicine. Dr. Swanson has practiced Obstetrics and Gynecology for over fourteen years. She enjoys teaching medical students as an associate professor at Florida State University College of Medicine.




5741 Bee Ridge Road, Suite 530 Sarasota, FL 34233 | 941.487.2160


ABOUT THE PRACTICE Dr. Negroski established his Sarasota private practice in 1985 and has a distinguished history of providing comprehensive care to adults suffering from neurologic disorders. Along with his partner Valeriy Sabodash, M.D. and Physician Assistant, Daniel Sellers, PA-C, Negroski Neurology specializes in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis, dementia, epilepsy, migraines, Parkinson’s disease as well as diagnostic and therapeutic procedures including EMG, EEG and Botox for migraines and dystonia. By encouraging shared decision making, our patients and providers work together to make decisions, select tests, treatments and care plans based on clinical evidence that balances risks and expected outcomes with patient preferences and values. Negroski Neurology also conducts clinical trials to assist with development of novel therapies for Multiple Sclerosis and other neurological disorders.


General Neurology Multiple Sclerosis Migraines

Dr. Donald Negroski completed both his residency, serving as chief resident, and fellowship in neurology at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Cleveland, Ohio. In addition to general neurology, he specializes in the treatment of Multiple Sclerosis. Recognitions include Partner in MS Care by National MS Society, a member of Consortium of Multiple Sclerosis, medical advisor for MS Views & News and clinical assistant professor at Florida State University College of Medicine, Sarasota Campus.

106 | srq magazine_ JAN21 —top doctors medical guide

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 106

12/14/20 4:13 PM



J Morgan O'Donoghue




1952 Field Road, Sarasota, FL 34231 941.926.7546 | Texts: 941.225.2043


ABOUT J MORGAN O'DONOGHUE With many accolades including “Best Dermatologist in Sarasota,” “America’s Top Dermatologist,” “Most Compassionate Doctor Award,” “Patients’ Choice Award,” and regular recognition by the Consumers’ Research Council of America as one of “America’s Top Physicians,” his patients are in good hands. His private practice in Sarasota specializes in treatment of skin cancer with Mohs Surgery and the treatment of all disorders of the skin, hair and nails. He also provides a variety of cosmetic services, including laser skin resurfacing, Botox®, sclerotherapy, chemical peels, and injectable fillers. Dr. O’Donoghue is a leader in his field with numerous scientific articles published in national peer-reviewed journals and he regularly delivers lectures on the latest treatments for medical and cosmetic dermatological conditions.

Huan (John) Wang



Neurological Surgery

4012 Sawyer Rd., Ste 102 Sarasota, FL 34233 941.893.2688 |


science Institute in Sarasota, Florida, is relentless in providing care involving the brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves. The board-certified neurosurgeons, neurocritical care specialists, and internists use cutting-edge advancements in medicine and neurological care to deliver the best results and top-rated outcomes for neurosurgical and spinal procedures through inpatient and outpatient services. Combining decades of experience, expert technical skill, and some of the most advanced technologies in neuroscience, Re3 Innovative Neuroscience Institute is one of Florida’s premier neuroscience and neurosurgery centers. The experts perform everything from Botox® for migraine prevention to herniated disc repair to stem cell therapy for back and neck pain. The team members are committed to improving the lives of their patients.

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 107

Skin Cancer Mohs Surgeon Diseases of the skin, hair, and nails Cosmetic treatments including injectibles, lasers, and microneedling

Dr. J Morgan O’Donoghue is a graduate from the prestigious Georgetown University School of Medicine. He completed his internship at Tulane University in Internal Medicine and went back to Medstar Georgetown/ WHC to complete his dermatology residency. He is certified by the American Board of Dermatology, is a fellow of the American Academy of Dermatology, and is past President and fellow of the Florida Society of Dermatologic Surgeons.


ABOUT THE PRACTICE The team at Re3 Innovative Neuro-



Brain and Spine Surgery Neurocritical Care Regenerative Medicine

Huan (John) Wang, M.D., Associate Professor of Neurosurgery, is a board certified neurosurgeon, specializing in cerebrovascular diseases, skull-base tumors, and neuroendovascular pathologies. He is also certified in Neurocritical-Care and Regenerative Medicine. He performs complex brain and spine surgeries including fusion operations for degenerative spine diseases. Dr. Wang graduated summa cum laude from the University of Southern Maine. He received his M.D. from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine, where he was awarded high distinction. He served his neurosurgery residency at the University of Illinois College of Medicine, and received advanced fellowship training at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Boston Children’s Hospital, Harvard Medical School.

12/14/20 4:13 PM



Rebecca S. Cohen




1217 S. East Avenue, Ste 209 Sarasota, FL 34239 | 941.404.0545



We approach patient care with the idea of recognizing the complex biological, psychological and situational impact of each person’s difficulties. Psychiatric symptoms are complicated because they can impact how you feel about yourself. Our goal with patients is to help you understand your psychiatric symptoms and conflicts, and to work collaboratively with you and your other medical providers to improve your overall health and well-being. We will establish a safe and nurturing environment so we can work together, establish a clear treatment plan and take proper care of your needs. In addition, we strive to assist you with gaining more personal insights, provide support for your discomfort and help you develop new strategies for coping with your challenges.

Fabian A. Ramos

SPECIALTIES • • • • • •

Dr Cohen is renowned as an educator and psychopharmacologist with more than 20 years of distinction in her specialty. She earned her degrees from Tufts University, Boston University Graduate School and her Doctor of Medicine from Boston University School of Medicine. Dr Cohen completed residency training at Georgetown University Medical Center, designated the Chief Psychiatry Resident from 2000 to 2001. After gaining extensive clinical experience, Dr. Cohen established a solo private practice providing concierge level of psychiatric care. Dr Cohen has been recognized with awards for excellence in teaching and clinical practice throughout her career.



Pain Management

Bradenton | 100 3rd Ave W, Ste 210 Sarasota | 2540 S. Tamiami Trl. Venice | 1370 E. Venice Ave. Ste 104 Englewood | 2061 Englewood Rd. Suite 2A

FIPP, DABA, DABIPP, DABPM ABOUT THE PRACTICE The Ramos Center for Interventional & Functional Pain Medicine is a comprehensive pain management facility on the west coast of Florida. Since 2000 we have been harnessing the latest technologies and interventions to alleviate chronic pain for patients in our community. Our treatments include minimally invasive outpatient implants, ablation of nerves for osteoarthritis and disc degeneration, mitigation of pain with high-tech implants electrodes, immediate solutions for vertebral fractures, imaging guided selective injections, reconditioning through physical therapy, balance impairment therapy, mental health counseling, weaning of opioids, and clinical hypnotherapy. In our practice, no two treatment plans are alike. We spend time understanding how each patient is affected by their pain. Our dedicated team of advanced practitioners use this information to customize each patients’ multi-modality treatment plan. Over the course of the treatment, we continuously monitor and adjusts each plan based on outcomes and relief.

Major Depression Bipolar Disorder Panic Disorder Stress and Adjustment Disorders ADHD PTSD


Minimally Invasive Chronic Pain Treatments & Procedures Failed Surgery Osteoarthritis & Disc Degeneration Vertebral Compression Fractures

Dr. Fabian A. Ramos, FIPP, DABA, DABIPP, DABPM is triple board certified by the American Board of Interventional Pain Physicians, American Board of Pain Medicine, and the American Board of Anesthesiology, where he ranked in the 99th Percentile Nationwide. As the recipient of the 2018 Champion of Prevention in Healthcare Award by Drug Free Manatee and the 2018 Community Health Advocacy Award from the Sarasota Medical Alliance Foundation & Society, Dr. Ramos is recognized for his impact in preventing and reducing substance abuse within our community. As of 2019, Castle Connolly Ltd. has formally included Dr. Ramos in their prestigious Top Doctor Database.

108 | srq magazine_ JAN21 —top doctors medical guide

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 108

12/14/20 4:13 PM


David Chan MD

WHAT SERVICES DO YOU OFFER? I am an orthopaedic hand surgeon, taking care of wrist, hand, and finger problems ranging from pain, numbness, deformities, and/ or accidental traumas. I treat common conditions such as carpal tunnel syndrome, locking trigger fingers, cysts, and arthritis. I treat most conditions with medications, injections, braces, and as a last resort, surgery. If surgery is required, many times it can be done in the office without the need to go to a hospital or surgery center. Sometimes people allow themselves to suffer from longstanding problems with their hands and don't know that they can be easily fixed, sometimes even without a stitch!

Derek Cuff MD

ABOUT THE PRACTICE Dr. Cuff specializes in performing minimally invasive arthroscopic procedures as well as complex shoulder and elbow reconstruction. He utilizes state of the art surgical techniques to treat the full spectrum of shoulder and elbow problems. Dr. Cuff has been inducted into the prestigious American Shoulder & Elbow Surgeons (ASES) society. He is one of a small group of surgeons in the state of Florida to be given this honor, and he is the only surgeon in Sarasota, Manatee, Charlotte, Lee or Collier counties to achieve Active Member status in this organization. Dr. Cuff has a strong interest in clinical and basic science research of the shoulder and elbow. He has published multiple articles in peer reviewed international journals on these topics.


Hand Surgery SPECIALTIES • • •

Orthopaedic surgery Endoscopic carpal tunnel release Wrist arthroscopy

Dr. Chan is a fellowship trained, Board Certified Orthopaedic Hand Surgeon. He is a native Floridian, Chinese-American whose immigrant parents have given him the opportunity to pursue his interests in helping those in his community live a better quality of life. His interests include minimally invasive techniques such as endoscopic carpal tunnel release and wrist arthroscopy, as well as treating other common maladies such as hand and wrist arthritis, trigger fingers, Dupuytren’s contractures, tendon ruptures, and cysts. His practice is located at 1790 East Venice Ave Ste 102 Venice, 34292


Orthopedic Surgery


Arthroscopic procedures Shoulder and elbow reconstruction

Dr. Cuff graduated Cum Laude from the University of Maryland School of Medicine. He completed his orthopaedic residency in Baltimore, MD at the University of Maryland Medical System, and a portion of his training was also at the Johns Hopkins Hospital. He went on to complete subspecialty fellowship training in shoulder and elbow surgery in Tampa, FL at The Florida Orthopaedic Institute prior to moving to the Sarasota area.

SUNCOAST ORTHOPAEDIC SURGERY AND SPORTS MEDICINE 1790 East Venice Ave Ste 102 Venice, 34292 | 941.485.1505

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 109

12/14/20 4:13 PM




SUMMARY DataJoe Research is a software and research company specializing in data collection and verification, and conducts various nominations across the United States on behalf of publishers. To create the "top doctors" list, DataJoe Research facilitated an online peer-voting process, also referencing government sources. DataJoe then tallied the votes per category for each doctor to isolate the top nominees in each category. After collecting nominations and additional information, DataJoe checked and confirmed that each published winner had a current, active license status with the state regulatory board. If we were not able to find evidence of a doctor's current, active registration with the state regulatory board, that doctor was excluded from the list. In addition, any doctor who has been disciplined, up to the time-frame of our review process for an infraction by the state regulatory board, was excluded from the list. Finally, DataJoe presented the tallied result to the magazine for its final review and adjustments. FINAL NOTE We recognize that there are many good doctors who are not shown in this representative list. This is only a sampling of the huge array of talented professionals within the region. Inclusion in the list is based on the opinions of responding doctors in the region and the results of our research campaign. We take time and energy to ensure fair voting, although we understand that the results of this survey nomination are not an objective metric. We certainly do not discount the fact that many, many good and effective doctors may not appear on the list. DISCLAIMERS DataJoe uses best practices and exercises great care in assembling content for this list. DataJoe does not warrant that the data contained within the list are complete or accurate. DataJoe does not assume, and hereby disclaims, any liability to any person for any loss or damage caused by errors or omissions herein whether such errors or omissions result from negligence, accident, or any other cause. All rights reserved. No commercial use of the information in this list may be made without written permission from DataJoe.

QUESTIONS For research/methodology questions, contact the research team at

SRQJAN21-TopDoctors-SecondPrinting.indd 110

12/14/20 4:13 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 111

12/14/20 3:26 PM

parting shot

STORYTELLERS A TRULY COMPELLING NARRATIVE HAS TRANSFORMATIVE POWER. As stories become alive and engage, they teach us about our

communities, our histories and ourselves. Ringgold + Robinson: Storytellers, is a two-artist exhibition featuring a mini survey of mixed media artworks by legendary African American female artists Faith Ringgold and Aminah Robinson. This exhibition will be on view (in-person and online) from January 11 – February 12, 2021 in the Lois and Stulberg Gallery located on the Ringling College of Art and Design campus. This exhibition courtesy of the ACA Galleries, NYC and sponsored by the Community Foundation of Sarasota County., SRQ Media, WUSF 89.7, Home Resource, and paid for in part by Sarasota County Tourist Development Tax revenues. Artwork pictured: Faith Ringgold, Tar Beach #2, 1990, silkscreen, 63” x 65”, courtesy of ACA Galleries New York.

112 | srq magazine_ JAN21 live local



12/15/20 8:06 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 3

12/14/20 3:26 PM

Ads-DEC20.indd 4

12/14/20 3:26 PM