Answers to Many Everyday Questions
2 • Consumer Guide • 2013
Choose a Bank
any consumers spend an inordinate amount of time considering other financial transactions, but they rarely put so much effort into their choice of banks. Banking services can influence a wide range of financial matters, and there are several details to consider when choosing a commercial bank. Interest Rate and Fees The true value of a bank account can be found in its interest rates. Each bank has a slightly different interest rate for savings accounts, although most will adjust these rates based on the federal funds rate. Differences in interest rates may seem insignificant, but they can result in big changes when large deposits are concerned. Banks services also usually involve fees and penalties for certain transactions. A checking account might restrict the number of checks you are allowed to write per month before you pay a fee, or you might be required to maintain a minimum balance in your savings account. Every bank has its own policies, and these should always be taken into account by anyone who is choosing a bank.
might travel on a regular basis. It’s more difficult to conduct financial matters on the road if you’re using a local or regional bank. The important thing is your bank is accessible when you need it. There will most likely come a time when you have to stop at a bank on your way home from work or make a mad dash to deposit a check before a bank closes. Having a convenient location (or several convenient locations) will make your life much easier. Overdraft Protection As much as you try to avoid it, the occasional overdraft happens to nearly everyone. Each bank has specific policies regarding overdrafts. Some offer overdraft protection in the form of a high interest credit line that kicks in when you bounce a check, while other banks charge a fee for each overdraft. Some banks don’t cover bounced checks at all. Consider the policies of your potential banks of choice before you come to a final decision.
Bank Stability Stability is often an overlooked element of commercial banking. When you deposit money into a bank, it is important to consider the solvency of the bank’s balance sheet. Most funds held on deposit are invested by the bank under a fractional reserve banking system, and a bank with a clean balance sheet who is can best weather the turbulence caused by choosing a bank. market corrections. Most banks are insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation for up to Convenience $250,000 per depositor. This value can vary Convenience is another factor to consider depending on the type and number of acwhen choosing a bank. Try to find one that counts held by a customer. has plenty of convenient branch locations not Your money should be safe in any bank, but just close to where you live, but wherever you failures can occur. A solid bank should have
Every bank has its own policies, and these should always be taken into account by anyone
limited exposure to toxic assets that put its balance sheet at risk. Services You Need Banks offer a wide range of services. Whether you need to take out a loan or open a checking account, choose a bank that satisfies your concerns with lost cost and high return rate. Careful and vigilant shoppers can expect positive experiences with a trustworthy commercial bank.
Consumer Guide • 2013 • 3
4 • Consumer Guide • 2013
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Consumer Guide • 2013 • 5
Choose a Funeral Home
hen a death occurs, it often happens unexpectedly. Many decisions have to be made in a short period of time leaving families feeling overwhelmed. Often, these decisions must be made when a family is grieving and unprepared. That’s why it’s important to consider preplanning your funeral or cremation service. Many people have done everything they can to protect their families from various events that may happen through purchasing such things as fire or theft insurance; but the one inevitable event often goes ignored. Preplanning will help protect your family from some emotional and financial burden that often occurs after the loss of a loved one. Preplanning your funeral or cremation service will make life much easier for those who will have to handle your affairs. Preplanning gives you the opportunity to become informed about your options and the various costs in an unpressured environment; you will have time to think things through. You’re in full control and can select and specify funeral or cremation services that truly have meaning to you and your family. Preplanning benefits your survivors the most. When a funeral or cremation service is not preplanned, someone who many not be aware of your wishes will have to make all the decisions. Unfortunately, they are often clouded by grief and other emotions. Preplanning gives you the opportunity to discuss your wishes and involve those who will be most affected by your death. More importantly, knowing your wishes will be carried out will bring comfort, peace of mind and relief to surviving family members and friends. When you preplan your funeral or cremation service, you can make decisions that are right for you and your family. Consider the following questions when making your decision: • Would you like a traditional or a simple, less elaborate service? • Do you prefer cremation or burial?
The total cost can easily run over $10,000, with the casket alone making up over half of the sum. • Would you like the service in a funeral home chapel or a place of worship? • Will it be a private family service or open to all? • What type of casket or cremation container would you prefer? • If cremation is your choice, would you like to rent a casket? • Will the casket be open or closed? • Will there be visitation for family and friends or a private family gathering? • How much would you like to pay for your services? • What type of permanent memorial would you prefer? All these are very personal decisions only you can decide. What is important is the funeral or cremation service is personalized to reflect your wishes and brings comfort to your family and friends. Like any event — such as a wedding, birthday or anniversary — a funeral or cremation service gives your family and friends time to support each other, to share memories and an opportunity to celebrate your life. And today, no two ceremonies are alike. Photographs, favorite music, special readings and the involvement of family members and friends are all appropriate and encouraged. Preplanning your funeral or cremation service also makes financial sense. When you preplan your funeral or cremation service you benefit from purchasing at today’s prices, free from inflationary pressures of the future. Once you have determined the costs, you can make an objective decision regarding affordability. You may decide to spend less or more, but the decision
remains yours. Preplanning also enables you to purchase the services you select in a planned and managed fashion. It helps keep your financial commitment at a comfortable level, while eliminating the financial burden placed on your surviving family members. Preplanning your funeral or cremation service is a decision only you can make. But it’s a decision that will affect all the people you love most.
6 • Consumer Guide • 2013
Choose a OB/GYN
re you pregnant and don’t know how to choose your obstetrician? Finding the right Ob/Gyn can be challenging. Women have different wants and needs with respect to being pregnant, labor, delivery, and after care. This is not a decision to be entered into lightly. You need to answer some questions about yourself, do some investigating, and ask some questions of your potential providers before making the all important decision of who will be your obstetrician at this critical time in your life. Know Your Limitations Before you even begin the process of choosing an obstetrician you need to know your limitations. For instance, many times your insurance carrier only covers certain doctors. Request a catalog or list of all the doctors covered by your policy. Questions to Ask Yourself 1. Man or Woman? Some women prefer female doctors while other’s want a male. This is something only you can answer for yourself. Know that if you do choose a male doctor a female nurse will stay in the room during exams. 2. Hospital Preferences? If you want to deliver at a specific hospital, find out which doctors have privileges there. Many women choose the closest hospital for convenience when they go into labor. Others choose hospitals for their reputations as being great for labor and delivery. Perhaps a hospital has an excellent NICU and you prefer its newborn care program. Whatever the reason, if you only want to give birth at one specific hospital you’ll need to limit your selection to obstetricians that can practice there. 3. Who’s convenient? You will want to look at the obstetricians that are in your area. Think in terms of driving distance since you will need to visit the office a great deal throughout your pregnancy. 4. What are you looking for in a doctor? Do you want an obstetrician that specializes in anything? Maybe you want someone who can
speak another language. Are you looking for an “old school” doctor or do you want someone who is more modern with respect to following current research and techniques. 5. Large practice or sole practitioner? With a sole practitioner you’ll get consistency with appointments and exams, but he or she may not be available to deliver your baby. This will put in the hands of someone unfamiliar. Large practices are less personal. You will see most of the doctors in the practice at least once. If your first choice of doctor isn’t available then you will most likely get a doctor you’ve already met. Investigate Once you have narrowed down your choices and have an idea of what you want from your Ob/ Gyn you can start investigating and researching your options. By investigating and following these steps you will narrow your list down even further. 1. Ask your friends and family about their Ob/ Gyns. Find out if they liked them or didn’t. Referrals from people you know are a great way to find the right obstetrician. 2. If you know someone who works with the doctors give them a call. You can also call and talk to an office nurse or the head nurse at a nearby hospital. If you talk to an office nurse you will be able to tell how friendly and helpful the staff is in addition to getting the inside scoop. By talking to a hospital’s head nurse you will be getting the information from someone who’s likely seen the doctor at their best and worse. 3. Check with the state’s medical board to see if there are any red flags. You can sometimes find this information by phone or even over online. 4. Take a closer look at the hospital that the Ob/Gyn works with. Even though you love the doctor you might hate the hospital. Interview Once you’ve narrowed down the possibilities now it’s time to set up some interviews. The best way to set up an interview is to call the office and explain what you’d like to do to the
receptionist. She or he can then help you to schedule an appointment with the doctor. Don’t get shy about asking your potential obstetricians questions. This is an important decision. You need to feel comfortable with your Ob/Gyn in order to get the care you want and deserve. Here are some questions to think about and ask: Before the Appointment 1. Is the waiting area comfortable and clean? 2. Is the staff friendly and helpful? (You’ll be dealing with these people a lot over the next nine months) 3. How long is the wait time? Talk to some of the other patients in the waiting room if possible. After the Appointment 1. Did you feel comfortable with the doctor? De he/she talk down to you? Did he/she listen to you when you spoke? 2. How helpful were the nurses and other staff? 3. Did the doctor make an effort to include your partner (if they went with you)? Check References If you liked a doctor don’t stop there. You will want to check the references he or she gave you as a final step. What is most important when choosing the right obstetrician is that you feel comfortable. Don’t make a blind decision. You’re entrusting your health and your baby’s health to this person. Hopefully these questions and tips will help you in making an informed choice.
Consumer Guide • 2013 • 7
sHANNON HALl, PA-C
James L. Hiller, M.D., F.A.C.O.G.
Jennifer Williamson, PA-C
Prenatal Care/ 4-D Ultrasound • Physicals/ Paps Gardasil - HPV Vaccine • Obstetrics • Gynecology • Infertility Robotic Surgery • Essure (sterilization done in office) In-Office procedure for heavy periods • Same Day Mirena IUD Second Surgical Opinion Outpatient Surgery For: Abnormal PAPS • Pelvic Pain • Heavy Bleeding Incontinence • Hysterectomy
t. n e m t n i o p se call today for an ap
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8 • Consumer Guide • 2013
Choose a Matress Store
ood health and sleep are closely linked. Just as we improve our eating habits for better health, we should also improve our sleep habits for better health. Sleep debt is a costly problem in our society, both fiscally and physically. Four out of every five people suffer from back pain and studies show we are not as productive or safe when we do not get enough rest. Back pains come as a close second to the common cold as the most frequent cause of lost work time. Sleep should be a priority and not just a negotiable need that is determined by our busy schedules. Good sleep not only lessens costly back problems but helps to prepare us for a more productive, alert and safe day ahead. Poor sleep and back problems are like the chicken and the egg theory. Which came first? Are backaches the cause of lack of sleep or does lack of sleep cause back problems? Both may be helped with the right mattress. The lower back or lumbar region is the most common area for back pain because it bears the wear and tear of bending, stooping, sitting and lifting. A good mattress supports the back and allows the muscles to rest and rejuvenate during sleep. Poor sleep does not allow this to happen, nor does a poor sleep surface. Experts recommend mattresses that offer superior support without being too hard. The bottom line is: The right mattress is very im-
portant to our overall health. the biggest mattress myth The old adage “hard is better” is truly a myth. No single sleep surface is right for everyone. Therefore a store that carries a varied selection of comfort levels made by the top “S” brand mattress manufacturers, is the place to start. Such variables as body temperature, sleep position, and lighting should be taken into account. Mattresses come in plus, pillow-top, ultra plush, ultra plush pillow-top, firm and cushion firm. And all these comfor levels are just that - comfort levels. It si different from support level. Support level has to do with the coil count and coil construction. The proper support may be achieved in all of the different comfort levels. Depending on whether you are a stomach, side or back sleeper (or a combination) will determine the cofort level you will sleep better and long on. And that is the goal. Although there are some exceptions to the rule, a good coil count number to keep in mind for proper support is a follows: Twin, 420 or higher; full,m 600 or highter; queen, 736 or hight, king, 930 or higher. THe qauality of fabric and different foams used should also be taken into consideration. It is important to find a mattress with edgegauard because it gives you more mattress surface to acturally sleep on. You might as well use all of it since you are paying for all of it! Everyone has natural curves in their back Usually the harder the surface the more the back has to drop out of alighment to meet the mattress. The optimal mattress has enough padding to support your back without allowing it to drop out of its natural alighment. A plush mattress with good support will do just that. VALUE Most people sleep about one-third of their life. What else do you do for that amount of time that affects the other two-thirds of your life? We think nothing of spending $300 to $400 on a VCR that comes with a one-year warranty and that, if you are lucky, will last five years. But many people think it is appalling to spend $600 to $700 on a new queen mattress that comes
with a 10-year non-prorated warranty and will easily last 10 years. This same mattress, if picked properly, will give you many nights of great sleep and ultimately better productive days, too. Many will pay up to 40 percent more for a new car than they did a decade ago, yet the same person expects to pay the $299.99 prices of a decade ago when it comes to buying a new mattress. Value is relative, but when you think of using an item everyday, 365 days a year for 10 years, a good quality mattress for say $700 is costing you a little less than 22 cents per day. Shopping for the best value doesn’t mean finding the lowest price. Bargain bedding is no bargain when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep. Are you the type of person who will spend $150 on running shoes that you wear three or four times a week but is only willing to spend $330 on a mattress that you sleep on eight hours a night for 10 years? There have been many advancements in mattress manufacturing. Many are designed by orthopedic doctors with the proper support and great comfort levels to keep you properly aligned all night. Mattresses have many price points to meet everyone’s pocket book. Bottom line: If you aren’t satisfied with your current bedding and sleep comfort, there is a proper support mattress out there for you in your price range. And remember: How you sleep at night generally determines how you will feel for the rest of the day.
Come see Craig Deal, “The Deal Maker”, (owner of Deal’s Furniture & Mattress Outlet, (the ‘Boro’s best mattress store) for all your mattress needs!
Consumer Guide • 2013 • 9
Deal’s Furniture, Mattress Outlet & GiFts
Hwy. 67 at Fairground, Statesboro (912) 681-3824 64 East Main Street, Statesboro (912) 243-9999
10 • Consumer Guide • 2013
Choose a Hearing Aid
urchasing a hearing aid can be overwhelming. With the variety available today,potential hearing aid wearers might have difficulty deciding where to start.
Where to begin The first and most important step is to have your hearing evaluated by an audiologist. This may be done at an ear, nose, and throat physician’s office or with an audiologist. An audiologist is a specialist in the field of hearing. Audiologists have training in diagnosing, preventing, and nonmedically treating hearing disorders. Audiologists are professionals who provide their patients with education, counseling, and training. Fitting hearing aids is both an art and a science, so choosing the right hearing professional can make a difference in the satisfaction you get from your hearing instruments. Once you have received a thorough audiological examination, it is important to listen and consider the recommendations. Hearing aids might not be the only solution to your problem. If hearing aids are recommended, learn about the different styles and technologies that are appropriate for your hearing needs. Your audiologist can fit you with a range of instruments from basic to sophisticated. They’ll be able to help you select the best model for you.Digital hearing aids perform better than non-digital in noisy or group situations. The level of technology needs to meet your hearing demands. determining size and number The severity of your
hearing loss is a determining factor in the size of the hearing aid that is most appropriate. Two ears are better than one, so if you have hearing loss in both ears, consider wearing two hearing aids. This won’t make things twice as loud, but it will mimic the natural hearing process by giving you a better sense of directionality. It will also make understanding conversations in noisy situations easier. The optimum solution is to achieve balanced hearing in both ears. personal factors Communication: In what situations would you like improved hearing? When and where do you need additional help? What are your requirements for work, home, leisure? How much noise do you encounter on a weekly basis? Clearly answering these questions will help your audiologist find an appropriate solution. Dexterity & Vision: Smaller instrument have smaller controls and batteries. Discuss any vision or dexterity problems with your audiologist. An automatic hearing aid might be something to consider in this situation. Cosmetics: Hearing aids are available in a variety of colors and sizes. You might prefer a discreet, smaller in-the-ear model or like the new micro behind-the-ear aid that matches your hair or skin tone. Many of the new technology aids can meet the demands of a sever hearing loss and still be cosmetically pleasing. New technology also can tackle the occlusion, hearing your own voice. It is important to remember, however, that cosmetic issues should not outweigh audilogical requirements. Price: Your hearing aid is an investment in yourself and your health. Hearing aids come in a range of prices, and you should be able to find one that meets your needs and budget. Digital hearing aids range from discounted models with basic features to premium models with many bells and whistles. Look for payment plans, and explore all options with your audiologist, including possible insurance coverage. Sound Quality: Technology has improved
the performance of hearing aids. Most of today’s hearing aids are digital and run on computer microchips that provide superior sound quality with reduce background noise. It is even possible with today’s hearing aids to connect wirelessly to your TV and cell phone using Bluetooth. the perfect fit Unless you choose an open-fit, behind-theear aid, your audiologist will want to make impressions of your ears so the aids can be custom fit. It will take approximately two weeks for the hearing aid to arrive Once it arrives, you will return to the audiologist so your hearing aid can be programmed for your particular needs. The care and maintenance of the aid will be reviewed, and you will practice how to insert and remove it. If possible, have a family member present at audiologist visits. An extra set of eyes and ears are helpful, and family support is important to your success.
Five tips for choosing a hearing aid 1. Knowledge is Power-Ask an audiologist to assess you to determine if you have hearing loss or need to see an ear, nose, and throat physician. 2. Two is always better than one-if you have hearing loss in both ears, consider wearing two hearing aids. 3. All digital hearing aids are not created equal-This technology comes in a variety of levels and prices make sure your choice is right for you. 4. You can have it all-With today’s technology you can have improved hearing without sacrificing cosmetics, so don’t settle for a hearing aid with which you’re not comfortable. 5. Know the Rules-Make sure you get a trial period, and then make sure you know the stipulations of the trial period.
Consumer Guide • 2013 • 11
Other locations in: Savannah Pooler Richmond Hill Skidaway Island
16741 Ga Highway 67 Statesboro, GA • (912) 351-3038
12 • Consumer Guide • 2013
Choose a Diamond Store
ould you buy a car without taking it for a test drive? Would you buy a house without taking a tour? The diamond buying process is similar and deserves the same “handson” approach. Finding the perfect diamond should be a personal experience between the shopper and a reputable gemologist. Numerous diamond guides are available for the cyber shopper, but buyers beware: not all information online comes from accurate sources. Diamond buying can be confusing and frustrating, especially in this cyber age. Consult these diamond industry web sites for more information: Gemological Institute of America. (http://www.gia.org) and American Gem Society (httpalwww. ags.org). A shopper who buys a wholesale diamond online through a faceless, impersonal site may save some money but they forfeit the benefits of developing a personal relationship with their jeweler. Furthermore, they often find the qualities of the diamond are grossly misrepresented. Buyers should consider these questions: will the online jeweler personally assist in your future jewelry buying needs, and more importantly, will the company be there in the future if you experience a problem with the ring? Choose a jeweler who has been a long-standing, honest member of your community. Become acquainted with the jeweler who can assist your future purchases instead of making a one-time sale. What does a buyer need to know before shopping for a diamond? A prospective buyer should have a general ideal of what they want before they enter the store. A car shopper might tell the dealer, “I am looking for a newer model foreign sedan, in black, with cruise control, leather interior and a sunroof.” These details narrow the options and speed up the decision process. A diamond has similar specifications.
A jeweler can guide you to the exact diamonds that match your preferences if you provide exact details, such as, “I am looking for a I-carat round brilliant cut stone mounted in platinum.” Diamond quality is measured by these criteria: Color: refers to the amount of body color in a diamond. Color grades range from “D” (colorless/ white) to “Z” (yellow) and into the intense yellow colors. The Gemological Institute of America’s grading scale lists “D” as the finest white; stones of this grade are very rare. Diamonds with grades “E” through “I” are also high quality white colors and appear white in a white gold or platinum setting. Grade “T’ is a stone with more yellowish color, and the intensity of the stone’s color corresponds to the alphabet letters. Diamonds can also show other colors such as brown, silver, and grey, as well as blue, pink, green, and red colors. A diamond’s quality is determined by the lack of color, since color is the first to catch the viewer’s eye. Clarity: refers to the amount of natural inclusions in a diamond. Inclusions occur naturally in diamonds. Some appear as chips, feathers, tiny crystals inside the diamond, or fractures on the edge. Often the inclusions have little effect on the diamond’s beauty or durability; however, heavily included diamonds will not reflect light as well and may appear cloudy. Some inclusions may appear dark or black to the naked eye. Clarity grades range from “FL” (flawless under l Ox magnification) to “I-3” (inclusions visible to the naked eye). “I-1” clarity is the first grade where inclusions are visible without magnification. The best buys in diamonds are found in the mid-clarity ranges (“VS” ‘ to “SP) where the inclusions are present but are not visible and do not diminish the diamond’s beauty and durability. Terms such as “VS” (very slight or very small),
“S1” (slight or small inclusions) refer to the number of imperfections that determine clarity. Cut: refers to the angles and proportions of the diamond A diamond’s cut affects the amount of light that enters the stone, reflects inside it and returns to the viewer’s eye as sparkling brilliance. The angles of the pavilion are critical for light return. Brilliance is lost if the angles are too shallow or too deep. A diamond with a lower grade cut may appear cloudy and dark. The facets on the top or crown of the stone break white light into the spectral colors and produce the “chandelier” effect. The angles of the crown must be good to give the viewer the maximum sparkle and produce the variety of colors (blue, green, yellow, red, and violet shades) that are very special diamond traits. What does a buyer need to know before shopping for a diamond? Diamonds are an investment item and should be insured, just like a house or a car. A reputable jeweler provides the buyer with certificates and detailed information about the stone for insurance evaluation purposes. A diamond investment pays emotional dividends to the wearer.
Consumer Guide • 2013 • 13
14 • Consumer Guide • 2013
Choose a Pharmacy
f you’re like most people, you didn’t choose a pharmacist, you chose a pharmacy for your medication needs. Your pharmacist is a very important part of your health care team and should be chosen carefully. In between doctor visits, your pharmacist can be an important resource for you. This is especially true if you are using multiple medications or need help with products such as blood glucose meters, asthma inhalers, or other special care items. Some key questions to ask when choosing a pharmacist include: - Does the pharmacist take time to answer your questions in a manner that you understand? - Does the pharmacist tell you about each new medication and explain such things as how and when to take the medication and what you can and cannot take with it? - Does the pharmacist have any special training in disease management, such as a certified asthma counselor? - Does the pharmacist show concern for you and your family? - Does the pharmacist recommend vitamins or supplements to take or tell you which ones you should NOT take with your prescriptions? If your current pharmacist doesn’t meet your needs or doesn’t take the necessary time to make sure that you understand your medications, visit other pharmacies and ask if the pharmacist has any special certifications or training. Find out if the pharmacy has any special services that they can offer you such as demonstrating a new inhaler. See if you can find a pharmacist that is easy to talk to, yet shows concern and is able to explain what you need to know as a consumer of both prescription medications and vitamin supplements.
your medication needs are going to take place. Most people taking medications visit a pharmacy monthly and should consider several factors when choosing which pharmacy to patronize. Convenience is an important issue with all of the time pressures that people feel these days. The pharmacy should be in a convenient location with convenient parking nearby. If you are unable to get to the pharmacy, the pharmacy should make sure that your prescriptions are mailed to your home or delivered to your home or work. Having the ability to open a charge account or have a credit card kept on file for charging prescriptions is a convenient feature, especially when you are on a trip or someone else is picking up the prescription for you. The pharmacy may offer any special services that set them apart from the other pharmacies. You might be interested in special packaging to make it easier to remember to take your medications. If you have diabetes, finding a pharmacy that can demonstrate several glucose monitors to find which one works best for you can make testing your blood sugar easier. Some pharmacies also have the ability to “download” the readings off of your diabetes monitor and print them out for you. This will help both you and your doctor control your diabetes. Ask if the pharmacy can measure your “Alc” level to check your long-term glucose control. Look for a pharmacy that offers a private counseling area so you can ask personal questions without being overheard. Other conveniences that should be taken into account include a toll-free phone number to use if you live out-of-town or are on vacation. Ordering refills over the Internet is something new that many progressive pharmacies now offer. Many times, you can also look up health information on the pharmacies’ web sites as well. It’s a good idea to get all of your prescriptions filled at a single pharmacy. The pharmacy
The right pharmacy may offer special services that set them apart from the other pharmacies.
WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN A PHARMACY Where your family pharmacist works should also be an important consideration when deciding where
keeps a complete medication profile on you. These profiles record all medications that you are taking, health problems, and drug allergies that you have told your pharmacist about. By going to one pharmacy, your pharmacist will be able to continuously update your patient profile - making sure all the information is accurate. This will help avoid problems that occur when some medications are mixed. With a little effort, you should be able to find a pharmacy that will be your partner in your goal living a healthful life.
Consumer Guide • 2013 • 15
CONVENIENCE • Free Local Delivery • Drive-Thru Window • No Long Wait
Treating your family... like family
VALUE • Competitive Prices • Same Co-Pays • Everyday Specials
• Rx Flavoring
• Our Pharmacists
• Flu Vaccine
and Staff are here to
• Shingles Vaccine
• On-Line Refills • And Much More! Len McCook
your Prescription Needs. Janie McCook
23630 Highway 80 East • Statesboro • 912-764-2223 • www.mccookspharmacy.com
16 • Consumer Guide • 2013
COME SEE THE DIFFERENCE! • Grades Pre-K4 through 12th • College Preparatory Curriculum • SACS/SAIS Accredited • Small-School Environment • Exceptional Athletic Programs
• Christian Principles & Atmosphere • Average Size of 17 Students per Class • SAT & ACT Scores Consistently Above Local, State, and National Averages • C.A.M.P.S., A.I.M. and Much More
www.bullochacademy.com 873 Westside Rd. • Statesboro, GA Phone: 912-764-6297 Fax: 912-764-3165
Consumer Guide • 2013 • 17
Choose a Private School
hoosing the right private school for your child may sound like a daunting task. It is indeed an important choice, but don’t let it overwhelm you. If you are anxious, then your child may become anxious. Consider the following tips as you begin this process. First Steps First, observe your child for a day or two. This may seem odd, but as you make your way through this search you will see how important this first step is. You will want to ask yourself what your child’s natural gifts are. What are her strengths and weaknesses? Are you interested in having the weaknesses addressed by a private school? What are his interests or talents? Do you want those nurtured? Secondly, make a general mental list of the things your ideal school would offer. Do you plan on having your child attend a local day school or are you open to an overnight school, (often referred to as a boarding school)? Maybe you will come to love a certain school that is just far enough away that it doesn’t work with your own tight schedule, but with the right transportation options, it still might be a match for your family. Don’t rule anything out at this point. Look Online You may want to peruse the Internet, but be cautious that websites can sometimes be misleading. Most school sites have information such as admission and values statements as well as policy summaries. You also want to look at the photo galleries and video/virtual tours. This can give you some idea of what to expect on the campus; but again, photos can be misleading. Nothing replaces the experience of a real-life tour. Depending on how far away the school is, you should check out the transportation options. You will want to know what your choices are in case you find a school you are really interested in that may make it tough to fit transportation into your schedule.
At this point, you should make the long list of schools. It should include every school you and your child think should be in the running. Even if it has, for example, only two main positives, they may be really important positives.
Pay attention to how you are treated by the staff members. Are they friendly and helpful? Are your questions being answered? Remember these will be the people you will be dealing with throughout your child’s school career.
Get More Details Once you have your long list compiled, go through each school name and ask yourself what questions still need to be answered. You may want to call schools for which you have questions. Pay attention to how you are treated by the staff members. Are they friendly and helpful? Are your questions being answered? Remember these will be the people you will be dealing with throughout your child’s school career. Next, you will want to go and visit some of your top private school choices. Take a few notes as you walk around campus. Ask questions about the enrollment paperwork and any testing your child will have to complete. Picture your family engaging in school activities, and particularly picture your child spending time there. Try to meet as many of the staff and teachers as are available which, of course, depends largely on what time of year you go on your tours.
If your child attends the tours, make sure to ask her what she thinks of the schools. Narrow The List After your tours have been completed, start reviewing your notes. At this point you will already have begun to make a short list of schools in your mind. You have been considering the location, the type of school, how your child will be treated and the setting of the campus. Now turn your thoughts to financial matters. Make wise and comfortable choices regarding how much should be spent on this education. Don’t forget to ask each school on your short list if they have any financial aid. Many do have some funding in this area, and it could make the difference in your final decision. Finally, make sure to have admission procedures at your fingertips. Timing is everything as many of the best schools have wait lists. If all goes well, you’ll be able to apply and have your child accepted at a school that meets your needs. And the rewards will last a lifetime.
18 • Consumer Guide • 2013
Assisted Living Willow Pond Assisted Living Karen Martin
Clinical Evaluators Bulloch DUI Risk Reduction Vern & CIndy Howard
Heating & Cooling Advanced Care Heating & Cooling Rick Weaver
Business Consultant/Acct. Dalton Consulting & Financial Services, Inc. Erin C. Dalton, CPA
Larry G. Hubbard, DDS Larry Hubbard
Dry-Cleaning Andrews Klean Korner Eddie Stephens
Electrolysis By Alice J. Paul
Hunting & Fishing TC Outdoors Ty Cobler
Insurance Franklin Insurance Group-Allstate Richard Rappa
Land Surveying James M. Anderson & Assoc. Jim Anderson
Checking Accounts Farmers & Merchants Bank Kasey Hagan
Gastroenterology Gastroenterology Institute Joseph M. Hathaway, Jr., MD
Long Term Care Brown’s Health & Rehab Ctr.
Consumer Guide • 2013 • 19
New Cars Franklin Toyota Scott Noblitt
Orthodontics Wall Orthodontics Michael Wall
Pools & Hot Tubs Pride Pools, Spas & Leisure Alex Smith
Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery Statesboro Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery, Inc. Troy M. Lawhorn, DMD
Orthopedic Surgery Optim Orthopedics Dr. Don G. Aaron, Jr., M.D.
Outdoor Pest Control
Personal Injury Attorney Hube & Tucker, LLC Josh D. Tucker
The Mosquito Authority Justin Watson
McCook’s Pharmacy Len McCook
Statesboro Plastic Surgery Marc E. Bisseck, M.D.
Real Estate Statesboro Properties Nick Propps, President
Used Cars Express Auto Sales John David Miles
Weight Loss Medi-Weightloss Clinics Shannon Hall, PA-C
Women’s Health Southern OB/GYN Dr. James Hiller
20 • Consumer Guide • 2013
Choose a Hospital
t is important to choose the right hospital when suffering with injury or illness. With many hospitals, standards of care are very much alike; but for different reasons some hospitals offer better care than others. When choosing the best hospital for you, these reasons need to be investigated. When identifying which hospital is best, the hospital’s location is an important consideration. In a time of an unforeseen emergency, the only solution is often the nearby hospital. For many, people only one hospital is close by, so visiting one farther away would be a problem. Due to reasons of family and travel time, most people want to be treated in a hospital near their home. Depending on the severity of the situation, a hospital that is farther away but offers more specialized care may be a better choice. People will often choose a hospital where their primary doctor has an affiliation. Many doctors have referred patients to the same hospital for years, as they are known there and can often see and perform surgery on patients quickly. Hospitals are categorized as preferred providers by medical insurance companies. Patients choosing a hospital not listed in their medical insurance plan will often pay higher fees than those recommended by their insurance company. Many medical procedures that are needed, such as surgery and convalescent care, can quickly become a large expense. When choosing a hospital, your insurance coverage may be the top consideration. It is worth considering what other options a hospital offers if location and insurance will not affect your decision. Many hospitals offer different medical accreditations than others, such as the Joint Commission, or have achieved high status in treating specialized medical procedures. If a hospital is accredited by the Joint Commission, certain areas of quality will be followed in areas that cover storage man-
agement and nursing care practice. When hospitals receive accreditation by the Joint Commission, they are subjected to frequent evaluation of their standards and keep these standards continuously updated. Hospitals that have been awarded certification in areas such as quality and consistency are well worth considering. Another way of distinguishing excellence is the Magnet Recognition Program, which covers outstanding nursing work and other forms of patient care. It is awarded to select hospitals across the nation. If you are able to enter a hospital that has achieved this status, you can expect excellent patient care. Depending on what procedures must be done, selecting a hospital specializing in a particular surgical procedure may be essential. Patients needing medical attention arrive at hospitals every day, but many hospitals will specialize in several areas. Two hospitals within a city may offer similar services, but one might specialize in gastroenterology while another supports an advanced cardiac unit. You should know which is which. To ensure quality care, hospitals may transfer patients to a more suitable facility. Depending on the seriousness of an injury or illness, a hospital with more specialized care will receive the patient. To be sure of the best outcome when caring for an injury or illness, choosing the right hospital is important. That’s why you should know about the strengths of your local hospitals before the need for emergency care arises.
You should know about the strengths of your local hospitals before the need for emergency care arises.
Consumer Guide • 2013 • 21
East Georgia Regional Medical Center is dedicated to providing quality healthcare to our region. In 2012, East Georgia Regional became one of 244 hospitals nationwide to receive the distinction of TopÊPerformer for quality two years in a row from the Joint Commission; in addition, Georgia Hospital Association has placed us on their Honor Roll 2 years in row for the high quality care we provide. We are the first hospital in SE Georgia to preform Single Site DaVinci Surgery. We have also distinguished ourselves as a center of excellence in gastroenterological care, providing our region with advanced GI procedures. Last year, our hospital surpassed the national benchmark for treatment for patients suffering heart attacks by over 17 minutes! At EGRMC, we provide the region with the latest medical technologies, proving our commitment to providing quality healthcare to our region.
22 • Consumer Guide • 2013
Choose a Realtor
he terms agent, broker and REALTORS are often used interchangeably, but have very different meanings. For example, not all agents (also called salespersons) or brokers are REALTORS°. Learn who is a REALTOR’ and the reasons why you should use one. As a prerequisite to selling real estate, a person must be licensed by the state in which they work, either as an agent/salesperson or as a broker. Before a license is issued, minimum standards for education, examinations and experience, which are determined on a state by state basis, must be met. After receiving a real estate license, most agents go on to join their local board or association of REALTORS’ and the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS’, the world’s largest professional trade association. They can then call themselves REALTORS. The term “REALTOR”’ is a registered collective membership mark that identifies a real estate professional who is a member of the NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORSand subscribes to its strict Code of Ethics (which in many cases goes beyond state law)
It is the REALTOR’ who shares information on the homes they are marketing, through a Multiple Listing Service (MLS). Working with a REALTOR’ who belongs to an MLS will give you access to the greatest number of homes. HOW TO EVALUATE AN AGENT Without any obligation, you can invite local REALTORS’ to visit your home and give you a “listing presentation” about why they’re the best ones to market it for you. Two to three presentations will probably give you a good opportunity for choice. A listing presentation includes having the REALTORS° review with you the reasons why you should list with that particular individual, and providing you with information that will assist you in making initial decisions about selling your home. Recent laws in every state have defined the duties of someone specifically retained as a real estate agent. Most states require a real estate agent to explain his or her role at the outset of any conversation A professional agent will promptly provide this such a disclosure. Look for an agent who: • Is a member of the local board or association of REALTORS. • Explains and discloses agency relationships (the role of the agent, i.e., who they are representing - the buyer or the seller) early on in the process at “serious first contact,” • Advises you on how to prepare your home for the market. • Shows some enthusiasm for your property, listens attentively, instills confidence, operates in a professional manner, and has a complementary personality style to yours. • Has researched your property in the public records and the MLS. • Brings data on nearby homes that have sold (or failed to sell) recently. The following am important questions to ask a potential agent: *Are you a REALTOR`? • Do you have an active real estate license in good standing? To find this information, you can check with your state’s governing agency. • Do you belong to the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and/or a reliable online home buyer’s search service? Multiple Listing
services are cooperative information networks of REALTORS’ that provide descriptions of most of the houses for sale in a particular region. If there’s on nearby MLS, how often do you cooperate with other local brokers on a sale? • What have you listed or sold in this neighborhood lately? • Do you cooperate with buyer’s brokers? • What share of the commission will you offer a cooperating broker who finds the buyer? And in addition to the criteria mentioned above, there are a number of very important reasons you will typically prefer to work with a REALTOR.. Among them is the fact that they adhere to the NAR’s highest standards of ethical conduct and professional training. WHAT A REALTOR° WILL DO FOR YOU Some of the duties your REALTORS° will perform for you include: • Walk through the process of selling your home from beginning to end. • Provide comparable information about the prices for which other properties have sold and analyzing data for you to gain a true comparison. • Supply information regarding local customs and regulations you may want to consider. • Share information about your home through the Multiple Listing service and on the Internet. • Place advertisements for your home. • Field phone calls. • “Qualify” potential buyers to make sure they would be financially able to buy your property. • Negotiate the sales contract. • Alert you to potential risks. • Comply with the disclosures required by law. • Provide you with an estimate of the closing costs you will incur. • Help you prepare for a smooth closing of the transaction.
The terms agent, broker and REALTORS are often used interchangeably, but have different meanings.
Consumer Guide • 2013 • 23
408 S. Z et terower Ave. • Statesboro, G A 30458
Iricel Anderson 912-271-5594
Jean Melton 912-687-1967
Jerome Jones 912-687-5663
Any agent can help you find a house. An ERA LANDMARK REALTY Agent can help you find a home.
(912) 764-6774 Vada Hunter 912-601-2881
Lee Wortham 912-399-7159
24 • Consumer Guide • 2013
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