September 1, 2014

The Gulfshore's Top Doctors 2008

Outside of your family, it’s one of the most important relationships you must develop and nurture through the years, so you want someone who is going to reciprocate that investment in you. Your doctor—whether he or she is a primary care physician or a specialist—plays a key role in your well-being by preventing health risks, treating ailments and illnesses and helping improve your health so you can get the most out of life.

To help you find the right doctor for your needs, we’ve partnered once again with Castle Connolly Medical in New York to develop a list of top physicians in Collier, Lee and Charlotte counties. (To see the qualifying criteria, please see "The Process" on p. 52.) In this issue, you’ll get a glimpse of three of these physicians through the eyes of their patients. The accompanying list includes the doctors who made the top 40 percent of Castle Connolly’s choices for our region. For a complete list, the company’s book, America’s Top Doctors, is available at www.castleconnolly.com

Allergy & Immunology
Kevin Rosenbach, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
15495 Tamiami Trail,
Suite 119/120
Naples, FL 34110
(239) 596-5560
Special expertise: Asthma, immunotherapy

Brett Stanaland, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
1000 Goodlette Road N.,
Suite 200
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 434-6200
Special expertise: Asthma,
insect allergies

Cardio-thoracic Surgery
Dennis Stapleton, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
311 Tamiami Trail, Suite 301
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 649-0440
Secondary affiliation: HealthPark Medical Center
Special expertise: Cardiac surgery

Cardiovascular Disease
Victor Howard, M.D.
Fawcett Memorial Hospital
2484 Caring Way, Suite B
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
(941) 625-6223
Special expertise: Interventional cardiology, clinical trials

Silvio Travalia, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
694 Eighth Street N.
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 434-9222
Secondary affiliation: Physicians Regional Medical Center

William Cook, M.D.
Physicians Regional
Medical Center
Medical Surgical Specialists
6101 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4400
Secondary affiliation: Lee Memorial Health System
Special expertise: Noninvasive cardiology

Steven West, M.D.
Southwest Florida
Regional Medical Center
Cardiology Consultants
SW Florida
13411 Parker Commons Blvd., Suite 101
Fort Myers, FL 33912
(239) 415-4900
Secondary affiliation: Lee Memorial Health System
Special expertise: Coronary artery disease, congestive heart failure

Colon & Rectal Surgery
Anthony Vernava III, M.D.
Physicians Regional Healthcare System Medical Surgical Specialists
6101 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4400
Special expertise: Colon and rectal cancer, incontinence-fecal, inflammatory bowel disease

Dermatology
Brian Harris, M.D.
Lee Memorial Health System
9090 Park Royal Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33908
(239) 936-3344
Special expertise: Skin cancer, Mohs’ surgery

Cynthia Strohmeyer, M.D.
702 Goodlette Road N.,
Suite 200
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 261-2255
Special expertise: Cosmetic dermatology

Stephen Spencer, M.D.
Peace River Regional
Medical Center
3161 Harbor Blvd., Suite A
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
(941) 613-2400

Charles Camisa, M.D.
Physicians Regional
Medical Center
6101 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4335
Special expertise: Psoriasis, oral dermatology, lichen planus

Craig Eichler, M.D.
Physicians Regional
Medical Center
6101 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4335
Special expertise: Skin cancer, dermatologic surgery

Endocrinology, Diabetes & Metabolism
Todd Brodie, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
730 Goodlette Road N.,
Suite 205
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 436-3666
Special expertise: Thyroid disorders, osteoporosis

Facial Plastic Surgery
Jon Strohmeyer, M.D.
702 Goodlette Road N.,
Suite 100
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 261-5525
Special expertise: Facial plastic surgery, reconstructive surgery

Family Medicine
Gregory Krill, M.D.
Lee Memorial Health System
16271 Bass Road
Fort Myers, FL 33908
(239) 432-3322
Special expertise: Geriatric medicine, hypertension, cholesterol/lipid disorders, diabetes

John Diaz, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
2450 Goodlette Road N.,
Suite 202
Naples, FL 34103
(239) 213-9790
Special expertise: Preventive cardiology, preventive medicine, cholesterol/lipid disorders

Robert Poling, M.D.
Physicians Regional
Medical Center
1850 San Marco Road, Suite C
Marco Island, FL 34145
(239) 394-8252
Special expertise: Sports medicine, heart disease, diabetes, preventive medicine

Family Practice & Geriatrics
Daniel Kaplan, D.O.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
South Florida Medical Group
7935 Airport Pulling Road,
Suite 2
Naples, FL 34109
(239) 596-3300
Secondary affiliation: Physicians Regional Medical Center
Special expertise: Geriatric medicine

Gastroenterology
H. Scott Harris, M.D.
Cape Coral Hospital
2721 Del Prado Blvd., Suite 200
Cape Coral, FL 33904
(239) 772-3800
Special expertise: Colon cancer, colonscopy

General Surgery
Jeffrey Lewis, M.D.
Lee Memorial Health System
16400 HealthPark
Commons Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33908
(239) 278-5200
Secondary affiliation: Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center

Mark Liberman, M.D.
Physicians Regional
Healthcare System
Medical Surgical Specialists
6101 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4400
Special expertise: Laparoscopic surgery, obesity/bariatric surgery, breast cancer

Hand Surgery
Ronaldo Carneiro, M.D.
Physicians Regional
Medical Center
6101 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4040
Special expertise: Carpal tunnel syndrome, wrist surgery, arthritis

Infectious Disease
Douglas Brust, M.D.
Lee Memorial Health System Internal Medicine Associates
1528 Del Prado Blvd.
Cape Coral, FL 33990
(239) 458-3338
Special expertise: AIDS/HIV, infections in transplant patients

Ronica Kluge, M.D.
Lee Memorial Health System
24600 S. Tamiami Trail, Suite 400
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
(239) 948-3761
Secondary affiliation: Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center
Special expertise: AIDS/HIV, viral infections

Christine Forszpaniak, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
848 First Ave. N., Suite 230
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 434-7779
Secondary affiliation: North Collier Hospital

Nicholas Lekas, M.D.
Physicians Regional
Medical Center
6101 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4000
Special expertise: Infections-bone and joint, infections-heart, travel medicine

Internal Medicine
Manuel Del Sol, M.D.
Lee Memorial Health System
Internal Medicine Associates
1528 Del Prado Blvd.
Cape Coral, FL 33990
(239) 458-3338

George Ferguson, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
787 Fourth Ave. S.
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 262-0501

Corey Howard, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
1000 Goodlette Road, Suite 100
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 643-2112

Brian Lee, M.D.
Physicians Regional
Medical Center
3291 Woods Edge Parkway,
2nd Floor
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
(239) 947-4557
Special expertise: Heart disease, men’s health, preventive medicine, cholesterol/lipid disorders

Leonard Schlossberg, M.D.
Physicians Regional
Medical Center
Concierge Medical Practice
2230 Venetian Court, Suite 2
Naples, FL 34109
(239) 566-3100
Secondary affiliation: Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System'
Special expertise: Concierge medicine, cholesterol/lipid disorders, preventive cardiology, geriatric medicine

Internal Medicine & Pediatrics
Patricia Poling, M.D.
Physicians Regional
Healthcare System
1850 San Marco Road, Suite C
Marco Island, FL 34145
(239) 394-8252
Special expertise: Women’s health, preventive medicine, nutrition, pediatrics

Interventional Cardiology
Michael Flynn, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
606 Ninth St. N., Suite 100
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 403-9569
Special expertise: Coronary artery disease, heart valve disease, cholesterol/lipid disorders

James Venable, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
606 Ninth St. N., Suite 100
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 261-5270
Secondary affiliation: North Collier Hospital

Medical Oncology
Thomas Teufel, M.D.
Lee Memorial Health System
811 Del Prado Blvd.
Cape Coral, FL 33990
(239) 772-3544

William Harwin, M.D.
Lee Memorial Health System
15681 New Hampshire Court
Fort Myers, FL 33908
(239) 437-4444
Secondary affiliation: Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center

Mark Moskowitz, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
Florida Cancer Specialists
6360 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 201
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 353-6636
Secondary affiliation: Physicians Regional Medical Center

Daniel Morris, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
400 Eighth St. N.
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 649-3335
Special expertise: Prostate cancer, lung cancer, colon cancer

Lowell Hart, M.D.
Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center
3840 Broadway
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 275-6400
Secondary affiliation: Lee Memorial Health System
Special expertise: Melanoma, colon cancer, breast cancer, lymphoma

Nephrology
Carolyn Venable, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
Nephrology & Hypertension Specialists
1213 Piper Blvd., Suite 101
Naples, FL 34110
(239) 254-0099
Secondary affiliation: North Collier Hospital

James Sterrett, M.D.
Physicians Regional Medical Center
Medical Surgical Specialists
6101 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4000
Special expertise: Kidney disease-chronic, dialysis, hypertension

Joel Van Sickler, M.D.
Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center
7981 Gladiolus Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33908
(239) 939-0999
Secondary affiliation: Lee Memorial Health System
Special expertise: Transplant medicine-kidney

Neurological Surgery
John Dusseau, M.D.
Lee Memorial Health System
2780 Cleveland Ave., Suite 819
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 336-6800

Gary Colon, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
730 Goodlette Road N.,
Suite 100-B
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 262-1721
Secondary affiliation: Physicians Regional Medical Center
Special expertise: Spinal surgery, brain surgery

Mark Gerber, M.D.
Physicians Regional Medical Center
Neuroscience & Spine Associates
670 Goodlette Road N.
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 649-8833
Secondary affiliation: Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
Special expertise: Spinal surgery, brain tumors

Douglas Savage, M.D.
Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center
12700 Creekside Lane, Suite 101
Fort Myers, FL 33919
(239) 432-0774
Special expertise: Pain-low back, pain-neck

Neurology
Michael Novak, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
1660 Medical Blvd., Suite 200
Naples, FL 34110
(239) 566-3434
Special expertise: Headache, pain management, multiple sclerosis

Michael Finkel, M.D.
Physicians Regional Medical Center
Medical Surgical Specialists
6101 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4397
Special expertise: Movement disorders-lower limb, ADD/ADHD, headache in women, trauma neurology

Obstetrics & Gynecology
Mary Yankaskas, M.D.
Cape Coral Hospital
1265 Viscaya Parkway
Cape Coral, FL 33990
(239) 574-2229
Special expertise: Gynecology only, adolescent gynecology, menopause problems

Heather Auld, M.D.
Gulf Coast Hospital
Physicians Primary Care
SW Florida
9021 Park Royal Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33908
(239) 432-5858
Secondary affiliation: HealthPark Medical Center

Richard Murray, M.D.
Lee Memorial Health System
15641 New Hampshire Court
Fort Myers, FL 33908
(239) 275-4300
Secondary affiliation: Gulf Coast Hospital
Special expertise: Laparoscopy

Blane Crandall, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
1660 Medical Blvd., Suite 101
Naples, FL 34110
(239) 596-2300
Secondary affiliation: North Collier Hospital

Jeffrey Heitmann, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
1660 Medical Blvd., Suite 300
Naples, FL 34110
(239) 513-0053
Special expertise: Laparoscopic surgery, pregnancy-high risk

Dennis Hidlebaugh, M.D.
Physicians Regional Medical Center
6101 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4400
Special expertise: Laparoscopic surgery-advanced, reconstructive vaginal surgery, infertility

Oncology and Hematology
Mark Rubin, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
9776 Bonita Beach Road
Bonita Springs, FL 34135
(239) 947-3092
Secondary affiliation: Physicians Regional Medical Center

Ophthalmology
Mimi Groom, M.D.
Physicians Regional Medical Center
Groom Eye Center, Colonial Square
1112 Goodlette Road N.,
Suite 202
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 434-0808
Special expertise: Glaucoma, cataract surgery, refractive surgery

Mark Gorovoy, M.D.
Lee Memorial Health System
12381 S. Cleveland Ave., Suite 300
Fort Myers, FL 33907
(239) 939-1444
Special expertise: LASIK-refractive surgery, corneal disease and transplant, glaucoma, cataract surgery

Joseph Walker, M.D.
Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center
6901 International Center Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33912
(239) 939-4323
Secondary affiliation: Lee Memorial Health System
Special expertise: Retinal disorders, macular degeneration

Paul Raskauskas, M.D.
Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center
6901 International Center Blvd.
Fort Myers, FL 33912
(239) 939-4323
Special expertise: Retinal disorders, macular degeneration

Orthopaedic Surgery
Robert Zehr, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
Zehr Center for Orthopaedics
2659 Professional Circle, Suite 115
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 596-0100
Special expertise: Hip and knee replacement, arthroscopic surgery

Howard Kapp, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
130 Tamiami Trail N., Suite 220
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 434-5700
Special expertise: Hip and knee reconstruction, hip and knee replacement, sports medicine

Richard Pigeon, M.D.
Physicians Regional Medical Center
6101 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4400
Special expertise: Minimally invasive spinal surgery, spinal surgery-cervical, spinal disc replacement

Michael Wilson, M.D.
Physicians Regional Medical Center
Medical Surgical Specialists
6101 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4400
Special expertise: Joint replacement, reconstructive surgery, upper extremity surgery

Otolaryngology
Hector Hernandez-Jamardo, M.D.
Fawcett Memorial Hospital
21297-A Olean Blvd.
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
(941) 764-0660
Special expertise: Sinus disorders, balance disorders, swallowing disorders

Patrick Kane, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
848 First Ave. N., Suite 330
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 263-8855
Special expertise: Facial plastic surgery, head and neck surgery

Otolaryngology & Facial Plastic Surgery
David Greene, M.D.
Physicians Regional Healthcare System
Medical Surgical Specialists
6101 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4400
Special expertise: Facial plastic/reconstructive surgery, nasal and sinus surgery, snoring/sleep apnea, hearing disorders

Pediatrics
Martin Sherman, M.D.
Lee Memorial Health System
4751 S. Cleveland Ave.
Fort Myers, FL 33907
(239) 343-9888
Secondary affiliation: Cape Coral Hospital

Irwin Kash, M.D.
Lee Memorial Health System
4751 S. Cleveland Ave.
Fort Myers, FL 33907
(239) 343-9888
Secondary affiliation: Cape Coral Hospital
Special expertise: Parenting issues

Dulce Dudley, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
8360 Sierra Meadows Blvd.
Naples, FL 34113
(239) 403-6300
Secondary affiliation: North Collier Hospital

D Benjamin Helgemo, M.D.
Peace River Regional Medical Center
2040-C Tamiami Trail
Port Charlotte, FL 33948
(941) 629-4464
Secondary affiliation: Fawcett Memorial Hospital

Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Debra Roggow, D.O.
Lee Memorial Health System
Rehabilitation Consultants
13685 Doctors Way, Suite 190
Fort Myers, FL 33912
(239) 768-5454
Special expertise: Botox therapy, stroke rehabilitation

Plastic Surgery
Manuel Pena, M.D.
Physicians Regional Medical Center
6370 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 101
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-7362
Secondary affiliation: Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
Special expertise: Cosmetic surgery-face and breast, breast reconstruction, liposuction and body contouring, cleft palate/lip

Andrew Turk, M.D.
Physicians Regional Medical Center
Naples Cosmetic Surgery Center
6101 Pine Ridge Road, Suite 15
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4557
Special expertise: Cosmetic surgery, breast reconstruction, craniofacial surgery

Robert Brueck, M.D.
Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center
3700 Central Ave., Suite 1
Fort Myers, FL 33901
(239) 939-5233
Special expertise: Cosmetic surgery-face and eyelid, cosmetic surgery-breast, abdominoplasty

Psychiatry
Frederick Schaerf, M.D.
NeuroPsychiatric Associates
14271 Metropolis Ave., Suite A
Fort Myers, FL 33912
(239) 939-7777
Special expertise: Geriatric psychiatry, Alzheimer’s disease, depression, forensic psychiatry

Pulmonary Disease
Carlos Maas, M.D.
Fawcett Memorial Hospital
3161 Harbor Blvd., Suite B
Port Charlotte, FL 33952
(941) 613-1777
Secondary affiliation: Charlotte Regional Medical Center
Special expertise: Sleep disorders

Stephen Hannan, M.D.
Lee Memorial Health System
9981 HealthPark Drive, Suite 279
Fort Myers, FL 33908
(239) 343-6800
Secondary affiliation: Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center

Mitchell Petusevsky, M.D.
Physicians Regional Medical Center
Medical Surgical Specialists
6101 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4000
Special expertise: Asthma, chronic obstructive lung disease (COPD), sleep disorders

Radiation Oncology
Michael Katin, M.D.
Lee Memorial Health System
21st Century Oncology
7341 Gladiolus Drive
Fort Myers, FL 33908
(239) 489-3420
Secondary affiliation: Physicians Regional Medical Center
Special expertise: Prostate cancer

Jay Friedland, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
Naples Radiation Oncology
733 Fourth Ave. N.
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 261-1569
Special expertise: Prostate cancer, genitourinary cancer

Reproductive Endocrinology
Craig Sweet, M.D.
Gulf Coast Hospital
12611 World Plaza Lane, Bldg. 53
Fort Myers, FL 33907
(239) 275-8118
Secondary affiliation: HealthPark Medical Center
Special expertise: Infertility

Rheumatology
Allan Goodwin, M.D.
Physicians Regional Medical Center
Medical Surgical Specialists
6101 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4000
Special expertise: Osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory arthritis

Surgery
Jacob Goldberger, M.D.
Southwest Florida Regional
Medical Center
13685 Doctors Way, Suite 210
Fort Myers, FL 33912
(239) 274-7600
Secondary affiliation: Lee Memorial Health System
Special expertise: Thyroid and parathyroid surgery, breast cancer, laparoscopic surgery, gall bladder surgery

Thoracic Surgery
Michael Metke, M.D.
HealthPark Medical Center
8010 Summerlin Lakes Drive,
Suite 100
Fort Myers, FL 33907
(239) 939-1767
Secondary affiliation: Southwest Florida Regional Medical Center
Special expertise: Cardiac surgery, heart valve surgery, coronary artery surgery, reconstructive surgery

Urology
James Borden, M.D.
Lee Memorial Health System
507 Del Prado Blvd. S.
Cape Coral, FL 33990
(239) 772-0500

Kendall Wise, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
1044 Goodlette Road N.
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 261-5400
Secondary affiliation: Physicians Regional Medical Center
Special expertise: Prostate cancer, overactive bladder, prostate disease, urinary tract infection

William Figlesthaler, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
Specialists in Urology
990 Tamiami Trail N.
Naples, FL 34102
(239) 434-6300
Secondary affiliation: Physicians Regional Medical Center
Special expertise: Robotic surgery, prostate cancer, laparoscopic surgery, vasectomy reversal

Nicholas Franco, M.D.
Physicians Regional Medical Center
990 Tamiami Trail N.
Naples, FL 34109
(239) 434-6300
Secondary affiliation: Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
Special expertise: Pelvic reconstruction, genitourinary reconstruction, incontinence-male and female

Urology & Urogynecology
Jonathan Jay, M.D.
Physicians Regional Medical Center
Specialists in Urology
28930 Trails Edge Blvd.
Bonita Springs, FL 34134
(239) 495-3000
Secondary affiliation: Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
Special expertise: Voiding dysfunction, incontinence, pelvic floor reconstruction

Vascular & Interventional Radiology
Marc Kaye, M.D.
Physicians Regional Medical Center
6101 Pine Ridge Road
Naples, FL 34119
(239) 348-4336
Special expertise: Fibroid embolization, aneurysm-abdominal aortic, osteoporosis spine-vertebroplasty

Vascular Surgery
Hiranya Rajasinghe, M.D.
Naples Community Hospital Healthcare System
Anchor Health Centers
2450 Goodlette Road N., Suite 102
Naples, FL 34103
(239) 643-8794
Secondary affiliation: Physicians Regional Medical Center
Special expertise: Aneurysm, stent placement, endovascular surgery

Meet the Doctor
Heart to Heart

Heart disease has taken a devastating toll on Bonnie Spivey-Bates’ family. At only eight years old, she lost her father to a massive heart attack when he was 50. Her five uncles on her father’s side died of heart attacks, as did her brother, who also died at 50.

"I am bound and determined not to go that route," says Spivey-Bates, who has taken preventive measures to stay healthy and is an active volunteer with the local American Heart Association. But genetics had another plan for her. In January, her carotid arteries were screened, revealing she had abnormally high amounts of plaque for her age. It was then that her doctor suggested she see Dr. John Diaz, medical director of the Cardiovascular Risk Reduction Center at Anchor Health Centers in Naples.

The center is geared to diagnose a patient’s potential for developing heart disease from every angle, including lifestyle habits and high-tech CT scanning of artery blockage. Once the patient has been fully analyzed, the 11 affiliated physicians and their support staff work to reduce the risk factors through cardiology intervention, diet, stress management, exercise and medication.

"Our program is really comprehensive," says Diaz. "If you had the potential for heart disease, this center can evaluate you and treat you as well as any university program or better."

Under Diaz’s care, Spivey-Bates has been able to control her risk factors while improving her health at the same time. "[Dr. Diaz] is very approachable," she says. "He’s out for everyone’s well-being."

Spivey-Bates now works with a nutritionist and a personal trainer and goes to the gym three to four times a week. Her ultimate goal is to control her risks through lifestyle choices, and to stop having to take medication, which Diaz is closely monitoring. She also hopes she’s setting a good example for her adult children who likely have inherited her family’s propensity for risk of heart disease.

 "I’m trying hard to keep my children healthy by telling them about the risks," she says. "And now I have my first grandchild, and I watch her every weekend. I want to be there for her."

Meet the Doctor
"It's Like She's Walked With Me"

When Barbara Courtney’s primary physician retired in the early 1990s, the doctor told Courtney, "There’s a new lady doctor in town, and I hear she’s a real peach." Dr. Mary Yankaskas, an OB-GYN based in Cape Coral, was exactly the kind of caring, hands-on physician Courtney would need for the challenges ahead of her.

"My first child was stillborn," Courtney says. "After you’ve lost one, the panic is horrible. When I was delivering the next baby, she said, ‘You’re keeping this baby from coming; you need to relax.’ And I trusted her."

During the next eight years, Courtney had a total of four children, three of whom Yankaskas delivered (Yankaskas has since focused her practice entirely on gynecology.) "She has a quiet strength," Courtney says of Yankaskas. "She gave me confidence for the rest of my children."

Yankaskas moved to Florida "for the weather" in 1992. This mother of three chose obstetrics early on because, she says, "It’s a very happy field. There’s nothing like the miracle of birth." Today, her cases range from teenage adolescence to menopause. She says key topics for women’s health today include heart disease education, menopausal health and breast cancer screenings. For younger women, she emphasizes education about sexually transmitted diseases.

Like many of her long-term patients, Courtney continues to see Yankaskas. "We’ve come to know each other very well," Yankaskas says. "When you follow patients through the years, you see them through a lot of things."

There’s comfort in that consistency, Courtney says. "It’s almost like she’s walked with me," she says. "I’ve really enjoyed being able to rest in her expertise, and it’s a relationship where I feel equal."

Meet The Doctor
Looking Good at Any Age

Juli Deniz wasn’t in need of a self-confidence overhaul when she decided to seek out a cosmetic surgeon. In fact, she says, "I felt real good about myself. I was always very diet-conscious, and I exercise regularly." But like many women her age, she was looking to reverse the effects of aging—particularly sun damage and "the pull of gravity," as she describes it.

With the guidance of her husband, a former Cleveland Clinic physician, Deniz set about finding the right surgeon. After conducting her research and attending seminars, she selected Dr. Andrew Turk of the Naples Cosmetic Surgery Center located in Physicians Regional Medical Center (formerly Cleveland Clinic Florida). Although she won’t disclose exactly which procedures she had done, Deniz says over the past four years under Turk’s care, she has "come to appreciate what an excellent decision I made."

An 11-year resident of Marco Island and an Ohio native, Deniz says residents in Southwest Florida demand quality healthcare. "There is a standard here that needs to be met," she says. "People here can go anywhere, and that causes the professionals to meet a higher standard."

Turk, who has practiced in Naples for seven years, says the typical cosmetic surgery patient is getting harder to define, especially those requesting filler procedures such as Botox, Restylane and Radiesse.

"The number of those patients has dramatically increased at all age levels and all income levels," says Turk. He credits that to the patients’ and physicians’ desire to not only reverse the signs of aging, but to prevent it as much as possible beforehand.

"I look at preventing aging in the same way as preventing diabetes," he says. "Here, in Southwest Florida, we have people living into their seventh and eighth decade of life, who are more active than those who are 30 years younger, and they want to look good."

For Deniz, the confidence boost she got from her improved appearance was a bonus. "It (cosmetic surgery) doesn’t change who you are inside," she says. "But you feel better and look better on the outside."


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