Saturday, December 9, 2023

Checking up with Top Docs & Wellness Champions

Dr. Wade Banker

Luxe Laser, Vein, & Body Center
1500 Holland Rd. | Maumee
419-893-2775 |

Education: Medical College of Ohio (now UTMC)
How do you keep informed in the medical field? We have a conference and training facility at Luxe. Doctors from around the country visit us to learn how to properly perform procedures with the newest and best equipment. 
What medical advancements are you excited about? I like that we can now use local anesthesia for procedures like breast augmentation, tucks, and liposuction. It significantly reduces the cost of the service and is easier on the patient.  
My fitness routine is: We put a gym in at Luxe so I can work out when I have a break between patients. It’s important to stay fit, as surgical procedures require stamina and stability on the part of the doctor.


Christy A. Lorton M.D. & Sarah Stierman, M.D.

Dermatology Associates/ Ada Aesthetics
12780 Roachton Rd. | Perrysburg
419-872-0777 |

Christy A. Lorton M.D. 
Ohio State University School of Medicine, Dermatology Residency at University of Cincinnati College of Medicine
You’d be surprised to know that: I was an Air Force doctor stationed in Germany. If I wasn’t a medical professional, I would be: A baker.
What medical advancements are you excited about? Non-surgical innovations for facial rejuvenation.

Sarah Stierman, M.D.
Education: University of Toledo College of Medicine
What inspired you to become a physician? When I was a teenager, my father died from melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer. I strive to help patients in the way I wish I could have helped him.
Why did you pick your specialty? I love my job. Dermatology encompasses a broad range of patient ages, ethnicities, and concerns. It’s medical, surgical, cosmetic, and laboratory medicine rolled into one. I love that it’s a little bit of everything.
What’s the funniest thing a patient has asked you? A 4-year-old patient asked me if I was Princess Ariel (I’m a redhead). I was very flattered!


Jonathan Frankel, DDS

Jon Frankel Dentistry
5012 Talmadge Rd. #100 | 419-720-2008
4359 Keystone Dr. |  Maumee | 419-893-0221

Education: Ohio State University School of Dentistry
What inspired you to become a physician? I wanted a career in sports. I was tempted to become a professional tennis player, but my Dad’s passion for dentistry was contagious. I saw how his patients were considered friends. I heard over and over again from patients (inside the office and out) about the quality of his work. I wanted to be part of it. 
My pet peeve is: Making patients wait. I decided while still in dental school, my patients would not wait. They don’t!
What is the funniest thing a patient has asked you? Can you help me grow back my tooth? Not yet, I’m sure it will be possible someday in the future.


Tamara D Willingham L.Ac.,Dipl. OM, MSAOM

Tamara TCM Acupuncture & Herbs
27068 Oakmead Dr. | Perrysburg 
419-345-4996 |

Education: Bastyr University
What inspired you to become a TCM practitioner? While I was attending school for massage therapy, we had a licensed acupuncturist teach a class on five element acupuncture and I was fascinated. Seven years later I sold my massage practice and moved to Seattle to study acupuncture and herbal medicine.
You’d be surprised to know that: Most people fall asleep during acupuncture treatments.  People wake themselves up snoring all the time!
If I wasn’t a medical professional, I would be: A waitress, dancer or model— maybe an artist!


Andrew Croak D.O., M.S., F.A.C.O.O.G.

Northwest Ohio Center for Urogynecology & Women’s Health
625 Gibbs St. | Maumee
419-893-7134 |

Education: Fellowship trained in Female Pelvic Medicine & Reconstructive Surgery (Urogynecology) with a degree in Biomedical Science from the Mayo Clinic.
How, or why, did you pick your specialty? There is a large need for physicians that treat women’s pelvic floor disorders. The variety of patients I treat, and the positive results that improve their quality of life, are extremely rewarding.
The cause that I am most passionate about is: Promoting the strength, perseverance and quality of independent healthcare.
What are the biggest challenges in your field of medicine? In my opinion, it is medical intrusion by industries and regulation that interferes with the patient-physician relationship.


Ted Hunter, MD, MA, DABPN

Harbor Behavioral Health Affiliate of ProMedica
123 22nd St.
419-241-6191 ext. 1610 |

Education: Wayne State University School of Medicine
You’d be surprised to know that: It’s been said that no one enters medical school with the goal of becoming a child psychiatrist— but my decision and desire to become a physician was intricately intertwined with my desire to become a child psychiatrist. Before this, I worked as an ordained Minister of Religion, and then as a child and adolescent mental health counselor and family therapist.
What inspired you to become a physician/child psychiatrist? While working as child and adolescent counselor in a community mental health agency in the late 1990s and early 2000s, I became acutely aware of the dire shortage of child and adolescent psychiatrists. I felt deeply moved to do something about this.
The cause that I am most passionate about is: Reducing the stigma surrounding mental illness and encouraging more people to seek help sooner rather than later. I also want to work towards improving access to child psychiatrists, particularly in underserved areas.


Robert B. Esplin, DVM

4801 N. Holland Sylvania Rd. | Sylvania
419-885-4421 |

Education: Ohio State University college of Veterinary Medicine
Who inspires you? Jack Heisman. He was an originator of what we see today in college and professional football. He had a straight forward approach and his players had to be gentlemen and conditioned. I find his life inspiring. 
I am of most proud of: We are one of only three veterinary centers in the area that are regularly inspected and certified by the American Animal Hospital Association. We are proud that clients walk in the door knowing that we meet the highest standards. Clients don’t need to go elsewhere for emergencies, unless it required a specialist care. We are a true hospital with 24/7 staffing.
What is the funniest thing a patient has asked you? During my first year of practice I received a phone call in the middle of the night. My wife woke up hearing me say, “You have an eight foot what?” The person on the other line had an eight-foot boa constrictor that was part of her cabaret performance that needed medical care.


Marlene C. Welch, MD, PhD, FACS

AM Skin Health and Plastic Surgery
6525 Secor Rd. | Lambertville, MI
734-568-6100 |

Education: University of North Carolina (undergrad and medical school), University of Michigan for plastic surgery residency and PhD
Why did you pick your specialty? I watched a program on TV about plastic surgeons going to the Philippines to repair cleft lips. I immediately knew that plastic surgery was what I wanted to do. I was 12.
My pet peeve is: Adults smoking while driving with children in the car.
The cause that I am most passionate about is: Lifestyle medicine. In the US, 80% of premature deaths annually are attributed to tobacco, poor diet and lack of physical activity. Also 80% of our health care costs are due to chronic diseases that are related to modifiable lifestyle factors. Medicine needs to turn away from treating diseases with drugs and technology. We need more focus on healthy living: stop smoking, manage stress, sleep well, eat better and move more.


Dr. Nithya Nagaraj D.D.S.

Hires Dental Care
3951 W. Sylvania Ave. 
419-475-6673 |

Education: Case Western Reserve University, University of Michigan
What inspired you to become a physician? I chose the field of dentistry because I can meet a variety of people in my community and directly help them improve their oral and overall health.
If I wasn’t a medical professional I would be: A chef.
What are the most important qualities people should look for in a medical professional? A doctor who makes evidence based decisions, is empathetic, and kind.
What is the funniest thing a patient has asked you? A patient who was an opera singer started singing while I was filling his tooth as a stress reliever!
How do you manage stress? With a good laugh— usually at myself. 


Frank Barone, MD, FACS

evolv Plastic Surgery and Medical Aesthetics
2000 Regency Ct., # 204
419-720-2008 |

Education: Duke University and Indiana University (undergraduate), University of Illinois Medical Center (graduate), Indiana University (Masters), Medical College of Ohio (now UTMC) (MD)
Why did you pick your specialty? Plastic surgery is a specialty focused on reconstruction, as well as aesthetic or cosmetic procedures, to improve quality of life for patients— I love the unique blend of artistry and science.
How do you keep informed in the medical field? My specialty is experiencing an incredible evolution in technology, medical products and services— staying current requires attending national meetings, seminars and a lot of reading.
I am most proud of: Participating as a volunteer surgeon for over 25 years with Operation Smile, both overseas and regionally, to reconstruct clefts and facial deformities in children. I am also proud of my staff at evolv… I feel privileged to work with such an exceptional group of caring and competent professionals!


Jennifer Ludwig DDS, MS

Drs. Haerian, Ludwig & Simon Orthodontics
6407 Monroe St. | 419-882-1017 

6407 Monroe Street
Sylvania, OH 43560

7928 Secor Road | P.O. Box 860
​Lambertville, MI 48144
734.854.6221 |

Education: Ohio State University, University of Detroit Mercy Certificate in Orthodontics
Why did you pick your specialty? I have the ability to create smiles. If I wasn’t a medical professional, I would be: A sports analyst.
My pet peeve is: People who do not recycle. 
The cause that I am most passionate about is: Access to quality dental care for everyone.


Drs. Laurence Baibak, A. Thomas Dalagiannis and C. Jeff Kesler

Arrowhead Plastic Surgeons, Inc.
1360 Arrowhead Rd. | Maumee
419-855-2955 |

Lawrence Baibak, MD, FACS
Education: University of Toledo, Medical College of Ohio
What three people, throughout history, inspire you? Jesus Christ, George Washington and my father, Dr. George Baibak.
What are the biggest challenges in your field of medicine? Unqualified people doing plastic surgery. 

A. Thomas Dalagiannis, MD, FACS
Education: Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio & Wright State University School of Medicine in Dayton
How, or why, did you pick your specialty? I picked my specialty because I’m very artistic and good with my hands. I also care about people.
If I wasn’t a medical professional, I would be: A teacher.

C. Jeff Kesler, MD, FACS
Education: Youngstown State University, Medical College of Ohio
You’d be surprised to know that: The most powerful aspect of my practice is my team. My scheduler, Dawn, and my nurse, Monique, refine the entire process. 
If I wasn’t a medical professional, I would be: A professional airline pilot.

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