Congrats! My City Wellness Awards Winners 2019

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We are proud to profile these winners of our 2019 My City Wellness Awards.

Nominations for outstanding health professionals of 2020 begin on August 1.


Lauren Byrne Goldie, NP

Occupation: Nurse Practitioner, Karlene Dermatology, Flint
Education: Bachelor of Science in Nursing – University of Michigan-Flint (1999); Master of Science in Nursing – Wayne State University (2010)
Special Training: Certified Pediatric Nurse Practitioner
Affiliation(s): Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, Michigan Council
of Nurse Practitioners, University of Michigan-Flint School of Nursing, Michigan State University School of Nursing, Spring Arbor University

When did you know you wanted to be in health care?

I’ve known health care was my path since high school. My mother is a registered nurse and it inspired me to do the same.

How did you choose your field?

I don’t necessarily feel I chose my field; rather, it chose me. It was a matter of happenstance. I was working in a private pediatric practice, and came upon a fantastic opportunity in dermatology. I took a leap of faith and the rest is history – one of the best career decisions I’ve made.

What is the most rewarding thing about your profession?

As a Nurse Practitioner, it is an honor to be a part of the nurse-patient relationship. To care for, nurture, educate and empower patients at their most vulnerable is so rewarding. It can make a difference in their quality of life, and that’s what drives my passion. Serving the community where I’ve spent most of my life has been a tremendous experience.

What is your number one piece of health advice?

Communicate. Communication skills are vital. They are the key to a successful nurse-patient relationship and positive patient outcomes. Never discount the power of communication.


Sumit Gupta, PT

Occupation: Physical Therapist, Michigan Physical Therapy Associates, Flint
Education: 1990 Graduate of the Physical Therapy Program from IPH, New Delhi, India
Special Training: Certified in McKenzie Mechanical Diagnosis, MedX Certified, TPI Medical Certification; dry-needling certified, BFR certified
Affiliation(s): APTA member

When did you know you wanted to be in health care?

I cannot remember a time when I did not want to be in the healthcare field. I grew up in an environment that fostered compassion and encouraged intellectual growth. I had a head for science, so at some level, it was a natural choice.

How did you choose your field?

The field chose me, and it was a match made in heaven.

What is the most rewarding thing about your profession?

It has allowed me to practice in different countries; India, Britain and America. The last 29 years of experience in the field allows me to apply outside-the-box thinking to solve complex problems. The most rewarding thing is getting to reduce the suffering of my patients and improve their quality of life. Vice versa, interacting with people from different walks of life has had an equally strong impact on my life.

What is your number one piece of health advice?

The body thrives on activity – feed it! Movement is the essence, embrace it. Keep moving my friend, keep moving.


Dana Hill, RPh

Occupation: Pharmacist, Rite Aid – Fenton
Education: Bachelors of Science in Pharmacy – Ferris State University

When did you know you wanted to be in health care?

In college, I realized pharmacy was included in that category and it was a perfect fit.

How did you choose your field?

Growing up in Grand Blanc, there was a small, independent pharmacy (Hinman Pharmacy) across the street from the subdivision where I lived. I was there all the time, for one thing or another. Mr. Hinman (owner and pharmacist) pierced my ears, and I thought that was pretty cool. That was probably when I knew for sure, this was the profession for me.

What is the most rewarding thing about your profession?

I have been at the same location (from Perry Drugs to Rite Aid) for 30 years. I would have to say the most rewarding thing about this profession has been walking through life with my patients. Sharing struggles, sharing victories, watching families grow, patients asking about my kids through the years, and I in return learning about theirs. Helping patients is, of course, a part of the job, but truly knowing them is what counts.

What is your number one piece of health advice?

Care for yourself from the inside out. Look past the health issue that has brought you into the pharmacy and try to gain insight on what else you could be learning at the moment. Sometimes, the root of an illness is not always obvious.


Robert Lesneski, DDS

Occupation: Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeon, Greater Michigan Oral Surgeons and Dental Implant Center
Education: Bachelor of Science – Michigan State University; Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) – University of Detroit Mercy; Anesthesia Training (1.5 years of residency) – Temple University; Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Training, Certificate in Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery – Gunderson Lutheran Medical Center
Special Training: In-office anesthesia, dental implant and full-mouth dental implant reconstruction, complex bone-grafting, zygomatic implants

When did you know you wanted to be in health care?

I wanted to be in health care ever since I was a young child and all I have ever wanted to do was to help people improve their health and overall lives.

How did you choose your field?

I went into oral and maxillofacial surgery because it allows me to perform a variety of different and complex surgeries. Each day presents a different challenge.

What is the most rewarding thing about your profession?

Some people lose teeth at a very young age and not only does it have severe health consequences but it also cripples their self-confidence. When patients have no teeth or dentures, they have an overall lack of self-confidence and a limited ability to eat. Giving them the ability to smile and chew again with dental implants is an absolute life-changer. It restores function, health and confidence. It often opens the door for many more opportunities, from relationships to jobs. Each year, I perform a free surgical reconstruction on a patient, giving them a full mouth of dental implants and teeth that would normally cost somewhere between $40,000-60,000. This is called the Second Chance Program. Our Facebook page shows example of patients we have helped.

What is your number one piece of health advice?

A healthy body starts with what we put in our mouths as food. I am a big believer in daily exercise and a lifestyle that limits processed foods.


Frank V. Tilli MD, FACC, FSCAI

Occupation: Interventional Cardiologist, Ascension Genesys Hospital
Education: MD Degree – University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine; Internal Medicine Residency – University of California San Diego; Cardiology Fellowship – George Washington University; Interventional Cardiology Fellowship – William Beaumont Hospital, Royal Oak, MI
Special training: Transcatheter Aortic Valve Replacement
Affiliations: Fellow, American College of Cardiology; Fellow, Society of Coronary Angiography and Intervention

When did you know you wanted to be in healthcare?

From an early age, maybe 5 or 6 years old, I was inspired by my Uncle Jack who was a general practitioner in South Philadelphia. I used to visit his office on weekends and see all the books, medical charts, medical equipment and anatomic models, and I was fascinated by what he did to heal his patients. I knew from that early age that this was what I wanted to do when I grew up.

How did you choose your field?

As a third-year medical student, I was able to do an out-rotation in cardiology at York Hospital in Pennsylvania. I spent a month following around an interventional cardiologist there named Ed Martin. Whatever Dr. Martin did, I got to participate in, including some of the simpler procedures. I realized then how much I liked cardiology and how satisfying it was to take care of cardiac patients.

What is the most rewarding thing about your profession?

Being able to relieve my patients’ symptoms, improve their quality of life, and help prevent recurrent cardiac problems in their future.

What is your number one piece of health advice?

Take good care of your body through healthful diet, exercise, being compliant with your medications and follow-up with your physician. Ask questions if there is something you do not understand, because a properly informed patient is most likely to stay engaged and do the right thing for their health.


Nicole Wax, DDS

Occupation: Orthodontist
Education: Linden High School; Bachelors of Science (Physiology) with a specialization in Bioethics, Humanities, and Society – Michigan State University; Doctor of Dental Surgery – Ohio State University; Orthodontic Specialization and Master of Science – University of Detroit Mercy
Affiliations: American Association of Orthodontics, Michigan Association of Orthodontics, Genesee District Dental Society, Diamond Plus Invisalign Provider, Executive Board of Director for the Fenton & Linden Chamber of Commerce

When did you know you wanted to be in health care?

When I was young, I wanted to be a 3rd grade teacher or a dentist. I have always loved kids, teaching and helping people. I got braces when I was 13 and fell in love with the change in my smile and confidence! After my personal experience and as I found out that orthodontists work with kids on a daily basis, it was instantly clear to me! So, after high school I set off to college knowing I would have a long road ahead, 11 years to be exact, to achieve my dream career of becoming an orthodontic specialist.

What is the most rewarding thing about your profession?

There are so many! First, I get to make a positive change in the community. We donate a portion of every treatment back to a local school, charity or organization. I love the community involvement and relationships we build both inside the office and outside. In orthodontics, you often spend a couple years with your patients, so you really get to know them and their family. It’s fun to watch them grow up and their confidence change as their smile changes. I love everything about my job: my patients, my community, and the Wax Team I work with.

What is your top dental health advice?

You are never too old to straighten your teeth and build your confidence!


Jason M. White, DC

Occupation: Chiropractor
Education: Bachelors in Zoology – Michigan State University; Doctor of Chiropractic – Palmer College of Chiropractic Davenport, IA
Affiliation(s): Century Club Member, Michigan Association of Chiropractors; Sales Coordinator, Juice Plus Company; Business Networking International, Freedom Center, ECO, Fenton Chamber of Commerce

When did you know you wanted to be in health care?

From the time I was in elementary school I had one goal, and that was to go to MSU and become a veterinarian. After completing the pre-vet program in my first two years of undergraduate work, I realized that maybe becoming a veterinarian was no longer my dream or destiny.

How did you choose your field?

A couple of injuries I had in my early 20s exposed me to chiropractic treatment that worked very well for me. Dr. John Cowan in Clarkston, MI explained everything to me in detail, showed me what was wrong and how it was going to be corrected. I was also treated by a chiropractor near the MSU campus. I realized that both of them loved what they were doing – from that point forward, I knew what my calling was! It fit my passion and my personality.

What is the most rewarding thing about your profession?

There are so many rewarding aspects. I get to work with colicky babies to help get them calmed down and feeling better, which also allows mom and dad to get some rest. I enjoy treating athletes so they can return to the sport they love and also helping people return to work from debilitating conditions. Overall, though, I would say it is opening people’s minds to the healing power that resides in each and every one of us. When we relieve pressure on the nerve system, the entire body will wake up and start to heal itself as it was intended to do.

What is your number one piece of health advice?

Without question it is to be pro-active and not re-active. I explain it this way: you wouldn’t get in your car and drive it until it runs out of gas and then fill it up. So, why would you do that with your body? We need to take care of it along the way, and by doing so, we can avoid so many diseases, illnesses and injuries. Take care of yourself and be proactive!

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