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Best of Jackson: Medical

Photo courtesy LaMonica Davis Taylor

Photo courtesy LaMonica Davis Taylor

As we as Jacksonians endure this pandemic the best we can, wellness and health care is at the forefront of many of our minds. Here at the Jackson Free Press, we want to ease the process of finding medical professionals who can take care of your needs, however broad or specific. You voted foryour favorites in our Best of Jackson Medical ballot. Here are this year's results.

Best Dentist; Best Pediatric Dentist: LaMonica Davis Taylor

(Smiles on Broadway Dental Care for Kids, 5442 Watkins Drive, 601-665-4996, smilesonbroadwaydental.com)

Dr. LaMonica Davis Taylor, owner of Smiles on Broadway Dental Care, is working to educate communities about health and to help children see dentistry in a different light.

The dentist obtained her undergraduate degree from Spelman College and her doctorate from the UMMC School of Dentistry before completing her residency at Bronx Lebanon Hospital in New York.

She founded Smiles on Broadway in 2014 and also sees school-based children in the Jackson area and provides preventive dental care for four school-based clinics in the Delta and for Jackson Head Starts.

"I always knew I wanted to be a health-care provider. I had a traumatic experience as a child and was in an accident, and I ended up having to see a dentist multiple times. So, I definitely knew I wanted to take that route and also do something where I could still be involved in the community," Taylor says.

Taylor lives with her husband Anton and two children, Braxton, who is 4 years old, and Brookly, who is 10 months old. She is also involved in the medical ministry and teaches children's church at her church, True Vine Baptist Church. —Jenna Gibson

Best Dentist

Finalists: April Watson-Stringfellow (Watson Family Dentistry, 2181 Henry Hill Drive, 601-922-1171, watsonfamilydental.com) / Diedra Snell (Ridgewood Smiles Dentistry, 5800 Ridgewood Road, Suite 105, 601-398-2934, ridgewoodsmilesdenistry.com) / John Patterson (Patterson John DDS, 4793 McWillie Drive, 601-366-4891) / Kimberly Wade (3502 W. Northside Drive, 601-362-5321) / Patrice Griffith (Mississippi Smiles Dental, 1189 E. County Line Road, Suite 1010, 601-308-2022, mississippismilesdentistry.com)

Best Pediatric Dentist

Finalists: Jerrick Rose (The Pediatric Dental Studio, 201 Riverwind E. Drive, Pearl, 601-965-9549) / Patrice Griffith (Mississippi Smiles Dental, 1189 E. County Line Road, Suite 1010, 601-308-2022, mississippismilesdentistry.com) / Susan Fortenberry (Pediatric Dentistry, 5315 Highway 18 W., 601-922-0066) / Tiffany P. Green (Southern Smiles Pediatric Dentistry, 101 Luckney Station, Flowood, 601-992-8000)

Best Specialty Clinic: GI Associates & Endoscopy Center

(multiple locations, gi.md)

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Photo courtesy GI Associates & Endoscopy Center

When your medical needs become narrowed, specialty clinics come to the rescue. GI Associates & Endoscopy Center provides medical assistance for a number of gastrointestinal conditions, including hepatitis, gastroparesis, lactose intolerance, pancreatitis, ulcerative colitis and many more. The clinic also offers procedures such as colonoscopies, capsule endoscopy, infusion therapy and more.

Doctors James H. Johnston III, Billy W. Long and James Q. Sones founded GI Associates in 1981 and relocated to central Jackson in 1987. The clinic now serves the metro with locations in Flowood, Vicksburg and Madison.

In addition to all its services, GI Associates also conducts research into the gastrointestinal field. Physicians from the clinic have directed clinical trials and have published a number of scholarly articles that are listed on the organization's website, which also includes resources on diets, pediatrics and other subjects. —Nate Schumann

Finalists: Batson Specialty Clinic (UMMC, 421 S. Stadium Drive, 601-984-5210, umc.edu) / Enhanced Wellness Living (115 W. Jackson St., Suite 1E, Ridgeland, 601-202-5978) / Mississippi Sports Medicine (multiple locations, mississippisportsmedicine.com) / Right Weigh Clinic (309 Airport Road S., Pearl; 105 Span Drive, Brandon, 888-656-7348, rightweighclinic.com) / TrustCare Heart Clinic (multiple locations, trustcarehealth.com) / MEA Primary Care Plus (5606 Old Canton Road, 601-957-3333; 1777 Ellis Ave., 601-371-0400, meamedicalclinics.com)

Best Urgent Care Clinic: MEA

(multiple locations, meamedicalclinics.com)

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Photo courtesy MEA

In 1979, a group of physicians founded the first MEA Medical Clinic in Pearl. The clinic offered extended hours, including Saturday, and allowed patients to visit without booking appointments beforehand.

Today, MEA has grown and now boasts 16 clinics located in Brandon, Byram, Canton, Clinton, Flowood, Flora, Laurel, Madison, North and South Jackson, Pearl, Richland, Ridgeland, Vicksburg and Yazoo City.

While MEA does not treat chronic pain syndromes, all clinics do offer a continuum of care for chronic conditions like hypertension, high cholesterol, diabetes and more. MEA notes on its website that its clinics do not represent or replace hospital emergency care, and for medical conditions outside of the organization's scope of practice, MEA professionals refer patients to appropriate specialists. —Nate Schumann

Finalists: Baptist Urgent and Primary Care Clinics (multiple locations, baptistmedicalclinic.org) / Fast Pace Urgent Care (multiple locations, fastpacehealth.com) / TrustCare Express Medical Clinics (multiple locations, trustcarehealth.com) / UMMC Quick Care (2500 N. State St., 601-984-1000, umc.edu)

Best Physical Therapist: Jasmine Smith

(Healing Hands Rehabilitation Services, 
105 Lexington Drive, Suite H, 601-910-7300, hhrehab.com)

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Photo courtesy Jasmine Smith

Jasmine Smith, co-founder of Healing Hands Rehabilitation Services, has known she wanted to be a physical therapist since she was 10 years old, after observing sessions her grandfather had to take after having a stroke, as well as later sessions she observed when her parents had to undergo PT.

A Jacksonian by birth, Smith graduated from Callaway High School and earned her physical-therapy credentials through degrees obtained from Mississippi State University and UMMC.

She worked in physical therapy for several years before a family member encouraged her to open her own private practice in Jackson in 2016 alongside Brittany Flaggs.

"I have never wanted to leave Jackson, or Mississippi for that matter. I was born and raised here. Jackson's been good to me. Mississippi has been good to me. I wanted to return the favor by staying and playing a part in helping Mississippi be all that it could be," Smith says. "With the brain drain, where professionals are trained and then take their talents elsewhere, I didn't want to do that. I wanted to contribute to my state, to my city, and stay here and try to do great things here."

She is married to Robert Smith III and has two children, Robert Smith IV and Rylee. —Nate Schumann

Finalists: Brittany Flaggs (Healing Hands Rehabilitation Services, 105 Lexington Drive, Suite H, Madison, 601-910-7300, hhrehab.com) / Charles Benford (Capitol Physical Therapy, 5888 Ridgewood Road, 601-978-1798, capitolpt.org) / Kathy McColumn (McColumn Physical Therapy, 5225 Highway 18 W., 601-487-8456, mccolumnpt.com) / Lisa Bryant (Christian Preparatory Nursery, 363 Highland Colony Parkway, Ridgeland, 601-991-0057)

Best Optometrist/Ophthalmologist: Tonyatta Hairston

(Envision Eye Care & Optical Boutique, 1316 N. State St., 601-987-3937, 987eyes.com)

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Photo courtesy Tonyatta Hairston

Dr. Tonyatta Hairston, owner of Envision Eye Care & Optical Boutique, knows she is practicing where she should be.

"Mississippi is my home, so I can't imagine providing my talents anywhere else. This city and state have given me so much. It's a true blessing being able to give back to a community that's given to me."

As a health-care professional, Hairston uses her business as a means of teaching clients how to manage their eyesight.

"There are certainly a lot of needs with health disparity. Diabetes is the number-one cause of losing eyesight, so being able to educate and help people and help them understand what they can do to make a change is important to me."

After having her first eye exam at age 6, Hairston knew exactly what career path lied ahead for her. "Seeing a new patient's expression when they get to see clearly for the first time, that's my favorite part of the job," she says.

"When we think about our eyesight and all it does for us, I love that I have the ability to help people experience vision as clearly and as best as possible," she says. —Sarah Kate Pollard

Finalists: Arthur Dampier (Ridgeland Eyecare Center Inc., 8 Professional Parkway, Ridgeland, 601-957-8444) / Christopher Bullin (Mississippi EyeCare Associates, 350 W. Woodrow Wilson Ave., 601-366-9020) / Marjorie McLin Lenoir (Reflections Vision Center, 101-C, Lexington Drive, Madison, 601-605-4423; 2129 Grand Ave., Yazoo City, 662-716-8161) / Taylor Smith (UMMC, 2500 N. State St., 601-984-1000, umc.edu) / Tina Sorrey (Eyecare Professionals, 1501 Lakeland Drive, 601-366-1085, eyecare4ms.com)

Best Orthodontist: Chandra Minor

(Smile Design Orthodontics, 201 Riverwind Drive E., Pearl, 601-965-9561, smiledesignorthoms.com; Vicksburg Orthodontics, 1909 Mission 66, Vicksburg, 601-661-0804, vicksburgorthodontics.com)

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Photo courtesy Chandra Minor

Originally from Hazlehurst, Miss., Dr. Chandra Minor now owns and operates two orthodontics businesses in the Jackson metro, Smile Design Orthodontics in Pearl and Vicksburg Orthodontics in Vicksburg.

She completed her undergraduate degree with Alcorn State University in 2008 before enrolling at the UMMC School of Dentistry, earning her doctorate of dental medicine in 2012.

She decided to open her first practice in Pearl after being encouraged by a colleague. Given that Hazlehurst already had an orthodontics practice, Minor felt she would be able to serve a larger area by setting up shop in the Jackson metro. The Vicksburg location followed not long afterward.

"Running a small business takes a lot of patience, hard work and dedication, (but) orthodontics is great. I love it. It's the easy part," Minor says. "I enjoy interacting with patients and being able to improve their smiles and self-confidence."

Outside of work, Minor enjoys spending time with her family. She has recently married and is expecting a baby later this year. —Nate Schumann

Finalists: G. Dodd Brister Jr. (Brister Orthodontics, 3007 Greenfield Road, Pearl, 601-824-5878, bristerorthodontics.com) / Eugene C. Brown Jr. (Smiles by Design, 5800 Ridgewood Road, Suite 103, 601-957-1711, dreugenebrown.com) / Jason Vassar (Bierdeman Vassar Orthodontics, 2680 River Ridge Drive, 601-981-3036; 525 Thomastown Lane, Suite A, Ridgeland, 601-856-3054; 749 Clinton Parkway, Clinton, 601-926-1772; bvortho.com) / Noel Reed (Reed Orthodontics, 451 Pebble Creek Drive, Madison, 601-898-8000, noelreed.com) / Priscilla Jolly (Jolly Orthodontics, 1000 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite 7201, Ridgeland, 601-605-2400, jollyortho.com) / William P. Edgar (101 Avalon Court, Suite C, Brandon, 601-919-2990)

Best Doctor: Justin Turner

(TurnerCare, 2135 Henry Hill Drive, 601-398-2335, turnercarems.com)

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Photo courtesy Justin Turner

Dr. Justin Turner of TurnerCare believes in treating the whole person and understanding that physical and mental health go hand in hand.

"(I strive to go) to sleep knowing that that day I was able to help make patients leave the office better than how they came," he says. "I realized that working for corporate health care wasn't what I was suppose to do, I wanted to have individual relationships with my patients."

Through his practice, Turner aims to creative his own path in offering health care.

"Health disparity isn't new, but right now is the perfect time to start intentionally addressing it. ... I strive to individually educate my patients so that they know the changes they can make to make a difference in their everyday lives," he says.

Currently, Turner is on five COVID-19 task forces and explains that his decision to do so was more of a calling than simply accepting a job and that he's excited to continue to work with others to make a difference. —Sarah Kate Pollard

Finalists: Channing Twyner (UMMC, 2500 N. State St., 601-984-1000, umc.edu) / John Vanderloo (Vanderloo Family Medicine, 3000 Old Canton Road, Suite 240, 601-228-5491) / Kimberly Smash (Prolific Health & Wellness, 2675 River Ridge Drive, 601-718-0308) / Rosie Walker-McNair (Merit Health River Oaks, 1030 River Oaks Drive, 601-932-1030, merithealthriveroaks.com) / Stanley Sims (Sims Chiropractic Clinic, 500 E, Woodrow Wilson Ave, Suite F, 601-982-0988) / Timothy Quinn (Quinn Healthcare, PLLC, 768 Avery Blvd. N., Ridgeland, 601-487-6482, quinntotalhealth.com)

Best Nurse Practitioner/Physician's Assistant: Keila Brown-Jones

(Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center, 601-362-5321, jackson-hinds.com)

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Photo courtesy Keila Brown-Jones

Keila Brown-Jones always knew she wanted to enter the medical field. After earning her bachelor's degree in biology from Tougaloo, she began teaching elementary-school math while working toward her master's degree in health services administration through Mississippi College. After two years of teaching, Brown-Jones decided to pursue nursing.

Brown-Jones works at the Jackson-Hinds Comprehensive Health Center, one of the largest community health centers in the state. The center provides health care to the uninsured, insured, underinsured and everything in between. With the center, she leads its chronic care management program.

"Mississippi ranks at the top for chronic diseases. I want to work with other professionals to help decrease that and improve the quality of life," she says. "Being in the South, there's a stigma of us being unhealthy, and I want to work to remove that. (But) it takes all of us working together and making big changes to do that." —Sarah Kate Pollard, Nate Schumann

Finalists: Alisha McArthur Wilkes (Quinn Healthcare, 768 Avery Blvd. N., Ridgeland, 601-487-6482, quinntotalhealth.com) / Ashleigh Twyner (UMMC, 2500 N. State St., 601-984-1000, umc.edu) / Bethany Edwards (TrustCare Express Medical Clinics, 4880 Interstate 55 N., 601-487-9199, trustcarehealth.com) / Kelly B. Engelmann (Enhanced Wellness Living, 115 W. Jackson St., Ridgeland, Suite 1E, 601-202-5978, enhancedwellness.com) / Racolesha Denson (St. Dominic Hospital, 969 Lakeland Drive, 601-200-2000, stdom.com) / Rochelle Sandifer (Family Health Care Clinic, 1307 Airport Road, Flowood, 601-936-3485, familyhealthcareclinic.com) / Skye Gray (Mississippi Medical Aesthetics, 111 Fountains Blvd., Madison, 601-790-9427, msnewyou.com) / Stacia Dunson (Harmony House Calls and Medical Services, 7 Lakeland Circle W., Suite 500, harmonyhousecallsllc.com) / Tamela Mathis (1051 Highland Colony Parkway, Suite E, Ridgeland, 601-707-3737) / Tracy Rhinewalt (TrustCare Express Medical Clinics, 4880 Interstate 55 N., 601-487-9199, trustcarehealth.com)

Best Women’s Health Clinic: Lakeland Premier Women’s Clinic

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Photo courtesy Lakeland Premier Women’s Clinic

(2506 Lakeland Drive, Suite 600, Flowood, 601-939-1600, lakelandpremierwc.com)

A local leader in the field of women’s health, Lakeland Premier Women’s Clinic aims to provide comprehensive health care to women of all ages and races throughout the Jackson metro and beyond, its website says. Doctors Rhonda Sullivan-Ford, Natasha N. Hardeman and Temeka Johnson founded the clinic, with the goal of meeting patients’ needs—whether they be physical, emotional or spiritual—the organization’s website says. Lakeland Premier’s physicians share 50 years of combined experience between them.

The clinic offers a full range of obstetric and gynecological services, including preconception planning, prenatal visits, gynecological examinations, menopause treatments, breast cancer screenings, colposcopies, hysteroscopies, contraception counseling and more. In addition, Lakeland Premier’s website features a library of informational resources for visitors on a plethora of subjects relating to women’s health. —Nate Schumann

Finalists: Fulton Center for Women’s Health (1963 W. McDowell Road, 601-372-3632, lorijfultonmd.com) / Jackson Healthcare for Women (291 E. Layfair Drive, Flowood, 601-936-9190, jhcfw.com) / Southern Women’s Health (Merit Health River Oaks, 1020 River Oaks Drive, Suite 310, Flowood, 601-932-5006, swhealth.net) / The Women’s Clinic (501 Marshall St., Suite 400, 601-354-0869; 401 Baptist Drive, Suite 402, Madison, 601-354-0869) / Women’s Health Associates (1050 River Oaks Drive, Flowood, 601-420-0134)

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