Savannah Magazine

The Authentic Savannah








2016 Winners

Our readers' picks for the 16th annual Best of Savannah™ survey.

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Best of Savannah 2016

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2016 Top Doctors

Our readers’ list of Savannah’s top docs is the only referral you’ll need.  
The Best of Savannah™ Doctors
We want you to live a healthy and full life, so we’ve done the hard work of finding the top health professionals to serve you.  We asked readers for their recommendations, then vetted the poll with a team of medical experts.  And now it’s yours to keep for when you need it most.
Melvin Haysman, MD Savannah Allergy Associates 5400 Waters Ave., 355-5410 Runner-up: Bruce Finkel, MD


Richard Dodd, MD Lighthouse Anesthesia 400 Mall Blvd., Ste. T, 355-7214 Runner-up: Stephen Miller, MD
Gabriel Pitt, AUD Optimal Hearing 527 Stephenson Ave.,  Ste. A3 352-8530 Runner-up: Cori Palmer, AUD
Bariatric Surgeon
Oliver Whipple, MD Memorial Health Bariatrics 4700 Waters Ave., Memorial Outpatient and Wellness Center, Ste. 403, 350-3438 Runner-up: Robert Kelly, MD


Robert Rollings, MD Savannah Cardiology 6301 Abercorn St., 352-8700 Runner-up: John Rathbun, MD

Cardiovascular Surgeon

Jeremy London, MD Savannah Vascular and Cardiac Institute 4750 Waters Ave., Provident Bldg., #500 352-8346 Runner-up: Robert Jones, MD


Todd Titus, DC Titus Family Chiropractic and Sports Therapy 7373 Hodgson Memorial Drive, Bldg. 6-1 355-3170 Runner-up: Preston Peacock, DC


Brad Durham, DMD Brad Durham Beyond Exceptional Dentistry 1317 Abercorn St., 234-8282 Runner-up: Mark Dye, DMD


Claudia Gaughf, MD Chatham Skin and Cancer Center 639 Stephenson Ave., 354-7124 Runner-up: Corinne Howington, MD

Ear, Nose and Throat Specialist

David Oliver, MD Coastal Ear, Nose and Throat 322 Commercial Drive, Ste. 2, 355-2335 Runner-up: Michael Zoller, MD

Emergency Medical Doctor

Jay Goldstein, MD Department of Emergency Medicine, Memorial 4700 Waters Ave., 350-3849 Runner-up: Bill Bowers, MD

Family Medicine/General Practitioner

Kristen Updegraff, MD Southcoast Medical Group 9 Chatham Center South, Ste. C, 527-7211 Runner-up: Adam Novack, MD

Foot Specialist (Podiatrist/Ankle and Foot Surgeon)

Craig Skalla, DPM Southcoast Medical Group 1326 Eisenhower Drive, Bldg. 1, 691-4100 Runner-up: Steven Shapiro, MD

Functional Medicine Specialist

Mary Kay Ross, MD Institute for Personalized Medicine 3 Johnston St., Ste. A, 352-1234


Mark Murphy, MD The Center for Digestive and Liver Health/ The Endoscopy Center 1139 Lexington Ave., 303-4200 Runner-up: Gregory Borak, MD

General Surgeon

Jeffrey Mandel, MD Savannah Surgical Oncology 7001 Hodgson Memorial Drive, Ste. 1, 354-6303 Runner-up: Charles Usher, MD

Hormone Specialist

Mary Kay Ross, MD Institute for Personalized Medicine 3 Johnston St., Ste. A, 352-1234 Runner-up: Harry Collins, DO

Infectious Disease Specialist

Richard Roth, MD Savannah Infectious  Diseases 5354 Reynolds St., Ste. 421, 354-5543 Runner-up: Melissa Wynn, MD

Doctor of Internal Medicine

Paul Bradley, MD Optim Healthcare 340 Eisenhower Drive, #1200, 443-4200 Runner-up: Kathy Chu, MD


Nizar Eskandar, MD Southcoast Medical Group 1326 Eisenhower Drive, 691-4100 Runner-up: Dana Kumjian, MD


Joel Greenberg, MD Savannah Neurology Specialists 6602 Waters Ave., Bldg. C, 354-7676 Runner-up: Richard Bodziner, MD
Roy Baker, MD Neurological Institute of Savannah 4 Jackson Blvd., 355-1010 Runners-up (TIE): Randolph Bishop, MD, and Jim Lindley, MD


Jason Cook, LPN Pediatric Associates of Savannah 4600 Waters Ave., Ste. 100, 355-2462 Runner-up: Josh Woodley, RN

Obstetrician/Gynecologist or Gynecologist

Joseph Edwards III, MD Savannah OB/GYN Specialists 600 E. 70th St., 355-7766 Runners-up (TIE): Carmela Pettigrew, MD, and Andrew Tucker, MD

Doctor of Occupational Medicine

Davidson Carson, MD Industrial Medicine 1903 Abercorn St., 232-5169

Occupational Therapist

Adrian Bland, OT, PT West Rehab and Sports Medicine Richmond Hill, 756-5699 Runner-up: Linda Fruin, OTR


George Negrea, MD Low Country Cancer Care Associates PC 225 Candler Drive, Ste. 201, 692-2000 Runner-up: Mark Taylor, MD


Mark Manocha, MD Georgia Eye Institute 4720 Waters Ave., 354-4800 Runner-up: Elizabeth “Doll” Miller, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon

Spencer Wheeler, MD Chatham Orthopaedic Associates 4425 Paulsen St., 355-6615 Runners-up (TIE): John George, MD, and Dow Hoffman, MD

Pain Medicine/Management Specialist

Ortelio Bosch, MD Southeast Spine Care and Pain Management 7450 Skidaway Road, 233-6811 Runner-up: Gerald Chai, DO

Pediatrician (TIE)

Benjamin Spitalnick, MD Pediatric Associates of Savannah 4600 Waters Ave., Ste. 100, 355-2462 & Keith Seibert, MD SouthCoast Medical Group 10055 Ford Ave., Ste. 4A, Richmond Hil 527-5352 Runner-up: Dudley Stone, MD


Anthony Royek, MD Savannah Perinatology Associates 4750 Waters Ave., Ste. 302, 350-5970 Runner-up: Wilbert Fortson, MD

Physical Therapist

Lisa Bettio, MSRPT SouthCoast Medical Group 1326 Eisenhower Drive, Bldg. 1, 691-4250 Runner-up: Ernest Ledesma, PT

Physician’s Assistant

Amy Millsap, PA-C Chatham Skin and Cancer Center 639 Stephenson Ave., 354-7124 Runner-up: Anne Carson, PA

Plastic Surgeon

Richard Greco, MD Georgia Institute for Plastic Surgery 5361 Reynolds St., 355-8000 Runner-up: William Dascombe, MD


Kevin Winders, MD Savannah Psychiatry 635 Stephenson Ave., 352-2921 Runner-up: Chad Brock, MD


Jack Considine, MD Coastal Imaging 503 Eisenhower Drive, 355-6255 Runner-up: Patricia Shapiro, MD

Reproductive Endocrinologist

Patrick Blohm, MD The Georgia Center for Reproductive Medicine 5354 Reynolds St., Ste. 510, 352-8588 Runner-up: Lawrence Odom, MD


Than Win, MD Wrightington Rheumatology 4849 Paulsen St., Ste. 209, 352-7960 Runner-up: John Morley, MD


David Oliver, MD Coastal Ear, Nose and Throat 322 Commercial Drive, Ste. 2, 355-2335 Runner-up: Frederick Kuhn, MD

Thoracic Surgeon

Robert Jones, MD Anderson Cancer Institute, Memorial Health 4700 Waters Ave., 350-2299 Runner-up: Jeremy London, MD

Sleep Specialist

James Daly, MD Southeast Sleep Disorders Center 340 Hodgson Court, Ste. 2, 629-2290 Runner-up: Anthony Costrini, MD


Buffi Boyd, MD Urological Associates of Savannah 230 E. DeRenne Ave., 790-4000 Runner-up: John Coursey, MD

Vascular Surgeon

Anthony Sussman, MD Savannah Vascular and Cardiac Institute 4750 Waters Ave., Provident Bldg., Ste. 500 352-8346 Runner-up: Anthony Avino, MD

Weight Loss Specialist

Don Gates, MD Scale Solutions Medical Weight Loss 6602 Abercorn St., Ste. 102, 352-7546 Runner-up: Kyrin Dunston, MD

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To download the full list, click here: JF17.SchoolsChart
JF17.SchoolsChart_Page_1 JF17.SchoolsChart_Page_2 JF17.SchoolsChart_Page_3 JF17.SchoolsChart_Page_4

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BCRunningBack   The senior star running back for Benedictine Military School is one of the city's stellar students.

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This year's Generation NEXT conversation began with a nod to community and ingenuity, harnessing the group of 20's collective minds for a deeper discussion facing Savannah's business community. Get to know our winners, also featured in our January/February 2017 New Frontiers issue, here.

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IMG_9346 Sarah Domet's childhood spent in Catholic school is fodder for her first novel, The Guineveres, which dives into the secret lives of four girls, all named Guinevere, who reluctantly call a convent home. We sat down with Sarah for a little tete-a-tete to introduce us to her debut novel. Photographed at E. Shaver, Bookseller

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Leni Riefenstahl Filming Archie Williams For Deborah Riley Draper, the Savannah Film Festival was more than a screening—it was also a homecoming.

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For the past 16 years, savvy locals have counted on Savannah magazine's annual Best of Savannah™ survey for reader recommendations on the city's best dining, retail and services. Nine years ago, we kicked off the BEST OF SAVANNAH HOMES, a readers' choice survey dedicated to the city's architectural beauty and the experts who care for it. When the refrigerator needs repair or the guest room needs a remodel, we all look to our friends and neighbors for referrals. So we're asking you, our readers, to share you local referrals for Savannah's best home professionals. Your neighbors will thank you. Submit a completed ballot by the Dec. 2, 2016 deadline, and you could win a three-course dinner for two at Savannah River Sessions and an overnight stay, courtesy of the Westin Savannah Harbor Golf Resort and Spa and Aqua Star Seafood Kitchen ($400 value)!

To cast your vote for Best of Savannah HOMES, CLICK HERE »


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 Story and Photo by Maggie Harney

The sanctuary of Asbury Memorial Methodist Church is cavernous, but in the presence of Reverend Billy Hester and Ray Ellis, Asbury’s Minister of Music, it’s full of laughter. With bright wooden walls, enormous windows and plenty of light, one gets the inexplicable feeling that this space is one that’s used to the happy sounds of people.     But even so, a musical telling of Peter Pan (a show that generally flies its actors across the stage in harnesses) seems like a tall order for the open air church that has very little in the way of traditional theatre trappings. Still, it's on Asbury’s agenda for their “God on Broadway” series, so when I ask Billy and Ray what their plan is for making Peter and the Lost Boys lighter than air, their happy laughs fill the room.   “We’re going to be doing metaphorical flying,” chuckles Billy. “Sherri and I and Ray and his husband go to New York once a year, and we saw 'Finding Neverland,' a play about J.M. Barrie, the writer of Peter Pan. In that production, there are actors in black and they pick up the characters. We can’t fly Peter Pan, but we can do that.”   Now in its 11th year, "God on Broadway" is a month-long production that turns Asbury's regular Sunday services into an event filled with show tunes and theatre story lines. Inspired by Reverend Billy’s years on Broadway, and Ray’s love for God, song and dance, the adaptations have become something the entire congregation plans for, and unashamedly waits for, for most of the the year. It’s even now something other churches across the U.S. have asked for permission to copy, and people have been known to plan their Savannah vacations around.   In the past they’ve performed sections of big hits like “Les Misérables” and indie favorites like “Avenue Q,” and this year the bill is just as full for October. Savannah magazine was invited to sit in the pews for a chat, and perhaps a preview, of what “theology meets theatre” is all about.  

Singing Grace

  [caption id="attachment_17009" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Les Miserable. Les Miserables  [/caption]   Both Billy and Ray grew up in strong religious communities, and both had an early love for the theatre, so making "God on Broadway" a seamless part of Asbury's pastoral tradition was all about making the right connections between story and lesson.   “Ministers in their sermons will often talk about books and plays and songs,” notes Billy. “Why do we talk about it? Why don’t we do it and get people to experience it? It was like a no-brainer, that it would be more interesting to someone than just talking about it.”   In a world that’s obsessed with cellphones and instant gratification, it’s too easy to call "God on Broadway" a knee-jerk reaction to the Facebook generation. Yet by incorporating famous songs and dance numbers into the the regular service, this is something that appeals to Millennials and Generation X as much as it does Baby Boomers. Still, Billy and Ray agree it's not an age thing, but a human thing.   “People aren’t going to go away remembering the scriptures,” notes Ray. “But they are going away remembering these show tunes, and the songs stay in their head and give them a way to look at the world differently.”   Combining the talents of both pros and novices, dancers from Gretchen Greene studio and performers of all ages, "God on Broadway" is really a matter of heart, allowing people to connect in a new way. This lends itself to bringing the congregation to the forefront of the service, and making it about the human experience.   “One of the most powerful ones that I’ve experienced was the first time we did 'Chorus Line,'" remembers Ray. "The actors were up on stage, and it’s not your typical audition--the director wants to get to knows these people. Billy planned the service, with five or six normal congregates just being themselves on stage, so they got to share their stories. One was a husband and wife couple and this guy had never shared before, and he just let it all out. Another one came out. Most people knew he was gay but his family didn’t. It was just so incredibly powerful and real.”   Adds Billy, “In that show the director is not seen. You just hear the voice. I didn’t preach that Sunday, I was just a voice in the balcony and they were the sermon. It was all about their stories.”  

Finding The Connections

  [caption id="attachment_17020" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Shrek The Musical. Shrek The Musical.  [/caption]   So is "God on Broadway" about picking the right musical or picking the right Bible lesson? Billy and Ray think the happy spot is somewhere in the middle.     “The same issues that are in the Bible--love and hate, courage, fear, transformation--all of that’s totally universal and relevant for today, and it’s what all these plays are about,” remarks Billy. “It’s just a matter of matching up and having a little fun. We don’t like it to be boring because we’re talking about exciting stuff. We get their attention here.”   The program also lends itself to some situations that seem tricky, and along the way justifies Billy and Ray in their conviction that musicals and scripture belong together.   “We had the funniest thing happen, recounts Billy. “I had a woman want her child baptized on 'Jekyll and Hyde' Sunday. When we thought about what we were trying to say, that God loves Jekylls and Hydes, and there’s this transformation of moving from the dark to the light, it seemed to be a pretty good idea to have a baptism at the end of the service. So two of her kids come up. The first little boy was named Hank, and I put my hand in the water and I looked down at the bulletin to see his full name and it says ‘Henry Edward.’ Henry Edward? I said to myself, it’s Henry Jekyll and Edward Hyde. This is meant to be!”  

The Next Step

    [caption id="attachment_17022" align="aligncenter" width="300"]Shrek The Musical. Shrek The Musical.  [/caption]   "God on Broadway" now fills the church to the absolute brim--"standing room only,” reports Ray-- and the men have their sights set on next year. The diversity and the talent of Savannah may have the makings of a theatre town, and there’s one musical in particular that the entire country has been talking about all year. Will it be on next year’s agenda?   “'Hamilton!'” exclaims Billy. “It’s hard to believe that kids are learning history this way, memorizing these words. We’ll get to 'Hamilton' one day.”   Jokes Ray, “It needs to be on Broadway a little longer so we can get a ticket, and we’ll need some rappers.”   Regardless whether Lin Manuel Miranda’s words show up on the altar stage of Asbury, one thing’s for certain: It’s not about one play in particular, but about the good that it does for the congregation, and the people searching for a new experience at church.   “When you build relationships, you see that life is short," says Billy. “It is filled with pain, and everyone is struggling so why make it harder for people? Make haste to be kind. Do what you can to love. When you come together with all of this diversity, you realize that we’re all similar, and we all have these basic needs. That’s probably in one of these shows.”   “If not, it will be now!” exclaims Ray.  

The Sound of Music was rescheduled to Nov. 13, 2016. For more information about this year’s musical numbers, times, and dates, click here.  

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Our readers are in-the-know. Keep this valuable resource at the ready when you need medical attention.

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