The regional authority on living well, Jax Mag offers readers the best in entertaining, design, food and travel, as well as thought-provoking insight on local issues, profiles on some of the most intriguing and influential River City residents, and in-depth features on the history and color of this fascinating region.
Jeff Congo lead singer of Austin Park & Heather Lewandowski owner of Devoted Engagement Planning
Start the day at Starbucks—the drive-thru in the Nocatee Town Center is all-too-convenient—for a white mocha for her and a black and white mocha for him.
Take the dogs for a walk on one of the area’s many nature trails. The Nocatee Greenway includes more than 5,000 acres of connecting parks, protected wildlife corridors, and wetland preserves and can be traveled via foot, golf cart or bike.
Launch the kayaks from the Nocatee boat ramp for a quick paddle down the Intracoastal to burn off lunch.
Head to the Nocatee Splash Park, where we can enjoy a drink and snacks at the newly opened bar, lay out in the sun and watch the kids have a blast for hours.
Head to Treylor Park, a charming restaurant in the Town Center with everything from seasonal cocktails to addictive apps like PB&J wings and avocado fries. It doesn’t get much better than the Grilled Apple Pie Sandwich with cheddar cheese, cinnamon-roasted apples and bacon on brioche. Wow.
Ride the golf cart down to Yobe for an evening treat: frozen yogurt. We like vanilla topped with plenty of fruit and sprinkles, and chocolate with Oreos.
The idea of letting your child use a credit card might alarm many parents, but it’s not uncommon for kids to tote around their very own plastic. A recent CreditCards.com poll found that six million American parents have given at least one of their children a credit card. There are obvious pros and cons, and a key question parents might ask when it comes to taking this important step with their child as they venture into the world of financial responsibility is how young is too young? About 18 percent of kids between ages 8 and 14 carry credit cards, a 2017 survey from T. Rowe Price revealed.
A father of two teenagers himself, Jax Federal Credit Union president and CEO Joe Nowland says that while a number of surveys show that the common age for first-time credit card holders is 21, if a parent chooses to talk with their child about credit cards around age 16, it’s perfectly fine to allow use of plastic that’s tied to their parents’ accounts and only swiped when absolutely necessary. That’s the essential rule for Nowland’s 17-year-old son, J.W. “The question is, ‘why would a teenager need a credit card, and at what point do they need it?’” Nowland says. “My son didn’t get one until he was 16, but it’s for those major purchases and emergencies. That is the only reason he should be using that card.”
The challenge is that in the child’s mind, that small piece of plastic embossed with his or her name represents unlimited funds, and the child may not realize that those bills will need to be paid. “They’re more likely to use it, and in some cases use it too much,” Nowland says. That’s why this parent-teenager conversation should begin with helping the teenager understand managing their finances in general, whether it’s credit cards, credit scores or budgeting and spending. A parent can name a child as an authorized user on an account, or let the child use a card with a lower limit— $500, for example. This helps build their credit earlier in life. However, it’s imperative that parents also teach their children about understanding the damage that can be done to their credit, no matter how small. “I’ve talked to my son’s friends, and to them, they may think, ‘My balance is only $200. How’s that going to hurt my credit?’ Or, ‘It’s only $200. So what if I don’t pay the bill?’” Nowland says. He recommends parents ease their child into financial literacy through debit cards tied to a parent’s account. “You can transfer small amounts of money and help build that behavior at a younger age, so as your child grows up, they’ve already learned how to be more financially aware.”
The 50-30-20 rule can prove useful when educating kids about budgeting. A child can put aside 50 percent of her allowance or earnings for necessities, like her car gas if she drives, or a cell phone bill. Thirty percent can be used for discretionary spending—things a child would like to do, but doesn’t have to, like going to the movies. The final 20 percent, according to Nowland, can go toward savings or reducing some kind of debt. “When you start early with your teen, when they get out of high school and go on with their life, you’ve already built those behaviors to help them be successful,” he says.
To supplement what they’re learning from parents at home, high schoolers in Northeast Florida can learn about finances through real-world experience and programs offered at financial institutions including VyStar Credit Union. When VyStar branch vice president Brittany Rudd was 15 years old in 2007, she was able to dive into financial education through the credit union’s High School Branch Program. Since 2006, the program has allowed students who are interviewed and selected to perform essential duties during their lunch hours while running VyStar Credit Union branches located in more than 14 local high schools.
“A lot of people turn 18 and they get their first checking account, then they overdraft or don’t really understand how it works or how to budget their money,” Rudd says. “[Because of the program], I learned how to manage my money and how to build my credit at an early age.” Rudd’s experience with the program from her teen years through her early 20s demonstrates the program’s effectiveness at promoting financial education among youth. Rudd was able to build her credit, finance her car and become a first-time homeowner by age 22. “The program helped me get the right start, coming into college,” Rudd says. “Where a lot of people tend to start off on the wrong foot, I was able to start off differently.”
Northeast Florida isn’t the most geographically varied area—with all our basically flat and/or soggy landscape. But west of Downtown Jax, near Lake City, sits an altogether different sort of topography: Falling Creek Falls. The falls aren’t huge, plummeting just ten feet over a lip of limestone and boulders at the bottom of a ravine. Falling Creek was the site of the first settlement in the area, and is easily accessible via an elevated boardwalk. Photographer Tom Schifanella was drawn to the picturesque location by a roadside sign. “After the summer afternoon thunderstorms, Falling Creek becomes a cascade of coﬀee colored water and foam,” he says. “Like a latte swirling in your cup, the falls churn the foam in a limestone saucer of eddies and whirlpools. The coﬀee color comes from the tannic acid of the decaying leaves lining the banks and swampy ﬂoor. I used a neutral density filter on the lens, which reduced the amount of light, and lengthened the exposure to eight seconds.” If a picture is indeed worth a thousand words, Schifanella’s photographic vocabulary runs very deep.
words by Lauren Willins // photograph by Tom Schifanella
Ahmad Kasraeian, MD, FACS · Ali Kasraeian, MD, FACS
As a patient confronting the possibility of surgery you want to make sure that you are in the hands of a doctor whom you can trust and who can offer the crucial combination of experience, compassion and advanced technology. Patients receive that level of care at Kasraeian Urology, a practice comprised of a father-and-son team that treats patients like family. Dr. Ali Kasraeian, named among “America’s Top Surgeons” by the Consumers’ Research Council of America, completed his fellowship in ad- vanced laparoscopic, robotic and minimally inva- sive urological surgery at the world renowned Montsouris Institute in Paris, France. Together with his father, Dr. Ahmad Kasraeian, named among America’s top 7 percent of physicians, and honored as one of U.S. News & World Report’s “Best Doctors,” they provide compre- hensive urological care specializing in minimally invasive surgery.
Dr. Ali Kasraeian is trained in open, laparoscopic, robotic and minimally invasive prostate, bladder, and kidney surgery. In addition, he is one of a few surgeons in the region experienced as a HIFU (High Intensity Focused Ultrasound) surgeon, another minimally invasive therapy for localized prostate cancer. Kasraeian Urology was the first practice in Northeast Florida /Southeast Georgia to offer multi-parametric MRI/US Fusion Targeted Prostate Biopsy. This advanced diagnostic technique allows for more precise (and accurate) diagnosis of lesions within the prostate that may be missed with standard biopsy techniques. Furthermore, Dr. Kasraeian uses multi-parametric MRI/US Fusion Targeted Prostate Biopsy in consideration of focal therapy options, such as Focal HIFU, where only the area within the prostate afflicted with cancer is treated leaving the normal tissue unaffected.
Earlier in 2019, Dr. Ali Kasraeian was proud to have been a part of the first U.S. cases (outside of clinical trials) using the Procept AQUABEAM Aquablation system to treat men with urinary symptoms related to an enlarged, obstructing prostate, or benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH). The Procept AQUABEAM Aquablation system is the world’s first commercially available, minimally invasive surgical robot providing autonomous tissue removal to safely and effectively treat BPH. The treatment is a new and innovative combination of robotics, multi-dimensional real-time imaging, and a heat-free waterjet to precisely and accurately remove obstructive prostate tissue in men with BPH seeking therapy. Aquablation offers men with BPH predictable and reproducible outcomes independent of prostate anatomy or prostate size. Dr. Kasraeian is proud to introduce this innovative technology to men in our community suffering from lower urinary tract symptoms related to BPH.
Combined with Dr. Ahmad Kasraeian’s years of experience internationally, including 30 years serving the Jacksonville community, this father- and-son team work together to make sure that their patients are treated as they would want someone in their own family treated—with care, dignity, attention and respect. Both Drs. Ahmad Kasraeian and Ali Kasraeian offer this depth of understanding and provide patients the most advanced surgical technology, operated with the highest level of expertise, to help you deal with difficult urological issues (such as cancers of the prostate, bladder, or kidney) as well as other serious issues, such as incontinence or infertility. People looking for a doctor whom they can trust to treat their urological problems with the highest level of knowledge, cutting-edge surgical technology and compassion need look no further than Kasraeian Urology right here in Jacksonville.
Tune in every Saturday from 5 to 6 pm on WOKV, as Dr. Ali Kasraeian hosts “The Conversation: A Radio Show,” discussing the latest health and wellness trends, up-to-date advances in medicine and breaking news in the politics of healthcare.
LOCATIONS: Northside/UF Health North
15255 Max Leggett Pkwy., Suite 5000 Jacksonville, FL 32218
6269 Beach Blvd., Suite 2 Jacksonville Beach, FL 32216
1577 Roberts Dr., Suite 329 Jacksonville Beach, FL 32250
Dr. Jose M. Martinez has been practicing the art of dentistry for 25 years. Growing up, his family was very close. So, after graduating from Southern Illinois University, he decided to return to Miami, where he practiced for almost 13 years. Along the way he married his beautiful wife Sandra and, 20 years later, his family has grown to include a son and a daughter. In 2005 they moved to Jacksonville where, with much hard work, in 2006 he proudly opened Southpoint Cosmetic & Implant Dentistry, followed by Signature Smiles in 2009. In 2016, he changed the names of both practices to Martinez Dental Solutions, to better represent the scope of dentistry they provide.
Dentistry, as many professions, has changed profoundly, not only as it relates to the materials used, but in the way it is delivered to patients. Improving patient care and the satisfaction of all involved is Dr. Martinez’s primary focus. He is known for an innovative commitment to the discovery and transfer of dental knowledge, superior skills and the highest degree of patient care and service. New and proven technologies give him additional choices in how to provide excellent patient care with the best materials around.
“At Martinez Dental Solutions, we believe that the benefits of a healthy, beautiful smile are immeasurable. Our goal is to help our patients reach and maintain maximum oral health by providing the highest dental care available.”
Jose M. Martinez, DMD, PA
D.M.D. Southern Illinois University School of Dental Medicine
6817 Southpoint Parkway, Suite 302 Jacksonville, FL 32216
3546 St. Johns Bluff Road S., Unit 114 Jacksonville, FL 32216
Dr. Samira “Sam” Meymand earned her Biology Degree at Texas A&M University and graduated from Baylor College of Dentistry with honors. She is an officer in the U.S. Navy who served 11 years on active duty, achieving the rank of Commander, and continues to serve in a reserve status. While on active duty, she established the first general practice dental clinic in Djibouti, Africa to serve our nation’s heroes at the “tip of the spear.” She was later selected for an Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery residency at the prestigious National Capital Consortium, Naval Hospital Bethesda. During her four-year residency, she provided critical surgery for wounded warriors returning from battle with facial trauma and other serious injuries. As a naval officer, she was deployed to South America aboard the USNS Comfort for Operation Smile, a humanitarian mission, where she performed facial surgeries and cleft palate repairs. Most recently, she deployed aboard the USS Harry S. Truman in support of Operation Inherent Resolve.
In addition to Dr. Meymand’s military involvement, she is on staff for oral surgery trauma at several hospitals throughout the Jacksonville area. She is a member of the American Association of Oral Maxillofacial Surgeons and the American Dental Association, she is Past President of Jacksonville Dental Society, and she co-founded the Jacksonville Women’s Dental Society. She is also a Board Certified Diplomate of the American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgeons.
Dr. Meymand’s private practice in Mandarin, Meymand Oral Maxillofacial Surgery, is committed to providing comfortable patient care of the highest quality. Dr. Meymand offers the full scope of oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures, including, but not limited to, extractions, biopsies, sinus augmentation, and implants. Her practice also offers spa treatments such as Botox and Juvederm. For the comfort of her patients, she offers various levels of anesthetic and sedation surgery. In addition, her practice provides a LATEX-Free environment for all patients and offers preservative-free anesthetic for those with severe allergies or hypersensitivities upon request. This approach offers a welcoming environment for patients who prefer a holistic approach to their treatment. Dr. Meymand’s staff is comprised of well trained professionals who are CPR Certified and trained assisting with intra- venous (IV) sedation or outpatient general anesthesia. Her practice utilizes state-of-the-art, 3D CT technology for the diagnosis, planning and treatment of oral surgery. This technology enables the highest possible level of anatomical accuracy and patient care. This combination of comfort, expertise, and technology makes Meymand Oral Maxillofacial Surgery a top Jacksonville destination for oral and maxillofacial surgical procedures.
Dr. Meymand and her compassionate staff hope to see you soon at their conveniently located, state-of-the-art office in Mandarin. Please call (904) 886-2667 to make an appointment or visit www.meymandoms.com for more information.
Dr. Samira Meymand, DDS/MPH
American Board of Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery
Oral Surgery Chief Resident
Silver Scalpel Award
Navy and Marine Corps Achieve- ment Medal
Navy and Marine Corps Commenda on Medal (2 Stars)
Meymand Oral Maxillofacial Surgery
11571 San Jose Blvd.
Jacksonville, FL 32223
Kok L. Chong, MD performs interventional and endovascular procedures in the outpatient setting, to diagnose and treat vascular diseases with the highest level of care at Minimally Invasive Vascular. As an alternative to hassling with parking and navigating a busy hospital, NE FL patients can easily park by our front door and be greeted by our welcoming staff and highly trained clinicians who are dedicated to ensuring each experience is comfortable and effortless. We treat Critical Limb Ischemia (CLI), Deep Venous Disease, End Stage Renal Disease (ESRD) Dialysis Access Dysfunction, May-Thurner Syndrome, Pelvic Congestion Syndrome, Superficial Venous Reflux Disease, Tesaticular/Scrotal Variocele, Uterine Fibroid Disease (UFE), most Vascular Diseases, Arterial Disease and Venous Diseases. A full description of symptoms, diagnosis and treatment procedures are conveniently found on our website.
Dr. Chong’s new office-based surgery center is the result of a complex design/build project executed by Brad Hollett, president of Accelerated Contractors and ACT Architects. Known for medical-based project developments that pass ACHA certification the
first time, Hollet created a more efficient patient and staff flow because of his clear understanding of how humans react to a built environment. Dr. Chong is particularly pleased with this project because of its higher utilization of available space and the massive power savings due to better design. The building accommodates a state of the art vascular procedure room accommodating a fully motorized portable fluoroscopic C-arm that gives Dr. Chong significant diagnostic capability to see a patient’s tiniest vasculature as he begins to “clean out” arteries for better blood flow. Also, Dr. Chong‘s onsite equipment includes both a diagnostic ultrasound and intravascular ultrasound, radiofrequency and laser venous ablation and laser atherectomy devices. New patients and referral providers are welcome at our new, beautiful location.
Kok. L. Chong, MD
2720 U.S. Highway 1 South
St. Augustine, FL 32086
( L to R ) Casey McClone, MD • Beth Pearce, DPM • Kurtis Hort, MD • James Grimes, MD Albert Volk, MD • Brian Haycook, MD • Sina Kasraeian, MD • John Stark, MD
Orthopaedic Care You Can Trust
Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine, was formed in 1999 by Doctors James Grimes and Albert Volk. The multi-specialty team has grown and today includes Drs. Kurtis Hort, Brian Haycook, John Stark, Sina Kasraeian, Casey McClone, and Beth Pearce.
As the only all-inclusive, orthopaedic practice in St. Johns County, Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine offers the highest continuity of care to its patients by providing all facets of orthopaedic treatment, including non-operative sports medicine, podiatry, and physical therapy. At Orthopaedic Associates of St. Augustine we are able to treat your entire family and are the only clinic in the area to offer orthopaedic pediatric care to children of all ages.
Our board certified physicians specialize in:
· Sports Medicine – operative and non-operative, injection therapy
· Total Joint Replacements – knee replacements, unicondular knee replacements, reverse shoulder replacements, anterior hip replacements
· Arthroscopic Joint Surgery – rotator cuff repair, complex elbow surgery, ACL/PCL repairs, meniscal surgery
· Minimally Invasive Spine Surgery – cervical disc replacement, vertebral implants, vertebral fracture restoration and fusion (kyphoplasty), spinal instrumentation
Prasanthi Reddy, MD, Medical Director • Heather Gardner, MD • A on Turner, MD • Joseph Sadler, JR, MD Stephanie Carper, ARNP • Aimee Januska, ARNP • Meredith Jones, APRN • Shannon Miller, APRN Kristyn Pye, ARPN • Kaitlin Ray, ARPN • Jocelyn Bonfante, APRN • Abigail Wilcox, ARPN
Rainbow Pediatric Center is a premier pedi- atric practice serving the needs of children and families for over the past 15 years. RPC is a well-respected and nationally recognized medical home with a distinction in behavioral health. RPC is committed to providing pediatric care with a holistic approach. They use cutting edge technology and follow best clinical guidelines to provide early screening, early detection and most current treatments. Always think outside the box, RPC has been recognized for innovative delivery of medical care to the children and families it serves. Some of these include a nationally recognized asthma program, telemedicine for behavioral health and extensive, early screening of developmental delays.
RPC is known for its accessibility. They offer extended weekday hours, as well as weekend and holiday hours. Busy parents have 24-hour electronic access with the latest technology including patient portals, parent apps and telemedicine.
As Rainbow Pediatric Center expands, they are committed to maintaining the highest level of personalized care and growing relationships in a small practice setting.
4788 Hodges Blvd., Suite B-108 Jacksonville Beach, FL 32224
101 Marketside Ave., Unit 405 Ponte Vedra, FL 32081
Ice cream… good. Dogs… even better! Combining them into one might seem a natural marriage, though customer reactions are decidedly mixed. While some find the ice cream puppy trend (in which molds are used to create sweet treats in the shape of dogs) adorable, others are not fans. Although you have to admire the attention to detail, chowing down on a doe-eyed puppy does tug at the heartstrings. The trend began in Taiwan, ultimately making its way to the U.S. after going viral on Instagram. Now, it’s available in Jacksonville at smoothie and teahouse OMG Cafe. The Beach Boulevard eatery serves its ice cream puppies in one flavor—chocolate—for $8.25. The catch? Only five of the Shar-Pei-shaped treats are offered per day.The mold takes about five hours in a freezer at -22 degrees to set. // image via OMG Cafe
You might notice Lionfish cropping up on menus (and behind seafood counters) around town. That’s because there are a lot more of the spiny, striped creatures in Florida waters these days—and they’re wreaking havoc on native fish and the reef habitats they call home. There are now so many Lionfish off the coast of Florida that the state’s Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWCC) has launched an incentive program to encourage the removal of the invasive creatures. From now through Labor Day, September 2, the FWCC hosts its Lionfish Challenge, a statewide program with a tiered prize system to encourage the continued harvest of the fish by both recreational and commercial divers. Photos of caught fish can be submitted to the FWCC electronically, with qualified participants entered to win prizes including filet knives, sunglasses and fishing gear. There are also cash prizes (ranging from $500 to $2,000) for whomever catches both the largest and the smallest Lionfish.
In 2006, the United Nations estimated that every square mile of the ocean is polluted with some 46,000 pieces of floating plastic—a number that’s led many companies and restaurants to move away from plastic products. The Surfrider Foundation’s new Ocean-Friendly Restaurants program was created to highlight the businesses doing just that, utilizing natural or recycled products in place of plastic and styrofoam. “The program aims to increase awareness, drive changes in behavior and ultimately create scalable impact to reduce our plastic—and water—footprint,” says Chelsea Anderson, Surfrider’s restaurant coordinator. So far, only one area restaurant—The Back 40 Urban Cafe in St. Augustine—is certified by the group as being ocean-friendly, though the foundation is urging other eateries to follow suit. The Back 40 has eliminated Styrofoam and plastic by switching to containers, cups, straws, and bags made from natural sugarcane bagasse or corn by-products—all of which are compostable, reusable, recyclable, or biodegradable.