Jody Robinson - Sorbet
Jody Robinson

Jody Robinson

One of the perks of publishing South County Magazine is that I am provided a venue to share with our readership personal experiences with local business owners like Jose Bautista, owner of the South County-based Total Floor Care.

Jose helped restore our granite kitchen countertop to like-new condition (after someone who shall remain nameless left a can of cleaner on top of the counter long enough for the chemicals to mar the surface with a glaring white ring).

When we moved into our new home a few months ago, we called Jose again – this time to see if he could work his magic in restoring the dull marble and travertine flooring in our entryway and master bathroom.

And again, his work more than exceeded our expectations – the results were such a dramatic improvement and we can’t speak highly enough of the care and time he put into the projects … you would have thought he was restoring stone in his own home.

For Jose Bautista, owning and operating his own business is a true “family affair.” What started as a part-time position at his brother’s tile and carpet cleaning company nearly two decades ago has evolved into his own thriving business serving all of Orange County’s stone and granite repair needs.

Because Jose worked his way up through the ranks to become main-tenance and distribution manager for CBM Carpet Cleaning and Handyman Service and eventually took over as the company’s opera-tions manager, he has firsthand ex-perience in every facet of the industry. As CBM grew, Jose re-ceived continual ongoing educa-tion training and earned his certification in order to be able to hire and personally train the com-pany’s technicians and worked alongside several flooring fran-chisees in the testing of products.

For Jose Bautista, owning and operating his own business is a true “family affair.” What started as a part-time position at his brother’s tile and carpet cleaning company nearly two decades ago has evolved into his own thriving business serving all of Orange County’s stone and granite repair needs.

By 2012, Jose was spending much of his time on the road overseeing installations and restorations and wanted to work closer to home to spend more time with his family and Total Floor Care was born.
Jose specializes in “preserving your stone’s natural beauty and maintaining and/or restoring your flooring to like-new condition.” His scope of services include stone and granite repair, granite countertop polish and sealing, concrete stain-ing, marble/natural stone cleaning and polishing, flagstone and pavers and tile and grout maintenance.

“With proper care, we can extend the life of your flooring invest-ment,” says Jose. “I pride myself on customer service and believe that’s what sets Total Floor Care apart. I provide free demos to ensure there’s a clear understanding of ex-pectations. I also provide multiple options to customers and try to ed-ucate them on proper maintenance after the floors have been cleaned or restored.
“I don’t leave until the job is well done and the customer is happy with the results. Big or small, every job is important to me.”

To connect with Jose and Total Floor Care, call (949) 637-6840.

The holidays are right around the corner, and in our house, we take advantage of the opportunity to plan our annual family portrait when three generations of relatives are here visiting and we have everyone under one roof.

We have been lucky to find a wonderful local photographer who is simply a joy to work with. Melisa Chandler of Chandler Photography has beautifully captured our family in cherished images that adorn the walls of each of our family members’ homes.

She might come from humble and adorable beginnings (her first models were butterflies and her Strawberry Shortcake doll), but she’s made a quite a name for herself as South County’s affordable and professional studio/location photographer. Specializing in family portraits, weddings, engagements, corporate and pet photos, along with photo restoration and much more, Melisa is fully vested in getting to know you so she captures your best photo-self at the right moment, so you’ll treasure it for a lifetime.

“I love what I do,” says Melisa, who has been a professional photographer for nearly 20 years. “My business is 90% word of mouth. I am very patient, and I do whatever what I can to make my sessions stress-less and fun for my clients!”

Melisa is also famous for her participation in local school fundraisers for many schools in San Clemente. She’s also a Photoshop expert and works alongside her husband to ensure you get the best quality prints possible. “I have about seven years of experience with digital workflows and print fulfillment with a focus on digital retouching and document restoration,” Melisa says. Her husband (and assistant) Tim, in the digital aspects of the business has also used Photoshop for almost 13 years. “My focus is on digital image and video creation/production, highlighting on creative digital photography and concept work,” he says. We both enjoy the challenge of honing our digital skill-sets and can offer experience-backed full retouching and digital photo-editing services at unbeatable rates. From simple clean up of the casual stray hair to full head and body replacement or background switching, we’ll happily discuss your digital editing and retouching needs as part of our services. Just give us a call!”

Connect with Melisa and Tim by calling (949) 388-1859 or visit www.chandlerphotography.com

Dr. Ivar Roth’s practice an exclusive, revolutionary laser treatment for toenail fungus

A staggering 40 million people in the United States struggle with toenail fungus (onychomycosis). This condition often starts as a small white or yellow spot under the toenail, but if left untreated can spread and cause the nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge. As the nail becomes more brittle, it may lead to pain and inflammation.

ivan rothIf there’s currently no pain involved, many people will put off addressing the condition or ignore the problem altogether, opting instead to cover their feet and turn a blind eye.

But the truth is, if you’re affected by toenail fungus, you have an organism living in your nail that can spread – to other toenails or even other parts of the body.

The other issue with ignoring nail fungus is that the fungus creates cracks and openings in the skin where bacteria can get in and cause infections. For individuals who have nerve damage or poor circulation, leaving the issue untreated can have serious consequences.

Once fungus gets under a toenail, it’s difficult to treat on your own. Topical toenail treatments don’t always work and oral medications carry a risk of side effects and can be hard on the body.

But an increasing number of Southern Californians have discovered a simple, proven solution - a revolutionary laser treatment offered by Ivar Roth, DPM of the Newport Beach-based Concierge Podiatry. Dr. Roth is the only podiatrist in Orange County to offer treatment with the Noveon Laser - the latest technology in laser treatment for toenail fungus.

Patient Ed Garcia contracted toenail fungus nearly six years ago and spent the subsequent five years attempting to eradicate the problem. He tried a “number of different medications” and even had a podiatrist perform laser treatment to no avail.

“The fungus kept progressing to where I ended up having it on five toes,” says Ed. “I finally decided to give laser treatment another try – this time with a different doctor. I came to Dr. Roth over a year ago and today, the fungus is completely gone on four of the nails and nearly gone on the last nail, but even that nail is 1000 percent better than it was. Dr. Roth’s treatment worked like a charm.”

Like Garcia, Bill Gojkov, had been living with toenail fungus for “most of my adult life” and had “tried everything I could think of to get rid of it.”

“After treatment with Dr. Roth, the fungus is completely gone,” he says. “I had tried everything before I went to Dr. Roth and now, everything is perfect.”

Another of Dr. Roth’s patients, Jay Hosey, agrees with Garcia and Gojkov and adds that his “pretty severe case of toenail fungus” started out as athlete’s foot as a teenager.

ToeAfter“Over the years, I tried over-the-counter drugs and even went to a dermatologist, but nothing worked,” says Jay. “Dr. Roth really knows his stuff. Although he can treat many different foot problems, he’s very focused on this aspect of his practice and it shows in the results he achieves for his patients. My case was pretty pronounced and quite embarrassing, but Dr. Roth got it cleaned up and cleared out and I couldn’t be happier.”

In the following interview with Dr. Roth, we asked Dr. Roth to share his thoughts on common questions prospective patients might ask when considering treatment.

Sorbet: What are the symptoms of toenail fungus?

Ivar Roth, DPM: Nails that have fungus generally are thicker and are discolored. Depending on the severity of the problem the appearance can go from white or brown spots or areas on the nails to extremely thick deformed nails.

Sorbet: What causes toenail fungus?

Ivar Roth, DPM: The cause is usually from trauma to the nail and subsequent exposure to the fungus organism. Poor nail salon cleanliness, gyms, public showers and lack of hygiene have been implicated as a cause of fungal infections.

Sorbet: How common is nail fungus?

Ivar Roth, DPM: Toenail fungus is extremely common. I would estimate that 50% of the population has at least one infected nail. Like all problems, it starts out as small and slowly grows and gets worse.

Nail fungus begins as a white or yellow spot under the toenail. As the fungal infection goes deeper, nail fungus may cause the nail to discolor, thicken and crumble at the edge.

Sorbet: How does the laser treatment work?

Ivar Roth, DPM: The laser bathes the toe in a special light wavelength that shines a laser/light beam through your toenail and eradicates the pathogens embedded in your nail bed and nail plate that cause toenail fungus.

Sorbet: Is the treatment painful?

Ivar Roth, DPM: The laser light beam does not harm the nail or surrounding skin. Some patients may experience mild discomfort from the heat the laser generates, but the Noveon laser has a special pause button that the patient has control of. If the laser light is too strong, the patient simply activates the switch to immediately pause the laser.

Sorbet: How long does the treatment typically take?

Ivar Roth, DPM: Depending on the severity, two to four treatments - two to four weeks apart.

Sorbet: What is the success rate for laser treatments for toenail fungus? Are the results lasting?

Ivar Roth, DPM: I have developed a new process called the LANCE procedure. This acronym stands for Laser Assisted Nail Care Excellence. With this new process, we are achieving better results much more quickly. I can say with utmost confidence that nearly all nails can be treated effectively.

On average, a toenail will replace itself every 9-12 months. Healthy new growth will be visible within the first 3 months as your nails continue to grow so patients see improvement within a few weeks following treatment.

Sorbet: Can patients walk right away following treatment (i.e. what is the recovery period following treatment)?

Ivar Roth, DPM: Patients are able to walk out with no discomfort.

Connect with Dr. Roth by calling (949) 650-1147. Concierge Podiatry is located at 351 Hospital Road, Suite 407 in Newport Beach.

Offer many ways to conquer stress and balance your life

If you feel like your stress is robbing you of your life, your connection to your loved ones, and a deep feeling of joy, it’s probably because it is. Recent research has pointed to stress as a trigger for inflammation, which plays a significant role in the development and progression of a multitude of chronic conditions, from digestive problems to heart disease, from weight gain to diabetes to sleep issues.

Regardless of the physiological mechanisms, it’s clear that if we want to be physically and mentally well, we must conquer our stress. A tall order for any Southern Californian.

If you could use a “reset” to break out of your negative patterns – whatever the cause – Utopia Within and Awoken Life Brainwave Optimization® may be just what you need. Based in San Juan Capistrano, this comprehensive center offers a new and innovative approach to stress reduction where “advanced technology meets ancient techniques.” The Utopia Within team helps you address the stressors that are leading you to feel unwell and unhappy.

Some of these modalities include Brainwave Optimization®, Tibetan Singing Bowls, hypnotherapy, meditation/guided visualizations, Reiki, individual and group life coaching, and more.

Mary McPherson Founder of Awoken Life and Utopia Within, holds a degree in chemical engineering and has earned numerous certifications in the healing arts including Certified Advanced Specialist for Brainwave Optimization.  Michelle Newell, associate and Brainwave Optimization Specialist, also holds certifications and specific knowledge that make her a unique addition to the team. 

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Through Utopia Within, Mary and Michelle are able to combine their education, skills, talent and training with a deep desire and passion for helping people live their best lives. 

Mary has also put together a team of skilled professionals who’s proven, cutting edge techniques with highly personalized care can help individuals get back to balance – or find it for the first time ever.

When I met with Mary for this feature, it was immediately evident that she loves what she does – helping individuals “awaken their limitless potential” by focusing on providing the highest level of personal care to each and every client. 

For the many clients who have come to Mary over the years suffering from a feeling of “being disconnected from themselves,” Utopia Within is quite literally an oasis – a sanctuary in which to rediscover a sense of happiness and joy that comes from within. 

“In life, there are moments and decisions that define the course of your future,” says Shana, age 40, of San Juan Capistrano. “When I found Mary and the team at Awoken Life, I knew I had come upon something that would help elevate my health and life to a new level. As a nutritional coach, I have tried many healing modalities over the course of my life and none have had the powerful impact of Brainwave Optimization.

Shana continues that she believes that Brainwave Optimization “is a 21st century tool to maximize your human potential and live a balanced, peaceful and productive life. I found Mary to be professional, kind and deeply passionate about her work. The additional modalities offered at Awoken Life serve to deepen and support the work of Brainwave Optimization and provide a rich canvas on which to create a life that inspires you.”

In the following interview, I asked Mary to share her thoughts on common questions prospective clients might ask when considering incorporating these holistic modalities into their lives.

South County Magazine: Many of our readers have not heard of Brainwave Optimization®. In layman’s terms, please explain what it is and how it can benefit individuals suffering from a wide range of ailments including sleep disorders, depression, feelings of anxiousness and inability to focus.

Mary McPherson: Brainwave Optimization is an amazing EEG-based technology that helps one’s own brain relax in a deep and profound way to achieve dynamic flexibility.  The benefits from this flexibility are increased cognitive performance, better sleep, enhanced self-regulation and diminished feelings of anxiousness, sadness, and hopelessness. Brainwave Optimization® acts a catalyst to support the brain to optimize itself in a way unlike any other approach that has come before.  

At Awoken Life, we start with a complimentary consultation to fully explain the process and answer any questions. Then we conduct a comprehensive assessment and design customized sessions based on your specific brain patterns.  Each brain is like a fingerprint - unique to you as an individual. This noninvasive procedure offers measurable results in as little as five days!

SCM: What do you feel sets your office apart from others in the industry?

MM: Our office approaches every client as an individual and takes into consideration their unique circumstances and overall goals to create a personalized program.  

We deeply value each client’s time and pride ourselves on supporting their growth and education.  Our goal is to help each person understand how life experiences, including injuries and traumas, may result in a non-optimized life and how Brainwave Optimization® supports the brain’s own ability to heal itself. 

SCM: After four years as Awoken Life Brainwave Optimization, why are you introducing Utopia Within and adding so many new modalities?

MM: In the four years since I founded Awoken Life, I have come to realize that one of the greatest obstacle people face is ongoing stress. People find it hard to relax and just take a moment to breathe. It’s important to us that our clients know we care about their journey to wellness.

With that in mind, we opened a new branch of our business -  Utopia Within – to expand our services to incorporate several complementary modalities that support stress reduction, greater cognitive performance and personal awareness such as hypnotherapy, life coaching, nutritional counseling, Reiki, Tibetan Singing Bowls, meditation classes and self-improvement workshops. Clients can incorporate any of these modalities into their Brainwave Optimization package or participate in any or all a la carte.

Brainwave Optimization is an amazing EEG-based technology that helps one’s own brain relax in a deep and profound way to achieve dynamic flexibility.

Scott E. West, DDS

Orange County’s premier expert in oral appliance therapy for snoring, sleep apnea and CPAP intolerance

I bet you didn’t know you could sleep your way to a better life. That’s exactly what Scott E. West, DDS, helps his patients do. Focusing on Snoring, Sleep Apnea and CPAP intolerance, Dr. West has become the premier expert in oral appliance therapy.

While CPAP masks are the most effective treatment protocol, it’s not always the best solution for individuals suffering from sleep apnea, a problem that affects the health and longevity of millions.

“The number one treatment for sleep apnea is the CPAP mask. But if you take 100 people who have been told they have sleep apnea, and know that the effects of sleep apnea are very damaging to their health, and you give them the CPAP, and then follow up with them a year later, 60% of them are not wearing it,” says Dr. West, a member of the Academy of Dental Sleep Medicine and Diplomat of the Academy of Clinical Sleep Disorders Disciplines. “They don’t do a lot of good in the closet.”

For patients who are CPAP intolerant, the oral appliance is the best alternative and dentists like Dr. West are the professionals licensed to work with these devices. While most dentists are trained on one type of sleep aid appliance, Dr. West works with many types of oral appliances.

“We don’t have a one-size-fits-all approach to our patients,” says Dr. West, who is one of the few Medicare providers for this procedure.’’ ‘’I have developed a system of simple test where each patient can actually see which appliance will be most effective for them. For this reason, we have a very high success rate.’’

In the mid-1970s, Dr. West began his career as a general dental practitioner in Mission Viejo, where he focused on cosmetic and family dentistry.

“From day one, I’ve truly enjoyed helping people,” says Dr. West.  “I enjoyed staying on the cutting edge of aesthetic dentistry, but also became interested in ways to improve my overall health and the health of my patients.”

I can’t tell you how good it feels to hear a patient tell me they’ve had the best sleep in years, or that they’ve been able to sleep in the same room as their partner again

Because of this, it was a natural progression for Dr. West to find himself working closely with Holistic and Naturopathic practitioners and to begin approaching dentistry from a biological point of view. 

So, when a colleague contacted him seven years ago about an oral device he had developed to treat patients with Sleep Apnea and snoring problems, Dr. West expanded his practice to include treatment for sleep issues.

“I can’t tell you how good it feels to hear a patient tell me they’ve had the best sleep in years, or that they’ve been able to sleep in the same room as their partner again,” he says. “I’ve seen a patient’s whole life change just because they got a good night’s sleep!”

His 95% patient success rate speaks volumes, but the countless husband and wives he’s helped take their testimonials a step further, crediting him with being something of a miracle worker.

If you think you might have a sleep problem or have participated in a sleep study and are interested in alternatives to the CPAP mask, Dr. West’s office should be the first phone call you make.

Consultations are complimentary. Among the most common comments from patients is that Dr. West explains their condition and available treatment in such a way that it’s easy to understand and determine the best options to address their individual needs.

Dr. West is now located in Lake Forest just blocks off the 5 freeway.  With convenient parking right at his front door, he treats patients from as far North as Los Angeles and as far South as San Diego.

If you would like to know more about Dr. West, visit his websites, www.cannotusecpap.com and www.westwellnessdental.com, where you’ll learn about what he can do for you. Questions about your insurance plan? Not a problem. His friendly and caring staff are ready to help you.

Connect with Dr. West by calling (949) 829-6700, visit www.cannotusecpap.com or www.westwellnessdental.com, For detailed information about sleep apnea and available treatment options, see article on page 14.

It’s exceptionally rare to find hair artists who truly cares about their customers’ needs and are dedicated to finding the perfect solution – and have the skill and experience to actually make achieve your desired results.

With years of experience in helping women who have fine and thinning hair challenges “feel beautiful again,” Debora Routhe and Carly Elliott are the go-to “dream team” behind the Mission Viejo-based Full Strands, Inc. – the go-to professionals for clients searching for non-surgical hair replacement options and hair extensions. Debora is an American Board Certified Haircolorist and cutting specialist while Carly is an extension expert with vast experience in adding volume and length to any type of hair.

“When it comes to hair extensions or hair restoration/ replacement, it’s not size fits all,” says Debora. “What sets our business apart from others is our dedication to continuing education. We continually seek to discover better products and techniques to give our customers the hair of their dreams. Further, we are full-time behind the chair hairdressers. We are well versed in all aspects of color, design, and styling. This experience allows us to make all hair systems and extensions look incredibly natural and undetectable.”

Eight years ago, after an increasing number of her clients came to her with fine and thinning hair concerns, Debora made it her mission to find ways to help.

“I sought out solutions and became certified in numerous techniques,” she says. “Our business in the non-surgical hair replacement industry has grown by word of mouth from our satisfied customers. We are truly making a difference for women who felt for so long that they had nowhere to go and could find no acceptable solutions for their fine and thinning hair. We have seen self-confidence come back for the clients we serve. They no longer feel self conscious or embarrassed of their appearance. We are excited to come to work every day and transform our clients into the best version of themselves. We live to make people feel beautiful!”

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Equally passionate about giving back to the community, Full Strands supports South County Outreach, a non- profit organization dedicated to preventing hunger and homelessness by helping people help themselves with a food pantry, homeless prevention counseling, and rapid re-housing programs.

“The most rewarding aspect of owning this business is that we get to do what we want to do,” says Debora. “We get to choose the products, the hair systems, extensions, and the tools we work with. We selected the salon decor and pick the music we listen to. We have created a wonderful environment for our clients to enjoy an in which our creativity can flourish.”

debora carly

Full Strands is located at 27741 Crown Valley Parkway, Suite 201, Studio 21 in Mission Viejo. Debora and Carly can be reached by calling (949) 300-3625.

When you’re feeling under the weather and need your prescription filled, there is something said for speedy service that is professional and above all: caring. Chances are, you’ve spent more time than you wanted to in the waiting room at your doctor’s office, you don’t feel well, and the last thing you want to do is stop somewhere else to fill your prescriptions.

All of it is enough to make you want to call your mother to come take care of you. Well, that’s exactly what the folks at OC Pharmacy had in mind when they opened for business.

“It’s about being family. It’s about offering and delivering a higher standard of care for our patients,” says MJ Kazemi, owner of San Juan Capistrano-based OC Pharmacy. “OC Pharmacy opened in August 2008 on the premise that patients are people, not prescriptions. Big drugstores pressure pharmacists and their staff to increase their daily prescription count. We’re not about that here. We want people to feel welcome and comfortable when they walk in. Because we are so specialized in care, we make the time to listen to your needs and address any questions you might have. It’s also our duty to make sure you get a good deal for your medicine.”

A traditional pharmacy can only dispense commercial drugs from large brand and generic drug companies (such as Pfizer, Teva, Greenstone, etc.) – referred to as “Big Pharma” in the industry. A compounding pharmacy, on the other hand, can dispense those commercial drugs in addition to creating customized doses and combinations of drugs within a lab at the pharmacy.

As an example of what a compounding pharmacy can do that a traditional pharmacy cannot: “A baby is born with organ failure. The doctor wants to prescribe a drug that doesn’t exist in a dose safe for newborns. MJ can take the tablet form of the prescribed medication and make it into a solution of a lower, baby-safe, dose. The next problem is that many medicines have a coating that masks the flavor of the medicine and helps with digestion. When these tablets are crushed, the nasty bitter flavor is exposed. Through trial and error (or the baby’s parents’ input), MJ can find out baby’s favorite flavor and create a pediatric dose of a medication in solution form. They can then provide a special pacifier that will deliver the flavored medication to baby without any fuss.”

“Some patients suffer from painful con- ditions where their nerves “fire” too fast sending constant pain signals to the brain,” says MJ. “Most physicians will prescribe narcotics for the pain, but that doesn’t really address the prob- lem. We can make a topical pain cream that both helps quell the pain and calm the nerves down so they aren’t firing so fast. With that type of compound we address the problem – the nerve – and over time the patient requires less pain medication - thereby avoiding oral narcotic addiction. There are cases where patients will even self-taper from oral narcotics while using topical pain man- agement compounds.”

To create a particular pharmaceutical product to “fit the unique needs of each individual,” MJ combines and/or processes appropriate ingredients, ac- cording to a physician’s prescription, utilizing various tools in the compound- ing lab. This may be done for medically necessary reasons (i.e. changing the form of a medication from a solid pill to a liquid), to avoid a non-essential ingredient that a person may be aller- gic to, or to obtain a specific dose of a particular ingredient, or combination of ingredients, and dispensed in way that makes it easier for the patient to ingest or apply.

The core of OC Pharmacy’s customer base runs the gamut from infants to seniors and everyone in between, for every imaginable ailment or disease condition that can be better treated with custom medications (compounds).

Doctors don’t dole out the same diagnosis to everyone, nor do they recommend the same dose of a drug to every patient - so why should our medicine be standardized?

“People going through menopause and andropause see magnificent ben- efits from bio-identical hormone re- placement therapy (BHRT) compounds. Older folks with arthritis can find solace in our topical arthritis compounds. Dia- betic patients can form painful open sores on their feet – sores that can heal much better with custom compounds designed to keep the wound clean and promote faster healing,” says MJ. “Fussy babies will take their medica- tion with ease when it’s flavored and dispensed through our special baby-binky dispenser or baby bottle dispens- ing devices. Many young athletes who are hurt on the field can use topical pain compounds instead of taking oral narcotics (and potentially heal faster!). Men and women who suffer from sexual dysfunctions can use customized compounds to help them resolve things in the bedroom.

“The possibilities are endless. The sky is the limit. We believe compounding is the way medicine should be. Doctors don’t dole out the same diagnosis to everyone, nor do they recommend the same dose of a drug to every patient - so why should our medicine be standardized?”

Medicare enrollment and your local pharmacy

Plans change every year, even the one you currently have. So to help their customers navigate the process, the professionals at OC Pharmacy will sit down with patients beginning in October to review their 2016 Medicare insurance options.

“We will walk the patient through the entire plan selection process, from comparison of pricing, services, when they might fall into the Medicare gap (aka donut hole), even whether they will be forced to mail order or not,” says MJ. “They’ll make the Medicare enrollment call here in the pharmacy with one of our employees. At the end of the process, the patient will know exactly how much they’ll be paying out of pocket for 2016, and the pharmacy will have the new Medicare insurance information, in addition to helpful information such as whether a patient will need to switch to an alternative drug to save money. These time savers let us work with the doctor months in advance to make sure the transition to 2016 is smooth for the patient, the doctor, and the pharmacy.”

As an added bonus, OC Pharmacy is offering this Medicare enrollment service at no charge through year-end 2015.

OCP Staff 1

Photo: From (L): Omeed Askari, Farid Askari, Cris Alvarez, MJ Kazemi, Travis Kross, Sadaf Bahadoran, Jennifer Duenas, Samyar Attarian and Eric Gerlache.

Customized care and uncompromising customer service

Before mass production of medications, community pharmacists with compounding experience were more common. Today, these specialists are fewer and far between. But luckily for those of us who live in South County, OC Pharmacy is truly our “neighborhood” pharmacy with all the “extras” and personal attention to detail you won’t find in a chain-store experience.

Add this to their free local delivery service (in San Juan Capistrano) and the large number of insurance companies they deal with and you are sure to become a lifelong fan. Even if you don’t live locally, they deliver for a nominal fee and will ship to California addresses.

“We wanted to bring back the tradition of providing quality healthcare,” says MJ’s son Omeed Askari. “Because of this, we have grown so much and it’s our ultimate goal to be the top, if not only choice of personalized pharmacy in the area.”

Speaking of growing, OC Pharmacy has their happy patients to thank for that! Word-of-mouth advertising has reached many local households, and people rave they have never felt more cared for and listened to than at OC Pharmacy. In addition to its stellar service, OC Pharmacy also offers immunizations (see sidebar on flu shots), diabetic supplies and durable equipment such as wheelchairs and walkers.

The OC Pharmacy family consists of pharmacists who hold PharmD degrees from excellent schools and are registered pharmacists (RPh) in the state of California, Certified Pharmacy Technicians and an administrative team largely comprised of MJ and her family members.

In addition to always “striving to go the extra mile for the patient,” Omeed adds that OC Pharmacy is part of a professional organization called the Professional Compounding Centers of America (PCCA), which allows MJ and her staff access to thousands of compounding formulas, ideas and resources.

“Some ingredients we use can only be purchased from PCCA, and to do that you must be a member,” says Omeed. “The organization is constantly researching and developing new medication delivery vehicles that helps put us on the cutting-edge of industry knowledge to better serve our clients. Because patients and their specific conditions are unique, each individual’s medicine should be uniquely created for them.”

Speak to the experts at OC Pharmacy today by calling (949) 429.5326. They are delighted to answer any questions you might have. OC Pharmacy is located at 31654 Rancho Viejo Road in San Juan Capistrano. Visit www.ocpharmacy.net for locations, hours and more information.

State of the industry

While compounding pharmacies offer patients the alternative of a more effective, customized medicine, the industry itself is currently in a state of upheaval and uncertainty, according to MJ.

Many national chain pharmacies are owned by insurance companies who wield influence with politicians and drug companies. As a result, local, independent compounding pharmacies are finding it increasingly difficult to compete in an environment of unfair pricing and reimbursement practices, she says.

“It’s imperative that patients who wish to have the option of customized medicine make their opinions known to their local representatives and state policy-makers or having the choice of using a compounding pharmacy may be another casualty in today’s ever-changing healthcare industry.”

Flu shots will be arriving in late August/ early September for the 2015 season. OC Pharmacy will offer the trivalent (3-virus) flu vaccine at $22 and the quadrivalent (4-virus) flu vaccine at $36.

Mission Viejo Wigs is truly a family business. Not in the traditional sense, where its owners and operators share the same genes. But rather in such a way that every person who has walked through Owner Betty Darroch’s doors in the 30+ years she has been in operation immediately felt like a member of Darroch’s extended family.

As a professional hair and wig stylist since 1962, Betty began her career at CBS where her résumé reads like a celebrity screenplay starring the coifs of a veritable “who’s who” of Hollywood: Ann Margaret, Carol Lawrence, the Midnight Specials and the Sonny & Cher Show. She went on to work for the Hallelujah Hollywood Show at the MGM Hotel in Las Vegas.

But it wasn’t until she opened her own business in Mission Viejo that she felt as though she were “truly doing God’s work.”

Her clients today include people who are experiencing hair loss due to chemotherapy treatment, alopecia or other medical conditions. Betty specializes in wigs, hairpieces and toupees for women, men and children and carries only the highest quality brands. Each wig or hairpiece is custom fit to the client for the most natural look and feel – no one will know you’re wearing a wig unless you tell them.

“Hair loss, whether it is the result of illness, the aging process or heredity, can be a traumatic and emotionally draining experience,” says Betty. “We work with people on a daily basis who are facing the issue of hair loss for the first time. Our goal is to help you find the solution that works best for you and do so in a caring way that makes you realize that you are not alone.”

There are wonderful testimonials from longtime customers on her web site (missionviejowigs.com), but for me, the best testament to Betty’s genuine, caring nature came from a source closer to home.

When my mother was diagnosed with lung cancer over five years ago, there were so many aspects of what she was facing - including the side effects associated wit chemotherapy treatment – that were out of our control. But my mother’s appearance was something she felt she could dictate. We knew she would lose her hair, but she was determined not to “look like a sick person.”

From the moment my mother met Betty, she knew she had found the right place and more importantly, the right person to help her. Betty shared so many stories of survival – of longtime customers and friends who fought a similar battle and won. Her warm embrace and inspired hope and help steel her resolve to maintain a positive, fighting attitude.

The wig Betty selected was the perfect color and style for my mother’s face (and head) shape. The wig was so natural looking that my mother received many compliments on her “new do” and no one was the wiser.

It’s been over three years since my mother completed treatment and is now leading a cancer-free life. Although her own hair has long since grown back, she still often prefers to wear Betty’s wigs on “bad hair days.”

Thank you Betty!

You can connect with Betty by calling (949) 581-4549 or via e-mail at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Mission Viejo Wigs is located at 25571 Jeronimo Road in Mission Viejo

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