Alexander Abkin, MD, FACS
Dr. Alexander Abkin is a board certified general surgeon specializing in weight loss surgery. He has performed over 7,500 bariatric procedures in the past 17 years. Procedures offered include Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass, Lap Band, Realize Band, Vertical Sleeve Gastrectomy, and Single Incision Laparoscopic Surgery. On average, Dr. Abkin performs 6 to 8 procedures per week. His practice is recognized as a Center of Excellence (COE) in Bariatric Surgery.
In 1999 Dr. Abkin was among the first surgeons in New Jersey to perform Laparoscopic Gastric Bypass. In 2001 his practice did the same for Lap Band. Dr. Abkin was the first in the North East to implement the REALIZE™ Band procedure in 2007. In addition, he is one of only 30 surgeons selected in the country to train other doctors in the use of that device. Dr. Abkin was the first surgeon on the East Coast to offer Single Incision Gastric Bypass in 2009.
Dr. Abkin is a member of the American Society for Metabolic and Bariatric Surgery (ASMBS), the Society of American Gastrointestinal and Endoscopic Surgeons (SAGES). He is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons (FACS). He has been honored by his medical colleagues as a “Top Doctor” in NJ Monthly Magazine each year since 2007 including most recently the 2016 edition.
L. Dawn Christian, D.D.S
Doctor of Dental Surgery
Dr. Christian graduated from Howard University College of Dentistry in 1984. She worked with Dr. James Lassiter in Summit and Dr. Neville Thame in Montclair until 1992, when she left to serve as Director of Dentistry at United Hospital.
Dr. Christian attended New York University for postgraduate study in Full Mouth Rehabilitation. She is a member of the prestigious Journey to Excellence study club, a branch of the Seattle Study Club, whose directors were voted top Dentists in New Jersey 2010. Dr. Christian continues to select and attend continuing education programs and courses to improve her skills and knowledge to better serve and care for her patients. She also requires her staff to attend continuing education for their own enrichment. www.southorangedentist.com
Kevin Chandler, PT
Personal Trainer and Group Fitness Instructor
Kevin T. Chandler is a personal trainer and life coach who is manager and co-owner of JD Fitness Short Hills, a boutique personal training studio in Short Hills, NJ. He is a certified Gyrotonic Teacher Trainer, a Hanna Somatics Exercise Coach, a certified AntiGravity Yoga instructor, and a C.H.E.K Exercise Coach. In addition, Kevin has been certified by, affiliated with or trained by the American Council on Exercise, the National Association of Sports Medicine, the American Aerobic Association International-International Sports Medicine Association, the IDEA Health and Fitness Association, the Exercise Council of America, the International Youth Conditioning Association and the National Association of Professional Martial Artists. A life-long athlete, Kevin holds black belts in several martial arts disciplines.
Licensed Massage Therapist and Mindfulness Facilitator
JEAN VITRANO draws on her training in massage therapy, movement, and mindfulness meditation practices to assist her clients in finding ease and health in body and mind. Whether dealing with chronic pain, specific injuries, headaches, emotional/mental tension in the body, or simply maintaining well-being, Jean tends to the whole person with a compassionate presence and an experienced, healing touch. Jean subtly teaches clients ways of sensing their movement, thought and feeling patterns and how to undo habits that keep them from their full potential.
Jean has extensive experience working with the body and mind through years of training in contemporary dance, therapeutic massage, movement awareness, meditation and yoga. She holds a BA from NYU and had a career as a professional contemporary dancer. In 2002, she graduated from The Swedish Institute and became a Licensed Massage Therapist, launching her private practice in NYC. Under the four-year training of David Zemach-Bersin, Jean graduated from the Feldenkrais Method Training Program in 2011. She has studied, over the past 15 years, with Buddhist Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh and facilitates weekly meditation and mindfulness groups. Jean also teaches workshops on managing stress by combining meditation and everyday mindfulness practices to manage our reactions to stress and to strengthen the pathways to happiness.
A native of Harlem, New York, Kristian spent the first years of his career as an attorney. Wanting to have a deeper connection with individuals, he attended the Rutgers University School of Social Work where he received his Master’s degree. Kristian has worked at various non-profit agencies in New Jersey focusing on group and individual therapy. He has worked with adolescents and adults, and has developed a unique approach to helping his clients discern the issues they want to address through self-acceptance, individual spiritual beliefs and centering practices leading to enhanced well-being.
Kristian is a graduate of Brown University, Fordham University School of Law and Rutgers University School of Social Work.
CEO & Principle Partner , the Hendrix Group
Ms. Hendrix’s career spans more than 40 years in business consulting, communications and performing arts industries. Before turning her attention exclusively to her consulting practice, Ms. Hendrix held numerous managerial positions with AT&T and NCR, where she led projects throughout the United States, Asia Pacific Region, New Zealand, Latin America and London, England. Ms. Hendrix also served as the Chief Customer Officer for the New Jersey Performing Arts Center, where she was responsible for assisting in the creation and deployment of the institution’s customer loyalty strategy.
An early pioneer of CRM and customer centric marketing, sales and operations strategies, her work was acknowledged in a groundbreaking book by Don Peppers and Dr. Martha Rogers, “Enterprise One to One, tools for competing in the interactive age”. She has developed and delivered numerous seminars on the strategic use of Customer Relationship Management, Community Engagement, and Developing Effective Business Strategies. Her guiding principle is to help her clients achieve success and sustainability through the development of strong customer relationships; which are mutually beneficial.
Ms. Hendrix is a graduate of the Indiana University, Leadership Development for Global Business Management. She serves on the Board of Directors for the CLK Education Scholarship Foundation, is an active Life Member, and Civic Engagement Chairperson for the New Brunswick Area Branch of the NAACP, and an advisor to the Family Outreach of New Jersey Foundation.
Mildred (Micki) Jackson has worked in the healthcare insurance industry for 45 years. She was born in Chicago, Illinois, where she began her career in healthcare at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Illinois, but spent most of her adult life in New Jersey, where she was employed by Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey for 42 years.
Micki has a diverse background and has held positions in various departments including: Rating and Underwriting, Marketing, Provider Relations, Training, and Customer Service. During her career, she educated and trained doctors, and other healthcare professionals and their staffs, on key policies and procedures. She had a major role in preparing internal and external customers for The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), a critical federal regulation. She retired from Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield in June, 2013.