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Doctors Devoted to Care and Family

Discover How Local Medical Professionals Stay Well and Happy, Plus What Services They Will Offer in the New Year

The question of how local dentists and doctors stay healthy, happy and wise was explored. Read onward to find out. 

Collaborative Healthcare, Shane Conner, DC

Providing pain relief and regenerative care are focal points of individualized patient care delivered each day by Collaborate Healthcare doctors, nurse practitioners, chiropractors and massage therapists. This talented team also provides innovative stem cell treatments, especially for knees, as a non-surgical alternative to improving pain symptoms from injuries, arthritis and tendonitis. Using a special tool called Marrow Cellution, treatments involve a high concentration of stem cells, platelets and growth factors to speed recoveries. Additionally, they provide cosmetic procedures and dermal fillers, such as Botox, as well as migraine treatments and spinal decompressions.

As a licensed chiropractor serving the Lexington community for 15-plus years, Dr. Conner has served on the South Carolina Board of Chiropractors and Health Network Solutions Advisory Insurance Board. He is a graduate of East Carolina University and Sherman Chiropractic College, where he earned his Doctorate in Chiropractic, and continues to earn certificates in advanced education. 

Dr. Conner made it his mission to provide cutting-edge technology and care to his patients while bringing them convenience and cost savings. 

"A new year provides a starting-over point. I'm goal-oriented, and I like challenges, so many of my goals are about keeping everyone healthy, including my family and me. Helping people makes me happy," he says.

His personal fitness regimen consists of getting adjusted to maintain an optimal functioning nervous system, lifting weights three or four times a week, supplementing his diet with vitamin B, getting rest and intentionally getting outside and away from electronic devices. 

"I love all music (period)," confides Dr. Conner, who still plays drums and percussion in a rock band. 

He says in addition to bike donations for local children, he has his mind set on doing some mission trip-type work to build wheelchair ramps. 

716 Old Cherokee Road, Lexington, 803.359.2273,

Lexington Smile Design Studio, T. Max Frawley, DMD

This team of dental professionals handles cosmetic, general, family and restorative dentistry. "Dr. Max" was born and raised in Lexington. He resides in Lexington with his wife and two daughters. He graduated from the University of South Carolina in 2008 with a bachelor's of science degree. From the Medical University of South Carolina in 2013, he earned his Doctor of Dental Medicine. He then completed an optional, one-year Advanced Education in General Dentistry residency at East Carolina University in 2014.

Dr. Max is a member of the American Dental Association, Academy of General Dentistry, South Carolina Dental Association, and Omicron Kappa Upsilon National Dental Honor Society. He also participates in the Midlands Dental Collaborative.

First building rapport with patients is the priority for Dr. Max and his team. Whether it's a simple filling or more complex treatment, he uses visual representations and straightforward metaphors to help patients better understand dental options and necessary treatments.

Dr. Max says he has aspirations of pursuing accreditation in oral and IV sedation, making the patient experience as convenient and comfortable as possible. 

This office's CEREC Omnicam allows them to provide same-day crowns to patients; they hope to offer same-day implant crowns this year, as well. Dr. Max is enthused about securing a 3D printer to print surgical stents, allowing them to print models to show patients the cosmetics that could be achieved before any treatment is rendered.

With more patients requesting fluoride-free cleanings, BPA/Bis-GMA free fillings and metal-free restorations, they now are exploring the holistic side of dentistry. 

Oral cancer screenings at every six-month interval is vitally important, because he says 10.5 adults out of 100,000 will develop oral cancer.  

"Before my 3-year-old was born, I played adult league soccer and worked out regularly. 2020 will be a return to that lifestyle. Putting your health on the back-burner as a parent is understandable, but without our own health, we can’t be there to support the ones we love," he says, adding that he likes to listen to 70s, 80s, and 90s music to relax.

What makes him personally happy? Giving. "Dentistry comes with many gratifications but we, as an office, take a different approach than most. People come to us to address dental pain, check for cavities, or improve smiles, but they leave feeling like they are family. Watching kids become young adults and those same young adults mature, get married, and have their own children is heartwarming and especially gratifying as a practitioner," says Dr. Max.

"We're therapists just as much as we are dental professionals. Many of our long-time patients have gone through divorce, watched their loved ones battle cancer, or recently lost a loved one. We pour our hearts out to our patients every day, and no one leaves without a gift. Giving will always be more important than receiving." 

4881 Sunset Blvd., Lexington, 803.359.7100,

Living Well Family Medicine, Dee Carter, MD

As a direct primary care practice, Living Well Family Medicine patients are provided 24/7 access to physician services. With same-day scheduling options for health-related priorities among the facility's member benefits, the Living Well staff also dedicated themselves to providing a unique, comfortable office. Living Well Family Medicine operates from an insurance-free model, which offers savings in addition to concierge-level care. Living Well monthly rates start at $50 for adults and $10 for children. Patients who are 5-17 years old must have a parent that is a Living Well patient as well. For members who encounter health challenges while away from the area, the Living Well staff practices telemedicine by diagnosing and treating via phone conversations or webcams, then locating the nearest pharmacy to patients and ordering the medications most appropriate for the circumstances.

Dr. Carter worked in the field of electrical engineering for eight years after graduating from Clemson University in 1983. She later attended the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. She completed her internship and residency program in Family Medicine at Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia.

She is all about giving patients personalized care. She says because she's intentionally chosen to see fewer patients, the staff has more time to spend with each one. She says she's happy to schedule a free consultation to discuss anyone's health care needs.

Moving into this new year, Dr. Carter says what motivates her professionally is providing quality healthcare in a cost-effective manner, while she draws personal inspiration from helping patients through both good and bad times. 

Regarding her personal, overall health, she says she tries to limit sugars and simple carbohydrates in her diet. "I also avoid processed foods," she adds. 

If she could give significant money or volunteer time to anything in the world, she says it would be to stopping the poaching of animals in Africa and locally to  help the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Dr. Carter says she draws extra happiness from spending time with family and good friends kayaking on the New River and camping at music festivals. She listens to all types of music, but primarily enjoys bluegrass and traditional old-time mountain music. 

"I spend a lot of time in the mountains and am constantly amazed at the level of musical talent and how integrated it is into their daily lives," she says. 

Dr. Carter recommends the following book:  If the Creek Don’t Rise by Leah Weiss.

214 Old Chapin Road, Lexington, 803.951.2750,  

Sunset Periodontics & Implant Dentistry, Travis Mize, DMD

Board-Certified Diplomate Travis Mize, D.M.D., M.H.S. practices a full scope of periodontics, ranging from dental implants to cosmetic periodontal surgery and gum grafting. He also treats a variety of periodontal (gum) diseases and provides oral cancer exams. 

He earned his bachelor's of science degree from Indiana University, and then completed dental training at the University of Kentucky College of Dentistry in 2007. He also received the prestigious Dental Student Award for Outstanding Achievement in Periodontics upon graduation. He then completed a three-year residency in periodontics at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston. Upon finishing his Certificate in Periodontics and Master of Health Sciences in 2010, he was presented with the inaugural Award for Academic Excellence in Periodontics by the College of Dental Medicine. He then went into private practice for five years in Boston, Mass., before relocating to West Columbia. 

Dr. Mize is an active member of the Central District Dental Society, Greater Columbia Dental Association and South Carolina Dental Association. He also co-directs the Midlands Dental Collaborative.

Dr. Mize also is a post-doctoral clinical instructor at the Harvard School of Dental Medicine and travels to Boston to instruct residents in surgical and moderate sedation techniques. He is an active Harvard Odontological Society member. He's also a clinical assistant professor at The Dental College of Georgia at Augusta University. In 2015, he was presented the Educator Award by the American Academy of Periodontology for his teaching and mentorship of post-doctoral periodontal students at Harvard University. He has published various clinical research articlesand he lectures frequently on the academic level to post-doctoral students, in addition to guest-lecturing for continuing education courses.   

Outside of patient care, Dr. Mize enjoys playing and experiencing live music--keep an eye out for him at local music venues with his wife, Minnie.

"We're currently installing some very comfy surgical chairs that have heat and massage functions," he says. "Obviously, nobody wants to have surgery, but at least patients can have an improved experience with these. We’re also testing out some wireless noise-canceling headphones so patients can have the option of turning off the loud noises of the handpiece. For some people, the noises are what bother them the most so every little bit helps."

Because winters are tougher to motivate him to go run, he says he bought a treadmill so he would have no excuse. "I also added some workout equipment to our home gym, so I really have no excuse. As some days I need all of the motivation I can get, I’ll sign up for a marathon several months ahead, which will likely keep me off of the couch. If you are a homebody like me, then make working out as convenient as possible," says Dr. Mize.

He assures that the book Brief Answers to the Big Questions by Stephen Hawking is one that makes people think long after they've put it down.

159 Medical Circle, West Columbia, 803-794-7520,

The Braces Place, Dan Pennella, DMD

The Braces Place Team has perfected more than 10,000 smiles in the Lexington area. They have patients of all ages and can assist with the selection of the best style of braces.

Dr. Pennella graduated with honors from Wake Forest University with a bachelor's degree in chemistry, while also being inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa honor society. After graduation, he moved to Charleston where he attended the Medical University of South Carolina College of Dental Medicine, graduating as the valedictorian of his dental class. He says he moved around every few years growing up and has lived in 10 states, but when he came to South Carolina on vacation when he was in college, he knew it would be home. 

After graduating from dental school, he was accepted into the Medical College of Virginia orthodontic residency program. He then obtained his orthodontic certification and master’s degree. Over the course of his residency, he also obtained his certification to offer Invisalign to patients, and gained extensive experience with difficult interdisciplinary cases as a former member of the VCU Craniofacial/Facial Reconstruction Team.

He's an active member of the Lexington Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Columbia Dental Association, and Riverbend Community Church. He lives in Lexington with his wife, Kate, and his two children Max and Claire. In his spare time, he enjoys cooking, reading, skiing and playing a round of golf.

"There's nothing better than being a part of why someone loves to smile!" proclaims Dr. Pennella as he thinks about 2020. He says they've been working with a 3D digital scanner for three-plus years and are planning to add 3D printing of orthodontic models of patient teeth in 2020. 

"It's often said the mouth is the window to body, because many systemic diseases have some sort of oral presentation. The mouth is one of the first places that can shows signs of many medical conditions, so regular dental visits are imperative for early detection of some diseases," he reminds.

Regarding his personal health fitness regimen, he joined a local group called F3, which stands for Faith, Fitness and Fellowship. He says they meet three times a weeks for prayer fellowship and workouts. 

"I never really listened to country music until I starting working with the team in my office, now country music is the default station in my car," he confides.

502 North Lake Drive, Lexington, 803.359.4480,

Veritas Urgent Care Clinic, Lachin Hatemi, MD

As a nuclear medicine doctor, Dr. Hatemi received his medical degree from the University of Kentucky College of Medicine. He founded Veritas Urgent Care Clinic in Lexington, and is affiliated with numerous hospitals in South Carolina, including Palmetto Health Richland.

The Veritas center offers experienced clinical teams, as well as a digital X-ray system and an on-site lab to help diagnose and treat a wide range of injuries and health issues seven days a week. They provide non-life threatening care, such as treatment for sprains and fractures, allergies, infections, colds and acute illnesses. They also give immunizations. They accept most insurance plans, and walk-ins are welcome. Additionally, they are a Veterans Affairs-authorized urgent care provider. 

Dr. Hatemi speaks multiple languages, including Turkish. He says one day he will start an international medical company.

His professional goal is to provide efficient, friendly and cost-effective healthcare solutions for residents who otherwise don't have easy access to a healthcare provider. "When I treat patients and see results, I find satisfaction in my life," he adds. 

During 2020, Dr. Hatemi says they will start a weight loss clinic where they combine medical treatments, massage, exercise and diet. They're working with Dynamic Fitness and other local partners to achieve this goal. For his own fitness regimen, he likes light cardio, combined with weight lifting. 

Personally, he's passionate about civil rights and human rights and is a member of NAACP and Amnesty international. Additionally, he likes spending time with his family, traveling with his mother, listening to Sufi or meditation music and being a bibliophile with a huge library.  

247 Columbia Ave., Lexington, 803.399,8793,

  • Dr. Lachin Hatemi, M.D.
  • Dr. Dee Carter, M.D.
  • Dr. Travis Mize, DMD
  • Dr. Shane Conner, DC
  • Dr. Dan Pennella, DMD
  • Dr. T. Max Frawley, DMD