Alpha Internal Medicine begins 13th year of serving Fayette County

From left are  Jared R. Shafer, PA-C; Erinn Harris, MD; Coral Benge, PA-C; Betsy Horton-Pawlowski, MD; Diliana Panova, MD; Jacquelyn Stewart, NP-C. Photo/Special.

Alpha Internal Medicine (AIM) celebrated 12 years of service in 2010. Dr. Betsy Horton-Pawlowski originally opened the practice on Georgia Highway 54 West, in Fayetteville. Today at the new location on Highway 85 South behind ABC Pediatrics, she is supported in service to the community by Diliana Panova, MD; Erinn Harris, MD ; Coral Benge, PA-C; Jacquelyn Stewart, NP-C; Jared R. Shafer, PA-C, Lisa Stillman, Registered Dietician and Karen Hall, CMT, NMT, Massage Therapist.

That community service goes beyond specializing in adult primary care, preventive medicine, women’s health, chronic illness and high blood pressure and diabetes to include enthusiastic support of several area charities. AIM has sponsored major fund-raisers for both Promise Place and Fayette Care Clinic.

Promise Place, located in Fayette County, serves a four county area and helps prevent domestic violence through awareness programs, educational training and providing safe environments for the victims and their families, as well as utilizing legal advocacy, emergency shelters and transitional housing. For more information see promiseplace.org.

With a few other area medical professionals, Dr. Horton was deeply involved in establishing the Free Fayette Care Clinic back in 2006 and remains supportive of it. Mary Ann Cox, Fayette Care’s first executive director, said the seed for the clinic was planted in 2003 when she read about a similar clinic in Clayton County. Cox, who had worked at Holy Trinity Catholic Church in Peachtree City for more than 20 years, partnered with Dr. Horton to become driving forces behind the clinic’s inception and development.  Cox said the clinic is a tribute to the power of prayer and a dedication to servitude. For more information see fayettecareclinic.com.

With Outpatient Imaging (OPI), AIM has co-sponsored a number of community education events at the new location off Highway 85 South. The spacious new clinic offers a multi-purpose upstairs room that serves as the center for community outreach programs.

Dr. Horton is Board Certified in Internal Medicine. A 1994 graduate of Mercer University of Medicine, she did both her internship and residency at Georgia Baptist Medical Center in Atlanta. She is an assistant clinical professor in the Department of Community Medicine at Mercer University School of Medicine. She grew up in the Fayette area. 

Dr. Panova joined AIM in September 2004, after completing her residency at St. Francis Hospital in Chicago, Illinois.  She is Board Certified in Internal Medicine.  She speaks English, Bulgarian, Russian and Medical Spanish and is the mother of three.

Dr. Harris, also Board Certified in Internal Medicine, is a 1998 graduate of Indiana University School of Medicine. She finished her internal medicine training at Emory University in 2001, then came to AIM in 2008 from Piedmont Fayette Hospital where she was a staff hospitalist. A Fayetteville resident and active member of Total Victory in Riverdale, Ga., she enjoys motherhood, cooking and entertaining. 

Coral Benge, PA-C, graduated from the Physician’s Assistant Program at the Medical College of Georgia in 1996. A member of the AIM staff since 2005, she resides in Fayetteville with her husband and sons. Racquetball, biking, hiking, and reading are her hobbies when she is not serving her family or patients. She volunteers her time at the free clinic (Fayette Care Clinic) every other Wednesday.

Jacquelyn Stewart, NP-C, is a Board Certified Acute Care Nurse Practitioner, Board Certified Critical Care Registered Nurse, and a 1990 graduate of the University of Arkansas Medical Science program with 10 years experience as a Family Nurse Practitioner. In 2008, she graduated from the Acute Care Nurse Practitioner program at Emory University School of Nursing.

Jared R. Shafer, PA-C, a Peachtree City native and the newest staff member, is a 2008 graduate of the University of Georgia with a Bachelor’s of Science in Exercise and Sports Science with an emphasis in athletic training. A certified Athletic Trainer and EMT-Basic, he spent two years working with varsity football, track and field and baseball teams there. He then received his Master’s of Physician’s Assistant at the Medical College of Georgia in 2010.

Rhonda Mauney came on board as AIM’s administrator in 2003. With an extensive background in medical billing and management, she assists Dr. Horton in recruiting providers. She also has helped to implement and oversees a full lab and electronic medical record system. 
 
Mary Jane Holt, a retired nurse, is the community liaison for AIM. She represents the practice at Fayette Chamber events and works active behind the scenes with various fund-raisers and marketing projects. The author of four books, she published The Community Health Focus for 12 years and has written a weekly inspirational newspaper column since 1986.

At AIM, the main objectives are to educate patients in disease prevention and build a relationship of trust.  By doing so, patients can look to the staff for a lifetime of quality healthcare, said Dr. Horton.

In this ever evolving effort, AIM now offers a Wellness Program menu that includes massage therapy and nutrition/dietary counseling, as well as a lending library. The lending library in the hallway at the South entrance to the building has been stocked with patients in mind.

As AIM seeks to support patients in their efforts to maintain good health the staff listens to suggestions from their patients. In response to such suggestions the office now stays open until 7 p.m. on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and accepts same day appointments now as well.
 
Because obesity has become such a nationwide concern and as a convenience to patients AIM’s on-site registered dietician and nutritionist, Lisa Stillman, can help patients not only with better weight management, but also with better management of diabetes, high cholesterol; blood pressure and renal health. 

A number of patients with chronic conditions also take advantage of in house massage therapy. Just a few of the potential benefits of massage therapy include relief for tight or sore muscles, improvement in range of motion, improvement of circulation, aid to detoxification, alleviation of stress and aid to digestion.

Stop by the office at 745 South Glynn Street or call 770-719-5490 to see if AIM is right for you and your family. Let the staff show you how “at AIM, it is always all about you.” 

For more information about AIM see alphainternalmedicine.com.