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Whether you need some extra help at home or have a chronic health issue, there's a team of professionals right here in the Scenic City at the ready to help you stay on track for hitting those personal wellness goals and making those key decisions when it comes to major adjustments and lifestyle changes.

Kenny Higdon remembers the day his mother was forced to make the difficult decision to become his grandmother's caregiver. The choice came at great personal expense.

"I started a home care company in 2007 after seeing the challenge my mom had when trying to find someone caring and honest who would be gentle with my grandmother," said Higdon, the president of 5 Star Home Care.

His mother had no alternative because she wasn't able to find someone she felt comfortable with. Higdon bases his company on the commitment to treating clients with the same respect and compassion his family wanted someone to show his own grandmother.

5 Star offers professional, comprehensive home care to people who need help performing day-to-day activities. 5 Star's staff assists those who are living with a disability, recovering from an injury or illness or simply facing the daily challenges that come with aging. Clients receive high-quality personal assistance while maintaining the independence that comes from living at home.

The first step in finding a trustworthy person to make this possible is understanding the standards of the home care company and their caregivers.

For more information or to set up a one on one consultation, call 5 Star in Chattanooga at 423-893-8181.  For middle Tennessee, call 931-474-7823 or visit

If you're facing kidney disease of any kind, especially during this pandemic, it can be difficult knowing where to turn and what to expect, but Chattanooga Kidney Centers offers a variety of services and strives to help ease patients' minds and meet their needs.

"We are committed to providing excellent care and support to all our patients through the latest patient care technology and continuous quality improvement with a focus on superior customer service in a safe, affirming environment," reads the company's mission statement on their website, and once you step inside of their six locations you can see it's true.

Services provided by all of the Chattanooga Kidney Centers located in Chattanooga, Cleveland, and North Georgia include:

         Staff assisted in center hemodialysis.

         Transient dialysis services.

         Evaluation, teaching, and support for home peritoneal dialysis (KCMR and KCC facilities only).

         Back-Up dialysis for home dialysis patients.

         Ongoing patient education in all aspects of ESRD therapy and treatment options.

To learn more, visit to read on or set up a consultation.

Pancreatic cancer is the 4th leading cause of cancer death in both men and women. Whether it's someone you know, someone you love or someone you've heard about, like Michael Landon or Patrick Swayze, and more recently Alex Trebek and Ruth Bader Ginsberg, most of us have been touched by pancreatic cancer. It's often silent in the early stages, making it harder to diagnose when the cancer may be more receptive to treatment.  

The symptoms can be subtle, and many people ignore them or think they are due to another less serious medical condition. The most common and classic symptom of pancreatic cancer is painless jaundice, which is the yellowing of the skin or eyes.

"Sometimes symptoms will get the attention of the person affected, but it's often brought up to the patient by the people around them who notice it first," says Julie Koffron, MD, fellowship trained pancreatic surgeon with University Surgical Associates. "After talking through how they've been feeling over the past few months, many people will recognize other vague symptoms that could have helped these individuals' cancer be identified at an earlier stage."

To schedule an appointment with Dr. Koffron or one of the other surgical cancer specialists at USA, call 423.267.0466. Learn more at

Drs. Mandy and Robert Shearer agree they have a common question often asked by their patients: What is this black line on my tooth around my crown? If you're concerned that something is amiss, chances are it's nothing to be too concerned about and just the composition of the crown.

"It's generally the metal part of a crown that is showing due to gum recession," Dr. Mandy shared. "Unfortunately, gum recession happens to a lot of people and is common with aging."

Like most dental products and procedures, there are some options when it comes to crowns: some are porcelain fused to metal with a thin inner shell encased by porcelain. The metal gives the crown its strength, and the porcelain gives the tooth a more natural look. However, the con to these types of crowns is that the thin metal lining can become visible, resulting in this mysterious black line.

In the office of Soddy Daisy Smiles, the team instead makes white porcelain crowns that do not have the metal substructure underneath it. So, when patients do experience gum recession, the line is white and not as noticeable, Dr. Mandy noted. These types of crowns are extremely durable and resistant to stains. They generally last for 10 years or longer before replacement becomes necessary, and patients can expect especially good results across the board in terms of look and performance.

For more information, or to schedule an appointment, call Soddy-Daisy Smiles at 423-332-5275 to schedule an appointment or visit

Total knee replacement is a big, brutal operation with a long recovery. It is usually effective at eliminating debilitating knee pain from end stage arthritis, but it comes with some risks and a long arduous rehabilitation. Some studies have shown up to a 20 % rate of dissatisfaction after surgery. In one local orthopedic surgeon's opinion, at least half of these surgeries are not needed, instead a much safer technique that spares muscle and ligaments and utilizes a short incision and a small fraction of the amount of metal and plastic. This procedure, minimally invasive partial knee resurfacing using the Repicci technique, has been a special interest of Dr. Marty Redish for nearly 20 years.

"At least half of the patients who undergo total knee replacement today do not need the surgery in my opinion," explained Dr. Martin Redish, local surgeon who is both practicing and advocating for a new, less invasive option. "This is because they have unicompartmental arthritis and could instead get a better result with less risk and recovery with minimally invasive partial knee resurfacing (MIPKR). Roughly 60-70 percent of the knee replacements I do are partial knees; the rest I do total knee replacements."

The procedure itself consists of an outpatient surgery that utilizes a small high speed burr that requires the surgeon to freehand sculpt only the diseased portion of the knee so that small metal and plastic implants, the same material as used in total knee replacement, are implanted to patch the worn surfaces.

To learn more about MIPKR, its benefits, and whether the procedure is right for you, contact Dr. Redish's office at 423-493-5220 or visit his website at

"When I first meet a new patient, I spend time getting to know them and drawing out how they would answer this question: Is hearing optional or a necessity?" said Dr. Megan Johnson, audiologist and owner of Johnson Audiology. "That gives me insight into how ready the person is to embrace that they have hearing loss and begin the journey to healthy hearing. Over the course of my 18-year career as an audiologist, I've learned that those who are primed and ready to address their hearing loss are the ones who will be the most successful with hearing aids."

Humans have five basic senses: sight, hearing, touch, smell, and taste. Eyesight provides the most information to the brain at roughly 10 million bits per second, which is similar to an Ethernet connection. The second most information-rich sense is hearing, with your ears not only in charge of transmitting sounds to the brain but also in controlling your body's balance and equilibrium. Notably, your vision and hearing work closely together, allowing you to target where sounds are coming from; therefore, both those senses need to be in good working order.

With vision problems, most people quickly address the health issue and get glasses.

"By contrast, people wait up to 10 years from the time they first notice hearing loss," Dr. Johnson said. "I encourage people to begin assigning hearing its proper place of importance. Addressing hearing loss should be a health necessity, not something you finally seek help for when the loss is severe."

Hearing should always be a health priority. Take the next step to healthy hearing for you or a loved by calling Johnson Audiology today to make an appointment for a diagnostic hearing exam and ask your audiologist to use the HearVu program to better explain your hearing loss.