COMPLETE HEALTH & WELLNESS
Editor-in-Chief Vonna Matthews
Marcus Owens Photography
E d i t o r i a l O f f i c e
Little Elm, Texas 75068
CEOMOM Magazine is published by For Her Media
Little Elm, Texas 75068 | +1-972-302-9150
LETTER FROM THE
MAKING OUR HEALTH A
A lot has happened since our Summer 2020 issue. It seems that 2020
continues to be a year full of surprises with twists and turns. We continue
to not know what will happen next. My grandmother used to say, "You
never know from one minute to the next." That summarizes the sentiment
of 2020. With all of the chaos and confusion of this year, making our health
a priority has become even more paramount. From our mental to our
emotional and physical health, we must consider our whole beings as we
implement our self-care routines. We must be intentional and forward
thinking as we work to maintain optimal health.
In our Fall 2020 issue, we interviewed several doctors who are on the
front lines of helping us get and stay healthy. We interviewed Dr. Tiffany
Woodus of Woodus Obstetrics & Gynecology, who is working to eliminate
the health disparities among Black and brown women, and Dr. Bianca
Busch, a Massachusetts based psychiatrist who works with children and
families to manage depression and anxiety. We talked to moms who are
defying the odds and showing that pregnancy does not eliminate a
woman's physical capabilities. Natasha Hastings, Olympic Gold medalist,
spoke to us about her initial fears of becoming a new mom. After having
her beautiful son, Liam, and continuing a great relationship with her
sponsors, Hastings is now preparing for the 2021 Olympics.
We also spoke with Victoria Thomas, founder of JOURNEYFIT. Thomas
works with pregnant women, helping them to stay fit before, during and
after pregnancy by equipping them with health related education, tips and
Our cover mom, Dr. Porchia James, an Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
Specialist, shows the impact dental health has on the rest of our bodies.
We also talk about what work needs to be done to increase Black and
brown dental professionals, and why it is so important to have medical
professionals who can relate to the communities they serve.
We can't release an issue in November 2020 and not talk about the 2020
election that just passed. Although chaos in the White House continues to
ensue, we have to congratulate Kamala Harris for becoming the first
African-American and Indian-American woman to be elected Vice-
President of the United States of America. One of the best parts of this
celebration are the memes commenting on all of the broken glass on the
ground. This is a victory for women, and we have to relish in a job well
done. We're looking forward to the future, as soon as the present calms
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D A Y N A L . R E E D
But while I
may be the first
woman in this
office, I will
not be the last.
K A M A L A H A R R I S ,
V I C E P R E S I D E N T - E L E C T
DR. GINA CHARLES
Dr. Gina Charles knew at an early age that she wanted to pursue a career in medicine. As a Family
Medicine doctor, she uses her platform to serve as an advocate for health related issues that directly
impact Black women such as low breastfeeding rates and maternal mortality. With a career that extends
beyond medicine, Dr. Charles is also the founder and owner of Serenity Aesthetics & Wellness, where
she is able to fuse her love for medicine and beauty.
Photo Credit: Marcus Owens
Photo Credit: Marcus Owens Photography
years of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery residency at Meharry Medical
College and Nashville General Hospital. That was the best decision
ever! In fact, my Air Force experience was highly beneficial in my
acceptance into the program.
Tell us about your practice, About Face Oral & Facial Surgery. What
separates About Face from competitors?
About Face is a military term meaning to turn around. My thought
process for About Face is both literal and figurative, I transform faces
through surgery, thus, transforming lives. I help people reach their
esthetic goals, which helps to improve their confidence and also their
livelihood in many ways. If patients are experiencing discomfort, I try
to alleviate their pain. Many people suffer from infections, decayed
teeth, and dental pain, which need immediate treatment, or the
problem worsens. Our office utilizes advanced and innovative
technology through digital planning of surgical procedures. We have a
3D CT scanner, that can digitally scan the mouth (instead of gooey
alginate in the mouth), and also have 3D printers to plan complex
implant cases. We also offer virtual consultations and pride ourselves
in providing quality service for our patients, and always have short
wait times because we do not double book. I like to take time during
my consultation to get to know patients and I take the time to
thoroughly discuss their surgery plan so that they are well aware of all
risks, benefits, and complications of surgery.
My husband, George, a University of Alabama graduate (Roll tide!), is
our office manager, and understands the business side and
administrative portion of our business, which takes so much stress off
of me. He spends time with patients discussing their insurance
benefits, and how we can maximize their benefits and develop an
affordable plan for them. You won't get top notch care in a family
atmosphere anywhere else!
You often speak about the importance of dental health in
maintaining overall wellness. What role does dental health play
in complete wellness?
Your dental health is definitely related to the overall health and
wellness of your body. The mouth is a window into the health of
the body. It can show signs of nutritional deficiencies or general
infection. It is scientifically proven that there is a link between
periodontal disease and cardiovascular disease as well as preterm
or low birth weight babies in pregnant women. It’s very
important for pregnant women to take even better care of their
teeth and gums than average because hormonal changes can
exaggerate dental issues. Therefore, given the potential link
between periodontitis and systemic health problems, prevention
may be an important step in maintaining overall health.
It’s important to brush your teeth twice a day for 2-3 minutes
and floss at least once a day. Eat a balanced diet and limit
snacking throughout the day because those carbs that we love
turn into sugar, and reap havoc not only on our waistline, but,
can also cause tooth decay and periodontal disease. This is why
it’s so important to schedule dental exams with x-rays and a
cleaning twice a year. People with periodontal (gum) disease
even have to get deep cleanings even more frequently like 3-4
times a year.
What are the most common misconceptions
related to dental care?
Many people think that Dentistry is expensive. In
fact, neglect is what is expensive. Preventative Care
is so important in prevention of oral diseases as well
as oral cancer screenings. The sooner that disease is
found, usually it is more affordable to repair.
However, if you wait too long, then, a small filling
that was needed previously could turn into a root
canal and crown, or even something more invasive
like an extraction, bone graft and implant!
The bottom line is to not wait until you have a
problem or have pain to see your dentist.
Oftentimes, if you’re having symptoms, then, it is too
late, and something that could have been routine, is
now a much bigger, and more expensive procedure.
Prevention is key!
What safety precautions are being taken to protect
patients seeking dental care during this pandemic?
Many offices are implementing COVID-19 screening
questionnaires and offering online medical history
and office forms prior to entering the office to keep
things as contactless as possible. You’ll also notice
that many offices are taking the temperatures of
patients upon entrance into the office. Per CDC
guidelines as well as a Texas mandate, all patients
must wear facial coverings before entering the
building, and we ask that appointments are limited
to only the patient, unless they are a minor, then,
appointments are limited to one additional adult.
Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) have always
been implemented in dental offices because of
OSHA guidelines such as disposable gowns,
eyewear, masks, and gloves, but, you’ll likely notice
that many offices have stepped it up a notch of
course through N95 masks, but, also the use of face
shields, bonnets, and even shoe coverings.
At our office, we are only scheduling one patient at a
time to help promote social distancing and to
eliminate exposure around others. This also gives us
enough time in between patients to ensure that we
are disinfecting all surfaces thoroughly and
definitely sterilizing all instruments, which, honestly
we have always done prior to COVID-19. Prior to a
procedure, you might even notice that your dentist
has you pre-rinse with a peroxide based mouth rinse,
which has anti-viral, anti-fungal, and anti-bacterial
properties. Furthermore, you will see vigorous
amounts of hand sanitizer generously around the
office for use and even see offices implementing air
purifiers as well. As a surgery office, our fields must
be sterile when working on patients, and we take the
safety of our patients and staff very seriously.
Photo Credit: Marcus Owens Photography
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S C R E E N T I M E V S . D R E A M T I M E
11 TIPS FOR PROMOTING HEALTHY
SLEEP HABITS DURING COVID-19
P r e s e n t e d b y : C h i l d r e n a n d S c r e e n s
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Stop comparing yourself to other
moms. Stop thinking you are not
good enough. Stop thinking that
you do not have it all together
and never will. You were created
to be exactly the mom that your
kids need, and are not a mistake.
I have read so many articles and blog posts about enjoying every
moment as a mom. News flash…I don’t and I never will. Think
about your job, your life, and all the stressful things that come
with it. Not every single one of those moments are enjoyable. But,
I think in the moments that aren’t enjoyable, they teach us
lessons. Those days I didn’t enjoy teaching, I would redo the
lesson plan I had made. The days we get a bad medical report
about one of our kids, the right doctor came along to answer our
questions. In relationships, if we deal with hurt feelings, painful
conversations, or just not knowing how to help a friend in need,
these are opportunities to grow who we are as women.
HOW TO NOT LOSE YOUR IDENTITY
When you become a mom, you begin to lose your identity a bit. Of
course there are amazing baby books out there that give so much
amazing advice. But, they all say something different. It’s so tough
knowing what to do to meet the needs of your sweet baby, who
then grows into a toddler, then a preschooler, and then goes on to
have a sibling.
Becoming a mom is hard. It doesn’t mean you don’t love your kids
by admitting this. But, you went from an independent woman to
all of a sudden having these sweet little lives depending on you to
take care of them day in and day out. Being a mom means that
someone always needs something and what you need gets lost in
the shuffle somewhere.
But, on top of that, you begin to lose sleep, need to take a shower
in 5 minutes or less, and end up eating crumbs from your child’s
lunch plate. You might think back to that life you used to have of
going out to lunch with friends or co-workers and miss that life a
bit at times. Having these thoughts DOES NOT make you a bad
It’s okay to want more for yourself. Maybe you just don’t know
what that looks like yet. If you feel like you’ve lost yourself a bit in
motherhood, think about what hobbies you like, if you’re wanting
to pursue an online business or passion project, or what ways you
can begin doing something for YOU! Then, make a plan to start
fitting these ideas into your week. It takes time and planning on
your part, but it is totally doable.
KEEP ON MOVING FORWARD
Jessica Peresta of Industrious Moms
So as a mom, I will not be able to enjoy every moment. Are there
enjoyable moments? Yes there are, and lots of them! I enjoy my
children so much and enjoy watching them grow into the people
I know they’re created to be. There are so many moments of
laughter, story telling, playing, tickling, dancing, hugging,
kissing, snuggling, and coloring.
But…there are moments of defiant no’s, bad moods, and bad
attitudes. There are days I feel pulled in every direction and
don’t know whose need to meet first, and don’t want the child I
get to last to feel like they’re any less important. There are days
where I feel like I’ve yelled too much, haven’t interacted with
the kids enough, or have been in a bad mood.
So moms that don’t have it all together, it’s ok. The good news is,
no one does. What you see on social media is just 1/10000 of
that momma's day. Do not listen to the voices from those
around you who only see a snippet of your day or the voices in
Stop comparing yourself to other moms. Stop thinking you are
not good enough. Stop thinking that you do not have it all
together and never will. You were created to be exactly the
mom that your kids need, and are not a mistake. So go ahead
and not enjoy every moment and I’ll be doing that right along
I have one daughter and she has been my right hand. I remember
telling her about my diagnosis while she was attending the
University of Toledo in 2009, and she wanted to quit college and
come home to take care of me. One thing I didn’t want is for cancer
to stop her from living her dreams. I told her, “NO, you will finish
college and Mom will be okay.” That’s when I had to dig deep into
the strength I had and remind myself that I would give this fight
everything I had. She finished college, received her bachelor’s and
master’s and is now a social worker. She cooks and makes sure I’m
okay. She calls frequently and she’s always making me something
creative. I call her the Mother Hen because she really encourages
me to do better and be my best. She gives me strength when I think
I’m empty and just have nothing else left inside.
How has this fight changed your life?
I think now I’m more experimental and fun. I love doing adventurous
things and taking trips. I will say it’s an emotional toll, but it has
made me a stronger woman. Resiliency is what comes to mind when
I think of the past 10 years. I’m on my fourth progression and each
time, I’ve had to pull strength from a different part of my soul. I’ve
learned that it’s okay to cry. It’s okay to have down days where I just
want to have my pity parties, but I don’t stay there. I have chosen
not to let cancer continually try and deprive me of the joys of life.
Cancer already tried to take my body, but I will not let it take my
How are you helping spread awareness?
One in eight women will get breast cancer. Black women die at a
much higher rate than our white counterparts from breast cancer.
Thirty percent of breast cancer will reoccur.
Photo Credit: Lekardo Pitts Photography
Walk us through the heart of your fight. What were your
immediate feelings, thoughts, fears, etc? Where are you now
emotionally, mentally and spiritually?
My mom died of breast cancer in 2004, she was diagnosed in
2001. My immediate feelings went straight to death and how
much time I had left on this earth. At my initial doctor's visit I
felt empty inside and confused, especially when they told me
life expectancy for Stage IV is three to five years. My first
thought was, “Why me, God?” But my mom always told me to
never question God. My whole life flashed before me from
childbirth until the day I was diagnosed. I was active duty
military as well as in the United States Air Force so that meant
Emotionally, mentally and spiritually, I am in a good space. I
have accepted my diagnosis and have chosen to live life to the
Describe the impact on your family, specifically your
daughter. How have they helped you fight?
I will say it’s an emotional toll,
but it has made me a stronger
woman. Resiliency is what
comes to mind when I think of
the past 10 years.
I share my personal story because God has given me this platform to
use it for his purpose. Someone needs to hear my story because the
first thought of Stage IV breast cancer is death. But I’m still here 10
years after my diagnosis.
I advocate for many different causes. My current advocacy is
focused on recruiting Black women for clinical trials. Currently, I am
on a clinical trial because of a fourth progression on my 4th rib in
July 2018. I have been on it for two years and I’ve had no
progression and the medicine has been working. That’s why I
encourage patients to have the open conversation with their
doctors about clinical trials. Five to six percent of Black women
enroll in clinical trials; this is not enough. As a community, we need
more participation and we need for researchers to include Black
women in clinical trial recruitment.
Photo Credit: Octavia Whitlowe
V I C T O R I A
T H O M A S
H E L P I N G M O M S
G E T A N D S T A Y F I T
Hailed as one of the top trainers in
Dallas Texas, Victoria Thomas has
dedicated her career as a performance
trainer to not only helping her clients
get fit, but helping them transform
their physical and mental potential. As
the founder and owner of
JOURNEYFIT, a sports performance
and fitness studio, Thomas has worked
with some of the world’s top athletes
including NFL, WNBA and professional
volleyball players. Thomas recently
opened a new JOURNEYFIT location to
continue her work with pregnant
women to stay fit before, during and
after pregnancy. CEOMOM Magazine
interviewed Thomas to learn more
about her tips for helping busy moms
create a health and wellness plan, and
the work she is doing through
What is JOURNEYFIT?
JOURNEYFIT is energy. JOURNEYFIT
is positive. JOURNEYFIT is family.
JOURNEYFIT is life changing.
JOURNEYFIT is that health mentor
you never knew you needed. It’s not
just about providing an amazing
workout environment, but we want to
guide you through your nutritional
route. Set goals and smash them. We
have body composition devices that
give us an in-depth analysis on the
overall health of your body. These
reports allow us to strategize an
effective plan to get you to your goal.
It’s all about the transformation with
JOURNEYFIT, not just physically but
most important mentally.
Photo Credit: Octavia Whitlowe
Photo Credit: Octavia Whitlowe
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