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Jean’s Story: Says “Yes” to more Volunteer Days at the Fire Department

Being a retired healthcare administrator from New York City, I knew what I was looking for in a physician, especially a surgeon. I retired from a 33 year career in healthcare and hospital administration and worked with many physicians in my past.

With some physicians, you get the sense as a patient that you are just a number on a chart and it can be an intimidating experience.


But with Dr. Gordon Iiams and Dr. Samuel Brown of Sports Medicine & Orthopaedic Center (SMOC), I must say I only experienced the BEST care with a true concern for me as a patient. In my 75 years of life, these are by far some of my favorite physicians. They have been treating me for about 10 years now. Each and every interaction has exceeded my expectations.

Dr. Iiams performed separate carpal tunnel surgeries on each of my hands. My right and left hands were both giving me terrible pain that was extremely debilitating.

I remember waking up each time from surgery with no more pain. I was so relieved the pain was gone and has not returned.

For my two rotator cuff surgeries, Dr. Brown was my first choice. Having intense shoulder pain extremely limited my mobility. After the first successful operation and continual physical therapy sessions with SMOC, my mobility and function returned fully.

I was overjoyed because it allowed me to continue volunteering with the Chesapeake Fire Department in their Administration office. This community service is a joy to me, and being unable to participate broke my heart. Now I can say “YES” to more volunteer days!

During a recent fall in my home, I injured the same shoulder. Dr. Brown assured me that he could repair it with the same excellent results as the first. I never hesitated to trust him and his judgement. I underwent another successful rotator cuff surgery at Chesapeake Regional Hospital. The hospital’s surgical and recovery staff were professional and caring.

I know one of the primary keys to my successful healing has been the extensive and personalized physical therapy sessions I had through SMOC. Ms. Jennifer Cowand, my Physical Therapist, and Ms. Sherry Kresinske, the Physical Therapy Assistant, helped me work through a setback in my most recent rotator cuff surgery.

A few weeks into my rehabilitation, I was in a car accident, where my power steering went out. Having to pull on the steering wheel did a lot of harm to my still-healing shoulder. Ms. Cowand worked closely with Dr. Brown to adapt my treatment plan in consideration of this injury.

Throughout all of my interactions with SMOC doctors and staff, I have always felt like they genuinely cared for me as a person, instead of treating me like just another name on a chart. Dr. Brown and Dr. Iiams are true gentlemen, showing genuine kindness and caring for each of their patients, as demonstrated in the waiting room chatter. I appreciate this group of people so much that I actually had a dear friend, who is a local artist, create pieces for all of the staff. These were intricate, hand-carved pieces of wooden art that represented some of our local landscape. For all that SMOC had done for me, this was the least I could do to show my gratitude.

Because of SMOC, I am happy to report I am still saying “YES” to more volunteering days at the Fire Department Administration and living my life fully again.
  • The American Board of Orthopaedic Surgery
  • American Association of Hand Surgery
  • American Association of Hip and Knee Surgeons
  • American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society
  • American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery
  • American College of Foot and Ankle Surgery
  • Virginia Orthopaedic Society, Sentara
  • Sentara
  • Chesapeake Regional Medical Center
  • 5801 Harbour View Blvd
    Suite 200
    Suffolk, VA 23435

    Monday-Friday 8am-5pm

  • 501 Discovery Drive
    Chesapeake, VA 23320


  • 150 Burnett’s Way
    Suite 100
    Suffolk, VA 23434

    Monday-Friday 8am-5pm