2019 is the Year for a ‘New You’

Instead of making excuses, how about embracing a new, more confident version of yourself this year? Meet some of our region’s providers who can help you to reach your goals.


Sometimes, it only takes a haircut or a new outfit to feel “brand new.” But other times, it’s a little more complicated.

Like many Americans, maybe you wish to lose a few extra pounds this year. No matter how much you may hate it, exercise is part of the process. Sometimes it’s easier when you have someone motivating you.

General skin care is especially important this time of year, but some people face more challenges than others. Problems from mildly dry skin to eczema can be helped with appropriate products.

Maybe you wish to ward off wrinkles, or you’ve been daydreaming about enhancing your “best assets” with implants (no judgment). Plastic surgery or facial treatments may be for you.

Other elective procedures, like LASIK eye surgery, can make a huge difference in your life. Maybe this is the year you decide to take the leap.

And sometimes, achieving a “new you” might look like undergoing a serious procedure that benefits your health. If you have an eye disease, an unhealthy spine, or another serious health complication, you don’t have to live with it.

Self-improvement can be done in many ways, and we hope this guide helps you locate experts who can help with your particular needs.

Cheers to a healthier, happier “new you” in 2019!

Rockford Spine Center: World-Class Spine Care

Rockford Spine Center is dedicated exclusively to diagnosing and treating spinal conditions. The clinic offers the most advanced diagnostic capabilities and leading-edge care to the region in a state-of-the-art facility. Patients can access a variety of treatments, ranging from low-risk, conservative options to progressive surgical procedures.

The three fellowship-trained surgeons and Mayo Clinic-trained physiatrist, along with a comprehensive team, are proficient in diagnosing a variety of complex spinal disorders, including disc herniation, degenerative and arthritic disease of the spine, spinal trauma and scoliosis. The facility offers imaging, pain management, physical therapy and diagnostic consultation, all under one roof.

RSC’s team of experts uses a multidisciplinary approach to treat spinal disorders, maintaining the highest standards for evaluating, diagnosing and treating specific needs for every patient. They’re proudly one of the most comprehensive, specialized independent practices in the region, and they work every day with the goal of creating a center of excellence specifically for spinal surgery. It’s why Rockford Spine Center is one of the leading referral centers in the Midwest, offering world-class spine care here in Rockford.

Yavitz Eye Center: Retina Services Available

At Yavitz Eye Center, Dr. Edward Yavitz combines state-of-the-art testing with precision surgery and always leads with compassion.

Patients are treated like family. Instead of using an answering service, Yavitz gives every patient 24/7 access to his cellphone. He doesn’t overschedule, so typical waiting room times are less than 15 minutes.

Yavitz has been inventing techniques and equipment since his days at Harvard Medical School and now has 37 patents, with new ones pending on the first treatment for dry macular degeneration. As a corneal specialist, he founded the eye bank in Rockford (now part of Eversight) and continues to perform corneal transplants.

He draws patients from Illinois, Wisconsin and Iowa for LASIK because of his compassion and expertise. Strong word-of-mouth referrals from 25+ years of excellent service and results power this practice.

Yavitz knew he wanted to become an eye surgeon from high school on. His father had very poor vision and required three different pairs of glasses to function at different tasks. He hoped his son would one day be able to improve his vision.

Back in 1990, when his father developed cataracts, Yavitz kept his promise and performed his father’s cataract surgeries, resulting in his ability to play golf and drive without glasses.

Dr. Jerome Weiskopf: Choosing What’s Best for Your Image

By Toni Rocha

No one questions the concept that appearances matter. Expressions such as “putting your best foot forward” and “you never get a second chance to make a good first impression” underline the basic human need to look good and feel good about one’s self.

Dr. Jerome Weiskopf, a board-certified plastic surgeon, says trends in cosmetic surgeries come and go, but the need to look as good as possible doesn’t change. In his private practice at 6533 Lexus Drive, Rockford, Weiskopf helps patients of all ages to fulfill their desires to feel attractive, confident and happy with their bodies.

“Right now, I am seeing more patients who are focused on breast reconstruction,” Weiskopf says. “However, liposuction is also a common request. Truth is, people love to eat and that can lead to excess fat in areas of their bodies that become unsightly. It can also be the result of post-partum weight that has not dropped off naturally or because of dieting after giving birth. In male patients, we see a need to quickly eliminate belly fat and saddle bags.”
Social pressure is one of the motivating factors that brings patients to Weiskopf.

“I see patients who have successfully lost weight but not necessarily in the areas that they had hoped for,” Weiskopf says. “They want to get rid of it faster. With liposuction, that is certainly possible, but, the down side is that the skin surrounding the fat does not shrink easily. They may get rid of the fat but still have issues with droopy skin.”

As far as breast treatments are concerned, Weiskopf points out that a recent trend involves performing more than one surgery to augment breasts with implants.

“I try hard to do breast implants in one step,” he says. “Others use an expansion device during the first operation, then place the implant in subsequent procedures. I feel this is unnecessary.”

Other recent changes in breast augmentation include the way in which the implant is structured, Weiskopf says.

“In an effort to develop an implant that is more durable and less likely to cause complications, the industry is considering a solid gel form that can actually be sliced,” he explains. “It would be rigid and not encased, as are the more commonly used implants. There is a continuing controversy about what substance implants should be filled with, including saline liquid. Implants are ordered as needed because they have a short shelf life. You can’t keep a supply on hand.”

Some treatments are gravitating away from the field of plastic surgery toward orthopedics. Weiskopf says the average plastic surgeon is now much less likely to treat hands, for example.

“The shift is toward more specialization and less general plastic surgery,” he explains. “While the surgery itself has not changed in any major way, it’s possible for patients to realize good results no matter which field does the surgery.”

As far as facial treatments are concerned, Weiskopf says the continued use of BOTOX and natural fillers, such as human fat, to address wrinkles, is literally changing the face of plastic surgery.

“The biggest concern remains overtreatment,” he cautions. “It’s always wise to lean toward being more conservative.”

At one time, the industry believed that laser treatments would transform the methodology of plastic surgery, Weiskopf says. Those expectations have proven unrealistic.

“The bottom line is that the equipment is expensive and patients cannot afford elective surgeries that are based on laser use,” Weiskopf says. “I conduct surgeries in my offices as well as at Rockford Ambulatory Surgery Center. Both are safe, relatively risk-free sites that help ensure patients achieve the results they desire, helping them to feel and look their best.”

Arch Cosmetics: Time to Pamper Your Dry Skin

By Toni Rocha

About this time of year, with winter in full swing, skin care becomes a vital focus. Cold, windy, dry air dulls and roughens skin, which demands some special attention.

And that’s where the hand-picked skin care lines at Arch Cosmetics can help to make a tremendous difference in the face you present to the world.

Arch Cosmetics is a luxury beauty boutique that offers not only 30 top-quality brands in beauty care, but also the revitalizing colors that enhance the healthy glow of hydrated skin.

The first Arch studio opened in Rockford at 6876 Spring Creek Road, and since, the business moved to The Standard, 214 E. State St. Subsequent locations in downtown Chicago and Madison have proven equally successful.

“I opened my business as Arch Apothecary about six years ago in Rockford,” says owner and founder Betsy Branca. “Less than a year later, we opened our site in Chicago, adding [hair] blow-out services in addition to our cosmetic lines and signature brow waxing services. Then we opened our Madison store. And we changed the business name to Arch Cosmetics.”

Branca describes Arch as an eclectic mix of hard-to-find brands designed to help clients care for their skin, regardless of what challenges they face.
“The Rockford location offers an express facial service that allows clients to experience our products before investing,” Branca says. “While we cater primarily to women, we welcome men as well and carry a line of men’s shaving products.”

Discovering the appropriate products to treat each individual’s winter-dried, parched skin is Arch’s main concern. Branca says trends for hydrating products are based on light, natural oils that provide the maximum level of care without clogging pores and causing skin to break out.

“These oils are formulated from nature-based oils such as rose hips, vegetables and other wholesome sources,” Branca says. “They help facial skin to recover from the adverse effects of winter and bring it to its warm, natural glow. We recommend oil treatments on an everyday basis. Once the skin is adequately rehydrated and spring approaches, applications every other day help to maintain that beautiful look.”

Today’s make-up trends focus on natural, neutral colors and matte finishes, says Branca.

“The eyes are included in this trend, using muted colors,” she explains. “Another spring trend is highlighting the cheeks.”

Dewy illuminated skin is also a new trend, she says. It leaves your skin with a natural glow and makes it appear soft and moist.

In addition to quality products, expert professional advice and artistic applications, Arch welcomes its clients into an atmosphere of warm, pampering care that centers on each person’s unique needs. From everyday eyebrow and lash upkeep to special make-up and skin care applications, men and women alike are discovering the joy and satisfaction of using high quality products that help them to face the world looking and feeling their best.

Peak Fitness: PSX Improves Confidence and Health

By Jermaine Pigee, assistant managing editor

If you want to get stronger, faster and healthier in 2019, PSX at Peak Sports Club is right up your alley.

The PSX training facility provides space for high intensity group workouts, which are designed to increase lean muscle and burn body fat.

“You will get stronger, faster, more flexible and more conditioned if you do this workout at least three times a week,” says Nicholas Dal Pra, fitness director and trainer at Peak Fitness.

The 4,950-square-foot facility is attached to the north side of Peak Sports Club, 4401 Peak Drive, Loves Park. The facility, which is adjacent to the weight training room, features a large, open space for trainers to lead small group workouts, which focus on high-intensity interval training.

It paves the way for more people to benefit from personal training with equipment, and an open area for small and large groups to train together. The workouts can be scaled and modified to match your ability and experience.

“Group training is a growing trend in the industry and it’s a way to make personal training more available and more affordable for more people,” founder and president Mark Banz says. “The fundamental aspect of group training has grown over the years and now, group training classes have their own dedicated space.”

There is a variety of gym equipment that is used in each workout, such as free weights, power racks, turf sleds and plyometric boxes.

Workout classes take place at different times Monday through Saturday and each class has a range of roughly eight to 14 people. Working out in a small group not only improves accountability, it increases the intensity in each workout, Dal Pra says.

“When you join PSX, programming and coaching are included, whereas when you join other gyms, you are basically on your own,” he says. “At PSX, we take care of everything.”

Although PSX is a good way to lose weight, Dal Pra says he doesn’t stress that to people.

“We work hard in here but we never make it about weight loss,” Dal Pra says. “This type of exercise can help with weight loss by making yourself fit and more healthy by increasing your metabolic rate, which will help you burn more calories.”

PSX was the brainchild of Banz, who oversees two premier fitness facilities. In addition to the Loves Park location, he also runs Peak Fitness at 4304 E. State St., in Rockford.

Both centers have spacious, open floor plans that flow from one workout area to another, bathed in natural light, with a bright and uplifting color scheme and plenty of equipment in a clean and well-maintained environment.

Banz opened Peak Fitness in 1998. Within three years, a renovation took place and the workout space was increased by 25 percent.

Peak Sports Club became a reality in 2007, with 85,000 square feet of aerobic, strength-training, and flexibility equipment as well as a full-sized gym, a fitness area for women, tanning beds, numerous classrooms, a lap pool, activity pool, indoor and outdoor waterslide, 28-person hot tub, sauna, steam room, and separate large locker rooms for men, women and families.

It all began when Banz felt challenged to better serve himself and the community. When he wasn’t working, he was working out, going from gym to gym, not finding everything he wanted in one place. He took up an interest in bodybuilding to get rid of the “chubby kid” image he’d had in high school.

“I didn’t want to be that kid anymore,” he recalls. “When I started to work out, it was like a light switch went on in my head. I lost weight, shaped up, felt more confident, and it just made my life better all the way around. I wasn’t afraid to try new things and had a more determined ‘can do’ attitude.”
Among other things, fitness helps people to reduce health expenses, he says.

“It’s not just about appearance, but about feeling good and confident in all you do,” Banz says.