By allowing ads to appear on this site, you support the local businesses who, in turn, support great journalism.
LRMC introduces physicians during chamber luncheon
web progress lunch - doctors
Recently recruited Liberty Regional Medical Center physician Dr. Ophelia Gherman addresses the Liberty County Chamber of Commerce on Thursday during a Progress Through People luncheon. - photo by Denise Etheridge

Liberty Regional Medical Center shone a spotlight Thursday on four of its doctors during a Liberty County Chamber of Commerce Progress Through People luncheon at First Baptist Church in Hinesville.

Before introducing the LRMC physicians, hospital spokeswoman Rene’ Harwell informed chamber members of the medical center’s recent partnership with St. Joseph’s/Candler Health System to provide stroke telemedicine.

Patients who come into the emergency room showing stroke symptoms immediately will be connected via telemedicine with a neurologist, she said. Liberty Regional’s emergency staff then will work with a neurologist to diagnose and treat the stroke “within that critical window of opportunity,” Harwell said.

She then stepped back and allowed the hospital’s four doctors to present themselves to the community.

Dr. Olugbenga Awe practices internal medicine, Dr. Zorana Sifford is an obstetrician/gynecologist, Dr. John Cortina specializes in pulmonary and sleep medicine and newly recruited family practice physician Dr. Ophelia Gherman will begin accepting patients in September.

Awe, originally from Nigeria, moved to Hinesville in 2006.

“We are looking to grow the practice,” he said, referring to Prime Care Medical Services in Hinesville and Midway.

“People here are very friendly and very supportive,” he added.

Awe and his fellow doctors said Hinesville’s small-town charm and warm Coastal Georgia weather drew them to the area.

“We built a home here in Hinesville, so we have no plans for leaving,” said Sifford, who moved to Hinesville in 2003.

“I see a lot of familiar faces here,” Sifford said. She treats women of all ages, from “teens to post-menopausal women.”

Sifford said she and her colleagues trained at big city hospitals and therefore bring that knowledge and skill set to Liberty County.

She said treating patients in a small hospital is challenging because doctors must “do more on their own.” Sifford added that her patients have told her they received more personalized care at LRMC than they did at larger area hospitals.

“I really prefer living in a small community like this,” Cortina said. He told chamber members he grew up in a small town in New Jersey.

Gherman, the newest member of the LRMC team, said she “shadowed” her grandparents’ family physician and intends to follow his example. He would call Gherman’s mother to be sure the elderly couple understood his diagnosis and course of treatment. Gherman said her grandparents didn’t speak English well.

She promised to deliver “compassionate, evidence-based medical care.”

For more information, go to

Sign up for our e-newsletters