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Brentwood At Its Best – Shining a Light on Local Experts Who Can Help Others Thrive

Brentwood At Its Best – Shining a Light on Local Experts Who Can Help Others Thrive

Article by Sue Baldani

Originally published in Brentwood Lifestyle

Whether you’re in need of dental care, chiropractic treatments, and/or other health and wellness services, Brentwood has plenty of amazing local providers. Of course, we can’t cover them all here, but we do have a great sampling of professionals who will make you feel as if you’re living your best life!

Dr. Ashley Guthrie

Plastic Surgeon

Dr. Ashley Guthrie, of Guthrie Facial Plastic Surgery, loves using her skills to impact patients’ lives in powerful, positive ways. “Being a surgeon allows me to make immediate, significant changes and improvements to a person’s appearance, and there is no greater satisfaction than seeing the joy that can bring,” she says. “Not only do I get to make people feel better about themselves for cosmetic reasons, but I also get to help reconstruct and repair patients who have experienced trauma, scarring, or cancers of the face.”

The practice offers a full range of surgical options such as facelifts, rhinoplasty, blepharoplasty, otoplasty, lip lifts, and hair transplantation, as well as nonsurgical options for facial rejuvenation like Botox®, Dysport®, and an array of fillers. It also offers the most up-to-date equipment and cosmetic systems, which she says, produces substantial skin tightening and smoothing.

Her extensive training ensures her patients are in safe hands. “I believe it’s extremely important to find a surgeon who has experience treating the intricacies of the face,” she says. “The anatomy is unique and sometimes challenging, which can be overwhelming for a surgeon who doesn’t focus solely on that. I feel confident that I can deliver great results for my patients.”

Guthrie Facial Plastic Surgery offers an individualized, detail-oriented approach to each patient. “Every person who walks into our office is special to us, and he/she is treated as our number one priority,” she says.

Connie Williams

Stretching Specialist/ Fitness Expert

Connie Williams has been working in the fitness industry in various capacities for 42 years. In addition to teaching aerobics, she has owned a personal training business. But, she feels her greatest contribution to the fitness industry was co-creating the step-aerobics program in the late ‘80s and travelling the world training instructors on how to teach it.

For the past 24 years, Connie has been teaching group exercise classes at the Brentwood YMCA and, four years ago, opened her own stretching business. “I love being a stretch coach,” she says. Stretch Therapy with Connie offers 60-minute one-on-one sessions and small-group classes, as well as many online stretch workshops. People can sign up on her website.

She realized the importance of stretching after suffering a hip injury five years ago.  “I set out on a quest to research and learn everything I could about the amazing life changing benefits of stretching,” says Connie. During her journey, she worked with university professors, attended workshops and obtained certifications in her quest to gain enough knowledge so that she would be able to help others hopefully before they suffer an injury.

“What I learned was that stretching is the missing link in most fitness routines,” she says.

“My clients’ testimonials are incredible and inspiring” says Connie. “Stretching has truly changed their lives! My passion for stretching and my experience and knowledge is what, I believe, makes what I do stand out.”

Tara Schaffer


Tara Schaffer, the owner of Schaffer Skin, has been a licensed aesthetician for over 20 years. She and her experienced staff now offer high-quality customized skin treatments for every skin type.

“I started in a medical office that was developing a skin spa,” she says. “So, I was able to learn both skincare and how to build a business. In 2002, I was given the opportunity to work for a private dermatology practice in the Cool Springs area. I was mentored on how to care and treat each patient.” After 10 years of growth, she continued her career working for a large medical group overseeing their skincare department until opening her own practice in 2020.

“Our services include laser treatments, IPL [intense pulsed light therapy], microneedling, HydraFacials, chemical peels, injectables and dermatology,” says Tara.

The long-term goal at Schaffer Skin, she explains, is to be clear in their vision and to stay connected as a team in order to be successful in their craft. “We’re able to provide services from our licensed aestheticians to our dermatology nurse practitioner. Developing personal relationships and educating patients is our priority. Our team puts an emphasis on continuing education so that we can offer the most up-to-date skin care procedures.”

Tara and her team value their patients’ time and are proud that they are able to provide efficient and effective skincare services all in one place.

Dr. James Rynerson


The Dry Eye Center of Brentwood focuses on not just treating dry eye disease, but more importantly, fixing it. “I use new and unique knowledge gained from my research in dry eye to treat dry eye disease like no one ever has before,” says Dr. James Rynerson, the founder of the practice.

He does this, he explains, by focusing his efforts on the meibomian glands, which produce the oil layer of our tear film. “We’re able to put a stop to years of damage that goes unnoticed until it is too late in most patients,”  he says. “By focusing on the underlying cause of dry eye, a bacterial biofilm, we can eliminate symptoms along with the inflammation that causes such damage to our tear glands, and makes the eyes red, irritated, dry or conversely, sometimes watery.”

Dr. Rynerson followed his father, a family practice doctor, into medicine. Due to his excellent manual dexterity and hand/eye coordination, his father suggested that he would be very good at ophthalmology, which required microsurgical skills, and was a specialty which had a nice balance, combining surgery with medicine.

“It is very rewarding to be able to educate long-frustrated patients and finally put an end to their misery,” he says.

Dr. Rynerson is also the president and founder of BlephEx, LLC, a painless in-office procedure that very precisely and carefully removes debris and exfoliates eyelids.

Dr. Elizabeth Baker


Dr. Elizabeth Baker knew she wanted to go into the medical field, and after going to a chiropractor herself for many years, decided to follow that path. Ten years ago, she took over ownership of Maryland Farms Chiropractic.

“We focus on corrective chiropractic care,” she says. “What that means is we look to figure out the underlying problem for someone’s pain and we develop a treatment plan based on the patient exam, their history, their age, and the length of the issue.”

Digital x-rays, says Dr. Baker, are used to help determine the best ways to alleviate patients’ pain as quickly as possible, while focusing on how to heal and correct the issue or injury so it doesn’t continue to deteriorate and degenerate in the future.

“We adjust manually using traditional adjustment techniques, and we do soft tissue work if necessary” she says. “We also have some other in-house therapies for more full-service treatments including decompression therapy. And, we have a part-time massage therapist.”

In August of 2021, Dr. Caleb Powell joined the practice. “The benefit of this is we both have very similar skill sets and styles, but we also have a few different tricks and areas of expertise so patients get two doctors to help in their healing,” she says. In addition, having two doctors on staff allows them to help more patients in a timely manner.

Dr. Caleb Powell


In August of 2021, Dr. Caleb Powell joined up with Dr. Elizabeth Baker at Maryland Farms Chiropractic in Brentwood. “I chose to join Maryland Farms because they share the same chiropractic values as I do and the atmosphere created in the office is unbeatable,” he says.

He went into the chiropractic field after suffering a sports injury. “I competed in weightlifting in college where I injured my shoulder and lower back,” says Dr. Powell. “I was referred to a chiropractor for treatment and from that I found my interest in chiropractic. Chiropractic allowed me to get back to the quality of life I had before my injuries. Now I want to do the same for others.”

For new patients who may be a little nervous, he first finds out what they’re anxious about and then does his best to alleviate their concerns. Their unease sometimes stems from the many misconceptions about chiropractic care.

“Chiropractic is not about cracking backs,” says Dr. Powell. “We adjust the spine to allow the body to work at its full potential.” He stresses that adjustments don’t hurt – instead they help relieve symptoms. But, one adjustment does not fix the problem. “It’s just like going to the gym to get a six pack; you have to be consistent with it,” he says.

Kim Engelhardt

Nurse Practitioner

The Aesthetic Loft, which opened in 2020, offers a full range of medical aesthetic procedures. “Our most popular treatments include Botox®/Dysport® injections to treat wrinkles,” says owner Kim Engelhardt. It also offers hair restoration, dermal fillers, microneedling, and platelet-rich plasma therapies for the skin.

Medical-grade skin care is another popular offering and includes Diamond Glow, a medical-grade facial. “I’m constantly learning and pushing myself to be a better injector and practitioner,” she says. “I attend conferences as well as subscribe to several continuous learning platforms. Most importantly, I can relate to most of my patients because I fall into their same demographic and am dealing with a lot of the same skin issues they are. I listen to their concerns, come up with realistic treatment goals and work with my patients to achieve these goals.”

Kim has been a registered nurse for 23 years and a nurse practitioner for 19 years, so she is very familiar and comfortable with medical procedures. “I have worked in many different areas of medicine from ICU to outpatient settings,” she says. “I got my start in medical aesthetics while working for a plastic surgery practice where I assisted with surgical procedures, as well as non-surgical, aesthetic treatments.”

Her number one concern, she stresses, is her patients’ safety and satisfaction, even if that means less profit for her in the end. “I always say, ‘I’m a really good nurse practitioner, but possibly not the best business woman,’” she says laughing.

Dr. Matt Kasiar


Dr. Matt Kasiar, owner of The Practice, always loved designing things. “My first degree was in mechanical engineering, which I loved, but I missed the people interaction,” he says. “Dentistry allowed me to do both smile design and interact with people.”

Now practicing for 15 years, Dr. Kasiar received training from some of the most prestigious smile design and full-mouth rehabilitation courses in the country. His vast knowledge and experience covers general, cosmetic and implant dental services all under one roof. “We are a full-service practice, which means we offer all general dentistry services as well as IV sedation, wisdom teeth extractions, implants and full-mouth smile makeovers.”

Services are geared toward the whole family, so parents and their children can all be cared for in the same office. Same-day emergency appointments are also available for patients who need to be seen quickly.

In addition to his diverse experience and training, Dr. Kasiar feels The Practice’s customer service sets them apart. He and his office staff are dedicated to providing the best care available and making sure patients feel comfortable while in the office and during procedures. Patients are offered Bose headphones, Sonos sound systems, Netflix and more to help them stay relaxed. There is even a coffee and refreshment bar.

Their compassionate care and competence makes going to the dentist much easier. A healthy, beautiful smile is their ultimate goal.

Valentina Hall


A nurse since 1993, Valentina Hall has often worked with cancer patients. “My beauty background started from giving back to those who recovered after chemotherapy,” she says. “Microblading created fuller brows for women or men who experienced hair loss due to chemotherapy.”

In 2004, she immigrated to the United States and started working in the medical field in Tennessee. “After a few years of working full time at Vanderbilt, I started to offer beauty services in Nashville,” says Valentina. “Ten years into working for Vanderbilt, I decided it was time to pursue the beauty business full time.”

Vtina Beauty has been in business since 2016, and in 2020, it transformed into a Med Spa. It offers injectables, PRP (platelet rich plasma) and IV therapy, along with carbon laser facial, microneedling, European peel, and other rejuvenating skin treatments.

Vtina Beauty also offers permanent makeup services, teeth whitening, and anti-aging procedures such as fibroblast to help reduce wrinkles and tighten the skin.

“Another popular service offered at Vtina Beauty is the vacuum butt lift that plumps the booty,” she says. “On top of all these services, we can’t forget about lashes. We offer keratin lash lift and lash extensions. Vtina Beauty is a one-stop shop for all your beauty needs!”

Her team, she says, consists of trained professionals such as registered nurses with over 20 years in the medical field, and highly experienced and caring aestheticians.