Business Boom

Angela Brooks

Tucker is undoubtedly one of the fastest-rising business destinations in the Metro Atlanta area.  Each month, the Business Boom will seek to show different examples of how Tucker’s business scene is flourishing. In honor of February’s Black History Month, Business Outreach Coordinator Angela Brooks takes a look at one Tucker business owner who has forged a unique path to success.

It’s often said that healers and men (or women) of God are “called” to do what they do, and for Dr. Donovan Christie his faith ultimately played a big part in his dedication to the pursuit of wellness and compassion for others. For him, medicine was a calling.

Encouraged by his proud Jamaican mother, Christie, who came to the United States at age 10, did become a physician, but his path to true satisfaction was a winding one with some rough terrain along the way.

Dr-Donovan-ChristieAs the founder and owner of ANWAN (ANWAN stands for All Natural Wellness and Nutrition) Dr. Christie is board certified in internal medicine, preventive medicine and pediatrics. He is a graduate of Fordham University and the Albert Einstein School of Medicine, both in The Bronx, New York. He also has a master’s degree in administrative medicine.

His first medical endeavor post-residency was working at a federally funded community center in New York, which proved an eye-opening experience. 

“During that time in the 1990s, HMO’s and insurance companies had taken over healthcare by putting up all these rules for prior authorizations and also trying to [place limits on] physicians in terms of the amount that they would pay them,” Christie recalled. “I quickly learned that it was all about money for the insurance companies, so I wanted to know more about them.”

That led Christie to work for Cigna and Aetna, the latter a job that eventually brought him to metro Atlanta.

“I was making good money with stock options and other perks, but I felt empty,” Christie recalls. “I didn’t feel as though this is what God wanted me to do.…I had become disillusioned with the way insurance companies treated doctors and patients, and I left because I just wasn’t fulfilled.”

It was at this point that Christie found himself at a crossroads. Armed with experience in corporate America, community health experience, and a master’s degree, he decided to shift his focus to prevention, wellness and lifestyle medicine.

Medicine played a role in his personal life, as well. After seeing her son become a doctor, Christie’s beloved mother died at the age of 68 from congestive heart failure. 

“My mom died because she had everything that a lot of Black people get,” Christie explained, listing “hypertension, high blood pressure, diabetes [and] obesity.…Losing her to disease was yet another driving force that pushed me to pursue prevention and wellness.”

After some struggles in getting his company off the ground, Christie opened ANWAN Wellness in Hapeville in 2002.

“I gave my business card to friends and former colleagues, and by word of mouth, [the business] blew up by 2005,” Christie recalls. “Before I knew it, I was overflowing my space, and that’s when I moved up to Tucker.”

Just across Lawrenceville Highway from Main Street stands the building that Christie purchased and built out to accommodate his wellness and regenerative centers: the ANWAN Professional Building. His staff consists of two doctors, two nurse practitioners (one of which is his wife Jacqueline), a massage therapist, and a chiropractic naturopathic doctor to support his emphasis on the prevention of disease. On the second floor of his building, is the ANWAN Regenerative Center, his concierge practice.

“I do concierge medicine, which is more of a holistic approach to health care,” Christie explained. “What motivated me in 2015 to open up this program is that it caters to people who are more professional and who can afford a concierge membership. I love it because I don’t have to rush in and out. Patients don’t have to just spend 10 minutes with me and I’m on to the next patient, I can spend a full hour with you if that’s what’s needed.”

In addition to his multiple practices, Dr. Christie found time to create his own line of branded vitamins and supplements and he has written a book entitled “Invigorate Yourself with Lifestyle Medicine”. 
“I love it when people lose weight or tell me that their dry skin is gone, or that we reversed their hair loss or relieved their insomnia. When all of that goes away and they feel great, that’s the most rewarding part for me, and that’s what drives me to do what I do.”

ANWAN is located at 2227 Idlewood Road.

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