Our experienced staff is dedicated to making your visit to our office pleasant, educational and comfortable. They strive to listen, and engage in conversations that will enable each patient to feel that their individual concerns have been heard and addressed.
Dr. Edmund Rhett, OBGYN, Founder
Dr. Rhett was born in Charleston, SC and grew up in Atlanta. He graduated from The University of the South, Sewanee, TN with a degree in biology and received his MD from The Medical College of Georgia. He is a diplomat of the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, having been board certified since 1979. Dr. Rhett returned to Charleston in 1977 and started the first OB/GYN practice in Mt. Pleasant. He took this practice from a three person group (he, his nurse, and receptionist ) to the largest of its kind in the area, Lowcountry OB/GYN.
He was on the founding board of East Cooper Hospital, and made many appearances at local functions, as well as being on radio and television, speaking on the latest healthcare trends in his field. Dr. Rhett has privileges at Roper St. Francis and East Cooper Medical Center. He was an original member of the Southern Clinical Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology, a select group dedicated solely to the continuing education of its members.
In 2006, Dr. Rhett decided to give up obstetrics so that he could focus more time on gynecological issues of women of all ages. He created a unique practice totally dedicated to the individual care and comfort of his patients. The center feature of this practice was the in house surgery center, which enables women to have minimally invasive procedures in the comfort of a familiar setting at a much reduced time and cost of hospital surgery.
He continues to keep up with all of the studies and clinical trials in his specialty and beyond. Recently he has developed a highly effective weight loss program and has also expanded his treatment of bioidentical hormone replacement therapy, in which he follows a protocol which he believes is the most current and scientifically based method of BHRT.
Dr. Rhett has served as a church vestryman, and has been chairman of the board of The Canterbury House for more than twenty years. He is director of The Bank of S.C and serves as a member of several other local organizations. He loves duck hunting, golf when he has time, and mostly spending time with his wife and family.
Dr. David Smith, OBGYN
Dr. Smith was born and educated in Charleston, S.C. He graduated from Bishop England High School and attended The Citadel where he received a BS in chemistry in 1973. He earned his medical degree from The Medical University of S.C. After a rotating internship, he was a General Practitioner for four years. He then completed his OB/GYN residency and has been certified by the American board of Obstetrics and Gynecology since 1992.
Dr. Smith has practiced in Mt. Pleasant since 1986. He has privileges at Roper St. Francis and East Cooper Medical Center. He specializes in minimally invasive surgery and alternative procedures to hysterectomy. He is experienced in all areas of gynecologic care, including menopausal treatment, hormone replacement therapy, and weight management. He has also been trained and is experienced in aesthetic procedures including Botox and Juvederm.
Dr. Allison Smith, Anesthesiologist
Dr. Smith grew up in Virginia and is a third generation MD. After graduation from trinity College in CT, she received her MD from The University of Virginia and completed her Anesthesia residency at Harvard Medical School in 1994. She received her board certification is anesthesiology in 1995, and stayed at Harvard to work on staff and train residents. She moved to Mt. Pleasant in 1998 and was on staff at Roper. In 2007, she formed her own ambulatory surgery LLC. She is happily married to Mark Childers, and her main hobby is being Mom to her twelve year old son. RWC is proud to have Allison as their anesthesiologist for all of their in house surgery.
Gene has cared for women since 2004. She received her Master’s in Nursing in 2007 from MUSC. She practiced in the conventional medicine model as a Certified Nurse Midwife, providing gynecological and obstetrical care. Dr. Rhett recruited Gene in 2014 and RWC feels privileged to have her as part of their team. She expanded her practice to include Bio Identical Hormone Replacement (BHRT). Providing bioidentical optimization care, allowed Gene to see the value in replacing specific hormones and nutrients the body was missing to achieve optimal health.
Gene received her functional medicine training through the Institute of Functional Medicine. Working through the functional medicine model of care gives Gene the opportunity to address specific symptoms and optimize health. By listening to each patient’s full story and looking to identify root causes, she is able to walk with patients on their journey to meet their specific goals and restore their health.
As a nurse practitioner, Gene focuses on caring for women throughout their lifespan. She has a special interest in BHRT, optimization of thyroid function and management of autoimmune thyroid disease, addressing modifiable lifestyle factors as they relate to chronic disease, and gynecological care.
Gene grew up in Shelby, North Carolina. She earned her undergraduate degree from Furman University where she played Division I collegiate tennis. She lives in Mt. Pleasant with her husband (and high school sweetheart), Rusty. They have three children, Holman, Geni, and Nora. Outside of work, Gene is active in her church, an avid runner, an outdoor enthusiast and enjoys spending time with her family.
PA-C, Certified Health Coach
Erin M. Copenhaver, PA-C, CHC
For 12 years Erin worked as a PA in Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. Following the birth of her second child in 2010, she began to experience her own health struggles. The multiple years and providers it took to get a diagnosis frustrated Erin and she began doing research to figure out how her own diagnosis had been missed. Additionally, she became passionate about helping her patients and others avoid a similar fate. After being treated by Gene Blake, Erin found renewed health and energy, and she decided to pursue a health coaching certification. She started her own business, Charleston Wellness Coach, coaching both adults and children to incorporate healthy habits into their everyday lives. A shared passion and interest inspired Gene and Erin to begin working together at Rhett Women’s Center to develop protocols to help women with Hashimoto’s and other complex health conditions. She is trained in Functional Medicine (FM) through the Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM), and will be a Certified IFM Practitioner following her IFM boards in 2020.
Erin grew up in Coldwater, Michigan, received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan. After college, she moved to New York City where she was an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) and worked in the restaurant industry. She completed her Masters of Health Science/Physician Assistant Studies in 2005 at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. She practiced allergy for three years in Manhattan. In 2008 she moved to Charleston with her husband, Will, and they have since had two young children, Caroline and Pierce. Outside of work Erin enjoys travel, the outdoors, quality time with family and friends as well as exercise and all things wellness!
Coolsculpting and Votiva Specialist
Michelle Polhaumus is an ultrasonographer and the lead Coolsculpting and InMode Votiva Specialist, the practice’s newest feminine wellness solution, at Rhett Women’s Center. For over twenty years, Michelle has worked with founder and physician, Dr. Edmund Rhett, to grow Rhett Women’s Center to its current multi-provider, comprehensive women’s center. She manages the AAAASF accredited surgery center at Rhett Women’s Center.
Michelle moved to the Lowcountry in 1986 where she is happy to call this home, she has two children and loves spending as much time as she can in the salt air.
Aesthetics Center Nurse Practitioner
Lynda Avera is a Nurse Practitioner at Rhett Women's Center Aesthetics. Lynda specializes in skin rejuvenation and anti-aging treatments using Botox, dermal fillers, laser services, skin care, and platelet rich plasma treatments. Lynda is a graduate of Walden University and holds a Masters of Nursing degree in Adult Primary Care. She has extensive experience working in the surgical and medical spa industry. Lynda is passionate about helping clients look and feel their best. She is committed to providing education and options to clients, while tailoring treatment plans to the unique needs and goals of each client.
Originally from Florida, Lynda is proud to call South Carolina home. Outside of work, she enjoys fitness, travel, and continued education in the fields of Aesthetics and Nursing. She is an active member of the American Nurses Association (ANA) and the American Association of Nurse Practitioners (AANP). She and her husband are empty-nesters, with a married son in Florida, and a daughter at the University of South Carolina.