He may be the newest member of Beaufort Memorial Obstetrics & Gynecology Specialists, but Dr. Claude Tolbert Jr. is no stranger to the Beaufort community. The board-certified OB-GYN has been delivering babies in the Lowcountry for nearly 14 years.
The outgoing chief of the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health, Tolbert is the fourth physician to join the new BMH practice located in Suite 210 of Beaufort Medical Plaza, 989 Ribaut Road.
Dr. Berniece Redmond, a North Carolina physician with 17 years of experience, began seeing patients Feb. 1. Drs. Christopher Benson and Gregory Miller, longtime partners in a Rock Hill practice, came on board April 1.
All four OB-GYNs are board-certified and will be delivering babies exclusively at the Birthing Center at Beaufort Memorial Hospital. The physicians also will begin seeing patients at Beaufort Memorial Bluffton Medical Services in Westbury Park later this spring.
Among Tolbert’s professional interests are general obstetrics, diabetes in pregnancy, infertility management and minimally invasive gynecologic surgeries.
A native of Greenwood, S.C., he graduated summa cum laude from Virginia’s Hampton University and went on to earn his medical degree from Meharry Medical College in Nashville, Tenn. He moved to Beaufort in the summer of 2000 after completing his medical training at Eastern Virginia Medical School in Norfolk, where he was named Gynecology Resident of the Year.
Tolbert worked for four years at the Beaufort Jasper clinic before opening his own practice with his wife, OB-GYN Dr. Ardra-Davis Tolbert. In 2009, he returned to Beaufort Jasper Hampton Comprehensive Health to become head of the obstetrics and gynecology department.
The couple has two children, 14-year-old Collin Elizabeth and 10-year-old Braxton Myles..
“I try not to be on call the same nights as my wife,” Tolbert said. “My mother lives with us, so that’s a help, too.”
Even with careful planning and an extra adult in the house, keeping up with their busy work schedules and the children’s extracurricular activities is no easy feat. Collin Elizabeth models in Charleston and Braxton Myles plays basketball.
“The weekdays are consumed by homework, modeling auditions and ball games,” Tolbert said. “On the weekends, we try to relax and do something together.”
One of their favorite activities is cycling on Cat Island where they have lived for seven years.
“It’s a beautiful community for biking,” Tolbert said. “We love riding through the golf course after hours.”
The family also enjoys making day trips to Savannah, Jacksonville, Charleston and Hilton Head Island, as well as traveling out of state. They have been to New York City more than once to visit the American Museum of Natural History and to see Broadway plays, including the musical, “The Lion King.”
Other vacations have taken them to Paris, France; Germany; Vancouver Island, British Columbia; and Martha’s Vineyard off the coast of Massachusetts.
Closer to home, Tolbert and his family love spending time at the beach. They’re also avid movie buffs.
“We try to find movies that are entertaining, but educational as well,” Tolbert said. “We want to expose our children to as much art, history and culture as we can.”
That’s not to say he can’t be convinced on occasion to go to an action flick or computer-animated film with his son. The two recently watched “The Lego Movie.”
“I stayed up for that one,” Tolbert said of the 2014 release. “If I don’t like the movie, I take the opportunity to sleep.”
Expectant mothers and other women who are interested in becoming patients of the practice can schedule 15-minute one-on-one “meet and greet” appointments with any of the physicians at the new Beaufort Memorial practice. There is no charge for the introductory appointments. Call 843-522-7820 for information or to schedule a meeting.