Victorious Vernose

Dr. Gerard Vernose is somewhat of a professional who goes against the grain in his field and he’ll tell you as much. He’d rather refer you to preventative efforts that keep you healthy and outside of his South Broad Street office, as opposed to sucking you dry and signing you prescriptions that you don’t need.

“I’m protective of my people,” the top doctor/veterinarian said. “These are my friends and friends of friends and neighbors. I won’t see the drug people.”

He’d just as quickly tell you to go by a box of bulk Claritin or Zyrtec so you can avoid constant medical bills.

But then there’s “the two sides of Jerry Vernose – the professional side and the social side. Because of this double-interaction I feel a real commitment. And my passion is at an all-time high now. All these years now, 39 years, and I love coming in.” The social side has a pronounced and celebrated manifestation – 20 years now of Vendemmia, a “fall festival for food and friends and wine” in Girard Park (“September 25th!” his cousin, Theresa, reminded him on her way out of the room).

Vernose was born in the hospital across the street from his office, 1841 S. Broad St. (across from Kindred Hospital, 1930 S. Broad St.); raised on the 2500 block of South 19th Street; still lives in Packer Park; went to St. Monica School, then Bishop Neumann High School and Temple University, followed by the Drexel-affiliated Hahnemann University for medical school and Penn for his residency. He’s very Philly.

His offices have always bounced around his current location – it formerly lived at Broad and Morris streets, then Broad and Moore streets, now 25 years at the corner of Broad and Mifflin. The ear, nose and throat specialist has expanded his expertise over the years, along with the profession, with a little facial plastic surgery and some neck and throat cancer-related surgeries. But again, he won’t make you do anything if you’re not asking for his help.

“I try not to have anyone leave the office feeling like they’re complete. Not with a question mark above their head,” he said.

Dr. Frank Mazzotta received a second-place prescription, and Dr. Mark Testa had a pleasing bedside manner in third. — B.C.