Dr. Jaber Abawi is originally from Jordan and has traveled all over the world.
But when he saw Payson, it was love at first sight, he said.
The doctor and his wife came to the area in June 2005 and he went to work at Payson Regional Medical Center providing in-patient care.
This September, he became the medical director for Payson Care Center and in November opened his own practice at 1106 N. Beeline Highway.
Before coming to Arizona -- to be closer to his children who live in the Valley -- he was in Montana, working as the medical director of a hospital and care center.
He came to the United States in 1993, first settling in New Jersey.
Dr. Abawi is an internal medicine specialist and has many years of experience working with patients suffering from arthritis.
He works with diabetes, hypertension and cholesterol problems. His work with arthritis includes both osteo- and rheumatoid arthritis, lupus and fibromyalgia.
He also has special training for dealing with infectious diseases of the lung, kidney and urinary tract.
Laura Cronk, his office manager, said she and the rest of the staff are thrilled to be working with Dr. Abawi.
"He will be a great contribution to the community and it is a treat to work with him," she said.
Abawi said he first became familiar with Payson while driving through it on his way to visit his children.
"I liked the size of the community," he said. "And the weather is perfect."
When not practicing medicine or tending to his duties at the Payson Care Center, Abawi enjoys listening to classical music and opera, traveling -- the Grand Canyon and San Diego are two of his favorite spots -- and attending football and baseball games.
Dr. Abawi is accepting new adult patients in his practice. For more information, call (928) 474-5286 between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.