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Road Trip

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For those of you who follow our editorial calendar, this issue is the result of a combination of the topics we had originally slated for March and April. It encompasses Gastroenterology, General Surgery, Bariatrics, Surgery Centers, Nutrition, Rural Health, and Physician Extenders. While that sounds like a mouthful, it actually came together quite nicely, as many of the gastroenterologists and surgeons we interviewed are practicing outside of Louisville and Lexington, providing a look at services in more rural areas of the Commonwealth.

Both M.D. Update Publisher Gil Dunn and I had the opportunity to visit Owensboro Surgery Center for our cover story. The center is a great example of how an organization has adapted over a 30-year period to maintain viability and keep its physicians and patients happy. With a large Medicare population, particularly due to its ophthalmology volumes, and an increase in Medicaid patients since the expansion in January, the center also shared with us some of its challenges and strategies in a rapidly changing field.

While the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid expansion seek to provide insurance coverage for more Americans, access issues in the form of physician shortages, geography, and financial limitations still abound for Kentuckians. KMA President Fred Williams, Jr., MD, sat down with us to give an update on physician extender laws. New regulations for physician extenders do not solve the physician shortage but do provide expanded access to physicians’ expertise through extended care teams.

One health system that is making strides in connecting Kentuckians with providers is KentuckyOne Health, which has two new telemedicine programs. Anywhere Care provides a phone or video chat consultation with a primary care practitioner 24/7 from anywhere in the state. The Community Health Based Delivery Model offers clinics in Wolfe and Powell counties that are staffed by nurse practitioners, nurses, and office staff and are connected to physicians and specialists via telemedicine.

At Georgetown Community Hospital, Justin Case, MD, and Eric Smith, DO, demonstrate the latest technology in their community in articles on endoscopic ultrasound and sleeve gastrectomy, respectively.

And, speaking of technology, Lexington physician Jason Harris, MD, is the first physician to bring the LINX® Reflux Management System to the Bluegrass, providing lasting relief to intractable GERD patients.

These are just a few examples of what’s in store in this issue. Personally, I enjoy the opportunity to leave my home office in Louisville and venture into other areas of the state to hear what’s new or, as in the case of the cover story, just what’s been going right all these years. Large or small, your community’s health care challenges and successes are shared by others across the state.

Let us tell your story.Sincerely,

Jennifer S. Newton, Editor-in-Chief

Send your letters to the editor to:,, or (502) 541-2666 mobileGil Dunn, Publisher: or (859) 309-0720 phone and fax