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Welcome to MD-Update, Winter 2018!

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The Journey Continues

“A thousand-mile journey begins with one step,” is accredited to Lao Tzu, an ancient Chinese philosopher.

I don’t claim to be an expert on Eastern philosophy. I’m a fourth+ generation anglo-American, fully immersed in our Western culture. In my opinion though, the simple truth is that sometimes change is hard, but sometimes change is necessary. That’s the truth I learned from talking with the Kentucky doctors and providers in this issue of MD-Update who are walking their own paths of a thousand-mile journey to provide better healthcare for Kentuckians.

Starting with our cover story on Deborah Ballard, MD, the energetic and committed internist who launched her preventive and wellness practice after years of searching for the correct balance of evidence-based, Western medicine and best practices. Dr. Ballard’s self-description, “Call me Dr. Obvious,” along with her emphasis on food, diet, exercise, and mental awareness are the guiding principles for her new practice. I believe you’ll enjoy reading her story.

Dr. Van Breeding literally starts his day with at least a thousand steps. After rounding his hospital patients, he takes a walk on the streets of Whitesburg, then heads to his clinic at Mountain Comprehensive Health Corporation. Dr. Breeding, named the 2017 Staff Care’s Country Doctor of the Year, is a powerful force for change in Eastern Kentucky. Anyone trying to keep up with him better be ready to move fast and listen quickly.

My long-time friend Marty Luftman, MD, is well on his way to a new phase of his plastic and cosmetic surgery practice. Having made the transition from solo practice to a simpler association, Dr. Luftman himself has witnessed and embraced the journey of his specialty from reconstructive to aesthetic.

Similarly, Dr. Michelle Palazzo, utilized her plastic surgery and transplant skills, as a fellowship-trained hand surgeon, to perform breast reconstructive surgery on identical twins. Dr. Palazzo has walked in her patient’s shoes and now can accompany them on their journey.

And finally, the epitome of life’s journey, well-lived, is the U of L Institute for Sustainable Health & Optimal Aging. The Institute’s Flourish program builds a collaborative community network of research, education, innovation, and health practices that empowers individuals “to approach aging as an opportunity, not a disease.”

Introducing the new MD-Update Online

MD-Update has a new online presence at The last 5+ years of MD-Update are now available to the Kentucky healthcare consumer and searchable by medical procedure, condition, or doctor’s name. We believe this new component completes the circle of doctor to doctor to patient. Better informed patients can make better decisions on their health.

Do you know a good doctor? We do, at MD-Update.

As always, all the bestGil DunnPublisher


Donna Ison, Editor-In-Chief………, or 678.446.9089

Gil Dunn, Publisher………, or 859.309.0720 phone and fax