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Project DAN and Georgia’s 911 Medical Amnesty Law


Dr. Shonali Saha, CW Hall, Dallas Gay

Project DAN and Georgia’s 911 Medical Amnesty Law

We continued our series with Medical Association of Georgia this week, talking about Project DAN and Georgia’s 911 Medical Amnesty Law.  Dallas Gay and Dr. Shonali Saha were my guests.

MAG Foundation ‘Think About It’ campaign Community Chair Dallas Gay and Shonali Saha, M.D. – an adolescent medicine and addiction medicine physician with the Georgia Behavioral Health Professionals practice in Smyrna – discussed naloxone and the state’s ‘9-1-1 Medical Amnesty Law’ on the ‘Top Docs Radio’ program on the Business Radio-X Network at 12:00 p.m., Tuesday, March 8.

Naloxone is an effective, non-addictive prescription medication that reverses the effects of opioid drug overdoses. Under Georgia’s 9-1-1 Medical Amnesty Law, naloxone can be delivered on an intranasal or intramuscular basis. Physicians in Georgia can prescribe naloxone via a standing order to a person who is at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose. And at their discretion, physicians can prescribe naloxone to pain management clinics, first responders, harm reduction organizations, or family members or friends or other people who are in a position to assist a patient who is at risk of experiencing an opioid overdose.

The 9-1-1 Medical Amnesty Law provides limited immunity for individuals who possess certain drugs and drug paraphernalia when they experience a drug overdose and are in need of medical care, for people who seek medical care for a person who is experiencing a drug overdose, and for certain underage drinking offenses for minors who seek medical care during an alcohol overdose.

Special Guests:

Dallas Gay, Co-Chair, “Think About It” Campaign




  • Board Member, Northeast Georgia Medical Center
  • MBA, Georgia State University
  • Member, Drug Free Coalition of Hall County
  • Former President, Protein Products, Inc
  • Former President, American Proteins, Inc.

Dr. Shonali Saha, MD, Georgia Behavioral Health Professionals  linkedin_small1  facebook_logo_small3



  • Doctor of Medicine, Mount Sinai School of Medicine New York University
  • Residency, Cambridge Health Alliance
  • Fellowship, Adolescent and Addiction Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine
  • Attending Physician, Ridgeview Institute

TRU Integrative Health and Wellness


TRU Integrative Health and Wellness

Katie and Rob Truax of TRU Health and Wellness

TRU Integrative Health and Wellness

This week I sat down with the founders of TRU Integrative Health and Wellness, located in Buckhead.  Rob Truax, chiropractor and integrative wellness expert, and Katie Truax, a licensed therapist who focuses her work on couples and relationships.

We talked about how they came to start their practice and place emphasis on a holistic approach to health and wellness, taking into account each client’s mind, body, and spirit.

TRU Integrative Health and Wellness is Atlanta’s premiere health and wellness group, offering comprehensive wellness services to the residents of Buckhead and the greater Atlanta area in a serene, spa like environment. They offer chiropractic care, holistic and natural healthcare, weight loss and wellness coaching, detoxification and purification programs, counseling for individuals, couples, families and groups, hypnotherapy, and energy healing.

The goal of TRU Integrative Health and Wellness is to provide the highest quality care in an individualized, customized, and affordable manner so that our clients and patients receive the care that is best for them and gets the results they are looking for.

Special Guests:

Rob Truax, DC, TRU Integrative Health and Wellness  linkedin_small1  Pinterest-logo  youtube logo  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small-e1403698475314  google-plus-logo-red-265px  Blogger 2  instagram-logo-transparent-png-i11 (16x16)

TRU Integrative Health and Wellness

  • Doctor of Chiropractic, Life University
  • Has provided chiropractic and integrative wellness care over 17 years

Katie Truax, MS, NCC, LPC, LMHC, TRU Integrative Health and Wellness

TRU Integrative Health and Wellness

  • Master of Science, Professional Counseling, Georgia State University
  • Director of Clinical Operations, TRU Integrative Health and Wellness

Dr. Scott Kelly

Dr. Scott Kelly

Dr. Scott Kelly, author of “What I’ve Learned From You: Lessons of Life Taught to a Doctor By His Patients”

Dr. Scott Kelly

I sat down with practicing orthopedic physician and author of the book, “What I’ve Learned From You:  The Lessons Of Life Taught To A Doctor By His Patients“.  He shared the story of how this moving and inspirational book came together.  He described how the book was drawn from journaling he did during his medical training over the course of several years.

He has always had a passion for writing and uses the medium as a way to process things that are important to him or that make an impression on him in his daily life.  Dr. Kelly talked about how he was going through some things in the attic and came across the journal several years after putting it away and how emotional it was to go back and read his thoughts and experiences from that time in his life.

He thought the interesting experiences and life lessons he picked up through numerous patient encounters would be great for his children to hear about and decided to put it into book for basically for them.  He decided to submit the manuscript to publishers and was surprised by the enthusiastic positive response he received.

You’ll enjoy listening to him tell his story and you can readily hear how big of an impact those life experiences had on him that he carries with him today.  Check this great interview and learn more at his website.


Dr. Scott Kelly, MD, of Resurgens Spine Center  youtube logo  linkedin_small1  Pinterest-logo  twitter_logo_small-e1403698475314  facebook_logo_small3

Dr. Scott Kelly

Atlanta Plastic & Reconstructive Specialists


Atlanta Plastic & Reconstructive Specialists

This week I featured 3 of the physicians from Atlanta Plastic & Reconstructive Specialists.  They are known for providing expert care for patients in need of reconstructive surgery after cancer treatment or trauma as well as for those who are seeking aesthetic procedures.

Dr. Donald Nunn is a triple-boarded surgeon and unique in the fact that he completed residencies and board certification in 3 specialties, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, Ear, Nose, & Throat, and Plastic surgery.  He is able to bring this range of training and experience to bear for his patients who need facial surgery as well as the full scope of plastic surgery procedures.

Dr. Bahair Ghazi shared how he benefited from spending several months training in Belgiam, learning some subtle differences in approach that he’s able to apply in his work when it can enhance the final outcome of his surgeries.  It’s clear talking with Dr. Ghazi he is passionate about plastic surgery and how it can have such a positive impact on quality of life for the patients he sees.  He shared some great information on the tummy tuck and pandectomy procedures for patients who have lost significant amounts of weight or that are wanting to become more active but excess body fat inhibits doing so.

Dr. Susann Bedford talked about how she feels a special relationship with the women she’s treating with breast surgery, whether reconstructive after cancer treatment, or aesthetic for women wanting to change their look for improved body image.  She shared how she was able to spend time during her training with some of the world’s highly-regarded specialists in breast and plastic surgery, helping her provide some of the best techniques available to achieve the best aesthetic result possible for a given case.

Special Guests:

Dr. Donald Nunn, MD, of Atlanta Plastic & Reconstructive Specialists  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small-e1403698475314  linkedin_small1  youtube logo  Pinterest-logo  google-plus-logo-red-265px


  • Doctor of Dental Surgery, Medical College of Virginia
  • Residency, Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery, University of North Carolina
  • American Board of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery
  • Doctor of Medicine, Medical College of Virginia
  • Residency, Neck and Head Surgery, Medical College of Virginia
  • Residency, Plastic Surgery, University of California
  • American Board of Plastic Surgery
  • American Board of Otolaryngology/Head and Neck Surgery

Dr. Bahair Ghazi, MD, of Atlanta Plastic & Reconstructive Specialists  twitter_logo_small-e1403698475314  facebook_logo_small3  linkedin_small1


  • Surgical Training

    Emory University Plastic & Reconstructive Surgery
    Emory University General Surgery
    West Virginia University, M.D.

  • Externships

    Cosmetic Surgery Sint Martens Latem, Belgium
    Cosmetic & Breast Reconstruction Brussels, Belgium
    Microsurgical Breast Reconstruction Ghent, Belgium

  • Board Certifications

    American Board of Plastic Surgery
    American Board of Surgery

Dr. Susann Beford, MD, of Atlanta Plastic & Reconstructive Specialists  facebook_logo_small3  linkedin_small1


  • Doctor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh, School of Medicine
  • Residency, Plastic Surgery, Barnes-Jewish Hospital of Washington University Hospital
  • Fellowship, Breast & Aesthetic Surgery, Georgetown University
  • American Board of Surgery
  • American Board of Plastic Surgery



MAG 2015 Legislative Update

Medical Association of Georgia


MAG 2015 Legislative Update

This week we continued our ongoing series with Medical Association of Georgia to get the MAG 2015 legislative update.  MAG CEO, Donald Palmisano, Jr. and Director of Government Relations, Marcus Downs came by with Georgia Representative, Rick Jasperse.  We talked about several of the health-related issues Rick and his colleagues have been and continue to work on in the Georgia legislature to promote and protect the health outcomes, safety, and access to care for the citizens of our state.

Rep. Rick Jasperse represents Georgia’s 11th district, which includes all of Pickens and parts of Gordon and Bartow counties. He serves on a number of committees in the House of Representatives – and he is the vice chair of the House Health and Human Services Committee. Rep. Jasperse graduated from UGA with a degree in food science. He retired in 2009 after 29 years as a county agriculture agent.

H.B. 416 by Rep. Carl Rogers (R-Gainesville) will require licensed health care practitioners to wear an ID on their “lab coats or similar distinguishing clothing or uniforms” that states their name and license or educational degree. The only exceptions include optometrists, dentists and chiropractors – except those who practice in hospitals and nursing homes. This has been one of MAG’s legislative priorities for the last two years as voted on by MAG’s Board of Directors. A number of other groups also supported the bill, including speech language pathologists, audiologists, respiratory therapists, marriage and family therapists, ophthalmic technicians, registered dieticians, and APRNs.

The FY 2016 budget (H.B. 76) includes some $23 million in additional funds to increase the reimbursement rate for select Medicaid primary care and OB-GYN codes. This included $17.1 million for primary care physicians (i.e., 90 percent of the 2014 Medicare fee schedule for the applicable codes) and $5.9 million for OB/GYN physicians (90 percent of the 2014 Medicare fee schedule for the applicable codes).

The FY 2016 budget also includes $199,000 to maintain the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program in the state.

H.B. 504 by Rep. Sharon Cooper (R-Marietta) extends the flu vaccine protocol that is in place between physicians and pharmacists and nurses for adults to pneumococcal, shingles, and meningitis. MAG’s Board Directors voted to support this kind of measure given strict limits and notification requirements. MAG worked with Rep. Cooper to ensure that appropriate sanctions are in place for any violations.

S.B. 158 by Sen. Dean Burke, M.D. (R-Bainbridge) would have addressed rental networks, all-products clauses, and other key issues. MAG’s Board of Directors voted to support this measure. The bill evolved into S.R. 561, which is a “study bill” – which means that a group of legislators will develop a report for the General Assembly’s consideration in 2016.

Special Guests:

Donald Palmisano, CEO, Executive Director of Medical Association of Georgia  twitter_logo_small  linkedin_small1  facebook_logo_small3

Medical Association of Georgia

  • JD Law, Loyola School of Law
  • Board of Directors, Physician Advocacy Institute
  • Medical Payment Subcommitte Member, State Board of Workers’ Compensation
  • Treasurer, Board of Directors, Physicians’ Institute for Excellence in Medicine
  • Former Director, Government Relations/General Counsel/Director, GAMPAC

Marcus Downs, Director of Government Relations, MAG  linkedin_small1  

Medical Association of Georgia

  • Recipient, 2012, Outstanding Advocate Award, National Association of School Psychologists
  • National Institutes of Health Research Fellow, 2000
  • Former Director, Government Relations/External Coalitions/Research, Georgia Association of Educators

Representative Rick Jasperse, Georgia 11th District  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small-e1403698475314  youtube logo  flickr (2)


  • BS, Food Science, University of Georgia School of Agriculture
  • Member, House Committees: Agriculture & Consumer Affairs, Appropriations, Human Relations & Aging, Public Safety and Homeland Security
  • Vice Chair, Health & Human Services Committee
  • Served on numerous boards:  Mountain Conservation Trust Board, Chattahoochee Technical Collegeand Appalachian Cattlemen’s Association’s Board

Cholesterol Isn’t The Bad Guy In Heart Disease

Cholesterol Isn’t The Bad Guy In Heart Disease

I recently read an article by a former heart surgeon that talked about the fact that cholesterol isn’t the bad guy in heart disease.  Instead, he argued that inflammation of the lining of the blood vessels caused by sugars and even the “healthy” oils we eat such as corn, canola (Omega-6 oils) is the real cause of what is still the #1 cause of death in America today.

I sat down with Dr. Ellie Campbell of Campbell Family Medicine in Cumming, GA to talk about the article and she was eager to discuss it.  She completely agrees with the premise of the article and shared how the ratio of Omega-3 oils  to Omega-6 oils has grown from ~1:1 or 1:2 to as much as 25:1 Omega-6 to Omega-3.

She also talked about the fact that higher levels of cholesterol in the blood don’t necessarily equate to plaque and heart disease/stroke.  It’s when cholesterol molecules are oxidized and corrupted by inflammatory substances we eat that they become “sticky” and attach to the irritated walls of the blood vessels.

Dr. Campbell shared numerous suggestions for basic changes we can make that will not only serve to reduce our risk for heart disease but in some cases can actually reverse damage already done.

I also brought back Leana Kart, a chiropractor whose practice, Northwest Chiropractic and a member of the Georgia Chiropractic Association to talk about the fact that May is National Posture Awareness Month.  She shared several tips on how to avoid “tech neck”, damage to the spine and neck caused by long periods of chin-down angles to look at a device in our lap.  She also talked about why good posture contributes to keeping us healthy.

Special Guests:

Special Guests:

Dr. Ellie Campbell, DO, Family Practice & Integrative Medicine at Campbell Family Medicine

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Campbell Family Medicine

  • Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
  • Family Medicine Residency, Medical College of Georgia
  • Board Certified Family Medicine

Dr. Leana Kart, DC, of NW Chiropractic  linkedin_small1


  • Doctor of Chiropractic, Life University
  • Owner of NW Chiropractic for over 26 years
  • Board Member, Georgia Chiropractic Association


Dr. Rolf Meinhold MDVIP



Dr. Rolf Meinhold MDVIP

On this week’s show I was joined in studio by Dr. Rolf Meinhold MDVIP.  We were introduced to him by Justin Knott of Intrepy, LLC, a marketing firm with numerous local physician practices they serve.  He’s a family practice physician who’s been practicing in the Atlanta area for around thirty years.  He recently joined MDVIP to provide primary care services in their personalized healthcare program.  Through their service MDVIP and its doctors are able to include access to the physician 24/7, coupled with online resources that give patients access to their health information.  MDVIP offers a membership-based plan that provides such extended access to one’s physician with same-day or next-day appointments and 30 min appointment slots, Dr. Meinhold’s patients get significant time and access to their doctor.

Meinhold Family Practice is a MDVIP-affiliated practice utilizing the MDVIP Wellness Program to prevent little things from becoming big things…enabling patients to enjoy life and stay healthy. 
Patients that truly value their health will appreciate having an enhanced doctor-patient relationship. Our practice through MDVIP has dramatically decreased our practice size to closely work with you. Within our smaller practice, you will receive the comprehensive care and personalized service you deserve to keep you healthy.

Dr. Meinhold’s Approach to Your Wellness: Improving the quality of people’s lives one patient at a time, speaks to two essential elements: Quality and Personalization. Improving quality is all about wellness. The better someone is and feels the more possibilities of enjoying the richness that life has to offer. Being person-oriented means giving respect and reverence to the unique relationship that exists between a doctor and a patient. Only by optimizing trust and care can wellness be achieved.

Because of Dr. Meinhold’s specialized training, he is able to manage middle to late childhood, adolescent and adult patients. He has an ongoing interest in the primary prevention of diabetes and heart disease through nutrition and weight management. In addition,  he is a strong proponent of exploring the scientific basis for the mind-body connection in medicine.

Special Guest:

Dr. Rolf Meinhold, MD, Meinhold Family Medicine/MDVIP  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small-e1403698475314


  • Doctorate of Medicine, Vanderbilt University School of Medicine
  • Internship, Riverside Regional Medical Center
  • Board Certified, American Board of Family Medicine
  • Fluent in English and German

Justin Knott, Co-Founder, Intrepy, LLC  twitter_logo_small-e1403698475314  linkedin_small1

Intrepy, LLC

  •  Previous VP Business Development, TAGin
  • Former Director, Investments, I4 Capital Partners
  • Previous Team Leader, B.A.S.E. Camp Children’s Cancer Foundation
  • BS, Finance, Investments, & Securities, University of Central Florida

Common Foot Injuries

Ankle & Foot Centers of Georgia

Common Foot Injuries

This week our friend, Dr. Shamir Bhikha, DPM with Ankle & Foot Centers of Georgia stopped by to talk about common foot injuries often seen as the weather begins to warm and people decide to get out and start running/walking.  He talked about the fact that after the New Year as folks set goals to lose weight and especially during spring, folks tend to go out and jump into a training regimen that doesn’t allow for adaptation to occur in the connective tissues, muscles, and bones of the lower legs and feet.

This leads to several common injuries that can derail our ability to continue training for months (or even longer).  We talked about plantar fasciitis, which causes often-debilitating heel pain that is particularly painful after having been at rest or in bed for a period of time, Morton’s neuroma, an injury to the nerve between the toes that makes affected toes feel like they’re broken, Achilles tendonitis, which is a painful aggravation of the tendon behind the heel bone, and issues that can occur with poorly-fitted shoes.

Shamir talked about the importance of having a running pro help you choose a training shoe that is appropriate for your gait as well as properly fitted for the activities you plan to use them for.  Not doing this can result in toenail injury (including loss of the nail), toenail fungus, toe deformities, stress fractures, and other painful problems.

Before you head out to the trail you need to take a few minutes and listen to this foot/ankle expert who focuses his clinical practice on sports-related injuries through a conservative approach to helping his clients recover and ideally prevent further problems.  We readily recommend Dr. Bhikha as an expert for foot/ankle-related problems.

Special Guest:

Dr. Shamir Bhikha, DPM  of Ankle & Foot Centers of Georgia  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small-e1403698475314  youtube logo  

Ankle & Foot Centers of Georgia

  • Doctorate with Honors, Podiatric Medicine, Barry University School of Podiatric Medicine
  • Residency, Inova Fairfax Hospital 2010-13 & Limb Salvage Center at Georgetown University Hospital 2013
  • Skilled in Sports Medicine/Trauma to the foot/ankle, Podopediatrics and Reconstructive foot/ankle surgery
  • Comprehensive training in diabetic limb salvage, plastic surgery and wound care


True North Partnering

Peter North talks Mindfulness on Top Docs Radio



This week I sat down with Peter Vajda.  He’s a Certified Professional Coach and PhD in Education and Cognitive Psychology.  We talked about how we can apply the practice of meditation and mindfulness to bring about a more centered “You”, becoming better able to handle conflict and reduce one’s over-all level of anxiety.  Peter is an astute observer of the human condition and is a passionate pioneer in the field of mind-body-spirit integrative functioning and development. Dr. Vajda is dedicated to supporting individuals and groups to enhance their understanding of how to live consciously – from the inside out – which deeply supports an individual’s ability to change, grow and evolve.

Peter brings a diversified base of professional expertise – as an entrepreneur, an educator, a facilitator, and a manager. He is sensitive to the diverse perspectives,  demands and dynamics of relationships. Since 1981, he has facilitated individuals, couples, groups and organizations.

His life and the orientation he brings to coaching, consulting, facilitating and writing are deeply influenced by his understanding of, and his experience in, the psychology of personal growth and development.

For over thirty years, Peter’s has been committed to his own personal and spiritual development. His experience in working with the “whole body” is based on his studies of psychodynamics, ego development, bioenergetics as well as energy healing.

Peter earned his Ph.D. in Education and Cognitive Psychology from Fordham University. His post-graduate work is in organizational behavior at NYU’s Stern School of Business.

For six years, Dr. Vajda has written a weekly column – “Know Thyself” – for the widely-acclaimed international Management-Issues website.

His book– Becoming a Better You, Who You Are vs. Who You Think You Are – was published in October, 2013.

Special Guest:

Peter Vajda, Phd, CPC, True North Partnering  facebook_logo_small3  linkedin_small1

True North Partnering

  • PhD, Education-Cognitive Psychology, Fordham University
  • Former Director, Academic Services, Information Technology Institute, New York University
  • Previous Manager, Instructional Design Dept. , Gulliver Ritchie Associates
  • Published Author



Start Exercise Fitness Training Without Injury



Start Exercise Fitness Training Without Injury

This week, our new monthly partner, Dr. Andrew Pugliese stopped by to introduce us to Randy Nicholson, of Fitness Firm Studio.  He’s a certified trainer who shared some very helpful information on how folks who have not previously trained or former athletes who haven’t trained in a while start exercise fitness training without injury.

As a former athlete who has experience in high intensity and high volume cardiovascular and weight/resistance training, I know too well what it’s like to resume working out after a prolonged layoff and experience overuse injuries.  These come from a burst of activity with or without heavy weight/resistance.  Too much exercise too soon can easily result in a incapacitating measure of pain or even injury that prevents continuing without another break to recover.

Randy shared what a person who’s motivated to start or resume training should ask a prospective personal trainer to determine what their philosophy is regarding the initial training phase.  He also shared the value of using a roller to help facilitate muscle recovery as well as releasing trigger points that can cause muscle spasm.

We talked about the best way to approach beginning training in a step-wise fashion to insure that muscular imbalances, postural weaknesses, and flexibility have been improved upon before moving on to more intense training moves/activities.  If you or someone you care about is thinking about resuming or wants to start exercise fitness training without injury they need to check out this week’s episode.

Special Guests:

Randy Nicholson  Fitness Firm Studio  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small-e1403698475314


  • NASM
  • 4th Degree Black Belt in Tae Kwon Do
  • BS Engineering, University of Chattanooga

Andrew Pugliese, MD, Infectious Disease Consultants twitter_logo_small  linkedin_small1  facebook_logo_small3  Blogger 2


  • Doctorate in Medicine, St. George University School of Medicine
  • Fellowship, Infectious Disease, Winthrop University Hospital
  • Triple Board Certified in Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease
  • Pioneer in non-surgical treatment of acute and chronic sinusitis
  • President of Sinus Solutions