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Womens Health Week

Womens Telehealth

Dr. C. Anne Patterson

Womens Health Week

This week marks national “Women’s Health Week” in America! The goal is empower women to make their health a priority and to take time out to reflect on how we can improve our health. Women are never too busy to take care of their health! Dr. Anne Patterson, a board-certified OBGYN and past President of the GA OBGYN Society will be discussing steps women can take to improve and maintain their health throughout their lives and preventive screenings for women.

Diabetes Telehealth Network

Telemedicine education

Tanya Mack of Womens Telehealth

Diabetes Telehealth Network

As patients want more control and visibility to their health data and mHealth (mobile health) and
technology are evolving daily, remote patient monitoring has emerged as a viable way to manage chronic diseases, such as diabetes. Remote home monitoring works by collecting health care data at the
patient’s home and then transmitting this data to health care providers in real time to make modifications if needed, avoid unnecessary hospital visits and prevent some serious long term

The University of MS has been one of the nation’s leading telehealth providers logging over 500K patient encounters, covering 35 medical specialties and serving 218 locations statewide. In 2014, the university developed the Diabetes Telehealth Network.

It has been estimated that the cost of diabetes in the US exceeds $2.7B/ yr. Real time insights and the ability to talk to patients remotely can lead to improved patient outcomes. The results of their pilot program have been astounding and now serve as a model for other states with access and limited provider resources to follow.

Join us today as we listen to Michael Adcock, Director of Network Strategies talk about this innovative and effective RPM solution.

WellCare of Georgia and Diabetes


Dr. John Johnson of WellCare of Georgia talks diabetes

WellCare of Georgia and Diabetes

Dr. John Johnson is the Senior Medical Director at WellCare Health Plans, Inc. – which is one of the Medicaid CMOs in Georgia. His areas of responsibility include utilization review, care management, quality improvement and clinical outcomes.  Dr. Johnson graduated from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey in Rutgers. He completed his residency at Emory University Hospital. Dr. Johnson is Board Certified in internal medicine.

He also has an MBA from Emory University’s Goizueta School of Business. Dr. Johnson owned and operated a practice in Douglasville that cares for patients with acute and chronic medical conditions for more than 13 years. Before joining WellCare in 2014, Dr. Johnson was the medical director for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Georgia. While there, he oversaw utilization review and case management for more than 600,000 State Health Benefit Plan patients.  Dr. Johnson is a member of MAG, the AMA, and the American College of Physicians.  He is a also colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves Medical Corps.

Diabetes is becoming more common in the United States. It afflicts more than 29 million Americans, including more than one million Georgians. One quarter of the people who are affected by it aren’t aware that they have the disease. An additional 86 million people have pre-diabetes, which means that their blood glucose (sugar) is higher than normal but not high enough to be classified as diabetic. Estimates project that as many as one in three American adults will have diabetes by 2050.

In addition to its detrimental health effects, the American Diabetes Association reports that the U.S. spends $174 billion a year to treat the disease.  The primary risk factors for diabetes include being overweight; sedentary; over the age of 45; and having a family history of diabetes. African Americans, Hispanics/Latinos, Native Americans, Asian Americans, and Pacific Islanders are at an increased risk for developing the disease.

Diabetes is the nation’s seventh-leading cause of death. It is also a leading cause of kidney failure, non-traumatic lower-limb amputations, new cases of blindness, heart disease, and stroke. A significant number of Georgians who are struggling with diabetes, particularly those in low-income and medically underserved populations, do not fully understand how to manage diabetes on a day-to-day basis.

WellCare is working to address the needs the diabetic population by collaborating with patients, providers, family members, and the community using a variety of mechanisms, including value-based care, telemedicine, field-based case management, the patient-centered medical home, and advocacy.

Special Guests:

Dr. John Johnson, MD, Senior Medical Director, WellCare of Georgia  


  • Doctor of Medicine, University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey
  • Board Certified, Internal Medicine
  • MBA, Goizueta Business School, Emory University
  • Colonel, US Army

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


Dr. Ellie Campbell

Dr. Ellie Campbell talks pre-diabetes


This week I featured a long-time friend of the show, Dr. Ellie Campbell, of Campbell Family Medicine, located in Cumming, GA.  We talked about a topic I am hopeful many of our followers will both listen to and share:  Pre-diabetes.

How many times have you gone for your annual check-up and been told, “Your labs are normal,” when your fasting blood glucose is >80mg/dl?  Those “normal” results could actually be a red flag that you have Pre-diabetes.

During this phase it’s actually possible to reverse the condition through diet and exercise.  But, as Ellie described, many physicians haven’t yet been educated that they need to be concerned with glucose levels that don’t exceed “normal” limits.  This means that we, as patients, need to be advocates for ourselves and our loved ones.

It is well-known that diabetes leads to a range of chronic and often, deadly, diseases such as heart disease, kidney disease, blindness, stroke, and more.  While we also know it is often challenging to make life-style changes, when you are aware of the risks, it can become more easy to do so.

I am pleased Ellie sat down with us to talk about pre-diabetes, a problem many people can actually do something about if they’re willing to make some of the simple changes she recommends.

Special guest:

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

Mitochondrial Diseases and Hyperbaric Medicine

Mito TDR

Mitochondrial Diseases and Hyperbaric Medicine

This week I sat down with experts in the fields of mitochondrial diseases and hyperbaric medicine.  Each cell in our body has an “engine” where the nutrition we consume through eating is converted to the energy we need to function and survive.  These engines are known as “Mitochondria”.  These cellular components use genetic code to function and on occasion there will be problems with the genetic code or with how it is decoded.  In these cases, a variety of health problems can reveal themselves, depending on what sort of tissue is made up by these cells in question.  These can range from challenges with learning, developmental problems, or disease states such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, Muscular Dystrophy, and others.  Dr. John Shoffner, neurologist and geneticist of Medical Neurogenetics came by with Laura Stanley of the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine.


We talked about the research Dr. Shoffner is doing in an effort to find medical therapies that could help patients who are dealing with the variety of disorders caused by mitochondrial dysfunction.  We talked about how challenging it can be to identify a health problem(s) that are caused by mitochondrial disease unless a patient’s family is fortunate enough to be seen by a physician familiar with the genetic tests that can be utilized to diagnose them.

As described by the Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine, “Every aspect of our beings – seeing, breathing, thinking, moving – requires energy. Mitochondria, often called the cells’ “powerhouses,” supply that energy by turning raw materials found in the food we eat and in the air we breathe into a substance called ATP (adenosine triphosphate), which our cells can use as fuel. ATP is, quite simply, vital to life.  Without enough ATP, children cannot appropriately develop, grow, learn, move, or even sleep. Adults without enough ATP are unable to sustain brain, muscle, and other vital organ function. A deficit of ATP can also cause invisible damage in some disease states, leading to early failure or dysfunction of organs, or just a chronic state of inefficiency leading to pain, fatigue, changes or limitations in thinking and learning, and increased susceptibility to acquired diseases.

Laura and Dr. Shoffner shared how they are working to improve awareness of mitochondrial diseases and through research, uncover treatments to halt or at  least slow the effects of these diseases.  The ultimate goal is to find a way to prevent or reverse these problems.
Dr. Helen Gelly joined us to talk about a recent article she co-authored with Dr. Caroline Fife in Today’s Wound Clinic, called, “Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy in Wound Care: A Service Under True Pressure“.  In the article, Dr. Gelly and Dr. Fife talked about how numerous Medicare Administrative Contractors and Commercial insurers are making changes to indications they are willing to reimburse hyperbaric oxygen therapy for.  That means that patients with wounds that place them at risk for amputation or for degraded quality of life due to previous radiation therapy may not be able to receive this evidence-based, effective treatment.  We talked about how in some cases where the providers in a given MAC were asked for clinical documentation of their HBO treatments provided, as many as 30% failed to respond.  Dr. Gelly shared how this lack of response leads to suspicions of fraud.

It was clear from the Today’s Wound Clinic article and from our conversation that hyperbaric medicine specialists must begin to activate and collaborate to protect this evidence-proven treatment modality.  HBO providers need to not only be responsive to requests for data but ACTIVE as it relates to advocating on behalf of educated decisions being made as it relates to the availability of the modality for tomorrow’s patients in need.

Special Guests:

Dr. John Shoffer, MD, CEO of  Medical Neurogenics 


  • Former Associate professor of neurology and molecular medicine at Emory University
  • Former Director of the molecular diagnostics program at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta
  • Discovered some of the first gene mutations causing mitochondrial diseases and one of the first genes causing epilepsy
  • Finalist, 2012 Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Health-Care Heroes Awards

Laura Stanley, of Foundation for Mitochondrial Medicine  feed logo  facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small  youtube logo


  • IMBA, University of South Carolina Darla Moore School of Business
  • Former Senior Associate, Korn Ferry
  • Former Vice President, EzGov
  • Parent of a child with mitochondrial disease

Dr. Helen Gelly, MD of HyperbaRXs  twitter_logo_small  google-plus-logo-red-265px  facebook_logo_small3  linkedin_small1


  • Doctor of Medicine, Emory University School of Medicine
  • Internship/Residency: Pediatrics/Emergency Medicine at Emory University Affiliated Hospitals
  • Board Certified in Emergency Medicine
  • Fellow of the American College of Emergency Physicians
  • Fellow of the American College of Certified Wound Specialists
  • Subspecialty Certified Undersea and Hyperbaric Medicine

Complex Patients

Infectious Disease Consultants

Complex Patients

This week I sat down with our colleague, Dr. Andrew Pugliese, Infectious Disease specialist of Infectious Disease Consultants in Johns Creek.  He stopped by to talk about complex patients.  He shared how medical studies focus on single illnesses, disqualifying certain age groups and patients with multiple disease states.  Dr. Pugliese talked about the fact that in the real world medical office, rare is it that a patient walks in to be treated for a problem who is only dealing with that single disease.  More commonly, patients present with obesity, and/or diabetes, heart disease, or any number of other health problems that can affect the way the body responds to a given disease state and treatments for them.  Dr. Pugliese shared how these “multi-morbid” (having more than one health issue) patients are very complex and often do not respond to therapies as studies suggest they will.  He offered advice for providers to help them be better able to manage patients when they need care for a given problem when other health issues are present.  Check out Dr. Pugliese’s blog at

Special Guest:

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

Infectious Disease Consultants

  • 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

Dr. Khusrow Niazi

Emory Healthcare

Dr. Khusrow Niazi

This week I sat down with Emory School of Medicine’s Dr. Khusrow Niazi, Interventional Cardiologist and Director of Peripheral Vascular Interventions.  Dr. Niazi is a cardiologist but is different from many other cardiologists as he treats disease from the head to toes. He specializes in blockages of the artery which may involve coronary arteries around the heart which may cause chest pain or heart attack, carotid arteries which may cause TIA or strokes, arteries to the leg which may cause leg discomfort or slow wound healing. In addition he is one of the few cardiologists who also treat veins of the legs which may cause leg cramps, swelling, heaviness or varicose veins. He has lectured nationally and internationally and has helped many patients from getting their legs amputated.

Dr. Niazi appeared with the goal of providing the folks in the community with a cardiologist’s perspective on what they need to know about vascular disease which can affect the arteries that supply the brain, heart, and limbs.  We talked about things we can do to reduce our risk of disease in the vascular system.  He also shared recommendations on the types of tests and studies that folks who are at greater risk for vascular disease should consider having conducted.  Many of these tests are quite basic and can be performed at their local primary care physician’s office.  Persons who should consider regular monitoring for the presence of vascular disease include those who are over-weight, have diabetes, high cholesterol levels, hypertension, as well as those who have close relatives with a history of vascular problems.

Dr. Niazi advised our listeners to not ignore symptoms that might indicate a vascular problem exists such as chest tightness/pain, dizzy spells or changes in vision, speech, or ability to walk, pain in the lower legs when walking, shortness of breath at rest or with mild activity, etc.  These can be signs that vascular problems exist that could potentially be corrected with early intervention.  He also spoke about the fact that persons who have a wound on their lower leg or foot need to be evaluated for the presence of correctable vascular disease.  Many of these people go on to have amputations when they may have been prevented by intervention by a vascular specialist.

Special Guest:

Dr. Khusrow Niazi, MD, of Emory University School of Medicine facebook_logo_small3  twitter_logo_small  youtube logo  linkedin_small1


Emory Healthcare

  • Doctor of Medicine, King Edward Medical College, Lahore, Pakistan
  • Residency, Cardiology, Kettering Medical Center
  • Fellowship William Beaumont Hospital
  • Multiple published research articles


Treating Diabetic Ulcer Patients

Top Docs

Top Docs Radio features healthcare providers and professionals sharing their expertise to “Get the Word Out” about a variety of health problems, treatments and community concerns to elevate our community’s well-being.

Treating Diabetic Ulcer Patients

According to recent data from the CDC, diabetes affects over 25.8 million people in the US (roughly 8% of the population).  Coupled with data that shows another 79 million persons in the US have pre-diabetes (A1C levels above normal) or 35% of the population.  Obviously, it’s a serious problem.  Diabetes is a major contributor to stroke, heart disease and peripheral vascular disease (PAD).  Roughly 1:6 diabetics will develop a diabetic ulcer on their foot or lower extremity and many of them will ultimately require amputation of part of the foot or leg.  After amputation for an ulcer, studies have shown diabetics’ 5 year mortality rates rise significantly — to as high as 45-60%.  It is critical that these patients receive rapid, aggressive care from a spectrum of specialists who must each address the various factors contributing to the ulcer.

Our guests this week include three such specialists who treat diabetic ulcer patients in their practice every day.  They will give insight about the role they play in saving the diabetic ulcer patient’s limb (and possibly their life).

The host of Top Docs Radio is Charles “CW” Hall with Hyperbaric Physicians of Georgia.

Dr. Shamir Bhikha, DPM

  • 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

Dr. Andrew Pugliese, MD

  • 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 and president of Sinus Solutions

Dr. Uthan Vivek, MD

  • Doctorate in Medicine, Madras Medical College, India
  • Board Certified in General Surgery and Vascular & Endovascular Surgery
  • Fellow, American College of Surgeons
  • Vascular Fellow, Wayne State, Detroit
  • General Surgery, Saint Vincent Catholic Medical Center, New York
  • Certified in Vascular Sonography, American Registry of Diagnostic Medical Sonography
  • Specialist in endovascular procedures for peripheral arterial disease/varicose veins, management of carotid artery disease, abdominal aortic aneurysm, deep vein thrombosis, diabetic foot ulcers and dialysis access
Charles "CW" Hall, Dr. Uthan Vivek, Dr. Andrew Pugliese, Dr. Shamir Bhikha

Charles “CW” Hall, Dr. Uthan Vivek, Dr. Andrew Pugliese, Dr. Shamir Bhikha