Home : Newsletters : Fourth Quarter 2016 NewsletterNewsletter Sign-Up


A newsletter from Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

Fourth Quarter 2016 Edition:

Shockwave Therapy Now More Readily Available

Ankle & Foot Care Centers has invested in additional equipment for providing Extracorporeal Pulse Activation Therapy, or EPAT, also known as shockwave therapy, at all 20 of our local offices.

This treatment provided by our physicians is very effective in addressing plantar fasciitis, or heel pain. Pictured with a new generation shockwave device is Dr. Lawrence DiDomenico.

For more information, including an FAQ, video and patient testimonials, visit our Shockwave Therapy page.

Copyright © December 2016 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

[ top ]

SHOE DRIVE BEGINS: Doctors and staff of Ankle & Foot Care Centers are hoping to collect hundreds of shoes and socks for people in need during Ankle & Foot's 19th annual holiday shoe and sock drive. From left are Dr. Frank Luckino, Amy Assion, Cara Adkins, Dr. Zachary Flynn and Julia Sorg.

Doctors Open 19th Annual Shoe & Sock Drive

Ankle & Foot Care Centers has launched its 19th annual holiday shoe and sock drive with the goal of delivering more than 700 pairs of shoes and hundreds of pairs of socks to local residents through the Salvation Army early next year.

The podiatric physician group and its staff are collecting new or nearly new shoes and new socks at all 20 of its offices in Mahoning, Trumbull, Columbiana, Stark, Ashtabula and Portage counties in Ohio and Mercer County in Pennsylvania through Friday, Jan. 6.

The annual drive has collected thousands of shoes and socks since it began in 1998.

"The importance of having good shoes and socks, especially during the winter months, can't be downplayed in promoting healthy feet and overall good health," said Michael Vallas, practice administrator. "Our doctors and staff are committed during this holiday season to equipping families in need with adequate footwear for all ages."

The drive accepts shoes from children's sizes to adult, both men and women, and all types of shoes from athletic to dress to casual. Boots in children's sizes are especially needed. Socks of all sizes are accepted as well.

Copyright © December 2016 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

[ top

Streetsboro Resident Walks Unaided Thanks to Ankle Treatment

Steve Lenart is happy to resume doing what he loves-selling backyard barns and farm equipment near his home in Streetsboro, and staying active at age 76.

That was not the case a few months ago when a sudden and painful ailment in his left foot slowed him down to the point he was unable to walk.

"I woke up one morning, the pain shot up my leg and my whole body hurt," he recalled, describing the pain as excruciating. "I prayed to God to hurry up and heal me because I hurt so badly."

Steve's wife put him in a wheelchair and took him to hospital. The emergency room doctor was at a loss to explain the cause of Steve's pain, but noticed his ankle was swollen. The best he could do at that point was to prescribe pain medication and advise him to see an orthopedic specialist.

"I was taking six pills a day and the pain was still there," Steve said.

Steve said his search for a specialist led him to Ankle & Foot Care Centers and Dr. Robert Debiec, who has more than 30 years of experience in podiatric medicine. Dr. Debiec told Steve to come to the office immediately. What happened when he got there pleasantly surprised him.

"The doctor put several layers of medication on my foot and separate layers of bandages," Steve said. "Then he gave me a lace-up brace and told me to come back in a week."
Immediately, the pain began to subside. "All I know is when we got home, I didn't hurt anymore," Steve said.

When his wife told him it was time to take his pain pill, he declined. The pain had disappeared.

For the week prior to Steve's return visit, he relied on a walker, but by the time he went to see Dr. Debiec, he didn't need either the walker or the brace.

"The girls in the office told me I had a big smile on my face," Steve said.

The smile is still there. "I walk around now like nothing happened and I'm pain free," he said. "It worked, all of it, and I can't believe it.

"I appreciate everything Dr. Debiec has done for me. I'm back to 100 percent and I'm feeling great."

Copyright © December 2016 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

[ top ]

Practice Boosts Local Partnership in Fight Against Diabetes

Many patients who receive care at Ankle & Foot Care Centers suffer from diabetes. The disease, affecting all ages, often leads to severe conditions of the feet.

In an effort to support local diabetics and their caregivers, Ankle & Foot for the last three years has been a major contributor to the Diabetes Partnership of the Mahoning Valley. Most recently, the doctors presented a $15,000 check to the partnership, with proceeds coming from their annual golf benefit.

The practice appreciates the partnership's work because "100 percent of the money goes to helping the cause, and it stays local -- the Mahoning Valley," said Dr. Michelle Anania (pictured with partnership president Ed Hassay), who works closely with the partnership.

The partnership was formed six years ago to provide education, information, resources and support to minimize the effects of the disease on local diabetics and their caregivers.

Hassay noted that partnership's efforts include:

  • Connecting diabetics and their families with healthcare providers, educators and other diabetes support personnel and facilities.

  • Working with businesses that manufacture and distribute diabetic equipment and supplies to explore assistance to those in need.

  • Educating those involved with diabetics including teachers, employers, restaurant owners and others to the plight and needs of the diabetic as they interact with them.

Among those assisted by the partnership is the Midlothian Free Health Clinic located at the First Presbyterian Church, 201 Wick Ave., Youngstown. The clinic provides free primary, preventative and educational health care to people ages 18-64 who meet income qualifications and are without health insurance.

"The diabetic program offered to the uninsured greatly helps those who could not afford this care otherwise," Hassay said.

Earlier this year, the partnership for the first time awarded five scholarships to college-bound Type 1 diabetics in honor of Jean Rider, a board member and a Type 1 diabetic.

"Ankle & Foot Care Centers has been the unquestioned major supporter to the Diabetic Partnership of the Mahoning Valley," Hassay said. "While we have had a growing number of sponsors and contributors to the organization, the continuing generosity of Ankle & Foot has allowed us to move substantially forward with our contribution to the Midlothian Free Health Clinic and with our scholarship program."

Funds raised by the partnership are managed by the Community Foundation of the Mahoning Valley. For more information about the group, go to

Copyright © December 2016 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

[ top ]

Ankle Surgery Helps High School Senior Attend Prom and Graduation 

Emily Berkebile enjoyed a rapid recovery last May after fracturing her ankle at the worst possible time -- Prom Week.

"She was playing lacrosse and she jumped and came down on her right ankle," said Emily's mother Jennifer Lattanzio. "She couldn't walk after that."

Luckily for Emily, Dr. Gregory Blasko of Ankle and Foot Care Centers, whose daughter played on Emily's lacrosse team at Poland Seminary High School at the time, was among the spectators. Dr. Blasko immediately went to check on Emily and told the family to go to the hospital, where they learned her ankle was fractured, Jennifer said.

"Dr. Blasko gave us his cell phone number and told us to call and let him know how Emily was doing," Jennifer added. "The doctor at the hospital told us to see an orthopedic specialist, so I texted Dr. Blasko and he told us to come in first thing next morning."

After reviewing the x-rays, Dr. Blasko determined that Emily needed surgery. The news upset Emily, a senior at the time, who assumed she would be unable to go to prom, but the doctor told her not to worry.

"He worked out a recovery plan and did the surgery that week," Jennifer said. "He gave her a hard cast, we got her a wheelchair and that's how she was able go to prom."

She said she and her daughter were pleased with the doctor's plan. "He talked to us at our level and let us know what to expect the entire time," she said.

Jennifer said Dr. Blasko's care went "above and beyond" what they expected, even on Mother's Day when Emily experienced swelling and discomfort. She did not have to wait for treatment.

"Even though it was a Sunday, Dr. Blasko came into the office, cut and loosened the cast and Emily was fine," Jennifer said.

Emily has graduated and enrolled at Youngstown State University, where she is studying physical therapy. "It's as though it never happened," Jennifer said of the ankle injury.

"I can't say enough about Dr. Blasko's treatment," she said. "It was awesome."

Copyright © December 2016 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

[ top ]

Dr. DiDomenico Video Addresses Treatment for Bunions

Dr. Lawrence DiDomenico of Ankle & Foot Care Centers talks in this video about treatment for bunions. Dr. DiDomenico is a fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon and sees patients in Boardman and East Liverpool.

Copyright © December 2016 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

[ top ]

Dr. Fahim Video Covers Remedies for Ingrown Toenails

Dr. Ramy Fahim of Ankle & Foot Care Centers talks in this video about ingrown toenails and some remedies for them. Dr. Fahim is a fellowship-trained foot and ankle surgeon and sees patients in Warren, Niles and Andover.

Copyright © December 2016 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

[ top ]

Staff Has Positive Impact on Patients, Salem Secretary Says

In support of podiatric physicians and surgeons who can change a patient's life, staff members at Ankle & Foot Care Centers can also have a major positive impact on patients, a veteran medical secretary says.

"We can do a lot of things to help them," says Peggy Bansberg, a medical secretary at the Salem office for more than 13 years. "We help them understand their insurance coverage, for example.

"Some of our patients are very concerned about financial issues, so we let them know when we're in their networks and check their benefits for them so we can let them know what's covered and what's not, what the co-pay is, those kinds of things. A lot of people don't understand their insurance, and we help them out."

Earlier this month, a patient had a medications list that was nearly falling apart after being unfolded from and then folded back into a wallet so many times. So Peggy offered to make a copy of the list, giving the patient had a fresh sheet that would last much longer.

"We can help with little things like that and meet their needs," she said.

When she's not working with doctors and patients, Peggy likes to spend time with family, cook and bake cookies.

As the holidays near, she and her grandson, Findley, age 3 (with Peggy in the picture), will be decorating cut-out cookies.

Peggy lives in Salem with her husband, Larry, and they've been married for 41 years.

The things she likes most about working at Ankle & Foot are those she works with.

"It's the people," Peggy said. "The doctors and the staff."

Copyright © December 2016 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

[ top ]

Dr. DiDomenico Speaks at 2 Conferences in Florence, Italy

Dr. Lawrence DiDomenico was a speaker at two recent international medical conferences in Florence, Italy.

He presented a research summary poster in late September at the 5th World Congress of the World Union of Healing Societies at Fortezza Da Baso in Florence. The poster summarized research that documented excellent healing rates for a set of diabetic wound care patients who underwent both wound care and surgical reconstruction to correct deformities. The World Congress, held every four years, drew 4,000 attendees from across the world, including vascular surgeons, podiatric surgeons, plastic surgeons, dermatologists, nurses and others.

Dr. DiDomenico also spoke on Oct. 8 at an international conference hosted by the Kent State University College of Podiatric Medicine at Kent State's Florence campus. He spoke on surgical reconstruction of the diabetic foot. The presentation was part of a three-day continuing education seminar for Italian and American doctors.

Copyright © December 2016 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

[ top ]

From the Kitchen: Pecan-Crusted Turkey Tenderloin with Sweet Potatoes

From The Kitchen

(From the Kitchen recipes are provided by the Diabetes Partnership of the Mahoning Valley.)

Nothing says the holidays like turkey and sweet potatoes. This delightful dish is full of vitamin A, fiber and healthy fats from the pecans.

This recipe serves: 6 people
Prep time: 15 minutes
Diabetic friendly? Yes


Nonstick cooking spray
1 egg
2 egg whites
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
2 oz pecan chips
1 (24-oz) turkey breast tenderloin
2 (6-oz) sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into wedges (about 18 wedges per potato)
1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp cinnamon
2 Tbsp Splenda Brown Sugar Blend


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray large rectangular baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.

2. In a medium shallow bowl, whisk together egg and egg whites.

3. In another medium shallow bowl, combine garlic powder, pepper and pecans.

4. Dip turkey breast tenderloin in egg mixture and coat well. Dredge turkey in pecan mixture and cover on both sides. Place in baking dish. Discard leftover egg mixture.

5. In a medium bowl, mix together the sweet potatoes, oil, cinnamon and Splenda Brown Sugar Blend.

6. Arrange the sweet potatoes around the turkey breast tenderloin in baking dish. Bake for 50 minutes or until done (turkey breast reaches 165 degrees).

For more information, see this link.  

[ top ]

About Services Conditions Locations Contact Us
Meet The Doctors
Research Studies
Community Outreach
Calendar of Events
Medical Disclaimer
Notice of Nondiscrimination
Privacy Practices
Diagnostic Vascular

Shockwave Therapy
PSSD Neurosensory
Nerve Testing

Ilizarov Fixation
Improved Bunion Surgery
Orthotic Therapy
House Calls
Epidermal Nerve Fiber Density (ENFD) Testing
Ankle Implants
Ankle Sprains
Arthritic Feet
Athlete's Foot
Charcot Foot
Children's Feet
Cracks & Fissures
Diabetic Foot Care
Flat Feet
Forefoot Surgery
Fungal Nails
Heel Pain
Nail Problems
Peripheral Neuropathy
Peripheral Vascular Disease
Plantar Fasciitis
Boardman- Rte. 224
Boardman- Market
East Liverpool
East Palestine
Follow Us