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A newsletter from Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

August 2013 Edition:

Ankle & Foot Care Team Welcomes Dr. Balmenti

Ankle & Foot Care Team Welcomes Dr. BalmentiAfter decades of practicing as a podiatrist at his own practice, Dr. Phillip Balmenti is joining Ankle & Foot Care Centers, the Valley’s premier lower extremity care facility.

“After years on my own, I felt this was the time to make a change,” said Balmenti, who began practicing in 1975. “Their group of podiatrists have a lot of different expertise and I always wished I had had other doctors to consult with and bounce ideas off – now I do. They’ve been very receptive to me, so far.”

Dr. Balmenti will work out of Ankle & Foot Care’s Market Street location in Boardman and the Poland office.

He specializes in non-surgical podiatric care, including treating heel spurs, fungal toenails and skin ulcers.

He completed his undergraduate studies at John Carroll University in Cleveland and attended the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Kent. After completing his residency in 1973, he began as a podiatrist in 1975.

“We are pleased to add Dr. Balmenti to our practice,” said Michael Vallas, practice administrator. “His experience and expertise will strengthen our capabilities in improving the quality of life of our patients. He is a valuable addition to our team of diabetic foot care experts.”

Copyright © August 2013 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Annual Golf Outing Benefits Diabetes Association

Ankle & Foot Care Centers will sponsor its annual golf benefit for the American Diabetes Association Aug. 23 at Pine Lakes Golf Club in Hubbard.

This marks the 15th year for the event.

Ankle & Foot Care, with 18 Mahoning Valley locations, is an active partner with the ADA to prevent and cure diabetes and improve the lives of anyone affected by the disease.

“We are honored to be able to support the important work of the ADA through this annual event,” said Dr. Michelle Anania, who is coordinating the outing. “Our staff is committed to providing top-notch diabetic foot care and partnering with like-minded organizations like the diabetes association.”

The format is a four-person scramble and the fee is $100 per player.

Event sponsorships are still available. For a gift of $125, a custom-made sign with company logo will be displayed near a golf hole. A $300 sponsorship includes special recognition at the registration area and dinner pavilion, and a corporate sponsor sign.

To register a team or sponsor the event, contact Dr. Anania at 330-270-2700 or Michael Vallas at 330-629-8800.

Annual Golf Outing Benefits Diabetes Association
Ankle & Foot Care Centers will sponsor a benefit golf outing to support the American Diabetes Association Aug. 23 at Pine Lakes in Hubbard. Pictured are Dr. Gregory Blasko (left), Dr. Michelle Anania, practice administrator Michael Vallas and Dr. John Chiaro (right).

Copyright © August 2013 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Total Ankle Replacement Gives Farm Girl New Hope

Amy Duffield, 43, lives on a 47-acre farm in Chester, West Va., and enjoys riding on her tractor and tending to her cattle and horses. Having a bad foot doesn’t work for this active farm girl.

But that’s exactly what happened in February 2010 in an incident that set her health and her active lifestyle on a nearly three-year hiatus. On that cold February day Amy slipped on the ice and basically snapped her ankle and broke a bone in the front of her leg. It was her first experience with foot or leg problems. A trip to a nearby hospital resulted in surgery with pins and screws to stabilize the foot and ankle.

Total Ankle Replacement Gives Farm Girl New Hope
Amy Duffield (left) and her family were able to walk around Niagara Falls only five months after her total ankle replacement surgery.

“The more it healed the more it hurt,” Amy said, unsatisfied with the outcome. “It had less functionality and I missed a lot of work. I went to a different surgeon, and it actually got worse.”

She spent the better part of two years in a cast, virtually immobile, and was told there was nothing more that could be done.

Amy’s boyfriend suggested she get another opinion from a foot and ankle specialist he’d heard good reports about, Dr. Lawrence DiDomenico, DPM of Ankle & Foot Care Centers. She first met with him at the practice’s East Liverpool office in the spring of 2012. Dr. DiDomenico assessed her condition and gave her the hope she needed.

His work-up resulted in two treatment options for Amy, an ankle fusion or a total ankle replacement (TAR). Dr. DiDomenico was an early adopter of the TAR procedure and has found this a good treatment option for certain patients.

“Dr. DiDomenico changed my world when he told me I was a candidate for a total ankle replacement,” she said. “I wouldn’t be running marathons, but I would get a brand new ankle, it would be straight, I’d walk without a limp and I’d be back on my tractors. And he wasn’t a-kiddin’.”

Amy had surgery in August 2012 and spent three weeks in a 50-pound cast. After that she transitioned to a walking boot, and two months later to a shoe. She’s been walking ever since with no pain and no limp. She’s active again on her farm, she’s keeping up again with her four year-old grandson, and she’s also been cleared to return to work.

“Every time I went to see Dr. DiDomenico I cried,” she said. “I just wanted to walk, and he made that happen for me. He’s very caring and nurturing. And he listens.”

Copyright © August 2013 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Early Experiences Shaped Dr. Podolsky's Career Choice

It was only by accident that Dr. David Podolsky grew up to be a podiatrist. In fact, it was because of quite a few of them.

Because his parents owned a skating rink when he was young, Dr. Podolsky spent many hours on wheels. Sometimes he stayed upright, but not always.

Meet the Doc“We had a lot of foot and ankle injuries in our house,” said Dr. Podolsky of his childhood. “We spent a good bit of time in podiatrist offices, so that was my first experience with the medical profession. Once I figured out I wanted to have a career in medicine, podiatry just seemed like a good fit.”

He earned a doctor of podiatric medicine degree from the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine in Cleveland and completed residency training at Harrison Community Hospital in Mt. Clemens, Michigan.

Dr. Podolsky has been with Ankle & Foot Care Centers since July 2002. He splits his time among three of the 18 locations – Austintown, Niles and Champion.

He doesn’t mind commuting to different locations each day, primarily because it’s a process he’s been through most of his career.

“I don’t mind it, because I did the same thing when I was working by myself before I merged with Ankle & Foot Care,” he explained. “It actually works out well here because I’m confident that our other doctors will take good care of my patients if I’m on vacation or out of the office.

“Having the multiple offices is really convenient for our patients and that’s the biggest thing. It’s a pretty enjoyable experience working with this group of doctors.”

Dr. Podolsky believes that the care Ankle & Foot Care provides to its patients is unique and he’s proud to be part of the healthy solutions the practice can provide to those who need help.

“It’s very uplifting when people come into the office in pain because of an injury or a deformity and we can help them feel better,” he said. “If you go to your family doctor because you’re sick, most times you’ll still leave there sick. At Ankle & Foot, you might not walk out that day cured, but you’ll feel better than when you came in. I like that we can have an immediate impact on their health.”

When he’s away from the office, Dr. Podolsky enjoys spending time with his family, golfing and bowling. He and his wife, Denise, have two sons and one daughter. Their oldest son, Alan, is a med student at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine. Their youngest son, Michael, plays basketball at Youngstown State. Their daughter, Jackie, is a soccer player at YSU.

Early Experiences Shaped Dr. Podolsky's Career Choice
Dr. Podolsky enjoys spending time with his wife, Denise (back left), and children, Michael (front left), Jackie (front center) and Alan.

Copyright © August 2013 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Linda Kosec Helps Stabilize Busy Route 224 Location

Linda Kosec has been at the location since 1999, when the practice was still in its infancy. She’s seen the practice’s success skyrocket and expand into 18 locations throughout the Valley and into Pennsylvania. Having a front row seat to the service Ankle & Foot’s staff of podiatrists provide has been a rewarding experience.

Employee Spotlight“This is a busy office,” said Linda. “It’s been great to see us branch out and I like seeing people walk out of here healed or feeling better. The doctor have been good to work with and it’s been nice getting to know our regular patients who come in all the time.

“I like the challenge here and I learn something new all the time. Working here is an adventure because it’s so busy, but it’s not a bad job and I like working with people.”

Linda is a lifelong Valley native, growing up on the west side of Youngstown and having resided in Poland for the past 23 years. She lives with husband of 28 years and they have three college-age sons. When she’s not in the office, Linda enjoying spending time with her family at home or on the road.

“We try to go on vacation at least four times a year just to relax,” Linda said. “We like going to the beach and just relaxing. We go to Florida a few times, but now one of ours sons lives in South Carolina, so there’s a new beach we can visit.”

Among Linda’s other hobbies are walking and reading.

Linda Kosec Helps Stabilize Busy Route 224 Location
Linda and her husband, Jeff, have three sons, Bryan, Derek, and Tyler.

Copyright © August 2013 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Find Out How Much You Know About Diabetic Foot Care

True or False?

1. Even though someone in my family has diabetes, I don’t need to worry about it.

Find Out How Much You Know About Diabetic Foot Care2. I need to educate my family on the dangers of diabetes.

3. As long as my feet do not hurt, I don’t need to visit a podiatrist.

4. Having diabetes makes my feet more susceptible to common infections, such as athlete’s foot and fungal toenails.


1. False - Along with age and obesity, a family history of diabetes can increase your chances of developing diabetes.

2. True - Diabetes is a family affair. Everyone in the family should know about the disease and should be helping those with diabetes control it.

3. False - Diabetes can lead to loss of sensation or numbness of the extremities. You may not feel the pain, even if there is a significant problem. Any noticeable change in the feet such as redness, swelling, sores that don’t heal, loss of hair, or scaly skin may indicate a more serious problem.

4. True - People with diabetes have a decreased immune response, which can make common foot infections more prevalent. If you or a loved one has diabetes, visit a podiatrist regularly and “knock your socks off” to keep your feet healthy.

Copyright © August 2013 American Podiatric Medical Association and Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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From The Kitchen: Spicy Sauteed Broccoli

From The KitchenIngredients
1 large bunch broccoli, about 1 1/2 pounds
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, chopped
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken stock
1 teaspoon hot chili sauce, (recommended: sriracha) or to taste
Serving suggestion: grilled shrimp (see Cook's Note)

Put a pot of water on to boil. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.

Cut the broccoli into florets. When the water is boiling, add the broccoli. Cook for 30 seconds. Immediately drain and add them to the bowl of ice water. When cool, drain well.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add the olive oil. When it is warm, add the garlic and cook for 1 minute until toasted, do not let it burn. Add the broccoli, toss to coat with the oil and garlic, and season with salt and pepper, to taste. Add the chicken stock and hot chili sauce, raise the heat to high, and cook until the broccoli is just tender, about 2 minutes. Serve immediately with grilled shrimp, if using.

Cook's note: Marinate 1 pound of large peeled shrimp in lemon zest, garlic, olive oil, and some chopped basil, parsley, or cilantro for about 1 hour. Grill until cooked through.

Recipe Analysis Note:
Ingredients without discrete measurements such as "Salt, to taste" or "Ice cream, optional" are omitted from analysis. This is because amounts can be highly variable and difficult to determine.

From The Kitchen: Spicy Sauteed Broccoli

Per serving: Calories 120; Total Fat 7.5 g; (Sat Fat 1 g, Mono Fat 5 g, Poly Fat 0.8 g) ; Protein 5g; Carb 12 g; Fiber 4.5 g; Cholesterol 0 mg; Sodium 105 mg

Food Exchanges per serving: Vegetables: 2 1/2; Fat: 1 1/2

Copyright © 2013 Food Network Magazine

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