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A newsletter from Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

March 2014 Edition:

Ankle & Foot Care Centers Collects Hundreds of Shoes for Needy

More than 700 pairs of shoes were distributed to local needy families in March thanks to a shoe drive led by Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

Ankle & Foot Care Centers, which operates 20 local foot care offices, provided the shoes recently to the Salvation Army for distribution to families in Mahoning and Trumbull counties.

The new and nearly shoes were donated by patients, employees and podiatrists from late November to mid-March.

“It’s an honor for us to team up with the Salvation Army for this important cause each year,” said Michael Vallas, practice administrator at Ankle & Foot Care Centers. “We’d like to thank our staff and the community for their generosity and helping us make a difference in the lives of others.”

Since 1998, Ankle & Foot Care Centers has helped local shoppers donate thousands of pairs of shoes to local families who otherwise couldn’t afford proper footwear.

Ankle & Foot Care Centers Collects Hundreds of Shoes for Needy

Ankle & Foot Care Centers staff members Lisa Troutman (left), Betty Emch, Stacy Doyle, Lynn Wyatt and Denise Cutrone (right) are pictured with some of the shoes donated through the practice’s annual shoe drive.

Copyright © March 2014 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Go for the Gold When It Comes to Winter Sports Safety
By Dr. Craig Beaudis

Dr. Craig Beaudis

Some of us will spend hours watching the best amateur athletes from around the world compete for gold during the 2014 Winter Olympics in the next few weeks. These athletes are highly-trained and talented in events like skiing, ice skating, speed skating, bobsledding and hockey. Sometimes, they make success look so attainable that they inspire us to lace up our ice skates or jump on our sleds in a quest to duplicate their feats.

But while participating in winter sports can be good for the body and mind, as with any physical activity, it requires some planning and caution to avoid injury.

“Common winter sports injuries include sprains, strains, fractures and dislocations in the foot and ankle,” said Dr. Beaudis, a podiatric physician with Ankle & Foot Care Centers. “Many of these injuries can be prevented if precautions are made. A fun day on the slopes or rink can easily end with a trip to the hospital unless safety is a priority.”

Dr. Beaudis and the group of podiatrists at Ankle & Foot Care Centers, the region's largest podiatric care provider, with physicians and surgeons serving patients at 20 local offices, offers these safety tips when participating in winter sports:

Participate with a partner. If possible, skiers, snowboarders and sledders should stay with a partner and within sight of each other. Also, make sure someone who is not participating is aware of your plans and probable whereabouts before heading outdoors.

Check the weather for snow and ice conditions prior to heading outdoors. Pay attention to warnings about upcoming storms and severe drops in temperature. Make adjustments for icy conditions, deep snow powder, wet snow and adverse weather conditions.

Know and abide by all rules of the sport in which you are participating. Take a lesson from a qualified instructor, especially in sports like skiing and snowboarding. Learning how to fall correctly and safely can reduce the risk of injury.

Dress for the occasion. Wear several layers of light, loose and water and wind-resistant clothing for warmth and protection. Layering allows you to accommodate your body's constantly changing temperature. Wear proper footwear that provides warmth and dryness, as well as ample ankle support.

Also wear appropriate protective gear, including goggles, helmets, gloves and padding and check that all equipment is kept in good working order.

Warm up thoroughly before playing and exercising. Cold muscles, tendons and ligaments are vulnerable to injury. It's important to warm up by taking it easy on the first few runs.

Drink plenty of water before, during and after activities.

Always carry a cell phone in case of an emergency.

Seek shelter and medical attention immediately if you, or anyone with you, is experiencing hypothermia or frostbite. Make sure everyone is aware of proper procedures for getting help, if injuries occur.

If you were to experience a cold weather related injury, visit your physician ASAP or go to your closet emergency room for immediate treatment to avoid any long-term consequences.

For more information about foot and ankle care or to schedule an appointment, call Ankle & Foot Care Centers at 888-881-8805.

Copyright © March 2014 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Patient Impressed with Wound Care Results

After months of receiving treatment from a home health agency two or three days a week, Dorsel Pifer finally decided that he needed to find an expert to help take care of his foot wound.

“The nurses I had did a good job, but I knew that I needed to find someone with more experience to take care of things,” said Dorsel, who ultimately found Ankle & Foot’s Alliance office. “I called Ankle & Foot and the next day I saw Dr. Groner. He did a fine job and everything healed up nice.”

Dorsel said that some of the nurses and other doctors he had seen in the past about his foot wound had suggested that he take a trip to the Cleveland Clinic. Although he considered it, he was content with his decision to stay local and give Ankle & Foot a try.

“People said I should go up to Cleveland, but I don’t think I would have gotten any better care than I did from Dr. Groner,” he explained. “I would have been in trouble without him. He did a beautiful job – I don’t think there’s any better doctor than him.”

If wasn’t just his experience with Dr. Groner that impressed Dorsel. He was pleased with the entire experience, from the front office staff, to the medical assistants.

“Everyone at the office was great,” he said. “The girls at the wound center were nice, too. Everything went well and I’m getting around pretty well and don’t have much pain at all.”

Copyright © March 2014 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Dr. Blasko Focused on Wound Care, Amputation Prevention

Many physicians take satisfaction in helping their patients deal with pain, recover from injury, improve their quality of life or get back on their feet again.

Dr. Greg Blasko knows the feeling well. During his 17-year career as a podiatric physician at Ankle & Foot Care Centers, he has embraced his role in helping to change lives through the care he and his colleagues provide. Knowing that he’s making a difference keeps him going to the office each day.

“Seeing people who come into our offices who think they might lose their leg actually walk out with a smile on their face because of the treatment we have provided makes my job enjoyable,” said Dr. Blasko, who practices in Ankle & Foot’s Poland and Salem offices. “We know what the mortality statistics are for those who lose a limb, so when we can help save one, we are doing an important job.”

Meet the Doc

Dr. Blasko is a certified wound specialist and sees many patients with diabetes, wounds and peripheral artery disease as part of his practice. He’s also affiliated with the Wound Healing Center at Salem Regional Medical Center.

To meet the demand for diabetic wound care and decrease the incidence of lower limb amputation on a local level, Dr. Blasko and colleague Dr. Lawrence DiDomenico teamed up last year to initiate a local chapter of a national organization that aims to reduce lower-limb amputations among individuals suffering from diabetes and peripheral artery disease.

Known as SALSAL (Save a Leg, Save a Life), the group comprises medical professionals from among various disciplines and organizations who are interested in learning about and treating wounds, diabetic ulcers and peripheral artery disease. In its early stages of formation it has attracted approximately 50 members from Trumbull, Mahoning and Columbiana counties.

“Being part of this new group has really energized me in the fight to prevent lower limb amputations,” said Dr. Blasko. “I see more and more wound care cases through my work at the wound center and working with Ankle & Foot allows me access to the diagnostic tools needed to give patients quality care.

“We have the latest technology and are up on all the new and important procedures that will benefit our patients. Our group can help patients quicker and better because of all the tools we have.”

After finishing his undergraduate work in 1995 at Youngstown State University, Dr. Blasko studied at the Ohio College of Podiatric Medicine from 1991 to 1995. He completed his residency at Youngstown Osteopathic Hospital in 1997.

“I interviewed at a lot of other places, like Boulder, Colo., Wilmington, Del., and New Jersey,” he explained. “Some of those could have happened, but then this group offered me a position and that allowed me to be near my parents and my kids were able to know their grandparents more. It’s worked out pretty well.” Dr. Blasko has spent his entire podiatry career with Ankle & Foot Care Centers, working and living where he grew up. He resides in Poland with his wife, Kara, and children, Avery, Ellie and Van.

In his spare time, Dr. Blasko is heavily involved with his family. All three of his children play or have played hockey, which keeps him busy attending their games. He also has an interest in the sport, playing in a men’s league one or two nights a week at the Ice Zone in Boardman.

Dr. Blasko and Family

Dr. Blasko and his family took the opportunity to enjoy a little rest and relaxation during a recent vacation.

Copyright © March 2014 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Medical Secretary Brings Experience, Care to East Liverpool Office

After 30 years working in the medical field, Jeri Hartline knows a thing or two about the importance of providing patients with expert care, compassion and customer service.

Employee Spotlight

As a medical secretary in Ankle & Foot Care Centers’ East Liverpool office for the past 14 years, she’s done her part to ensure that their patients’ needs are met – from with the very first phone conversation to a successful surgical outcome days or weeks later.

“I’ve worked in medical for a long time,” she said. “I enjoy working with patients and having contact with the public. We are a very busy office and things are always changing. But our patients like the doctors and office staff and I think that’s why they come to be treated here. We do our best to get them in the office the same day they call, if possible.”

Jeri, who lives just 15 minutes from work, completes a variety of tasks as part of her job responsibilities. She works the front desk, schedules patients, verifies insurance information and claims, answers calls and works closely with the doctors.

Medical Secretary Brings Experience, Care to East Liverpool Office

Medical secretary Jeri Hartline does her part to ensure each patient has a good experience when visiting Ankle & Foot Care Centers.

Like many who stay with the same employer for a significant period of time, Jeri is happy with her job responsibilities, as well as her relationships with those she works with every day.

“The doctors here have always treated me well,” she explained. “In 2007, I had both knees replaced and the people here were very good to me. They let me take plenty of time off work [5 weeks] and Mike Vallas even brought me dinner.”

When Jeri isn’t helping patients, she spends time with her husband of 46 years, their two adult children (Amy and Rick) and four grandchildren (Rebecca, Olivia, Mitch and Noah).

Amy and Rick are following in her foot steps by pursuing careers in the medical field. Meanwhile, her grandchildren are finding sporting success in golf and bowling.

In addition to family time, Jeri also enjoys cooking and baking.

Copyright © March 2014 Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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Try These Tips to Stay a Step Ahead of Foot Problems

In addition to regular checkups with a podiatrist, people with diabetes can reduce their risk of complications with these foot care tips:

  • Inspect your feet daily.
  • Choose thick, soft socks without seams that could rub or cause blisters.
  • Exercise daily.
  • Have new shoes properly measured and fitted.
  • Avoid going barefoot. Always protect your feet with the proper footwear and make sure both socks and shoes are comfortable and fit well.
  • See a podiatrist for treatment of calluses, corns or warts, rather than trying to treat these conditions yourself.
  • Trim toenails straight across and never cut the cuticles. Seek immediate treatment for ingrown toenails, as they can lead to serious infection.
  • Keep your feet elevated while sitting.
  • Diabetes can be hereditary, so talk to your family members about monitoring blood sugar and foot health.

Copyright © March 2014 American Podiatric Medical Association and Ankle & Foot Care Centers

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From The Kitchen: Orange Baked Ham

From The KitchenIngredients

  • 1 (14 to 16-pound) fully cooked, spiral-cut smoked ham on the bone
  • 6 garlic cloves
  • 8 1/2 ounces orange marmalade
  • 1/2 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 orange, zested
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed orange juice


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Place the ham in a heavy roasting pan.

Mince the garlic in a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the marmalade, mustard, brown sugar, orange zest, and orange juice and process until smooth. Pour the glaze over the ham and bake for 1 hour, until the ham is fully heated and the glaze is well browned. Serve hot or at room temperature.

To watch how to make this recipe, click here.

From The Kitchen: Orange Baked Ham


Copyright © 2014 Food Network Magazine

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