Why did you become a physician?
I was inspired by my family physician in Chicago. He delivered my mother and her siblings and then delivered me, my siblings, and half of my cousins a generation later, while founding a community hospital that still exists and services one of the poorest neighborhoods in Chicago. I wanted to be a positive impact on people’s lives like Dr. Was.
Tell us about your educational and professional background.
I completed my BS in Biology, Medical School, Internal Medicine Residency, and Chief Residency at the University of Kentucky. After sixteen years of primary care practice in Lexington I accepted a role with Baptist Health Lexington, ostensibly to start a couple of primary care practices. The role quickly morphed to include building out the hospitalist service, specialty practices, urgent care sites, and then retail clinics. After seven years, just as I completed my MBA at Auburn University, I was asked to create the role of Chief Medical Information Officer (CMIO) for the Baptist Health System and ensure that our hospitals and practices achieved Meaningful Use attestation. Things quickly changed again and I was asked to also lead a team to select a new electronic health record while we were without a Chief Information Officer (CIO). As we were preparing to present our recommendation to the Board of Trustees I was asked to add the CIO role to my duties. I retained the CIO/CMIO roles over the next three years as we built out and implemented the EHR, completely revamped our data center, and developed a remote disaster recovery data center for our then seven hospitals and two hundred forty ambulatory sites of care. Upon completion of the last go live, I retired from Baptist Health and have done free lance consulting in Health IT, some writing, and continued to serve as Delegate to the AMA for Kentucky, as well as chairing the Budget Committee of the KMA.
What are your interests outside of Medicine?
I am blessed with four active grandsons and following their sports and other activities is a joy. I continue to do a lot of woodworking and fishing. Marian and I love to travel the world and spend time at our place in South Carolina. I help my son on his turf research farm and with his two plus acres hops yard.
Why did you join the Lexington Medical Society?
I was elected to ODK (Omicron Delta Kappa), a National leadership honorary, during my undergraduate career. I was looking for an opportunity to grow in service and develop leadership skills as I started medical school and Dr. John Freer, a psychiatrist, became my Lexington Medical Society (then known as the Fayette County Medical Society) mentor and he invited me to an LMS dinner meeting that first fall. I met a lot of great physicians, Drs. Lisle Dalton and Richard Floyd, III stand out, and Carolyn Kurz, and I was hooked.