Dan Ballard sits down for a business meeting at a desk stacked with 15 patient charts. “I love what I do,” he exclaims. “And I’ve loved it ever since I started doing it.” At 64, he thinks occasionally about retirement, but can’t imagine not seeing patients and making a difference in people’s lives.
Dan’s passion for making a difference extends beyond his facility’s four walls. He advocates for the continuing role of pedorthics in healthcare, specifically looking for ways to problem-solve Medicare reimbursement and audit issues for Pedorthists. He is also part of a cross-functional team of bio-engineering and O&P specialists at Clemson University’s Department of Bio-Engineering and Greenville Health System working to develop a system for using a 3-D printer for manufacturing a diabetic insert. As if that wasn’t enough, he regularly makes in-service presentations and demonstrations at the four local hospital-based wound centers.
When Dan meets with patients who have a prosthesis he tries to ensure that they are working with an ABC-credentialed practitioner. It’s important to him that they understand the difference ABC certification can make in the treatment plan. That’s also why Dan volunteers for ABC, first on the Pedorthic Exam Committee, and now on the Pedorthist Practice Analysis Task Force. The pedorthics exam today, he feels, is the best it’s ever been, in part because of the work and the focus that the committee has put into it.
Dan is always giving back, not only to ABC but to his patients. “We have an extremely busy practice and see a large number of people in our offices each month. We try very hard to make positive changes in people’s lives,” adds Dan. He cites as an example the first chart on the aforementioned stack of medical files, one for a patient he’s been seeing since 1998. After taking her to the front desk to check out, she gave him a hug. He stops and pauses. “Makes you feel good”, he finishes.