Louisville Medicine Volume 67, Issue 1 - Page 6

PRESIDENTIAL ADDRESS NOTE: THE FOLLOWING TEXT IS TAKEN FROM A SPEECH MADE BY DR. BURNS ON MAY 19, 2019, AT THE GLMS PRESIDENTS’ CELEBRATION. I am honored and grateful that so many family members, friends and colleagues were able to enjoy time together for the GLMS Presidents’ Celebration set in the beautiful halls of the Speed Art Museum. I was here a few weeks ago with my Leadership Louisville class and was very impressed with the renovations, the mix of modern architecture with the original building. I give a resounding thank you to the GLMS Foundation and Louisville City FC for financial support of the celebration. I also wish to thank Bert Guinn, Glenda Klass, Amanda Edmondson, Aaron Burch, McKenna Byerley, Onvia McDaniel, Kate Williams and all of the GLMS staff for their constant efforts on our behalf. As for my family members: I want to thank my daughter Meghan, who is an attorney in D.C. She is helping people that otherwise would not have legal representation via her work with Maryland Legal Aid. I am very proud of her and what she has accomplished. My son, Chris, is here with his girlfriend Leah. Chris has established himself as a very successful personal stylist at Rodes for Him and for Her, a staple in the Louisville business community for over 100 years. He has actually personally styled his father over the last year and a half, to the point now that my wife has asked me to please stop going to Rodes and buying clothes! I must admit, however, my son has made me a much better-dressed person than I used to be. That brings me to my wife, Carolyn. Carolyn and I came to Louisville in 1986 from Columbia, Mo. We met and were married while still in medical school at Mizzou. When we came here, Carolyn had matched in the Urology program at UofL. I had already told her that she would not like surgery, but she insisted she would. So, after four months of every other night call at the University Hospital, she came to me and said that she wanted to “change her path” and to switch to pathology. I didn’t say “I told you so” (well, maybe I did). But I totally supported her decision, and I was glad that she made the change because I don’t think we would have ever had a family. We wouldn’t have seen each other enough to conceive children! 4 LOUISVILLE MEDICINE We didn’t think we would stay here when we finished our residen- cies. The job market for pathology and ophthalmology in Louisville was fairly slim at the time. However, after she rotated with Drs. Bob Howell, Lynn Ogden, Frank Serratoni and Larry Boram at Jewish Hospital, Bob Howell mentioned he was retiring and asked that she apply for the position. She didn’t believe they would hire her given an older male pathologist (in a different practice in the city) told her they would never hire a “girl” for the Jewish Hospital practice. Well, that gentleman was wrong. They had found a real gem. We committed to Louisville. I joined Dr. Sheldon Schiller in his ophthalmology practice in 1992. Subsequently, circumstances occurred which prompted me to set a new course: solo private practice in 1996. At the time, I was told by another ophthalmologist I would never be able to set up my own practice; it would be too expensive and too difficult to attract enough patients to make it successful. With Carolyn’s moral and financial support, I was able to establish a successful thriving solo practice. Thank you honey; I love you for everything that you have done for me. It was the best decision I ever made, and I have the proof with the thousands of patients that I have taken care of since that time. I have been honored to play a role in their care these 23 years. Before making additional “inaugural” remarks, I would be remiss if I did not also recognize and thank members of my office staff who are here today, one of the finest medical office staffs around; beginning with Debbie Tharp. We have worked side by side for 23 years, and I want to thank her for her loyalty and commitment. Our patients love Debbie, and it certainly shows how much she cares about the practice that she has remained with me. I also want to recognize Nicki Greenwell, my office manager, who started working for me at 20 years old in 2002, covering multiple positions before accepting the job of office manager in 2011. She has helped my practice survive huge changes, including the conversion to electronic medical records. She has helped my practice thrive as a solo practice in very difficult times. Thank you to Debbie, Nicki and all of my office staff members for their commitment to excellent patient care.