Dr. Ryan Corte Creates Health Video Site

Dr. Ryan Corte Creates Health Video Site

By Beth Robinson

One of the most challenging parts of a health care professional’s job is explaining complex information about conditions and treatment to patients and making sure the patient has the right information when they get home.

It is a frustration that optometrist Dr. Ryan Corte faces regularly. Last spring he had a patient come in about blurry vision in his left eye. It turned out that he hadn’t seen a doctor in years and had very advanced diabetic retinopathy and wasn’t even aware he had diabetes.

“As I was explaining to him the likelihood that he had undiagnosed diabetes, I could see the look on his face how perplexed he was that glasses, at that time, were not a likely solution to his problem. I referred him to a see a primary care doctor as well as retinal specialist. But he never went to either appointment,” says Corte. “I felt like in that moment, when I was educating him, it was almost overwhelming. I think of how many doctors are seeing more patients in less time and the amount of time they have to educate their patients is too little. I feel like there’s a lot of opportunity to break things down so the patient understands it, so they can follow up appropriately and they can follow through with success.”

Corte wished that there was a simple, video-based resource that he could send her and other patients to for information, but that resource wasn’t out there. So, he created his own.img_1755

A photography buff, Corte was one of the few people who had a digital camera in college. He says his passion for photography transferred to video when he realized that it was a great way to educate his patients. He did his research on YouTube, watching videos to see what would be the best format for him and how to set up his production.

The result was a website — now defunct — called Introeyes.com. Founded by Corte, who is also the CEO, the site featured 30- to 90-second videos that provided information on terminology, conditions, preventative care, disease management, products and services. The topics ranged from “What is an optician?” to “What is Keratoconus?” In the videos, eye care professionals explain each topic briefly, in clear and simple language, with appropriate photos or diagrams. The videos, which are all hosted on YouTube, are close captioned and each has a transcript below it.

Introeyes has since been replaced with a more broadly based health and wellness site called Introwellness.com.

Because the education level of his patients varies dramatically, Corte’s goal was to write the content at an elementary level.

 Corte believes that video-based content is the wave of the future.

“Our vision and our general viewpoint on where we’re going is big,” Corte said. I think we definitely have a very good start. More and more generations are beginning to shift to wanting info digitally.”

“You have to walk before you can run,” says Corte, who got Introeyes.com up and running in approximately two months. He is a self-taught video producer, developing the scripts with a team of eye care experts, mostly in the Concord area, but now branching out across the country. The simple format makes it easy for the professionals to shoot the video themselves, and Corte edits them, and adds photos and graphics to the footage of the professional explaining the subject.

His goal was a simple, professional-looking presentation.

“I built it into my schedule to learn to use the Adobe tools,” says Corte, who devotes one day each week to developing the site. “It’s like riding a bike, the learning curve is pretty steep, but once you learn how, you know.”

aflac-adAll that work paid off with a recent win in the Skimm email newspaper’s Moving On Up startup competition. From a nation-wide pool of entrepreneurs, Corte lasted into the semi-final round of 10, was flown out to Seattle for the final round of 3 competitors, and ultimately won a $2,500 cash prize, 6 months of financial mentoring from Chase Bank, and 6 months of startup mentoring from the Skimm.

He used the money and the mentoring help to take the site to the next level, ultimately deciding to retire the Introeyes site and integrate all of the content on the Introwellness.com, which already has content on eye care, nutrition, and men’s and women’s health, and is constantly growing.

Corte grew up in Michigan, where teaching may have been coded into his DNA. His mother and one of his three older sisters are high school teachers there, and another sister teaches at the University of Chicago Hospital. His father just retired from Hewlett Packard, where he was a computer consultant. Explaining things, it seems, is a family affair.

Corte attended Michigan State University, went to Ohio State University for optometry school, and then did his residency in Chicago. He had family in South Carolina, so he was familiar with this part of the country. When he was looking for a place to settle down and start a practice, the weather, the economy, and the stringent licensing in North Carolina, which meant more opportunities for those who qualified, sold him on the Charlotte area, where he recently met and married his wife Allison.

One sister has already followed him, and he’s hoping to lure the rest of the family away from the Michigan winters as well.

When he’s not teaching himself video editing or seeing patients, Corte lectures to residents on how to fine tailor their clinical skill sets to adapt to the ever—evolving health care industry. He and Allison are involved in Young Affiliates of the Mint, supporting The Mint Museum, and running, working out, socializing, being outdoors, and carving out time for their 6-month-old marriage.

Plus, Corte loves to run and work out. “I enjoy every sport you can imagine,” he says.

 

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Eye Doctor Using Videos to Educate Patients

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By Beth Robinson

One of the most challenging parts of a health care professional’s job is explaining complex information about conditions and treatment to patients and making sure the patient has the right information when they get home.

It is a frustration that Novi-bred optometrist Dr. Ryan Corte faces regularly in his Charlotte, NC practice. Last spring he had a patient come in about blurry vision in his left eye. It turned out that he hadn’t seen a doctor in years and had very advanced diabetic retinopathy and wasn’t even aware he had diabetes.

“As I was explaining to him the likelihood that he had undiagnosed diabetes, I could see the look on his face how perplexed he was that glasses, at that time, were not a likely solution to his problem. I referred him to a see a primary care doctor as well as retinal specialist. But he never went to either appointment,” says Corte. “I felt like in that moment, when I was educating him, it was almost overwhelming. I think of how many doctors are seeing more patients in less time and the amount of time they have to educate their patients is too little. I feel like there’s a lot of opportunity to break things down so the patient understands it, so they can follow up appropriately and they can follow through with success.”img_1755

Corte wished that there was a simple, video-based resource that he could send his and other patients to for information, but that resource wasn’t out there. So, he created his own.

A photography buff, Corte was one of the few people who had a digital camera in college. He says his passion for photography transferred to video when he realized that it was a great way to educate his patients. He did his research on YouTube, watching videos to see what would be the best format for him and how to set up his production.

The result was Introeyes.com. Founded by Corte, who is also the CEO, Introeyes.com features 30 – 90 second videos that provide information on terminology, conditions, preventative care, disease management, products and services. The topics range from “What is an optician?” to “What is Keratoconus?” In the videos, eye care professionals explain each topic briefly, in clear and simple language, with appropriate photos or diagrams. The videos, which are all hosted on YouTube, are close captioned and each has a transcript below it.

 

Because the education level of his patients varies dramatically, Corte’s goal was to write the content at an elementary level.

“We’re simplifying the delivery of eye care information for the general public,” says Corte, who believes that video-based content is the wave of the future. “Our vision and our general viewpoint on where we’re going is big. I think we definitely have a very good start. More and more generations are beginning to shift to wanting info digitally.”

Introeyes.com is the first website for Corte, who also owns several other domains, including Introwellness.com, Introtherapy.com, Intromovement.com, Introdiet.com, Intromeds.com, Introsmile.com. His plan is to fill out additional sites with wellness, exercise, diet, medication, and dental content, and have content on all sites by the end of 2018.

“You have to walk before you can run,” says Corte, who got Introeyes.com up and running in approximately two months. He is a self-taught video producer, developing the scripts with a team of eye care experts, mostly in the Concord area, but now branching out across the country. The simple format makes it easy for the professionals to shoot the video themselves, and Corte edits them, and adds photos and graphics to the footage of the professional explaining the subject.

His goal was a simple, professional-looking presentation.aflac-ad

“I built it into my schedule to learn to use the Adobe tools,” says Corte, who devotes one day each week to developing the site. “It’s like riding a bike, the learning curve is pretty steep, but once you learn how, you know.”

All that work paid off with a recent win in the Skimm email newspaper’s Moving On Up startup competition. From a nation-wide pool of entrepreneurs, Corte lasted into the semi-final round of 10, was flown out to Seattle for the final round of 3 competitors, and ultimately won a $2,500 cash prize, 6 months of financial mentoring from Chase Bank, and 6 months of startup mentoring from the Skimm.

Corte grew up in Novi, where his parents still live, and where teaching may have been coded into his DNA. His mother teaches at Mercy High School in Farmington Hills. One of his three older sisters teaches at Saline High School and one teaches at the University of Chicago Hospital. His father just retired from Hewlett Packard, where he was a computer consultant. Explaining things, it seems, is a family affair.


Corte attended Michigan State University, went to Ohio State University for optometry school, and then did his residency in Chicago. He had family in South Carolina, so he was familiar with that part of the country. When he was looking for a place to settle down and start a practice, the weather, the economy, and the stringent licensing in North Carolina, which meant more opportunities for those who qualified, sold him on the Charlotte area, where he recently met and married his wife Alison.
When he’s not teaching himself video editing or seeing patients, Corte lectures to residents on how to fine tailor their clinical skill sets to adapt to the ever—evolving health care industry. He and Alison are involved in Young Affiliates of the Mint, supporting Charlotte cultural institution, the Mint Museum, and running, working out, socializing, being outdoors, and carving out time for their 6-month-old marriage.

Plus, Corte loves to run and work out. “I enjoy every sport you can imagine,” he says.

Dentist’s Old-School Approach Puts Focus On People

Dentist’s Old-School Approach Puts Focus On People

By Beth Robinson

The décor in Dr. Scott Meldrum’s Birmingham dental office is clean, comfortable, and untouched by a decorator since the practice moved from West McNichols in Detroit in 1973. There is no television set in the waiting room. The office doesn’t have an internet connection. And eighty-year-old Norma Thurlow, the receptionist since 1957, administers the practice with a huge ledger-style appointment book and an electric typewriter.unnamed (3)

This old school approach is not a musty tradition, but an intentional focus on what is most important and valuable to Meldrum’s patients. This, for Meldrum, is a relationship with his patients that makes them feel safe and comfortable. And it’s about providing highly skilled, state-of-the-art care, without pain, and without unnecessary procedures.

“The number one thing that makes any dental office successful is the dentist,” Meldrum says. “And the number two thing is the employees. It’s about people liking people.”

This starts at the front desk, where Thurlow greets each one of the practice’s 1,500 regular patients personally, including children who represent the fifth generation of their families to be treated there.unnamed (4)

“I’m old school,” she says. “I hang up everyone’s coat and they love that.”

Thurlow was a nursing student in 1957 when she became ill and was hospitalized for a month. The break in her studies made returning unfeasible, so she decided to look for work in a dental office. An agency contacted her about the job in Dr. Joseph Champagne’s office, but then told her it was filled. A day later, they called her back, and said that the person they sent over only lasted one day.

“I could see why,” laughs Thurlow, recalling the elder Dr. Champagne’s temper. But Thurlow was more than a match for it, managing the office, becoming close with Dr. Champagne’s son, Dr. Jack Champagne and his wife, and staying as the practice passed to Dr. Jack, and then to his son-in-law, Dr. Meldrum.lbn-ad

Meldrum credits Thurlow with helping to create the continuity that allowed for a successful transition.

“It’s nice, when you walk through the front door, to know the person behind the front desk,” says Meldrum. “They get their dental work done and they stand and talk to Norma for another 45 minutes.”

In a recent article for the Oakland County Dental Society’s Dental Review, Meldrum outlined the “Ten P’s for a Successful Practice.” In addition to personality, personnel, and passion, Meldrum outlines the importance of product, price, and painlessness.

“The best thing,” he says, “is to do everything you can to make sure they don’t feel anything, so they gain confidence that they won’t get hurt next time they come.”

Judith and Duane Cox - Judith Cox has been going to the practice since she was six years old. She and her husband Duane came from Las Vegas on their way to their home in Houghton Lake to see Dr. Meldrum, who she says is "the very best dentist in the entire world.

Judith and Duane Cox – Judith Cox has been going to the practice since she was six years old. She and her husband Duane came from Las Vegas on their way to their home in Houghton Lake to see Dr. Meldrum, who she says is “the very best dentist in the entire world.

Many of his new patients come in with concerns about unnecessary procedures.

“Overzealous dentistry,” says Meldrum, can be the result of dentists’ large student loans, corporate dental groups focused on profit, and expensive equipment which must be used to be justified.

Meldrum’s cozy sunlit office is not only familiar and comfortable, but it also lets patients know that they’re not getting extra procedures to pay for ritzy furnishings. Ditto the internet connection, which, Meldrum says, “would not have made the business more successful.”

“It’s the science, the art, and the business of dentistry, and you have to be good at all three,” says Meldrum.

And if Thurlow has her way, it will stay that way. Asked if she ever thinks about retiring, the feisty octogenarian says: “I don’t know why people stay at home. I’m a widow and I live all alone, so I just have to be here to aggravate Dr. Meldrum. That’s my plan in life.”

 

Dr. Meldrum’s general dentistry practice is located at:

295 Elm St, Birmingham, MI 48009
Phone: (248) 645-5055

70 Years of Happy Cows and Healthy Dairy from Calder Farm

70 Years of Happy Cows and Healthy Dairy from Calder Farm

By Honey Murray

Nicola (“Nicky”) Noble loves to talk about her girls: all 153 of them.

As the general manager of Calder Dairy Farm in Carleton, Michigan, one of Nicky’s many jobs is to make sure that those girls — the Brown Swiss and Holstein cows that produce Calder’s milk daily — are happy, healthy and comfortable, enabling the dairy, after 70 years, to continue to produce, sell and deliver their fresh milk that is free of added hormones and still sold in glass bottles.

“Their barn is a free-stall one,” says Nicky, “and the girls are able to eat, drink and socialize as they wish.”  She adds, “Each girl has a mattress, topped with straw, and the floor has rubber matting for their comfort. Their forage-and-grain food is grown right here on the farm and, during grass season, they are free to graze the pastures.”

cows

Thermostatically controlled fans and side curtains maintain perfect barn temperatures, and their milking area is heated. The cows receive lots of human interaction, including pedicures and care from cheerful veterinarians, and they can groom themselves with automatic brushes.

“Not a bad life!” chuckles Nicky.

Each happily pampered cow produces about seven-and-a-half gallons of milk from two five-minute milkings each day. The milk is delivered from the farm to Calder Dairy in Lincoln Park, Michigan, where it is processed and bottled.

The Lincoln Park location was established by William Calder in 1946 when he purchased the dairy’s first delivery truck (a used, twelve-year-old laundry truck) with the bonus check he received from the Air Force. The location is also home to an ice cream parlor and a retail dairy store. From there, Calder Dairy supplies many wholesale outlets and 2,000 home delivery customers in Macomb, Wayne, Washtenaw and southern Oakland counties.

“People love our service and the taste of the milk,” Nicky says. “We pasteurize it the old-fashioned way: at 155 degrees for 30 minutes, which purifies it but preserves the beneficial enzymes — and the rich, natural taste. And, with the product coming right from our farm, everything is fresh. We were ‘local’ before ‘local’ was fashionable!”

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The 500-acre farm was originally purchased as a weekend family retreat and eventual retirement spot. When a neighbor suggested a cow as a means to help manage the grass growth, the Brown Swiss they purchased had a baby — and the dairy farm began.

Today, in addition to the cows, the farm has a store and an ice cream parlor with a large, attached country-kitchen style dining area that can be rented for birthday parties and other events, and there is also a covered pavilion area beside a waterfall and pond.

waterfall

There are ducks, geese and goats that visitors (welcome daily from 10 a.m.- 8 p.m.) can feed, and milking can be observed at 4 p.m. For groups of fifteen or more, private tours can be pre-arranged.

“William Calder’s son, John, lives here and runs the business, working daily at the dairy, also,” states Nicki. “John is dedicated: to the environment; to bridging the gap between farmers and our city neighbors by educating people about agriculture and providing the opportunity to be on a real, working farm; and to maintaining the values — and quality production and delivery services — established by his father in 1946.”

And the girls couldn’t be happier.

 

Info: calderdairy.com

Calder Farm   734-654-2622   9334 Finzel Rd.; Carleton, MI  48117                 10 a.m. – 8 p.m. daily

Calder Dairy   313-381-8858   1020 Southfield Rd.; Lincoln Park, MI  48146   7:30 a.m. – 9 p.m. daily

Transition: A Subtle Migration That Works

Transition: A Subtle Migration That Works

Album review by Kimberly Rinker

The most musically sophisticated album yet by Ladd Biro, as exemplified in his first track Transition, makes a solid case for why he’s deserving of acclaim.  On his title track, Biro has combined an Earth, Wind & Fire feel with new modern, and synched the two musical genres with a jazzy sling which provides Transition with a near-universal appeal for all audiences.

The eclectic background vocals through this latest endeavor offer a grounding point for Biro’s smooth range and whether embarking on originals or old standards, his style favors a feathery touch which results in the album carrying a light and suspended quality.

“I worked collectively (with other musicians) and found out that music just wasn’t notes on a page but how a person reacts with the music both in a group and singularly,” Biro says. “I like the attitude of working with people when everybody is willing to try something new and that helps the musicians to feed off one another.”

She’s Lying, for instance, floats on a bluesy rendition of universal hurt that reaches forward from a flickering classical guitar complemented by piano and horn solos that wave over harmonious back-ground vocals.

In Way Down South—an upbeat and energetic perky tune that’s easy to like—Biro‘s temperament and metaphoric musical talent is defined with mesmerizing melodic lines.  The same can be said of Barbara Brown, which Biro wrote in homage to a high school friend. The uplifting tempo reminds one of listening to Chicago when they were the Chicago Transit Authority back in the early 70s.

However nothing compares to I Gotta Feeling—this writer’s favorite—which has the potential to become a series hit across several musical platforms.  Bustling with creative energy, I Gotta Feeling is yet another example of Biro drawing on his musical roots and orchestrating a cross-pollination of musical personalities, including the 1960s, classic country, laughter and ingenious storytelling.

“When you have a good piece of music and good lyrics to go along with it, you have a marriage of sorts,” Biro stressed.  “When you can convey that, and have a musical brain to draw on that—a la George Martin—you’re able to present to an audience and the end result often is that you won’t find a dry eye in the house when you’re finished performing the piece.”

This mindset is exemplified in Biro’s Days Gone By and Stronger On My Own—cool ballads which offer a glimpse into Biro’s vast vocal range, as does Falling For The Lady. The latter, in particular, is a classic soft and serene flowing anthem that blends well with a glass of wine and romantic interlude in front of a cozy fire.

Maybe That Someone Is You is a lovely duet with singing group Velvet—members of Biro’s vocal team—that allows him to engage in a musical dance while delivering heart-tugging dialogue.  The love ballad One, conveys a similar tempo and feel as the aforementioned tune, with a dreamy, almost whispered melody and complex tonalities sure to calm the soul.

Another stylistic musical adventure comes together in You’re Watching Me Watching You, offering a catchy refrain with trenchant grooves and graceful melodies, as Biro’s vocals tiptoe catlike, over bass and treble lines.

Good Music Classic is a funky, rockabilly tune of the highest calling while Until We Meet Again offers an uplifting combination of strong background vocals with an underlying presence of strong and traditional country guitar twang—another of this writer’s favorites.

“I think John Lennon said it the best,” Biro offered.  “A good song stands. It’s that simple.  A good song stands.”

Biro has been playing clubs as a pianist, saxophone and guitar in various bands for four decades and overall, his voice has reached a new plateau.  He’s enriched himself and his music with this latest album, highlighted by eclectic background vocals and his own refreshing vocal clarity.  His ballads are a bit similar in tempo and style, but overall great for the easy listening crowd.  It’s his up-tempo tracks are the most impressive with rumbling bass lines, mashing piano chords and mesmerizing guitar solos that reflect a poised musical refinement throughout each track.

In conclusion, Transition spotlight’s Biro’s styles and abilities both as a vocalist and as a songwriter. For someone who has already accomplished so much through his vocal talents, songwriting and instrumentation, Biro appears poised to become an even larger musical presence in the future.

To find out more about Ladd Biro, and to purchase his music, head to Roscoe Records.

 

Kimberly Rinker
www.kimberlyrinker.com
@Trotrink