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I wanted to share the following magazine article from the October/November 2017 issue of MVP that I was recently featured in as a Healthy Healthcare Leader. I am a strong proponent of working fitness into your everyday routine regardless of how busy your life may be. As a 41 year old physician with a wife and 3 young children, I cannot stress enough how important it is to find time to maintain your best overall health. For me, it is all about creating a healthy work-life balance in your life and making time for exercise.

Dr. Ward founded Dermatology Specialists of Florida in 2006. He grew up in nearby DeFuniak Springs, but now lives in Panama City, Florida. Dr. Ward attended the University of Florida for both undergraduate and medical school. His hobbies include going to Florida Gator athletic events, traveling with his family, and snow skiing.

Being a physician, practice owner, husband, and father means that finding the time and energy to maintain a healthy lifestyle and personal fitness is a continual challenge. He makes a commitment to staying fit by having a motivating personal trainer at the gym for three hours a week. Dr. Ward believes you are what you eat, and as a result prioritizes a well-balanced diet for himself, one focused on high protein and low-fat content. Dr. Ward also keeps his skin healthy by wearing sunscreen every day, especially when enjoying fishing, boating, or hanging out with his friends and family at the beach.

Favorite quote or motto – I have two:

“No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” – Eleanor Roosevelt

“Carpe Diem.” – Horace

Who has been your biggest inspiration in your life and why?
My grandmother was definitely one of the biggest heroes in my life. She became a registered nurse and was my first influence and exposure to the health care field. She was an amazing lady who left everyone she touched better in some way.

Are you involved in any community projects/events/fundraisers?
I have been involved for many years with the Covenant Hospice Mask Gala. My wife and I chaired last year’s event, which raised over $130,000. Hospice care is so important and something we all will need at some time in our lives. I saw the amazing care firsthand when my mother-in-law passed and those nurses are truly angels on earth.

Do you have any hidden talents?
I can touch my nose with my tongue! I can also play a pretty mean game of dominoes.

What is something most people don’t know about you?
I grew up on a farm and spent summer in middle and high school picking fruits and vegetables in the morning, and selling them to grocery stores and at a roadside stand in the afternoon and evenings. We used the money to send my oldest brother to college.

If you could redesign the food pyramid without any dire health or weight gain consequences how would it look?
Fried foods would definitely be at the top and ice cream would be removed from dairy and just be its own group!