Volume IX, Number 4

The Louisiana Campaign Newsletter

June 1999

A strong voive, a proven choice
Palmisano brings varied experience, expertise to AMA

Since his election to your American Medical Association's Board of Trustees in 1996, Donald J. Palmisano, M.D., J.D., has utilized his years of experience in both the medical and legal fields to carry the AMA message on a wide variety of topics. With tireless energy and selfless availability, he has travelled around the country as a proven,  effective speaker and debater on issues that have significant impact on the practice of medicine.
     But even Dr. Palmisano is not a man of all work and no play. His commitment to his family is clearly evident, as is his sense of adventure and love of nature. Throughout this issue of The Pelican, you will find just a sampling of why Dr. Palmisano is a clear choice to help continue to lead you and your AMA into the new millennium.

Dr. Palmisano specializes in general and vascular surgery and has been practicing in the New Orleans area since 1970 after his tour of duty with the Air Force as a Major and Chief of Surgery at the Strategic Air Command Base of Ellsworth Air Force Base in Rapid City, South Dakota.

Dr. Palmisano and Dr. Jim Borland co-chair the AMA Task Force on Patient Privacy and Medical Records Confidentiality; here they are meeting with task force members at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

In March of 1999, Dr. Palmisano appeared before the Texas Legislature to present AMA testimony  in support of the Texas Medical Association-sponsored state action exemption legislation for antitrust relief. He is shown here at that time with (L to R) AMA attorneys Helen Jameson and Becky Cerny, along with Connie Barron of the TMA.

Dr. Palmisano takes a break  with crew members from PBS who were in New Orleans to interview him about the AMA's position on the Y2K impact on medicine.

Dr. Palmisano is being interviewed on National Public Radio in Washington, DC, on the AMA position on direct-to-consumer advertising of drugs and internet prescribing.

Re-elect Palmisano as AMA Trustee: A Strong Voice. A Proven Choice.

The Pelican Brief - The candidate's position on the issues

Our vision, our mission - our hope for the future.

     Today I'd like to share with you a vision of hope.
     Do you believe that together we can overcome the abuses of managed care? Do you believe that together we can protect patient privacy? Do you believe that together we can overcome antiquated antitrust laws? Do you believe that together we can achieve a vision that would weed these challenges out at the very root - weed them out through our will and power to change the framework of insurance coverage to patient ownership, defined contribution, choice, and an array of products?
     I believe - and I ask you to believe. Together we can make it happen. Together we will make it happen.
     Today is Father's Day. I honor my father today and every day by remembering the advice he gave me after I failed my first gross anatomy exam in medical school. The memory is still vivid. I was filled with doubt - convinced I wasn't smart enough to be a doctor. My Dad listened to my doubts and then told me he had no doubt at all. He said, ``Do your homework, have courage, and don't give up!" I followed his advice then, and I will apply those same principles until our vision is a reality.
     We stand on the threshold of a new millennium. But more important than the calendar, we also stand on the threshold of an explosion of knowledge - a quantum leap in our understanding of the code of life and the tools that will enable us to convert that understanding into health for our patients. In the skillful hands of you, my colleagues, this knowledge and new tools give us an unprecedented opportunity to allay - and conquer - diseases that have plagued humankind throughout history.
     But these great advances will mean nothing unless we preserve ethical science-based medicine, respect for the dignity of the individual, and the sacred relationship between a doctor and a patient.
     Choice for patients and physicians, medical records confidentiality, antitrust relief, individual responsibility: these are the keys to a bright future - a vision of hope. Let us say no to opportunists, who only look at the bottom line...to defeatists who say all is hopeless...to Luddites who decry technology...and to certain politicians who promise the fool's gold of scapegoating honorable physicians with oppressive regulations, police state invasion and intimidation.
     Let us refuse to follow these false prophets into the abyss - and let us instead offer a brighter path - a better path.
     Choice for patients and physicians, medical records confidentiality, antitrust relief, individual responsibility: we need leaders who will pursue this vision with courage, candor, and confidence.
     There are many doubts about the AMA - even within the AMA. Let us banish those doubts and replace them with a new vision as we march towards our Mission.
     Sunbeam is over; the Governance Committee has completed its work. Before any more suns set, before opportunists destroy the ethical science-based practice of medicine, before our children abandon the dream of practicing medicine, let us pledge to stand shoulder to shoulder and march forward toward our goal - our Mission: ``To advance the art and science of Medicine and the betterment of the public health."
     Unafraid, unashamed, so future generations will say of us: This was their finest hour.
     Thank you for allowing me to serve as your trustee for the past three years. It's been the greatest honor of my life. I respectfully ask again for your vote - for Palmisano: A strong voice. A proven choice.


Here a young Donald and his mother, Mary, visit his dad's biplane in the early `40s. Donald believes his love of flying started here. He learned to fly in the military and holds his commercial license, as well as instrument rating, and has even owned and done acrobatics in a Beechcraft T-34 plane.

Dr. Palmisano's dad, Dominic, died in 1995, but instilled in his son a strong lesson on the importance of courage and honesty. He was a retired major in the New Orleans Police Department and was awarded the Medal of Merit for his heroism rescuing hostages.

Dr. Palmisano and his mother on Mother's Day 1999, standing in front of one of her favorite  photographs taken by Dr. Palmisano, who has turned his love of nature and photography into a passion that produces brilliant images now hanging on walls across the nation, including at the Celebration Hospital in Disney World

Did Dr. Palmisano catch you on his candid camera?
As most of you know, Dr. Palmisano is an avid and accomplished photographer. He is known for carrying his camera with him wherever he goes, taking photographs of the many people he encounters throughout his travel. On the next two pages are photos of some of the many colleagues he has had the pleasure of working with throughout his years of involvement with the American Medical Association. How many do you recognize?
(Editor's note: Dr. Palmisano sent us hundreds of photographs he has taken over the years, but obviously due to space restraints we cannot print them all here. But in
our gallery, we have more!!)

Re-elect Palmisano as AMA Trustee: A Strong Voice. A Proven Choice.

Here Dr. Palmisano and his wife, Robin, are attending a meeting of the Tulane Surgical Society,of which Dr. Palmisano is now President-elect. Robin is a healthcare attorney in New Orleans, and is currently serving as 3rd Vice President of the Louisiana State Medical Society Alliance.

Dr. Palmisano  is extremely proud of his three children shown here with him during a family gathering for Easter of 1999. They are (L to R) Donald, Jr., who just graduated from Loyola Law School; Mary Ellen who is a nurse in Slidell, LA; and Donna who is a dentist in Metairie, LA

Dr. Palmisano says the support and encouragement of his surgical colleagues over the years have been invaluable. they include (L to R) Dr. Jim Brown, Dr. Palmisano, Dr. Richard Vallette, Dr. Tom Brown and Dr. Jan McClanahan.

Dr. Palmisano, here in the surgical lounge, has been an advocate for the use of computers since the early 1980's, especially for use in communication and medical research.

Even at a young age, Dr. Palmisano was already developing his keen sense of style, presence, and poise - perhaps he was  preparing for all those media interviews to come!

Dr. Palmisano attended the May meeting of the Board of the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. He will become a commissioner on JCAHO Board in July 1999

Election night 1996 - Dr. Palmisano celebrates victory with Mom Mary, wife Robin, and his campaign manager, Juan Watkins, M.D., of the Louisiana State Medical Society AMA delegation.

Tabasco says, ``Vote for Palmisano - A strong voice. A proven choice! And he saved my life!"
Dr. Palmisano welcomes
your comments
Contact him at:
Office: 504-455-5895
FAX: 504.455.9392
djp@intrepidresources.com or
Web Page:

The Pelican
The campaign newsletter of the
Louisiana State Medical Society
W. Juan Watkins, M.D.
Jay Shames, M.D.
Contributing Editor
6767 Perkins Road
Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Re-elect Palmisano as AMA Trustee: A Strong Voice. A Proven Choice.

The Louisiana Delegation

invites you to its

Louisiana Gumbo Party

Tuesday, June 22, 1999  -  6:30 - 8 p.m.

Chicago Hilton & Towers - Grand Ballroom
Stop by for an evening of great food and live Dixieland music as we let the good times roll - louisiana-style! Register for our prize drawing for a framed print from Donald Palmisano's photography collection, Nature's Reflections. This color photograph shows the grandeur of the Grand Canyon and symbolizes a vision of hope.

The Louisiana Delegation


  • W. Juan Watkins, M.D., Chair
  • Milton C. Chapman, M.D.
  • Michael S. Ellis, M.D.
  • K. Barton Farris, M.D.
  • Jay M. Shames, M.D


  • Carol L. Bayer, M.D.
  • Lawrence L. Braud, M.D.
  • Wallace H. Dunlap, M.D.
  • Joshua E. Lowentritt, M.D.
  • Dudley M. Stewart, Jr., M.D.

Leo L. Lowentritt, M.D., President
C. Clinton Lewis, M.D., President-Elect

From the Pelican Recipe files:

Bread Pudding Souffle with Whiskey Sauce

Dr. Palmisano has scored a major coup in obtaining this scrumptious recipe for The Pelican from Brad Bridgeman Brennan of Commander's Palace in New Orleans. Commander's Palace is an award-winning restaurant, receiving the Lifetime Outstanding Restaurant Award, the Lifetime Service Award and the Who's Who of Food and Beverage Award from the James Beard Foundation, as well as the 1998 Reader's Choice Award for the #1 Restaurant in America from Food and Wine Magazine, among others.

Bread Pudding:
3/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
3 medium eggs
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups New Orleans French Bread, 1" cubed (see note)
1/3 cup raisins

Whiskey Sauce
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup bourbon

9 medium egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar

Note: New Orleans French Bread is very light and tender. If substitute bread is used that is too dense, it will soak up all the custard and the recipe won't work.

To make the bread pudding:
First preheat oven to 360 F. Grease 8" square baking pan. Combine sugar, cinnamon and nutmeg in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs until smooth, then work in the heavy cream. Add the vanilla, then the bread cubes. Allow bread to soak up custard. Place the raisins in a greased pan. Top with the egg mixture, which prevents the raisins from burning. Bake for approximately 25-30 minutes or until the pudding has a golden brown color and is firm to the touch. If a toothpick inserted in the pudding comes out clean, it is done. The mixture of pudding should be nice and moist, not runny or dry. Cool to room temperature.

To make the whiskey sauce:
Place the cream in a small saucepan over medium heat and bring to a boil. Whisk corn starch and water together and add to cream while whisking. Bring to a boil. Whisk and let simmer for a few seconds, taking care not to burn the mixture on the bottom. Remove from heat. Stir in the bourbon. Taste to make sure the sauce has a thick consistency, a sufficiently sweet taste and a good bourbon flavor. Cool to room temperature.

To make the meringue:
Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter six 6-ounce ramekins. First, be certain that the bowl and whisk are clean. The egg whites should be completely free of yolk and they will whip better if the chill is off them. This dish needs a good, stiff meringue. In a large bowl or mixer, whip egg whites and cream of tartar until foamy. Add the sugar gradually and continue whipping until shiny and thick. Test with a clean spoon. If the whites stand up stiff, like shaving cream, when you pull the spoon out, the meringue is ready. Do not overwhip, or the whites will break down and the souffle will not work.

In a large bowl, break half the bread pudding into pieces using your hands or spoon. Gently fold in one-quarter of the meringue, being careful not to lose the air in the whites. Add a portion of this base to each of the ramekins. Place the remaining bread udding in the bowl, break into pieces and carefully fold in the rest of the meringue. Top off the souffles with this lighter mixture, to about 1 1/2 inches. Smooth and shape tops with spoons into a dome over the ramekin rim. Bake immediately for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately. Using a spoon, poke a hole in the top of each souffle at the table and pour the room temperature whiskey sauce inside the souffle.

Re-elect Palmisano as AMA Trustee: A Strong Voice. A Proven Choice.

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Intrepid Resources
5000 West Esplanade Ave. #432
Metairie, LA. 70006
504.455.5895 Phone
info@intrepidresources.com  www.intrepidresources.com