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Thursday, January 19, 2006

For the person who has everything except the perfect face and body, cosmetic surgeon Stephen Greenberg is offering the ultimate holiday gift.

The gift, a head-to-toe body re-creation for $1 million, was unveiled at a news conference on Black Friday, the traditional start of the holiday gift buying frenzy. Greenberg, a cosmetic surgeon with offices on Long Island and Park Avenue in New York, says the publicity generated "a lot of interest'' in the so-called Platinum package and other, more modest gift package ideas that go for as little as $250,000.

Here's the full, unedited $1 million package from the news release: "Breast lift and augmentation, full body liposuction, tummy tuck, thigh lift, skin-care products, cosmetic dentistry, ear lobe repair, Lasik surgery, microdermabrasion, chemical peel, thermage, otoplasty, laser resurfacing, hair restoration, brow lift, eyelid surgery, facelift, rhino-plasty, cheek implants, fat transfer, botox, lip enhancement, chin implants, arm lift, endermologie, vein removal, laser hair removal, mole removal, cosmetic foot surgery, Restylane (an antiwrinkle medication), IPL (intense pulse light) for rosacea or age spots, chin liposuction and more.''


The package also includes recovery time at the Waldorf Astoria with private nurses, and a wardrobe makeover, Greenberg says.

Of course, Greenberg cautions, a complete $1 million re-creation will have to be "divided among many surgeries'' over several months time. If a hospital stay is required, patients will stay at North Shore University Hospital in Manhasset, where he has privileges.

There's only one catch: "Patients have to be good psychological and physical candidates, and be realistic about their goals and expectations,'' Greenberg says.

Parkland memories

A museum housing artifacts of the Dallas assassination of President John F. Kennedy opened a new exhibit Nov. 22, the 42nd anniversary of the shooting, focusing on Parkland Memorial Hospital, where the mortally wounded president was taken.

The Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza features photos, oral-history tapes and artifacts from Parkland. The Kennedy assassination had a far-reaching influence on the hospital, which built a reputation as a trauma center after the assassination.

"I think it gave Parkland some notoriety it never had before,'' says Phillip Williams Jr., a neurosurgeon who was an intern at Parkland in 1963. "Several of the most prominent doctors were given national honors.''

Museum directors say they turned their attention to the hospital because it is often overlooked in the history of Kennedy's assassination. That could be because there's little controversy about the doctors' treatment of the president or Texas Gov. John Connally, who was injured in the shooting.

"I think everyone agrees the doctors did their job quite well,'' Gary Mack, the museum's curator, told the Dallas Morning News.

Alternative medicine

Albert Laughter is a medical provider who carries no stethoscope or thermometer. His examination room doesn't have walls to speak of. And he uses fire to help military personnel recover from service in Iraq.

Laughter is a Navajo medicine man. He cares for warriors as have five generations of his forebears: with traditional herbs, songs and ceremonies. But unlike his ancestors, he does it as a healer under contract with the federal government.

Laughter's services are part of a small assortment of programs run by the Veterans Affairs Department to treat American Indian veterans for post-traumatic stress disorder and other maladies.

He works in a teepee with a small fire ring inside. His supplies include pheasant and eagle feathers, cornmeal, sage and other herbs-all wrapped in small leather pouches.

"Our culture, even though we live in the 21st century, we come back to the ceremonies, we come back to where the fire is, come back to where the herbs is, come back to where the songs is,'' says Laughter, a Vietnam veteran who does his work in Navajo and in English at the VA medical center in Prescott, Ariz., and on northern Arizona reservations.

Deborah Thompson, director of the northern Arizona VA healthcare system, says providers don't have a perfect understanding of how traditional practices help, but they have learned they are important for Indian veterans and can aid in treatment of a variety of maladies, but especially post-traumatic stress.

Standard medical treatments, including psychotherapy, are less effective on their own for some Indians because of their unique traditions and cultural values, including a tendency to avoid drawing attention to themselves, VA officials say.

"In Native American culture-in every culture-one of the main things that goes against a spirit is taking a life,'' says Cari James, the minority veterans coordinator for the Carl T. Hayden VA Medical Center in Phoenix.


Laughter prepares the fire ring for a healing ritual.

COPYRIGHT 2005 Crain Communications, Inc.