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2021 Excellence in Healthcare Honoree: Leslie A. Haller, DMD

Dr. Leslie Haller graduated from Harvard Dental School and practiced general dentistry in Boston for 20 years before she and her husband moved to Miami. In Florida, she became board certified in laser dentistry and became a pioneer in tongue tie and sleep dentistry. She built a specialty practice releasing tongue ties and using dental appliance therapy to remodel faces and airways for sleep and breathing disorders.

Favorite Quote: “Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.” – Teddy Roosevelt

Fun Fact: I have a Sphinx cat.

What challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them? It is a challenge to work with new techniques and solutions that most traditionally trained people do not know about. To work in an area that has not yet become mainstream means facing resistance from many people, including many respected and influential people. This has been the case for me with both tongue ties and airway remodeling. I overcome this resistance with patience and education, persistence and results.

What has been the most monumental moment of your career thus far? My husband wanted to move to Miami where I did not have a dental license. During the year or so before I was able to obtain a license, I had a chance to assist at the Miami-Dade Medical Examiner’s Department, where I met my mentor Dr. Richard Souviron who has been a pioneer in both general and forensic dentistry. His example showed me that being a pioneer can be hard but also exciting and satisfying. I am now a pioneer in tongue tie and sleep dentistry, thanks in part to his influence.

How is the healthcare industry important to you personally? I was my own patient. I had moderate sleep apnea and was miserable. I was tired all the time, had brain fog and couldn’t concentrate. I got a CPAP machine which helped enormously. I could finally get a good night’s sleep and started to feel so much better. However, after a few months of feeling better, I got tired of being tied to the machine, so I began dental appliance therapy to expand and remodel my own face and airway. Two years later, my CPAP machine went in the trash. That’s life-changing. Now I do this for others.

How did the pandemic disrupt your specific role in the healthcare industry, and how did you adapt? Well, of course we were shut down for a couple of months. That was not painful. Dentistry is not something that can be done through Zoom. On the other hand, we started doing as much as we could over the phone. I can do post-op appointments via FaceTime. My front desk person has started calling and scheduling people from home. Even now that we are back open, we continue to do more things remotely. It forced us to become more streamlined, so there was a silver lining.

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? Find the best mentors you can. Listen to them. Then do what you think is best.

What do you love most about working in healthcare? Nothing is more important than health. Having the opportunity to make a huge difference in people’s health changes their lives forever. It is so satisfying to watch a newborn feed normally for the first time after a tongue-tie release. And what a great feeling to hear an adult tell me they have never been able to breathe through their nose before and now they can finally sleep through the night. Helping just feels good!

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Drew Limsky

Drew Limsky

Editor-in-Chief

BIOGRAPHY

Drew Limsky joined Lifestyle Media Group in August 2020 as Editor-in-Chief of South Florida Business & Wealth. His first issue of SFBW, October 2020, heralded a reimagined structure, with new content categories and a slew of fresh visual themes. “As sort of a cross between Forbes and Robb Report, with a dash of GQ and Vogue,” Limsky says, “SFBW reflects South Florida’s increasingly sophisticated and dynamic business and cultural landscape.”

Limsky, an avid traveler, swimmer and film buff who holds a law degree and Ph.D. from New York University, likes to say, “I’m a doctor, but I can’t operate—except on your brand.” He wrote his dissertation on the nonfiction work of Joan Didion. Prior to that, Limsky received his B.A. in English, summa cum laude, from Emory University and earned his M.A. in literature at American University in connection with a Masters Scholar Award fellowship.

Limsky came to SFBW at the apex of a storied career in journalism and publishing that includes six previous lead editorial roles, including for some of the world’s best-known brands. He served as global editor-in-chief of Lexus magazine, founding editor-in-chief of custom lifestyle magazines for Cadillac and Holland America Line, and was the founding editor-in-chief of Modern Luxury Interiors South Florida. He also was the executive editor for B2B magazines for Acura and Honda Financial Services, and he served as travel editor for Conde Nast. Magazines under Limsky’s editorship have garnered more than 75 industry awards.

He has also written for many of the country’s top newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, Miami Herald, Boston Globe, USA Today, Worth, Robb Report, Afar, Time Out New York, National Geographic Traveler, Men’s Journal, Ritz-Carlton, Elite Traveler, Florida Design, Metropolis and Architectural Digest Mexico. His other clients have included Four Seasons, Acqualina Resort & Residences, Yahoo!, American Airlines, Wynn, Douglas Elliman and Corcoran. As an adjunct assistant professor, Limsky has taught journalism, film and creative writing at the City University of New York, Pace University, American University and other colleges.