Welcome to Health-bytes

Health-bytes is written by Rick Voakes MD, a board-certified pediatrician in Bowling Green, Kentucky. He emphasizes wellness and prevention in his practice, and he is willing to share this important information with you! If you are a patient, you may want to follow this website to keep up on changes, announcements, and news which could affect your child's health and wellness.

To learn about various health topics, choose from the Health-bytes Menu. The topics are listed in alphabetical order.




The most amazing medical discovery of modern medicine is the discovery of how to prevent chronic diseases. In the last century, infectious diseases caused the most deaths worldwide, by far. With the discovery of antibiotics and sanitation, deaths from infectious diseases are way down. The majority of deaths in this century are from chronic diseases, such as heart disease, strokes, hypertension, diabetes, liver failure, cancer and others. Thanks to very recent discoveries, most of these can now be prevented! But you have to start at a young age, and you have to learn how to mold your lifestyle to incorporate prevention into your daily routine.

It's not that hard, and definitely worth the effort!

Note from Dr Rick: As you will see, nutrition is such an important part of wellness, that it deserves it's own web page. 

So I wrote one, called Healthy Weight Kids, which can be found at

About the Author

I am a board-certified pediatrician practicing in Bowling Green, Kentucky. I graduated from medical school at University of California at San Francisco in 1976, and did my pediatric residency at the University of Arizona.

My practice emphasizes prevention and wellness. I try to set a good example to my patients by following the fitness principles that I preach. I avoid tobacco and other drugs. I avoid second-hand smoke. I try to eat a variety of fruits and veggies every day and avoid eating sugar. I never, ever, go to bed without flossing! And I try to get at least an hour of exercise daily.

This exercise routine has led me to the discovery of disc golf, the fitness sport of the 21st century. By using disc golf to stay fit, I discovered that I have better-than-average skills in that sport, and ended up with a very successful career as a pro athlete in my spare time. You can find my picture and bio in the Disc Golf Hall of Fame, which is on the internet at or When I turned 60, I joined CrossFit and found a huge improvement in my overall fitness.

I am on the clinical faculty of University of Kentucky and University of Louisville medical schools. I often have students present in my office, so try to be patient with them!

I am a co-founder and president of the Healthy Weight Kids Coalition. Please do take a look at the web page, which contains amazing new information about a world-wide epidemic of metabolic disease: 

My wife, Sylvia, has been my office manager for 28 years, but is now retired. She is also a world-class disc golfer (six-time world champion and Hall of Fame member). My two step-sons, Scott and Bradley, are computer experts and sometimes help me with my computers. My hobbies include historic preservation (fixing up old houses), antique Christmas cards (and other antique postcards), oil painting, arranging and playing music (I play the "wind controller") and collecting doorstops, such as those seen at

I have arranged several Ernest Hogan tunes. Please click on his name to find out more about this great figure in Bowling Green history: 

Here is a page from the 2004 National Tour Magazine: