MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (5/1/13) – Muhlenberg County residents suffering from a wide range of pain issues will now have an option closer to home. Tuesday, April 30th, the doors opened at the new Muhlenberg Pain Management Center...part of the Muhlenberg Community Hospital (MCH).
Hospital officials and staff were welcomed by members of the Greater Muhlenberg Chamber of Commerce with a ribbon cutting at noon, as the new state of the art facility opened its doors to patients.
Chamber President Gary Jones of the Muhlenberg Career Development Center told the crowd, "It's always great to have new additions to the hospital offering new services. It's great to have a new doctor here in the county. We're overjoyed with it. I was born in this hospital and I'm glad I can still come here for any needs that I have."
John Countzler, Chief Executive Officer of MCHL said that the hospital "started looking at the need for pain management last year. We listened to our physician partners and other health care providers. We knew there was a need for chronic pain management in our community above what we could take care of. We partnered with the Pain Management Group in Ohio to help us manage the program. Our physician leader, Dr. Karim Rasheed, is a board certified anesthesiologist specializing in pain management.
Kathy Mitchell, chief nursing officer, told the gathering, "We heard the word from our physicians. Pain is a challenge in many patient populations. Those who suffer from head and back pain, those who have cancer-related pain, orthopedic pain. Here, under the direction of Dr. Rasheed and the team, we can bring the resources together, offering therapy, medication, and procedures. Even before the doors have opened, we have had a significant response. We look forward to helping more patients, to prevent them from leaving our community for these services. The need for pain management is much greater in our community than you might think." Mitchell said, adding that Julie Simms, the current director of the Muhlenberg Surgery Center will now also oversee the pain management center.
Sammy Hall, Regional Director of Operations for Pain Management Group, based in Findlay, Ohio, told SurfKY News that "we've experienced rapid growth with House Bill 1 being introduced, which makes it even more important to develop hospital based solution for pain management. (House Bill 1 significantly restricted or eliminated prescribing of controlled pain medicine by many doctors in Kentucky in an effort to curb abuse.)
"This team and this hospital have been fantastic. The facility that they've put in place here is just unbelievable. Having client space and procedure space all under one roof from the get-go is fantastic. We greatly appreciate all the work they have put into it." Hall said.
Dr. Rasheed, M.D., who is Board Certified in Pain Management and Anesthesia, lives in Lexington, but will spend two days a week at the clinic initially. That number of days could increase rapidly.
"Hopefully we'll make it a full time clinic, open five days a week. I have been in clinics starting up in other areas, and within a month or two, we have become fulltime clinics. It all depends on the support coming from doctors, willing to send their patients to us. What I see now and when I talk to the staff here, the community support is tremendous."
Clinic hours will be on Tuesday 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and on Wednesday 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
To find out more, call the center at (270) 338-8392.
Photo provided by Paul McRee
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