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BEACON Senior News - Western Colorado

Got pain? Family Health West offers immediate, personalized care

Jan 25, 2021 03:29PM ● By Melinda Mawdsley
Family Health West

Family Health West’s Wound Healing Center staff with Dr. Troy Griffiths pictured in the center.

No, you don’t need to live in pain

Metropolitan areas aren’t the only destinations for seniors seeking elite, personalized healthcare.

Tucked in the heart of Fruita, Family Health West prides itself on the array of services its physicians, nurses and other trained professionals provide with the added bonus of less wait time.

Originally built as a 20-bed hospital in the mid-1940s, Family Health West has since expanded its services and proudly offers hospital, outpatient and physician services on top of long-term care options.

But there are two specialized services that seniors may find themselves needing more in the years ahead: wound care and pain management and/or treatment.

No-wait pain care

Seniors comprise the majority of patients seen at the Wound Healing Center and Pain Specialists of the Rockies. 

“The nice thing about our clinic is we don’t make (patients) wait,” said Dr. Troy Griffiths, the Wound Healing Center’s medical director.

Dr. Kenneth Lewis with Pain Specialists of the Rockies, echoed Griffiths in that patients shouldn’t have to wait months to be seen when they’re in pain.

“That’s not like waiting for an elective process,” Lewis said. “It needs done now.”

Although lingering pain is often associated with aging, Lewis had comforting words for seniors.

“I’ve had so many patients who, before they got to me, were told, ‘You are just going to have to live with it,’” he said. But that isn’t necessarily true, Lewis added.

Lewis and Dr. Kyle Christopherson, both board-certified anesthesiologists, treat chronic pain through minimally invasive, non-surgical techniques. Advancements in interventional pain treatments—from spinal cord stimulators to steroid injections—have accelerated within the past five years. This has allowed Lewis to help patients who’ve had no help for decades.

What pain can they treat? Lewis said, “nearly infinite.”

Before finalizing a treatment plan, patients at Pain Specialists of the Rockies, as well as the Wound Healing Center, are seen to determine the cause of either the pain or the wound so individualized plans can be formulated. 

However, long-time physicians at both sites believe each is still underutilized in Western Colorado.


Don’t ignore wounds

Like pain, wounds aren’t always something a senior tends to think needs treatment or understands the ramifications of leaving it untreated.

“It can be very costly,” noted Griffiths, the only physician in Colorado dual certified by the American Board of Foot and Ankle Surgery and the American Board of Wound Healing. “The highest risk for a diabetic is to get a laceration, have it not heal, and then to lose a limb.”

That’s not alarmist. That’s a reality for diabetics who ignore wounds. Griffiths urged diabetics, a population on the rise, to inspect feet on a daily basis and go in annually for a medical assessment of feet and ankles to determine risk of potential injuries.

Treating diabetic wounds and preserving limbs is a specialty of the Wound Healing Center, but it also handles such things as venous stasis wounds, pressure wounds and post-surgical wounds.

Ultimately, it can be easy to look at a laceration and think time will heal all wounds. But with elite care available locally to treat both wounds and pain, medical professionals urge seniors to use it.

Referrals are welcome but not necessary at both Pain Specialists of the Rockies, 300 W. Ottley Ave., and the Wound Healing Center, 551 Kokopelli Dr., Unit H in Fruita.

To begin initial consultations, call Pain Specialists of the Rockies at 858-2578 or the Wound Healing Center at 858-2586. 

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