GARNER, Iowa - Thursday is National Rural Health Day, a day to focus on specific health care issues rural communities are facing. In north Iowa, a hospital is addressing the need for more pain management care.
“I’m excited,” says Dean Heideman.
Heideman is a chronic pain expert with Hancock County Health System. He's worked at the Britt hospital for several years and will now be spending time in Garner as well. The clinic there is now offering pain management services.
Heideman says he is able to personalize treatment for patients to improve their quality of life. It's something he says has been lacking in the Garner community.
“I want to be able to come to patients, I do travel to a couple different places and I don't want people to have to drive an hour to two hours to see someone for their chronic pain needs,” says Heideman.
He approaches pain management from a mental, emotional, physical and spiritual stand point. When it comes to opioids, Heideman says they do have their place but likes to prescribe them in low doses to improve function, not necessarily decrease pain. But they are not typically his first choice.
“In the pain clinic we have three different methods. We have therapy such as physical therapy, massage therapy, we have medications including different adjuncts other than opioids and we have what we call interventions. That could be injections or surgeries. We try to do a balanced approach,” he says.
Right now the clinic in Garner is accepting pain management patients on Mondays but if there is a need they will expand those hours.
In honor of National Rural Health Day, the USDA is announcing they are investing 500 million dollars to improve services nationwide including the Hancock County Health System. $6,433,000 will be used to renovate the hospital including the surgical unit, emergency room and add space for behavioral health.
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