KB doctors are innovating again with the opening of a new Chronic Pain Clinic in Trail. The clinic is the brainchild of Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital’s Dr. Sri Kollipara, Acting Head, Anesthesia and Pain Medicine. Dr. Kollipara came to the region as a locum and shortly after joined KBRH’s Anesthesiology team full-time.
The Kollipara family are excited about working and living in the beautiful Kootenay Boundary region, likening it to a working vacation. “You don't need to take a break to go somewhere. Every day you are in vacation mode!” says Kollipara. “My wife, Dr. Szilvia Szarvas (also an anesthetist at KBRH), and my daughter like going out on their bikes. We enjoy walking along the river and driving around taking in the breathtaking views.”
Dr. Kollipara, one of the thirty FRCPC certified in Pain Medicine in the country, was motivated to expand regional chronic pain services to benefit individuals and communities in Kootenay Boundary. Along with other practitioners in the region, he is keen to explore how this common source of suffering for upwards of 20% of area residents could benefit from new, innovative, and proven approaches.
Supporting chronic pain sufferers
Dr. Kollipara is taking a very proactive approach to pain management, knowing the benefits of facing this mountain head on. If pain is not treated early, the patient’s journey can go off track and they can end up with longer term, chronic pain. The Clinic’s team is working hard to reduce the serious, long-term side effects that come with pain, knowing it can affect families, work, and quality of life, leading to more clinic visits, hospital stays, and pain medications.
“Chronic pain can lead to a decrease in community productivity, misuse of opioids, addiction issues and their consequences,” says Kollipara. “Supporting patients during their vulnerable times is very important.”
The KB Pain Clinic is one of two IH supported Advanced 1 and 2 pain intervention sites. The team is combining professional strengths to search for solutions. Patients are actively involved in their own treatment and ongoing self-management.
“As a region, we can be proud of this new clinic and the impact it will have in helping our patients manage their chronic pain,” says Kollipara. “The KBRH Foundation did a fantastic job gathering the community's support. Every patient who walked into the Clinic expressed gratitude to the Interior Health Authority for making this happen. Every colleague was very excited about this venture.”
Kollipara reflected on the community collaboration. “I have not seen this togetherness anywhere else since leaving India 25 years ago.”
Strength in numbers
Pain management usually starts with the family doctor, but the multi-disciplinary approach of involving pain management practitioners, physiotherapists, occupational therapists, and other specialists is at the heart of the Clinic’s method. Dr. Kollipara partners with Dr. Rodica Janz of Solis clinic, Nelson, as a physician lead for the chronic pain steering committee. They are also fully connected with Bill Nelem's pain and research center in Kelowna. As it evolves, primary, community, and Indigenous partnerships will be formed, and more services added.
“We would like to provide neuromodulation programs with spinal cord stimulation and advanced procedures for cancer patients locally, to help reduce people’s travel time and get them the support they need, locally. Dealing with this gigantic problem from the grassroots level, while delivering the tertiary care, is important to me,” he says.
If you want to learn more about this initiative or anything else about living and working as a physician in Kootenay Boundary, please get in touch with Sylvain Turgeon, Head of the KB Doctors Recruitment Team.
Check out the Anesthesia position available now (February 2021) at the Kootenay Boundary Regiona Hospital, Permanent or Locum.
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