ST. GEORGE – It’s not always easy getting access to specialized medical care all in one place. Sometimes a patient may have to travel out of town, to larger metropolitan areas like Salt Lake City or Las Vegas, in order to receive the treatment they need. Yet, for anyone suffering from spinal pain, be it acute or chronic, far-flung travel can become a thing of the past.
“We offer everything under one roof,” said Brook Mickelson, a nurse practitioner with Southwest Spine and Pain Center.
Mickelson is a new addition to the center’s staff, and brings 12 years of experience in pain management. She is board-certified in pain management nursing and is a former director of Acute Pain Service at McKay Dee Hospital in Ogden, and more recently worked in a private clinic. “I am grateful for all of my past experiences, and am excited to be a part of such a dynamic, skilled and caring team of providers,”
An integrated team provides integrated care
The doctors Mickelson mentions are a trio of physicians who make up what she calls the center’s unique “integrated team.”
This team consists of Drs. Jon Obray, Rick Obray, and Dr. Derek Frieden. All are board-certified in their particular field of expertise, Mickelson said. Combined, they also bring 20 years of experience to the table. They have also interned and held fellowships in such institutions as the Beth Israel Deacon Medical Center (Harvard University), the Mayo Clinic, and John Hopkins Hospital.
Both Dr. Frieden and Dr. Jon Obray are board-certified anesthesiologists with specialties in pain management. Frieden is also the current Director of Spine and Pain Medicine at Intermountain Healthcare’s Dixie Regional Medical Center, while Dr. Jon Obray also acts as the hospital’s Director of Neurosciences.
The Southwest Spine and Pain Center is a part of the Southern Utah Neurosciences Institute at Dixie Region Medical Center. The center coordinates closely with hospital staff – such as Dixie Regional’s new neurosurgeon, Dr. Chad Cole, and orthopedic spine surgeon, Dr. Mike Major – when it comes to the overall care of their patients.
“Our primary goal is to be responsive to the needs of the patients,” Dr. Frieden said.
The third member of the center’s unique team is Dr. Rick Obray, who is board-certified in both diagnostic radiology and interventional pain medicine, and has “a rare combination of training,” Dr. Frieden said. He is one of the few physicians in the country who has training in both diagnostic imaging (imaging technologies such as X-rays, MRIs and CT scans for example) and pain management. Dr. Rick Obray also specializes in minimally invasive, image-guided procedures that use the latest in diagnostic imaging techniques and technologies.
As spine pain and disorders can have many different causes, the doctors’ combinations of skills help them better pinpoint and diagnose a patient’s pain, as well as deduce the best way to treat it.
“We provide the most advanced diagnostic and procedural team,” Dr. Frieden said. By utilizing the latest in diagnostic technology and interventional pain management procedures, allowing the center to provide a full-range of treatment.
Dr. Frieden said a reason for the center’s focus on state-of-the-art procedures and equipment was to help reduce the risk of opiate (painkiller) dependencies in patients. Through the interventional therapies and minimally invasive surgical procedures practiced by the center, a patient’s pain can be better managed and treated, thus ending a continual need for medications.
A listing of Southwest Spine and Pain Center’s services can be found here.
About Southwest Spine and Pain Center
“This clinic is very unusual,” Dr. Freiden said, once again remarking on the center’s ability to meet patient needs. “All patient needs are addressed in one facility.”
Dr. Jon Obray said Intermountain was looking into designing a comprehensive spine program that would provide patient care in a “convenient and efficient matter.” The Obrays and Dr. Frieden helped further develop that concept, leading to the creation of the Southwest Spine and Pain Center and Southern Utah Neuroscience program. The clinic operates as a private entity as part of the Dixie Regional Medical Center Neurosciences Institute.
Dr. Frieden added the center was also built to provide great care in a service-friendly manner to patients at an affordable cost.
Southwest Spine and Pain Center is located in the Dixie Regional Health and Performance Center at 652 S Medical Center Drive, #110, behind the Dixie Regional Medical Center. Hours are from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. on Friday. Staff at the center can be contacted though the center’s website, or call at 435-656-2424.
The practice is also serving central Utah with clinics in Richfield as well as Cedar City. The center also accepts a wide array of insurances.
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