About YRMC

  • Yavapai Regional Medical Center to Ease Patient Visitation Restrictions

    by Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5686 | Oct 07, 2020

    Beginning Wednesday, October 7, Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) will allow limited patient visitation to its hospital locations in Prescott and Prescott Valley. This change, while serving as a benefit to patients and loved ones, will be monitored closely and may be revised based on COVID-19 infection rates in the community.

    “The ongoing safety of our patients and caregivers remains our top priority,” states Ken Boush, Director, Marketing and Communications, YRMC. “Because of decreasing numbers of COVID-19 cases, lower positive test rates, and the number of hospitalizations across YRMC’s service area, we can safely accommodate limited visitation at this time.”

    • YRMC will allow one visitor to visit their loved one while in the hospital inpatient units and emergency departments.

       

    • Outpatients and inpatients going for surgery or an invasive procedure may have one adult support companion accompany them to the perioperative area, wait during the procedure or surgery, and see them, as appropriate, post-operatively.

       

    • Inpatient visitation will be permitted between 10:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., Monday through Sunday. All visitors must wear a surgical mask during their visit.

       

    • All visitors will check-in at the front entrance of the hospital where they will be temperature and symptom screened and given a surgical mask to wear. If a visitor fails the screening process, they will not be allowed to visit.

       

    • Visitors will be provided a visitor pass after the health screening process has been successfully completed.

       

    • The visitor pass must be worn at all times while in the hospital and cannot be transferred to another person.

       

    • Visitors who have cognitive or physical needs and require support to safely arrive at their destination may be allowed help from one companion to enter the facility. Please speak with the front desk upon arrival about specific circumstances.

       

    • There are special circumstances that may be deemed an appropriate exception.YRMC leadership will consider exception requests on a case-by-case basis.

       

    • Visitation to the COVID Isolation Room/Units will continue to be restricted unless special circumstances exist.

       

    • Visitors to YRMC’s Family Birthing Center should call first as visitation guidelines for this department vary.

       

    • Visitors will be allowed to visit the cafeteria and gift shop while on campus during visitor hours or while waiting for loved ones in surgery or in procedure.

    “Although there are limitations on the number and type of visitors to our hospitals and emergency rooms, we understand that communicating with loved ones and friends is still an important part of a patient’s healing,” states Boush. “We continue to encourage hospital patients to communicate electronically or by phone with loved ones and friends. Video chat, voice, and texting options are digital alternatives and help patients and loved ones feel connected”.

  • New YRMC Outpatient Laboratory Ready to Serve Community

    by Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5686 | Sep 22, 2020

    On Monday, September 28, Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) opens a state-of-the-art outpatient laboratory testing center in Prescott Valley. The Outpatient Draw Center at YRMC East will serve Quad Cities residents’ lab examination needs, including blood work and other physician-ordered laboratory studies at:

    7880 East Florentine Road

    Prescott Valley, Arizona 86314

    Hours: Monday – Friday, 6:30 am – 4:30 pm

    Phone: (928) 759-5800

    This new, larger facility replaces the laboratory in the YRMC Outpatient Services Building at 7700 East Florentine Road. That draw center site closes permanently on Friday, September 25.

    “Our new Outpatient Draw Center was designed with our patients’ priorities in mind,” said Suzanne Sullivan, BS, MT (ASCP), Assistant Laboratory Director, YRMC Clinical Laboratory. “For example, not only is the location convenient, but we also have private registration areas that ensure patient confidentiality.”

    Other patient-focused conveniences at the new Outpatient Draw Center, include:

    • Same-day lab results for routine blood tests given before 11 am and next-day results for exams performed in the afternoon.
    • Drive-up, in-car COVID-19 testing with a physician’s order (appointment required).
    • Reduced fees for patients without health insurance who are paying for tests out-of-pocket.
    • A large facility that allows for social distancing.
    • Experienced phlebotomists.

    The center in Prescott Valley is one of three conveniently located YRMC Outpatient Draw Centers. The other two centers are located at:

    YRMC PhysicianCare, Family Medicine

    1050 Gail Gardner Way, Suite 200

    Prescott, Arizona 86305

    Phone: (928) 717-5234     

    YRMC PhysicianCare, Internal Medicine

    3120 Clearwater Drive

    Prescott, Arizona 86305

    Phone: (928) 445-0690 

    Visit YRMC.org for more information about YRMC’s Outpatient Draw Centers.

  • Dignity Health, Yavapai Regional Medical Center Announce Agreement to Affiliate

    by Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5396 | Aug 25, 2020

    Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) has entered into an affiliation agreement to join the Dignity Health Arizona Division. This alignment brings together two leading health care systems with a shared vision and values and a commitment to provide accessible, affordable and innovative health services to the communities served by YRMC.   

    The affiliation will scale best-in-class clinical services, recruit and retain additional primary care providers as well as top medical specialists, and align clinical operations to improve delivery of care. It will also bring to Yavapai County innovative medical technologies and treatments as well as collaborative initiatives with existing community resources that will expand YRMC’s ability to effectively serve and advocate for all people.

    Dignity Health in Arizona currently operates six acute-care hospitals in the Phoenix-area, including St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center which is home to renowned Barrow Neurological Institute, Norton Thoracic Institute and the Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center. The division also offers comprehensive health care services, including clinics, specialty hospitals, urgent cares, insurance providers, an accountable care organization and other clinical and community partnerships.

    “This affiliation will enhance the delivery of health care services to the residents of Yavapai County,” says Linda Hunt, President and CEO of the Dignity Health Arizona Division. “Dignity Health has a strong and unwavering commitment to the communities we serve. We are devoted to delivering compassionate and excellent medical care for residents throughout Yavapai County.”

    In addition to providing leading acute care services and expanding access to health care, the affiliation will focus on reinvesting in the community through grants and the creation of clinical programs to keep aging populations and people suffering from chronic illnesses healthier. Dignity Health in Arizona provides millions of dollars annually in community benefit.

    “Yavapai Regional Medical Center’s strong commitment to the Quad Cities will not change,” says John Amos, President and CEO of Yavapai Regional Medical Center. “We believe that together, we will be able to build on our position of strength and expand YRMC’s current offering of health care services and resources to create an even stronger future of support for the people and communities in western Yavapai County.”

    Leadership from both organizations will continue to work closely to ensure consistent, thoughtful alignment. The transition is expected to occur late this year, subject to the completion of regulatory and licensing approvals and other closing conditions.

  • YRMC Vascular Surgeon Relocates to New Office

    by Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5686 | Jul 06, 2020

    Phung Le, DO, a Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) Vascular Surgeon, has moved to a new office. Dr. Le and his office staff may now be reached at:

    YRMC PhysicianCare, Vascular Surgery
    808 Ainsworth Drive, Suite 103
    Prescott, Arizona 86301
    (928) 458-2850

    Dr. Le, who joined YRMC in 2017, performs complex vascular surgeries and minimally invasive endovascular procedures. He is also dedicated to helping his patients adopt lifestyle changes that improve their health.

    Dr. Le graduated cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Arizona State University in 2003. He earned his Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine from Arizona College of Osteopathic Medicine in Glendale in 2010.

    During a general surgical residency at Memorial Hospital in York, Pennsylvania, Dr. Le was trained in open, laparoscopic and endoscopic surgery. He also earned the prestigious position of chief resident.

    Following his surgical residency, Dr. Le studied vascular surgery during a two-year fellowship at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, an internationally recognized teaching hospital.

    To schedule an appointment with Dr. Le, contact YRMC PhysicianCare Vascular Surgery at (928) 458-2850.

  • Yavapai Regional Medical Center and Dignity Health Explore Possible Collaboration

    by Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5686 | May 20, 2020

    Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) and Dignity Health are currently involved in discussions to evaluate a potential collaboration between the two organizations. YRMC, with acute care hospitals in Prescott and Prescott Valley, primary and specialty care clinics, and extensive outpatient services, has been serving western Yavapai County since 1943.  

    “Yavapai Regional Medical Center is pleased to explore opportunities to collaborate with a world-class health system like Dignity Health,” states John Amos, President and CEO, Yavapai Regional Medical Center. “There are great synergies between the two organizations. We share common values and a commitment to best-practice healthcare, and like YRMC, Dignity Health’s commitment to serving the healthcare needs of Arizonans spans generations.”

    YRMC’s Board of Directors and Administrative Council recently made the decision to evaluate how a relationship with a larger health system could help YRMC expand healthcare in the Quad City region. Should both organizations choose to move forward with a relationship, YRMC would gain access to Dignity Health’s impressive talent and resources to ensure a robust and growing healthcare system for acute care, pediatric care and high-access specialty services for western Yavapai County. 

    “This opportunity has tremendous potential to help YRMC advance healthcare in our region,” adds Amos. “Being part of a system that includes a Level-One Trauma Center, Barrow Neurological Institute, Muhammad Ali Parkinson Center, and the Cancer Center at St. Joseph’s would add great value to the high-quality healthcare we already provide to those in our region.”

    Discussions are ongoing between both organizations and a decision regarding collaboration is expected this summer.

  • YRMC to Conduct its Final Drive-Through COVID-19 Testing Clinic on May 16th in Prescott Valley

    by Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5686 | May 12, 2020

    Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) will conduct the last of three free drive through COVID-19 testing clinics on Saturday, May 16th to serve people in our community. YRMC utilizes an FDA-approved nasal swab testing process to detect an active infection. There may be some discomfort associated with the test. This is not an antibody test.

    Free COVID-19 Drive Through Testing Clinic
    Saturday, May 16th ● 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
    YRMC Del E. Webb Outpatient Center

    3262 N. Windsong Drive ● Prescott Valley, Arizona

    This is a voluntary community service that is being provided by YRMC PhysicianCare at no cost to those in the community. For those who wish to be tested, please make note of the following instructions:

    • Testing supplies are limited. The drive-through testing clinic will run from 8:00 am to 12:00 pm, or until testing supplies are exhausted.
    • Test results will take between 3 to 7 business days.
    • YRMC PhysicianCare will contact those who have been tested with the results.
    • No physician order is necessary. Medical advice will not be provided.
    • Anyone who presents for testing will need to answer a few basic questions and follow a simple registration process.
    • Testing will take place in the YRMC Del E. Webb Outpatient Center parking lot. Please use the main entrance from Windsong Drive.
    • People who present for testing should remain in their vehicles and wear a mask if possible.
    • Those who present for testing should take appropriate steps to isolate themselves until they receive their test results.
    • Test results will not be provided to employers. If test results are needed by an employer, please discuss the appropriate process to follow with your employer.
  • YRMC to Conduct Free Drive-Through COVID-19 Testing Clinic on May 9th in Prescott Valley

    by Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5686 | May 06, 2020

    Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) will conduct a drive through COVID-19 testing clinic on Saturday, May 9th to serve people in our community who feel they have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus.

    Free COVID-19 Drive Through Testing Clinic
    Saturday, May 9th ● 8:00 am to 12:00 pm
    YRMC Del E. Webb Outpatient Center

    3262 N. Windsong Drive ● Prescott Valley, Arizona

     This is a voluntary community service that is being provided by YRMC PhysicianCare at no cost to those in the community who feel they have been exposed to the COVID-19 virus. For those who wish to be tested, please make note of the following instructions:

    • YRMC utilizes an FDA-approved nasal swab testing process. There may be some discomfort associated with the test.
    • Test results will take between 3 to 5 business days.
    • YRMC PhysicianCare will contact those who have been tested with the results.
    • No physician order is necessary. Medical advice will not be provided.
    • Anyone who presents for testing will need to answer a few basic questions and follow a simple registration process.
    • Testing will take place in the YRMC Del E. Webb Outpatient Center parking lot. Please use the main entrance from Windsong Drive.
    • People who present for testing should remain in their vehicles and wear a mask if possible.
    • Those who present for testing should take appropriate steps to isolate themselves until they receive their test results.
    • Test results will not be provided to employers. If test results are needed by an employer, please discuss the appropriate process to follow with your employer.

    More details about additional dates and locations will be announced when available.

  • COVID-19 News from YRMC: CDC Updates Cloth Mask Guidelines, YRMC Will Now Use in Non-Patient Contact Areas

    by Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5686 | Apr 09, 2020

    Responding to a recent update from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) will now accept cloth mask donations for use in non-patient contact areas.  

    “The ongoing COVID-19 outbreak has led to a nationwide shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE), including masks,” said Ken Boush, YRMC’s Director of Marketing and Communications. “With the recent CDC update, we will now allow staff in non-patient contact areas to use cloth masks if they prefer. This will allow us to preserve surgical masks and N-95 respirators for our frontline clinicians.”

    YRMC has posted information on its website to include preferred instructions for sewing the masks. YRMC needs “sewn cloth face coverings,” which may be found on YRMC’s website at www.yrmc.org/yrmc-foundation/covid-19-support.

    Completed cloth face coverings may be delivered Monday through Friday between 8:00 am – 4:00 pm to the front desk of either:

    YRMC West
    1003 Willow Creek Road

    Prescott, Arizona 86301

    YRMC East

    7700 East Florentine Road
    Prescott Valley, Arizona 86314

    To ensure all donations of cloth face coverings are received, YRMC asks that you:

    • Pack and Mark Your Donation – All cloth face coverings should be bundled into plastic zip-lock baggies and then placed in a box. Please clearly print the name of the individual making the donation on the box.
    • Complete a Donation Information Form – The YRMC Foundation has created a COVID-19 Supply Donation Intake Form (www.YRMC.org/YRMC-foundation) to track gifts. Please download and email the completed form to the YRMC Foundation (foundation@yrmc.org). Every donor will receive a thank you letter, which also may be used for 2020 taxes.

    “The YRMC team is very appreciative of the outpouring of support from the community during COVID-19,” Boush said. “It has really reinforced to all of us what it means to be part of a community-based healthcare system.”

    For more information on how to support YRMC’s healthcare team during COVID-19, please visit www.yrmc.org/yrmc-foundation/covid-19-support.

    COVID-19 news is also available at Yavapai County Community Health Services at http://www.yavapai.us/chs and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov

  • Much has Been Accomplished but There is Still Much to Do.

    by Kenneth Boush, Director, Marketing and Communications, (928) 771-5686 | Apr 07, 2020

    Your team at Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) is committed to the ongoing safety of our patients, staff and community during the outbreak of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Our primary concern during this time is to keep you healthy and informed as together we address this unprecedented situation.

    We are all facing the realities of COVID-19 in our community – like so many others across the country. We are thankful that our exposure hasn’t been as severe as what others are facing right now. We also know that we are not immune to the same type of situation.

    There have been patients that have tested positive at YRMC and we have had our first confirmed positive inpatients – but not many to date. Others have been admitted as “Patients Under Investigation” that have thankfully been cleared and discharged.

    It is important to note that not everyone exposed to the virus will catch it, and those who do may exhibit few if any symptoms. Many otherwise healthy individuals can safely recover at home. Those with underlying health conditions are the most likely to require hospitalization. While this virus continues its unpredictable activity, you can rest assured that our teams are working closely with our community partners to manage the situation and give you the best possible care.

    The fluid nature of COVID-19 may make it hard to anticipate, but that doesn’t mean our hands are tied. We have and will continue to learn from other healthcare systems impacted by this virus. While we hope for the best, we are prepared for the worst. We are taking every measure at our disposal to fight this pandemic—working closely with partners on the national, state and local level. If we each do our part to slow the spread, we can protect ourselves and help ease the burden for everyone.

    What We Can Do

    At this point in time, YRMC would like to share the following information on how to stay as safe as possible while still receiving the care you need: 

    • We are asking visitors to avoid coming to our hospitals. Our Emergency Departments stand ready to provide the care you need and we are still performing emergent and urgent procedures. If you feel that you need to visit, call ahead to the unit and/or department for restrictions and instructions.
    • The primary symptoms of COVID-19 are fever, cough and shortness of breath. If you are showing signs of these, please contact your healthcare provider. Your provider can instruct you on the best course of action.
    • When visiting YRMC West or YRMC East, you may enter and exit our parking lots as usual. Upon arrival, all patients and visitors are being directed to the appropriate screening station and asked three questions: Do you have a cough? Do you have a fever? Are you having difficulty breathing? Your temperature will also be taken.
    • Currently, if you respond “yes” to any of the above questions, you will be directed to an outdoor triage tent for further evaluation. These triage tents help to mitigate the chance of spread within our hospitals to keep our patients and staff safe.
    • If testing is necessary, both YRMC West and YRMC East are equipped to administer the test for patients that meet the criteria for testing. It’s important to note that YRMC is not providing drive-up testing.
    • We understand there is much interest from the community regarding our ability to provide appropriate beds and equipment to meet this challenge. We have established dedicated units for both Patients Under Investigation (PUI) and confirmed positive patients. Our response plan is designed to be implemented in phases and we are currently at Phase One. Contingency plans are in place for additional beds should the need arise. We continuously monitor the situation and are working closely with community partners to stay ahead of the situation.
    • YRMC is postponing elective and non-emergent surgeries and procedures. We ask that you speak with your doctor to understand your options. This action was taken to comply with an Executive Order issued by Governor Ducey’s office.
    • We also continue to look for alternative ways to care for people while minimizing their risk of exposure. Our YRMC PhysicianCare clinics are now offering telemedicine visits, or virtual visits for appropriate, established patients. We are also working with First Responders to make sure they get the care they need as they continue to put themselves at the front of this pandemic. Keeping our First Responders healthy is a primary concern.
    • The frontline team at YRMC has our full commitment and our deepest respect. Daily we work to protect their health and safety. We are also committed to keeping our team working during this crisis and have created a staffing pool to move underutilized staff to other areas where they can continue to support our Mission.

    As conditions change, we will continue to keep you informed. The fluctuating nature of COVID-19 requires vigilant monitoring and adjustment. We are committed to serving our community and protecting our staff by staying on top of these rapidly changing situations.

    Slowing the Spread

    We remind everyone to heed the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Please protect yourself and others from COVID-19 by following these CDC recommendations:

    • Wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
    • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth with unwashed hands.
    • Practice physical distancing and avoid close contact with people who are ill.
    • Cover your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throw the tissue in the trash.
    • Clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.

    For More Information

    For the most accurate and up-to-date information on the nature of COVID-19 we recommend the following resources:

  • YRMC Launches COVID-19 Triage Process for All Patients and Visitors

    by Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5686 | Mar 26, 2020

    Beginning March 25 at 7:00 p.m., Yavapai Regional Medical Center (YRMC) implemented a new screening program for people entering its hospital location in Prescott.

    Beginning March 26, Yavapai Regional Medical Center will implement the same changes to its campus in Prescott Valley.

    “These temporary changes are for the safety and convenience of YRMC patients and staff during the COVID-19 outbreak,” said Ken Boush, Director of Marketing and Communications, YRMC.

    How to Access YRMC West and YRMC East

    Patients will still be able to use any of the main entrances to enter and exit both of YRMC’s hospital locations. What will change is that screening stations have been established at each building entrance. This will ensure that all who enter a YRMC facility will be screened appropriately for COVID-19 symptoms before they can proceed.

    The Screening Process

    Everyone who arrives at YRMC West or YRMC East will go through a screening process when they arrive before they can enter a facility.

    “This involves a YRMC clinician asking specific questions in order to determine where you should receive care,” Boush explained. “It will also allow our team to manage the flow of people arriving at both Medical Centers while protecting our patients and staff.”

    The triage questions are:

    • Do you have a cough?
    • Do you have a fever?
    • Are you having difficulty breathing? 

    People who respond “yes” to any of these questions will be directed to one of the two tents at both YRMC East and YRMC West for further assessment. Those who answer “no” to the three screening questions may proceed to their destination.

    “We want to get our patients to the care they need as quickly and safely as possible,” said Boush. “We are discouraging visitors but understand that special circumstances may apply. In these situations, we ask that you call the unit you wish to visit for special restrictions and instructions prior to your visit.” 

    For more news about COVID-19, visit Yavapai County Community Health Services at www.yavapai.us/chs and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention at www.cdc.gov

  • Where to Find Information on COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

    by Community Outreach and Philanthropy | Mar 05, 2020

    Valued Patients, Friends and Neighbors,

    We at YRMC are closely monitoring the emerging Coronavirus (COVID-19) situation and are in regular contact with our local and state resources as well as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

    If you are looking for the most reliable, up-to-date information regarding this public health situation, the following resources should be your primary source of information:

    Arizona Department of Health Services Coronavirus Disease 
    https://www.azdhs.gov/preparedness/epidemiology-disease-control/infectious-disease-epidemiology/index.php#novel-coronavirus-public-resources

    CDC Coronavirus Fact Sheet
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/downloads/2019-ncov-factsheet.pdf

    Yavapai County Community Health Services
    http://www.yavapai.us/chs

    CDC Coronavirus Disease
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/index.html

    World Health Organization Coronavirus
    https://www.who.int/emergencies/diseases/novel-coronavirus-2019

    The Arizona Department of Health Services, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and World Health Organization will release updated information when available.

  • New Interventional Pain Management Program at YRMC Offers Leading-Edge Chronic Pain Treatment

    by Community Outreach and Philanthropy, (928) 771-5686 | Feb 26, 2020

    Pain is our body’s way of telling us that something is wrong. Whether it’s a bump or bruise, sprain or strain, we know immediately that we’re injured and we take the necessary precautions to protect ourselves and recover. But when the pain continues long after we’re healed, something very different is happening. This is known as chronic pain, and it can have a real impact on our day-to-day life and even our mental wellbeing.

    If you or someone you love suffers from chronic pain, you know how difficult it can be to live with. The good news is that there are now innovative and effective treatment alternatives close to home, thanks to the new Interventional Pain Management program at YRMC PhysicianCare in Prescott Valley.

    How is chronic pain different?

    When we injure ourselves, pain sensors are immediately activated at the site of the injury. Electrical signals are sent from the pain sensors, nerve to nerve, until they reach the brain. The brain then translates these signals to tell us that we are hurt.

    Once we’re healed, the signals typically discontinue. However, in the case of chronic pain, the pain sensors continue to send new signals to the brain for weeks, months, or even years after the injury. The brain continues to interpret these signals as pain.

    According to a report published in The Journal of Pain: Official Journal of the America Pain Society, chronic pain affects one in four adults over the age of 40 in the United States. The effects of living with chronic pain can be far-reaching. In addition to the pain itself, patients can experience stress, depression and other mental conditions.

    How is chronic pain treated?

    Craig Leicht MD, MHP is one of the practitioners with the Interventional Pain Management team at YRMC PhysicianCare. Dr. Leicht stresses that although Interventional Pain Management is a comparatively new specialty, it has already made a significant impact on chronic pain management.

    “In the past, much of pain management was handled by anesthesiologists and physical medicine and rehabilitation specialists. It may have been considered more of a sub-specialty,” says Dr. Leicht. “Now, Interventional Pain Management is a true specialty. My focus is the interventional aspect, which includes procedural and minimally invasive operative interventions. There is also a medication management specialist as well as a physical medicine and rehabilitation, or physiatry specialist. We also consult with the YRMC Physical Rehabilitation and Occupational Therapy Departments.”

    The Interventional Pain Management team works closely with the patient to determine the best approach for each individual. The goal is to relieve, reduce or manage pain so that patients can return to their daily activities quickly and without heavy reliance on medications.

    Dr. Leicht stresses that patient involvement is key.

    “My first visit with a patient will last up to one hour or more,” he says. “We discuss the spectrum of pain management approaches, beginning with weight loss and a walking program. I encourage my patients to get off of their cane or walker and get outside with walking poles if at all possible. Studies show that walking poles can ease 50 to 70% of the pressure in the lower back. Of course, walking is good for the brain and psyche too.”

    “Interventions such as Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) may ultimately be the best option, but it’s important to try lifestyle adjustments first,” he continues. “SCS is a tool to manage pain, along with lifestyle changes. SCS can be life changing, but the patient has to participate as much as they are able.”

    Download this Chronic Pain Assessment Checklist that you can review before you visit your healthcare provider.

    What is Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS)?

    Spinal Cord Stimulation (SCS) is a minimally invasive procedure where two thin wires are placed in the back, near the spinal cord. The wires are connected to a small battery powered pulse generator, which is implanted under the skin. The pulse generator sends mild electrical pulses to the spinal cord. These pulses act to calm the nerves. This, in turn, minimizes the pain signals that are sent to the brain.

    A variety of conditions respond well to SCS, including failed back syndrome, which is fusion after previous lumbar surgery. SCS can also be effective for low back pain and/or sciatica that have not been treated effectively by epidurals or other methods. In addition, phantom limb pain experienced by amputees, as well as causalgia, which is similar to phantom limb pain, but without an amputation, can respond well to SCS.

    Can I try SCS before I commit to the procedure?

    Dr. Leicht requires that his patients undergo an SCS trial before making the decision to have the permanent procedure. In fact, SCS is one of the few surgical procedures that utilize a true trial prior to permanent implantation. For the trial, two temporary wires are inserted into the back, near the spinal cord. They are attached to a pulse generator, which is worn on your belt or taped to your side. You can use the temporary SCS for a week to see if it’s right for you.

    What additional new treatments and technology are available through YRMC’s Interventional Pain Management Program?

    Most recently, Dr. Leicht is the only physician in our area to offer two new, minimally invasive procedures that treat spinal canal stenosis with neurogenic claudication, which is a narrowing of the spinal canal causing pressure on the nerves. This condition causes leg pain and/or weakness after walking and is most often seen in our older population.

    These new, leading edge, minimally invasive procedures are called Minimally Invasive Lumbar Decompression (MILD) and Vertiflex Superion. Prior to these new advances in technology, the only option for relief was major open back surgery with fusion, which has a 1 to 2 year recovery period and is typically not recommended for older patients.

    The MILD and Vertiflex Superion procedures are both done on an outpatient basis using local anesthesia, making them better options for many older patients. Recovery is a week or less and both procedures have a 70 to 90% five-year effectiveness rate.

    “This brings a huge benefit to our patients,” says Dr. Leicht. “For those who can’t walk five feet without leaning on a shopping cart, these new procedures can often allow them to walk all day. We’re proud to be able to offer them here in the Quad-Cities for the first time.”

     How can I learn more?

    The Interventional Pain Management team is here to help get you back to the things you enjoy most in life. Best of all, you no longer have to leave our community to benefit from the latest pain management technology.

    For more information on the spectrum of pain management services available, or to schedule a consultation, you can contact the Interventional Pain Management team at (928) 777-1002. Their office is located at the Del E. Webb Outpatient Center, 3262 N. Windsong Drive, Suite A, Prescott Valley, Arizona.