CHI - Mercy Hospital Valley City

Fall 2017

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Lori's Story "For many people, pain and depression are closely associated, and that added emotional dimension complicates treatment," says Clark, who directs the Pain Service at CHI Mercy Health. "Because of my background in anesthesia, I approach pain management from the standpoint of effective interventions. Just as we've come a long way to today's use of multimodal pharmacological treatments during surgery, we are also taking a more integrated approach to managing pain by considering all aspects of well-being: spiritual, psychological, and social, as well as physical." During years of studying various approaches to pain relief culminating in his recently completed fellowship in pain management, Clark has become well versed in the mechanisms of pain. He has researched evidence-based treatments that produce the best outcomes. Among his findings: one prescribed pain medication or single treatment often doesn't work, and techniques like mindfulness meditation, yoga, massage, acupuncture, and talk therapy can be highly effective when used in conjunction with pain injections. "These combined therapies can help patients enjoy a better quality of life," Clark says. "I am excited to be able to offer pain services locally and also connect patients with community resources as needed, so they don't have to drive long distances for relief." To schedule an appointment at CHI Mercy Health Pain Service, call 701-845-6522. Lori had attempted to reduce her pain with prescriptions and rest, but nothing seemed to work—until family members pointed her to Clark Kruta, certified registered nurse anesthetist, CHI Mercy Health. Lori has fibromyalgia—widespread pain that causes a heightened response to touch. It makes stubbing a toe or putting on a shirt almost unbearable. She also suffers from chronic migraines. "Previous pain management providers didn't know what to do with me, and I had just about given up," Lori says. "Clark showed me empathy, gave me tools to use, and was confident he could help, so I continued to see him." "We started with trigger point injections and ketamine infusions to reduce her sensitivity to pain, but this was just the start," Clark says. "We added mindfulness meditation, exercise activities, and dietary supplements as multiple treatment avenues." It's been a year since Lori started seeing Clark, and the results speak for themselves. "I now need half of the injections I started with, and I only need monthly check-ins at the Pain Service," says Lori, who describes Clark as her angel on earth. "Now I can spend time laughing and playing with my grandchildren. The difference is unreal." After spending five years confined to bed rest by chronic pain, Lori Hoppe found someone willing to go the extra mile to help her regain mobility. To help patients manage pain, Clark Kruta, certified registered nurse anesthetist, takes into account multiple contributing factors, because pain is a complex issue that rarely has only one cause. Resolving the Complex From left: Pain Service specialists include Clark Kruta, CRNA; Amber Pederson, RN; Janie Larson, RN; and Gerald Gerrick, radiologic technologist. Challenge of Pain CATHOLIC HEALTH INITIATIVES /// 2

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