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Health & Fitness

Western Reserve Hospital presents Pain Medicine Conference

3/13/2014 - West Side Leader
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By Staff Writer

Photo courtesy of Western Reserve Hospital
CUYAHOGA FALLS — Prescription and illicit opiate abuse was the topic of Western Reserve Hospital’s (WRH) Third Annual Pain Medicine Conference Feb. 21 at the Sheraton Suites Akron/Cuyahoga Falls.

Attended by nearly 170 medical professionals and state officials from all over Ohio, the event examined the local and statewide drug problem and comprehensive treatment plans that address the emotional, physical and psychological needs of patients living with chronic pain, according to WRH officials. The event was led by Dr. Samer Narouze, chairman for the Center for Pain Medicine at WRH.

“The pain medicine community needs to understand and incorporate alternative treatments to pharmaceutical pain relievers,” said Narouze. “Each year, the conference is significant to the region because it allows us to expose the drug problem and draw attention to minimally invasive procedures and a whole-person approach that is far more effective. When we fully embrace this approach, drug abuse will decrease.”

Eighteen physicians and experts presented at the conference, including Orman Hall, director of the Ohio Department of Alcohol and Drug Addiction Services, who discussed the drug problem in the state of Ohio, and Chief Jack Davis, of the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department, who spoke about the heroin problem in the local community.

“We had a 31-year-old mother of three overdose with children in her home,” said Davis during a presentation about local heroin abuse. “She had a 10-year-old daughter that called the ex-husband saying, ‘Something’s wrong with mom.’ If you’re a parent in here, you know how protective you are of your children, but it shows the grip that this drug has on people.”

Orman and Narouze are shown above right, from left, at the conference.

In the past, the event has served as an annual linchpin for the pain medicine community, attracting hundreds of area physicians, physical therapists, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists and medical students to learn about the changes affecting chronic pain management, including new procedures, challenges and medications, while acquiring continuing education credits toward their certifications, according to WRH officials.

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