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Generations of Care

Celebrating its 35th year in business, The Pain Treatment Center of the Bluegrass expands its services

LEXINGTON/RICHMOND The Pain Treatment Center of the Bluegrass is celebrating its 35th year of caring for Kentuckians. Since 1988, when Ballard Wright, MD, a certified anesthesiologist and pain physician, opened his practice, Ballard Wright, MD, PSC, also known as The Pain Treatment Center of the Bluegrass (PTC), his practice has specialized in pain management. “PTC has provided pain patients all over Central and Eastern Kentucky with compassionate, quality care over the past three decades,” says Heather Wright, administrator and daughter of Ballard Wright. “We have pain physicians from different specialties. Those specialties are anesthesia, neurology, physical medicine and rehabilitation, family medicine, and palliative care. All these different specialists work together to evaluate patients to alleviate their pain,” says Wright. Moreover, over the past year, PTC has brought in addiction medicine specialists, fostered a relationship with CHI Saint Joseph Hospital, and opened a new location in Richmond, Kentucky.

Expansion of Services to All of Madison County

As part of the Center’s desire to help pain patients across the Commonwealth, it has grown its outreach by connecting with referring

providers and healthcare institutions throughout the state. One such connection occurred at the beginning of 2021 when the Center became affiliated with CHI Saint Joseph Health’s network of hospitals and outpatient clinics.

As the preferred provider for all CHI Saint Joseph Health’s pain management centers, PTC supplies physician services to multiple CHI Saint Joseph Health locations, including Berea. Having expanded its services to Berea, PTC was the natural choice to take over the care of Hammid Malik, MD’s patients when

he decided to close his practice, Richmond Pain Management, in Richmond, Kentucky, this past July. In his letter to his patients, Malik highlighted the following: “PTC has been taking care of Kentuckians for over 30 years, and they are committed to providing you with compassion, respect, and quality care. I know that you will be in good hands with the transition of your treatment to The Pain Treatment Center of the Bluegrass.”

Obtaining the Richmond office allowed PTC to consolidate its pain care services to the patients in Madison County. Along with Michael Hamilton, PA-C, Malik’s longtime physician assistant, Rebecca Freeland, MD, and Karim Rasheed, MD, physicians with The Pain Treatment Center of the Bluegrass will see new patients at the 2187 Lexington Road location, as well as continue to see the established patients as usual. Ms. Wright highlighted that the Center’s goal was to minimize any disruption in care for Malik’s pain patients who depend on medical treatment to keep them functioning.

As well as continuing to service current patients, PTC is bringing two new services to the Clinic’s patients—first, counseling services via the Center’s Behavioral Medicine department—something not previously offered. Working with a behavioral medicine specialist, patients learn coping skills to handle the psychological components of pain. These techniques help patients feel more in control of their situation. “Most patients find they can better manage their pain with just a few sessions,” emphasizes Kellie Dryden, LCSW.

Second, the Center is providing addiction medicine services. As part of the Center’s mission to help provide Kentuckians with a better quality of life, the Center recognized almost two years ago that it needed to open a new department to treat opioid use disorder in its high-risk patients. “While we had all these different specialists work together to evaluate patients with the end goal of alleviating their pain,” says Wright, “we realized one component was missing—helping patients who have pain but also have been abusing their opioid medications.”

With a combined clinical experience of over 25 years in pain and addiction, Richard Lingreen, MD, and psychiatric nurse practitioners Joannie Cook, PMHNP-BC, and Kay Wilson, DNP APRN, seek to help those patients who want to live a life free of opioid abuse or misuse.

“For years, our physicians have used a multi-specialty, multi-modality approach to alleviating pain, but we realized there was a gap in our treatment. Now, by bringing these services to not only our Lexington location but also our satellite clinics, including the Richmond clinic, the Center will hopefully be able to help alleviate the number of Eastern Kentuckians suffering from the abuse of opioids,” stated Peter Wright, MD, the medical director.

Part of Their Mission

Since Ballard Wright started his one-office practice 35 years ago, his goal has been to employ experienced, multi-specialty pain providers, skilled behavioral medicine specialists, and compassionate staff to offer exemplary treatment and care to the pain patients of Kentucky. “By partnering with CHI and taking over Richmond Pain Management, in addition to the Center’s expansion of services, PTC is fulfilling its mission to help provide Kentuckians with a better quality of life,” sums up Ms. Wright.