April 21, 2022 @ 12:00am
Portrait of Pain Clinic director Ed Zhovtis in an examination room
Led by Ed Zhovtis, new clinic offers holistic approach to pain management, treatment

Black River Memorial Hospital is taking another big step forward in its holistic approach to health care by opening a pain clinic. This is big news to anyone experiencing the kind of pain that makes daily life a struggle.

“Dealing with pain is a huge deal for a patient,” says Ed Zhovtis, doctor in nurse anesthesiology, who will oversee the clinic after having provided anesthesia care at BRMH since 2018. “It destructs everything that has to do with your life: sleep, food, mood, everything, and if those people who have that experience can get this high-quality care without driving to Eau Claire, La Crosse, Rochester, I think it’s huge.”

Zhovtis’ goal is to provide comprehensive management and treatment of both acute and chronic pain. Part of his approach will be to not rely solely on opioids as the treatment.

“We all know the opioid problem in the country,” he says. “I believe there are better ways or more comprehensive ways to approach chronic and even acute pain, such as nerve blocks and anti-inflammatory medications, for example, and that multidimensional approach could take 80, 90 percent of the pain away without using opioids.” 

20.5 percent of U.S. adults experience chronic pain, according to a 2019 National Health Interview Survey.

The care Zhovtis provides will be part of a comprehensive approach by BRMH to treating pain. “The whole idea behind it is that pain is not an independent problem,” he says. “It is a multi-faceted problem that requires a multi-faceted approach” that also will include physical therapy, behavioral therapy, and other specialty services.

Zhovtis is hoping to create awareness of the clinic so that everyone in Jackson County and the surrounding area who has a chronic pain issue knows they have a local option to receive high-quality care. Ideally, the clinic’s reputation will spread, and it will become a referral center for residents in surrounding cities such as Tomah and Sparta.

For now, Zhovtis is eager to provide this crucial service to the people of the Jackson County area who need it — and to help them move past their pain.Patients do not need a referral to visit the pain clinic. For more information, visit the pain clinic page.

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