Live Well Program Provides Effective Chronic Pain Treatment and Management to a Record Number of Patients

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The live well program at the clearlake family health center is now treating over 100 patients suffering from chronic pain and illnesses each day.

The Live Well Program at the Clearlake Family Health Center is now treating over 100 patients suffering from chronic pain and illnesses each day (more than 1500 per month).

What’s the program’s secret? Pain from chronic conditions is often invisible to others, isolating patients emotionally and physically. It may be caused by many conditions, including diabetes, hypertension, fibromyalgia, or depression.

“Live Well is unique in that our goal is to treat the whole person, their mind, body and spirit,” says Kimberly Tangermann, Associate Director of the Clearlake Family Health Center. At Live Well, it’s all about improving quality of life.

“We start with a quality of life assessment with a behavioral health provider to gain an understanding of both the impacts and the causes of the pain,” says Maggie Willhite, Program Manager for Live Well at Clearlake Family Health Center. Often, the assessment uncovers contributing behaviors such as diet or inactivity. Case managers are available to help with basic needs of daily living and others such as arranging for needed medical supplies, home help, or specialist care.

Willhite is excited by record numbers of patient visits. “This means that we’re reaching more and more members of our community with our message of hope: you can do something about chronic pain and illness,” she says. “The best form of advertising is changed lives. Some patients have had dramatic changes, such as one woman who had been doubled over for decades with chronic pain. After working with one of our Functional Health Coaches, she was able to stand upright and walk out of Live Well with significantly less pain and improved range of motion. We have so many similar stories.”

Patient education focuses on topics such as breathing and relaxation, pacing, dealing with pain, anger and stress management, proper hydration and sleep hygiene. And while pain is serious business, reducing it doesn’t have to be. “The medical providers and health coaches in our program take an encouraging approach and even try to make it fun. We use Nintendo Wii games as well as more traditional exercises to help patients work toward goals of improved activity.” Spiritual support is available, plus a growing list of support groups. Live Well currently offers a support group for Hepatitis C patients, with others such as weight loss, smoking cessation, nutrition counseling, and hypertension management in the planning stages.

For the staff at Live Well, seeing the changes in people’s lives and watching hope return are the greatest rewards. Some leave behind the canes they needed when they first walked in the door. Others are finally able to sleep at night. A man in his fifties feels empowered to resume his education. A grandmother achieves her heart’s desire to be able to hold her grandchild again.

It doesn’t get better than that.

For more information, call Live Well at (707) 995-4545 or stop by Live Well at the Clearlake Family Health Center on Lakeshore Blvd in Clearlake, CA. Clearlake Family Health Center is a part of St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake. Live Well accepts MediCal, Medicare & other insurances.

About St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake: St. Helena Hospital Clear Lake, part of the Adventist Health System, is a Critical Access Hospital serving the communities of Middletown, Hidden Valley, Cobb, Lower Lake, Kelseyville, Clearlake and Clearlake Oaks. As our area has grown through the years, so have our capabilities. We offer 24-hour emergency care, surgery, medical imaging, intensive care, women’s care and obstetrics, and laboratory services at the Clear Lake campus as well as outpatient rehabilitation services and family health centers in Clearlake, Middletown and Kelseyville, providing a full spectrum of health services to the Lake County community.

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Joshua Cowan
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