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Lee Memorial Health System

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Lee Memorial Health System Well Informed Lecture Discusses Many Treatments for Back Pain

Lee Memorial Health System's comprehensive back and neck pain care program is the topic of April 14’s Well Informed lecture from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Place Coconut Point in Estero.

Fort Myers, FL, April 03, 2010 --( Spine problems can be a real pain in the neck…or back. Last October, the American Academy of Pain Medicine said ineffective paint care costs Americans more than $100 billion annually. Its leaders believe part of the problem is that most patients in pain today may need to visit multiple physicians or specialists that often don’t collaborate to provide comprehensive pain care. That’s exactly what Lee Memorial Health System aims to do through its Spine Center, neurosurgery and physical therapy programs. Their approach to comprehensive back and neck pain care is the topic of April 14’s Well Informed lecture from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Hyatt Place Coconut Point in Estero.

Collaborative and comprehensive care to treat pain is one of the Academy’s top recommendations to better treat pain and reduce costs. According to Dr. Reggie Augusthy, an interventional physiatrist at the Spine Center at Lee Memorial Health System’s Outpatient Center at the Sanctuary, the system’s approach to treating pain is very much a team effort.

“The starting point for nearly all patients coming to us for help with back or neck pain is our nurse navigator,” Dr. Augusthy says, one of the lecture’s featured speakers. “She helps assess their pain and then recommends whether they start with me, a physical therapist or need more diagnostic testing. All through the process our team works together, whether patients can be treated non-surgically or need surgery, or physical or mental therapy.”

Dr. Augusthy a physician specializing in pain management that completed specialized fellowship training in the field speaks to another Academy recommendation – pain management as a recognized specialty. As an interventional physiatrist, he seeks to treat pain using conservative, non-surgical techniques. In addition to back and neck pain, he also treats joint pain and spine disorders.

Specialists like Dr. Augusthy are becoming more and more in demand. In a position paper on pain medicine issued in October, the Academy also cites research that speaks to America’s growing pain problem over the past 10 years:

In 2002, 26 percent of American adults have back pain. 14 percent of adults reported neck pain that limited normal function.
In 2003, American’s spent an estimated $81 billion on arthritis-related health care.
In 2004, a survey found that at any given time, half of Americans are in pain and a quarter has persistent or chronic pain, mostly in their backs or necks, or headaches.
In 2005, American’s spent an estimated $85.9 billion to treat spine-related problems.
Current research indicates 40 percent of Americans experience daily pain, including 50 million people with chronic pain and 25 million people with acute pain.

Lee Memorial Health System’s comprehensive approach to pain management also includes partner neurosurgeons like Dr. Dean Lin and physical therapists like Kurt Gray, who will also speak at the Well Informed lecture:

Date: Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Time: 5-7 p.m.
Location: Hyatt Place Coconut Point, located at Coconut Point mall
23120 Via Villagio, Estero, FL 33928
Reservations: 239-433-8505 or

About Dr. Reggie Augusthy
Dr. Augusthy is a fellowship trained and board certified interventional physiatrist specializing in the non-surgical management of spine, muscoskeletal and pain disorders. He earned his medical degree from Des Moines University College of Osteopathic Medicine and completed his residency in physical medicine and rehabilitation at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where he was chief resident. He also completed a fellowship at the Florida Spine Institute.

About Dr. Dean Lin
Dr. Dean Lin earned his medical degree from the Medical College of Virginia. He completed a general surgery internship and neurological surgery training, and was a clinical lecturer in the department of neurological surgery at the University of Florida prior to coming to Fort Myers. He has practiced with the Lee Neurosurgery Group since August 2007 and plans to complete his board certification in Mary 2010.

About Kurt Gray
Kurt Gray earned his degree in physical therapy from Florida A&M University and has a long history working in rehabilitation and wellness administration. Currently working with Lee Memorial Health System’s Specialty Rehabilitation Services, he specializes in sports medicine, orthopedics and chronic spine pain programs.

About Lee Memorial Health System
Open since 1916, Lee Memorial Health System is the fifth largest public health system in the United States and the largest community-owned system in Southwest Florida. With more than 9,300 employees, the system is made up of four acute care hospitals and two specialty hospitals, as well as outpatient centers, walk-in medical centers and primary care physical offices. An award-winning health care system, it provides regional programs, such as our Trauma Center and Children’s Hospital, which serve our community members from Tampa to Miami. Visit for more information.

Contact Information
Lee Memorial Health System
Erika Houser
239 278 3900
Karen Krieger, Director
Public Affairs
Phone: 239-454-8765
Fax: 239-454-8775
Pager: 239-930-6158

Carolyn Rogers, CPRC
Briggs & Rogers
Phone: 239-278-3900
Mobile: 239-850-5020
Fax: 239-465-4529

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