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Clinic helps base community manage pain

Dr. (Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col.) Ronald White, 60th Medical Surgical Operations Squadron chief of anesthesia and pain medicine, reviews X-rays in the David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., July 1, 2016. White oversees operations of the DGMC's Pain Clinic which opened in April 2016. The clinic provides services for patients experiencing acute pain, as well as chronic pain. Photo altered for security purposes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman/Released)

Dr. (Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col.) Ronald White, 60th Medical Surgical Operations Squadron chief of anesthesia and pain medicine, reviews X-rays in the David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base, Calif., July 1, 2016. White oversees operations of the DGMC's Pain Clinic which opened in April 2016. The clinic provides services for patients experiencing acute pain, as well as chronic pain. Photo altered for security purposes. (U.S. Air Force photo by Tech. Sgt. James Hodgman/Released)

TRAVIS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. - For active-duty service members, military retirees and their family members experiencing pain help is available at the Pain Clinic inside David Grant USAF Medical Center at Travis Air Force Base, California.

The clinic, which opened in April 2016, provides pain relief services to patients dealing with acute pain, chronic pain, as well as pain caused by severe illness or disease like cancer.

Four practitioners with more than four decades of medical experience work in the pain clinic, which is located on the third floor on the western side of DGMC.

“We are here to help our active duty military members, military retirees and their families. They sacrifice so much for us and we give back to them by doing all we can to eradicate or mitigate their pain and help them live normal lives,” said Jacqueline Berg, 60th Medical Surgical Squadron anesthesia technician.

“Some people are in so much pain they can’t play with their kids or do much of anything,” Berg said. “Helping them live pain free is why I took this job.”

Dr. (Retired U.S. Army Lt. Col.) Ronald White, 60th MSGS chief of anesthesia and pain medicine, oversees the Pain Clinic’s operations.

“Our focus is helping our patients live as pain free as possible,” White said. “People with pain tend to not do certain things. They may have difficulty at home or at work and those issues could lead to depression.”

“We are also meticulous about ensuring we get the diagnosis right and treating each patient properly,” White added.

White has served as the chief of medicine at the U.S. Army’s Brook Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, Germany and in Baghdad, Iraq. He said improving the quality of life for his patients has been the best part of his job.

“We make the lives of our patients much better and with a third of them, we tremendously change their lives,” he said. “That is very rewarding, especially when the patient is battling cancer. Cancer patients are often bed-ridden and suffering. They want to do so much, but can’t because of the pain they’re dealing with.”

“When we help them and they can get rid of 80-percent of their pain, 90-percent of their medications and greatly increase their quality of life; that’s incredible,” White said. “We’ve even been able to assist patients with terminal cancer improve their lives, and in some cases, extend their lives.”

The Pain Clinic provides care through a multimodal approach including interventional medicine, physical therapy, primary care and even acupuncture.  The team can treat a wide variety of pain patients, from those battling recurring headaches, to individuals experiencing spinal or cancer pain.

Our goal is to improve quality of life, return our military members back to duty and help them live normal lives, White said.

To make an appointment with the Pain Clinic patients must first be referred to the clinic by their primary care managers. The clinic is open Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. For more information about the Pain Clinic, call one of the numbers listed below.

Appointment Line: (707) 423-3216

Nurse Line: (707) 816-5774 (not for appointments)

Fax: (707) 816-5699