SVMC launches Interventional Pain and Treatment Center

Anesthesiologist Joshua Tobe, MD, and Radiologist Andrew Shedden, MD, prepare a patient for a pain management intervention. Courtesy photo.

Vermont Business Magazine Patients suffering with chronic pain have new choices to manage it at Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), part of Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC). Called the Southern Vermont Interventional Pain and Treatment Center, the practice greatly expands the number of pain management procedures available to local patients. Pain-blocking techniques to help make day-to-day activities less difficult for patients who suffer from pain related to trauma, surgery, cancer, arthritis, or other conditions. In the past, patients seeking these treatments would have had to travel up to an hour from Bennington.

“Most people experience some amount of pain in their lifetime,” said Anesthesiologist Shaan Alli, MD, who serves as both medical director and chair of the department of Anesthesiology. “To be able to provide this important service and improve the quality of patients’ lives, conveniently right here, is very satisfying.”

The service focuses on the diagnosis and treatment of pain by applying minimally invasive techniques that target structures mediating pain. The goal is to reduce or eliminate discomfort and to help patients quickly return to their daily activities. Among the procedures offered are joint injections, radiofrequency ablations, bier blocks, nerve blocks, spinal cord stimulation, and epidurals. The service decreases patients’ reliance on prescription and over-the-counter medications and limits the chances of addiction or other side effects sometimes related to treating pain with drugs.

Joshua Tobe, MD, an anesthesiologist fellowship trained in interventional pain management, is central to providing expanded services.

“I am excited to help bring advanced pain management procedures to patients in Southern Vermont and the surrounding areas,” Tobe said. “And I am hopeful that we will play a major role in improving quality of life for many people currently suffering from debilitating pain.”

Tobe earned his medical degree at the Schulich School of Medicine & Dentistry of Western University in Ontario, Canada and an honorus bachelor in biological science from the University of Guelph, also in Ontario. He completed an internship in family medicine at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, and a residency in anesthesiology at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. In addition, Dr. Tobe completed an Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education fellowship in pain medicine at the University of Southern California, Los Angeles.

Dr. Andrew Shedden, a radiologist and long-time member of the SVMC medical staff, will oversee the radiological aspects of the care. He graduated from Butler University in Indiana and Indiana University School of Medicine. He completed residency training and a research fellowship at the Medical College of Virginia. He is certified by the American Board of Radiology.

Patients begin by discussing their pain with their primary care provider or the specialist who treats the condition for which they are seeking pain relief. Once they receive a referral, they can meet with Tobe for a consultation. Scheduling is occurring now. Most insurers cover the cost.

“The goal, to the greatest extent possible, is to have the providers who live in this community take care of the patients in this community,” Alli said. “Advanced interventional pain management is a perfect example of a service we can provide here.”

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About SVHC:
Southwestern Vermont Health Care (SVHC) is a comprehensive, preeminent, health care system providing exceptional, convenient, and affordable care to the communities of Bennington and Windham Counties of Vermont, eastern Rensselaer and Washington Counties of New York, and northern Berkshire County in Massachusetts. SVHC includes Southwestern Vermont Medical Center (SVMC), Southwestern Vermont Regional Cancer Center, the Centers for Living and Rehabilitation, and the SVHC Foundation. SVMC includes 25 primary and specialty care practices.

Southwestern Vermont Health Care is among the most lauded small rural health systems in the nation. It is the recipient of the American Hospital Association’s 2020 Rural Hospital Leadership Award. In addition, SVMC ranked fourth nationwide for the value of care it provides by the Lown Institute Hospital Index in 2020 and is a five-time recipient of the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Magnet® recognition for nursing excellence. It has also received the highest marks possible from the Leapfrog Group. The health system is fortunate to have the support of platinum-level corporate sponsor Mack, a leading supplier of contract manufacturing services and injection molded plastic parts based in Arlington, VT.

BENNINGTON, VT— March 25, 2022—Southwestern Vermont Medical Center