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The specialists: Indiana clinics tackle everything from dental phobias to insomnia.

Trouble falling asleep at night? Annoyed by daily migraines? Phobic about a dentist's drill? Specialty clinics around the state are ready to help.

Some of the clinics are part of major hospitals and health-care centers, while others have sprung up as separate units, complete with operating rooms and a full staff of physicians.

Following are examples of some of Indiana's more unusual specialty clinics.

SPECIAL DENTAL CARE CENTER AT ST. MARY'S MEDICAL CENTER, HOBART

Although a variety of dental patients go to the Special Dental Care Center, it is best known for its treatment of those with a fear of dentists. These people don't just wince at the buzz of a drill. They hate the sounds, smells and feel of a dentist's office and avoid going to a dentist for years, says James Lipton, medical director of the center. "These are very, very apprehensive patients, who have had a bad experience in the past."

Lipton says that because the average amount of time his patients have not seen a dentist is 14 years, they have multiple problems and may need root canals, extractions or treatment for gum disease. A team of professionals is at the ready to heal any of the problems.

Lipton opened the clinic in 1987 at Our Lady of Mercy Hospital. Nearly a year ago, he moved it to St. Mary's Medical Center.

During an initial consultation with a patient, Lipton talks about what is needed, then gives the patient a written plan of prescribed treatment. All work is done during one visit, while the patient is asleep. Lipton hopes that by easing patients' fears, they will see a dentist more regularly.

The center also treats patients who are too ill to be treated in a dentist's office: those with a severe allergy to anesthetics, the profoundly retarded, those with cerebral palsy, diabetics or people who have bleeding disorders.

"We see people from all over the country," Lipton says.

THE INDIANA HAND CENTER, INDIANAPOLIS

The Hand Center was founded by Dr. James Strickland in 1971, and now has 14 locations statewide.

"There was a need in this area to specialize in the hand," says Kevin Essington, director of marketing.

Every year, the clinic trains six physicians from across the country. So far, 91 have been trained at the Hand Center.

The center specializes in trauma of the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder, and treats conditions including carpal-tunnel syndrome, tennis elbow and loss of fingers. The clinic's back-to-work program specializes in occupational therapy and rehabilitation.

The Surgery Center consists of three operating rooms, and is used for all types of hand surgery. The Hand Rehabilitation Center is used for therapy after surgery or as an alternative to surgery. It is staffed with 20 occupational therapists, of which eight are certified hand therapists.

The Center for Working Hands has patients perform simulated job tasks so therapists can evaluate and supervise the performance of these tasks.

HEADACHE CLINIC AT CAYLOR-NICKEL, BLUFFTON

The headache clinic is just one of several of the Caylor-Nickel clinics, which have been in existence for more than 75 years. The headache clinic, founded by Dr. Anita Morton, is about a year old. She is director of emergency services.

"I saw more and more patients with headaches who had given up on traditional medication," she says. She notes that many headaches can be associated with temporomandibular disorder (a jaw affliction also known as TMJ), poor eyesight or gynecology. Seventy percent of the women with migraines have them about the time of menstruation.

Although most of her patients at the clinic have migraines, that's not the case with the general population, Morton says. There are more than 100 different forms of headaches.

Patients at the Headache Clinic are given an hour-long evaluation to try to determine what triggers the headaches. They then can be treated with medication or biofeedback. Morton looks at sleeping habits, diet and amount of stress to help determine what causes a headache. Biofeedback is a method of helping patients relax.

"You're not going to get rid of the tendency to get headaches," she says, "but you can look at the causes."

WOUND CARE CENTER AT WINONA MEMORIAL HOSPITAL, INDIANAPOLIS

One of the newest specialty centers in Indianapolis is the Wound Care Center. A contract was signed in July with Curative Technologies of Chicago that gives Winona the only center of this type in Central Indiana.

The center treats anyone who has a wound that will not heal, but caters to diabetes patients, who have the highest incidence of these types of wounds, says Rick Shabi, vice president of business development for Winona.

Wounds that might have led to amputations in the past can now be healed in a few months in many cases. Some of the treatment involved uses natural substances derived from the patient's own blood cells.

Co-medical directors of the Wound Care Center are Tom Southern, a plastic surgeon, and Alan Sawchuk, a vascular surgeon at Indiana University Medical Center, who has done research with Curative Technologies. The center will offer both inpatient and outpatient care.

"This is going to be excellent for the residents of Indiana," Shabi says. "There's nothing in Indianapolis highlighting this problem."

CENTER FOR HIP AND KNEE SURGERY AT KENDRICK HEALTHCARE CENTER, MOORESVILLE

Total joint replacements are the most common surgeries done at the Center for Hip and Knee Surgery, according to Kelli Foster-Searles, public-relations director. The center performs more than 900 of them annually, she says. The clinic's 40 to 50 physicians also replace shoulder joints and treat a variety of problems of the feet and back.

"We perform more total joint replacements in our facility than in any other in Indiana," Foster-Searles says.

Most joint replacements are made necessary by corrosion of the bone caused by arthritis. The problem can afflict men and women of any age, although research indicates women may be slightly more prone to acquiring the disease than men.

The two most common types of arthritis, among the more than 100 varieties, are osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis. Osteoarthritis can result from injury and overuse of a joint, which damages cartilage. Rheumatoid arthritis is a systemic disease that attacks joints, destroying cartilage and joint surface.

The center, founded in 1986 by Dr. Merrill A. Ritter, also trains surgeons from all over the world for a year at a time.

The Sports Medicine Clinic at the center treats physically active people, with emphasis on high school, college and recreational athletes. It is staffed by certified athletic trainers, orthopedic surgeons, physical therapists and family-practice doctors.

SLEEP DISORDERS CENTER AT ST. JOSEPH MEDICAL CENTER, FORT WAYNE

Millions of people have trouble sleeping or falling asleep, but most sleep disorders can be treated.

The Sleep Disorders Center determines the type of sleep disorder a patient has, and prescribes treatment.

The principal sleep disorders treated at the center include sleep apnea (interrupted sleep), conditions related to snoring and insomnia.

Sleep apnea is a disorder in which the patient stops breathing for 10 to 60 seconds at a time while sleeping. This can happen hundreds of times a night, and causes excessive day-time sleepiness.

Insomnia, poor sleep due to the inability to fall asleep or stay asleep, is often caused by use of caffeine, stress, erratic hours, lack of exercise, environmental factors, physical problems or psychological problems.

Narcolepsy is a syndrome of excessive daytime sleepiness. Often patients fall asleep at unexpected times, such while driving a car. This sleep disorder is the one most often misdiagnosed.

Other sleep disorders include sleepwalking, sleep-related asthma and sleep terrors.

Treatment involves inviting patients to the clinic for a day or night of sleep while hooked up to approximately 15 electrodes. A technician will then monitor the sleep, and interpret the findings.

COLON & RECTAL CARE INC., INDIANAPOLIS

This specialty clinic focuses on disorders of the digestive system, from ulcers to colitis to colorectal cancer. Illnesses of the digestive tract cause more hospitalizations in this country than any other group of disorders. The center makes use of the latest fiber-optic and laser technology to reduce the pain of treatment and shorten recovery time. On staff is Dr. Rama Jager, a specialist who has been in practice in Indianapolis since 1978.

But Colon & Rectal Care is only one aspect of specialized medicine that can be found in this building on North Shadeland Avenue. Patients with various types of foot pain can schedule service at Foot Care Plus, while Hernia Center Plus is on the premises to handle those with hernias.

Also at this location is Surgery Center Plus, which handles such specialties as orthopedics, cosmetic surgery, urology, gynecology, ophthalmology, laparoscopic procedures, hernia repair, colon and rectal surgery and podiatry.
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Article Details
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Title Annotation:Specialty Clinics
Author:Martel, Judy
Publication:Indiana Business Magazine
Article Type:Industry Overview
Date:Aug 1, 1994
Words:1443
Previous Article:Trimming the travel budget.
Next Article:North-Central Indiana update.
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