Taking the time

Last Modified: 4/21/2022


Compassionate care can relieve some of the stress patients and their loved ones face during difficult times. Recently, a daughter reached out to Ken Austin, MD, PPG – Pain Management, to thank him for all he and his team had done for her father prior to his death last April.

Susie Yentes said her aging father, Henry, had experienced severe pain for years. Prior to seeing Dr. Austin, the family scrambled to find consistent care for Henry because his long-time pain management provider had moved, and the next provider retired soon after.

His wife, Betty, was relieved to meet Dr. Austin, Susie said. “Mom felt she’d finally found people who weren’t going to give up on Daddy. They would listen and care for him – and not just push him through. It was one less thing she had to worry about.”

Susie loved watching the team embrace her father. A people person, Henry loved to talk, and according to Susie, he always had “too much to say” during his visits. Nevertheless, Dr. Austin and his staff never rushed him or made him feel as if he was an imposition on their time. “They were always so kind, helpful and calming to him,” Susie said.

Even more meaningful was Dr. Austin’s bedside manner. He talked directly to Henry and addressed his concerns first before including the rest of the family, Susie said. “He let my dad know that even though he was frail and debilitated, he was the patient, and Dr. Austin cared about what he had to say.”

Education was another part of that extraordinary care. Early on, Dr. Austin used Henry’s X-rays to explain why he was hurting and what he could expect. No provider had ever taken time to do that, Susie said. “Just keeping Daddy informed as to the ‘why’ made him feel better and helped reduce his anxiety.”

Finally, when Henry could no longer meet in person, Dr. Austin’s staff offered virtual visits. Susie fondly remembers seeing Dr. Austin meeting via video with her father, lying in a hospital bed at home. “During that time, we had a lot of health problems and a lot of stress,” Susie said. “Thank God, [Pain Management] was a breath of fresh air.”

Testimonials such as this one are a tremendous tribute to the heart our providers have for their patients and their commitment to excellence.

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