St. Peter’s Health will temporarily close their Chronic Pain Clinic beginning on March 9th.
Over 300 patients are currently with the clinic and St. Peter’s is working to ensure that pain management plans are continued through the patient’s primary care provider.
The temporary closure is due to the departure of Dr. Benjamin Atwater who oversees the clinic.
Dr. Atwater is leaving St. Peter’s to pursue other opportunities in Colorado and St. Peter’s staff said they wish him nothing but the best in his future endeavors.
St. Peter’s Health Medical Group Vice President Brian Lee said finding a replacement for Dr. Atwater is a priority but the recruitment process may take anywhere from 12 to 18 months.
Lee added that right now more than anything the organization is focused on patient health and care.
“During this transition, our primary goal of course is to make sure that each patient's needs are met,” Lee said. “We’ll work closely with their primary care providers and other community resources that their needs are met from a pain management stand point.”
Lee also said that St. Peter’s will partner with other community medical providers like Helena Orthopedic to transition patient care where appropriate.
All current clinic employees will retain their jobs with St. Peter’s Health though they may be transferred to other departments until the clinic reopens.
The clinic was created in 2016 to provide comprehensive pain evaluation and management services to the Helena area.