Make Pain a Thing of the Past – Golden barrel award – Physician Partners of America

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Metropolitan Ministries praises collection drive efforts

Physician Partners of America has received the Golden Barrel Award from Metropolitan Ministries, a leading charity for the homeless and at those at risk of homelessness in Tampa Bay.

In presenting the award at PPOA’s Habana Ambulatory Surgery Center on Feb. 15, Metropolitan Ministries President Tim Marks, said, “I want you to know we look at you all as ambassadors of hope by coming alongside us and helping these families. This is something we like to honor.

“We love organizations that give back to others in the community and that’s what we want to celebrate today. For us, to see an organization like Physician Partners give their time, talent and treasures, and the donations that have come to us …it gives people hope.”

Josh Helms, senior vice president of Sales and Marketing for Physician Partners of America, has been an Ambassador with the charity for more than five years, and has been instrumental in involving PPOA for the past year.

“We at Physician Partners of America feel very blessed to have the opportunity to serve our patients while at the same time giving back and having a positive influence in our community,” Helms said.

The company has donated hundreds of pounds of clothing, toys, school backpacks and canned food to Metropolitan Ministries’ in its signature blue barrels placed in its clinics and offices.

“I appreciate Josh’s leadership as a volunteer with the Ambassadors for many, many years and helping families in need,” said Marks. “To see that bubble up here, with all your involvement and engagement, we give the Golden Barrel Award to Physician Partners of America, honoring your dedication and outstanding service to others. Salute you and thank you.”

The agency, which has been around for 45 years, has seen the needs of area families double from 100 to 200 per month. Part of it is attributed to Florida residents and Puerto Rican refugees from Hurricane Irma and, in general, “the storms of life.”

Marks added, “We’re able to help many more people, and you all are part of the solution.”

Chronic pain sufferers will try almost anything to achieve relief from their pain symptoms. Typically the first line of defense are various pain medications, both over-the-counter and prescribed by a physician.

However, pain medication cannot be guaranteed to always work as prescribed or as intended. Over the years medical research has revealed that not every person absorbs medication the same ways, and that over time our body will change how it reacts to medications.

Pain physicians have a number of ways to combat this issue in patients.

“This is a situation known as tachyphylaxis where more medication is needed to achieve the same effect,” said Dr. Rodolfo Gari, Tampa pain specialist with Florida Pain Relief Group. “Many believe that tachyphylaxis occurs because our bodies increase the number of receptors necessary to achieve pain control and therefore more medication is needed to achieve the same effect.”

Typically a patient does not want to increase their existing medication dosages, but instead find a combination or approach that works best.

“A way to counter this without increasing dosage is to switch the medication to a different class of opioid that works in different receptors,” Dr. Gari said. “For example, switching from hydrocodone to oxycodone or switching from morphine to methadone for a short period of time can restore the original effect. We can then switch back to the original medication with better results at a lower dosage.”

For patients who don’t experience relief from a change in medications may be good candidates for a test called Pharmacogenomics. This test will help a doctor to prescribe medication based on more than symptoms.

“Pharmacogenomics is a field of medicine that matches our unique genetic make up with the medications that work best for us,” Dr. Gari said. “We have all experienced ‘trials’ of different medications until we find one that works. Pharmacogenomics allows us to use the right medication the first time.”

All of our pain doctors in Tampa offer pharmacogenomics testing to their patients. Schedule an appointment at any of our Tampa pain relief centers in East Tampa, North Tampa and Carrollwood.