Difficult family experience serves as formative moment for Desert Pain Specialists’ newest doctor

FEATURE — Desert Pain Specialists – Southern Utah’s premier interventional pain management team – is excited to announce the addition of Dr. Rachel Allen, a chronic pain physician and anesthesiologist.

Desert Pain Specialists’ new physician Dr. Rachel Allen; her husband, Dr. Scott Allen, and their two children, location and date not specified | Photo courtesy of Dr. Rachel Allen, St. George News

Beginning July 2, Allen will be joining the team of pain medicine and management specialists and will be helping patients who suffer from both acute and chronic pain in the newly opened office in the Riverfront Medical Center in St. George and in the Mesquite, Nevada, office.

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Allen was born in Salt Lake City and spent her youth with the Wasatch Mountains as her backyard, she said. When she was 12 years old, her family moved to Wisconsin where she stayed through college and medical school.

The daughter of parents who were both physicians, Allen said she felt like she was destined to practice medicine.

Allen met her future husband and Southern Utah native, Dr. Scott Allen, while both of them were attending medical school at the Medical College of Wisconsin.

The pair bonded over their shared Utah connection and spent many of their medical school years as good friends and medical school colleagues.

“When I was accepted into Medical School of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, little did I know I would meet a Southern Utah boy,” Rachel Allen said. “That same Southern Utah boy would deliver babies with me over our OB rotation and our relationship would bloom.”

Their first year out of medical school, they married and moved back to Utah where they both had residencies in anesthesiology at the University of Utah.

It was not long after moving back to Utah that the pair were given some devastating news that would act as the catalyst for Rachel Allen to become a chronic pain physician.

Scott Allen’s mother – the woman Rachel Allen called her “mom away from mom” – was diagnosed with stage 4 colorectal cancer.

“It really hit us hard,” Rachel Allen said. “She was really a mom to me.”

For 13 months the couple watched as their mom and mother-in-law suffered through cancer. She died on Scott and Rachel’s first wedding anniversary. Less than a year after her passing, the couple had their first child, a girl whom they named after Scott Allen’s mother.

Rachel Allen said that watching her mother-in-law go through cancer was the kindling that would fuel her desire to help others in pain and complete a chronic pain fellowship at the University of Utah.

She recounted being by her mother-in-law’s bedside and having the ability to help administer pain control, adding that she would watch as her mother-in-law’s furrowed brow would melt as the pain went away. She said she knew she wanted to help others as well.

“Just seeing that pain relief struck chords deep within me, and I thought this is what I want to help give people,” Rachel Allen said.

The training she received during her chronic pain fellowship was phenomenal and diverse, she said.

Many the of the procedures she was trained on concentrated on pain relief and management that was not just administering an opioid.

“With an opioid kind of epidemic going on, it is wonderful to give patients the ability to have pain control in ways that are not a medication that could have systemic effects,” she said.

Rachel Allen was trained in the management of chronic pain, including cancer pain, neuropathy, fibromyalgia, arthritis and more, as well as acute pain such as backaches, muscle, tendon and bone pain.

When the couple were expecting their second child, they decided they wanted to be closer to family and made the move to Southern Utah.

When Rachel Allen met Dr. Court Empey and the team at Desert Pain Specialists, she said it was a “no-brainer” that this is the team she wanted to join.

“I think it was (Empey’s) absolute kindness,” she said. “You meet certain people in the world and their soul just kind of exudes this kindness.”

Rachel Allen said kindness and compassion is the basis for her mantra for approaching patients with pain. She wants patients to know she is there for them and that she will go to bat for them, and she felt that Empey and the Desert Pain Specialists team reflected this attitude.

She also said she loves the holistic, multidisciplinary approach to pain management that the Desert Pain Specialists office takes.

In addition to pain relieving procedures and medications, the office uses physical therapy and a behavioral medicine specialist to help patients understand how their brains and spinal cords receive and “see” pain.

Empey said he is equally excited to have Rachel Allen join the team of pain specialists.

“We’re so excited,” he said. “We all agree that she has a delightful, patient-centered attitude and personality that just fit in perfect with how we like to care for patients … We think she will be a great asset for our community and our patients.”

About Desert Pain Specialists

Desert Pain Specialists is Southern Utah’s premier interventional pain management team. The doctors and the entire staff at Desert Pain Specialists are dedicated to helping patients find relief from their pain.

Desert Pain Specialists is located in the new Riverfront Medical Center, 617 E. Riverside Drive, Suite 301 in St. George. The team has additional offices at 1760 N. Main St. in Cedar City and 340 Falcon Ridge Parkway, Suite 600, in Mesquite, Nevada.

Written by HOLLIE REINA, St. George News

• S P O N S O R E D   C O N T E N T  •

Resources

Desert Pain Specialists | Telephone: 435-216-7000 | Email: contact@desertpainspecialists.com | Website.

Locations:

  • St. George: 617 E. Riverside Drive, Suite 301.
  • Cedar City: 1760 N. Main St.
  • Mesquite, Nevada: 340 Falcon Ridge Parkway, Suite 600.

Email: news@stgnews.com

Twitter: @STGnews

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2018, all rights reserved.

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