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World’s Top Pain Experts to Speak in Billings: Physicians Continue Dr. John C. Oakley’s Work and Spirit

June 02, 2009
St. Vincent Healthcare is privileged to announce that the nation’s leading Pain Medicine experts will converge in Billings for the 1st Annual John C. Oakley Memorial Pain and Neuromodulation Scientific Meeting. The speakers attending are recognized throughout the world as thought leaders in the area of Pain Medicine and will bring together their diverse expertise at the St. Vincent Healthcare Mansfield Health Education Center on Friday, June 5, 2009 from 8:00am–6:00pm. This first-of-it’s-kind Meeting has been much anticipated.

Each speaker, once touched by Oakley’s passion for Pain Medicine, will donate his or her time and travel to be here for the conference. The experts will cover vast topics of Pain Medicine including: Neurobiology of Pain, Headache and its Surgical Treatments, Advanced Pain Therapies and more; education that will bring a higher quality of pain care and improved pain treatment to our region. Dr. Oakley served hundreds of patients across our community.

John C. Oakley, MD was a world-renowned expert in pain medicine and a founding board member of the National Pain Foundation. His life was tragically cut short in a plane crash on April 17, 2006. Over the past three years, his legacy of kindness, curiosity and adventure has continued in the work and spirit of the hundreds of colleagues, friends and family members he influenced and inspired during his time on earth.

Born in 1946, his interest in helping people through education or ministry developed into a passion for medicine. After years of college, medical school, internships and residency, John returned to Seattle, the place of his birth, to establish a private practice in neurosurgical medicine at Northwestern Hospital. After 17 years in Seattle, he moved to Billings and joined the Yellowstone Neurosurgical Associates practice at St. Vincent Healthcare.

Today, Billings’ patients are evaluated and treated for pain management at the St. Vincent Healthcare Northern Rockies Regional Pain Center, of which Dr. Oakley helped create and establish before he died.

The John C. Oakley, MD Memorial Fund for Pain Research and Education was established in 2007 to pay tribute to the legacy of Dr. Oakley's compassionate care for patients living with pain by:

  • supporting his search for better methods of pain management through clinical research and new technologies,
  • honoring his gift of teaching through support of educational opportunities for patients and physicians,
  • honoring his faith by continuing his exploration of pain and spirituality, and
  • honoring his pursuit of excellence in care by supporting and encouraging physicians going into pain management.

There are a limited number of openings for registration still available--to register for the event, please visit www.nwrei.org, or call 237.5300 for more information. The conference is geared toward medical providers and students who have an interest in or work in the field of pain management. The public is welcome to attend. The registration fee is $50 for the public and students, $150 for medical providers.

About St. Vincent Healthcare:

St. Vincent Healthcare is a comprehensive system of award-winning healthcare services located in Billings, Montana. St. Vincent is a regional destination hospital which serves a four-state area and more than 900,000 people each year. A comprehensive range of services include a Level II trauma Center, cardiothoracic and vascular medicine, comprehensive cancer services, family-centered maternal and child health – a Level III B NICU & Pediatric Intensive Care Unit – neurosurgery, orthopedics and the region’s most advanced diagnostic services. St. Vincent Healthcare is part of the Sisters of Charity of Leavenworth Health System. St. Vincent Healthcare’s quality, mission-driven, charitable healthcare has been in existence for more than 110 years. To learn more about St. Vincent Healthcare, visit www.svh-mt.org.