Announcing A Series of Five Free Public Lectures
Thursdays, 5:00 PM, 3 Madrona Street, Downtown Mill Valley
December 18 and January 8, 15, 22, and 29
New Methods, New Medications in the Treatment of Chronic Pain
Street parking available.
Please walk up the stairs.
We hope to see you there!
Dear Patients, Friends, and Colleagues:
With the holidays upon us, it is my pleasure to invite you to our free lecture series and to tell you about some of the new and innovative work happening at our medical practices and at Recovery Without Walls (RWW). The fields of pain and addiction medicine are rapidly evolving. Through our innovative use of lower risk and higher efficacy pharmaceutical tools and other treatment modalities, including those provided by astute clinical psychologists, we endeavor to provide the highest quality of medical care for our patients – both here in Mill Valley in our private practice at 3 Madrona Street – and in Oakland at the pain clinic for lower income residents of Alameda County at Highland Hospital (where I serve as the founding medical director).
I have continued to advocate for the appropriate use of buprenorphine as a front-line treatment of chronic pain disorders, particularly those associated with prior opiate dependency. Last April, I presented several of our published buprenorphine protocols at the American Society of Addiction Medicine’s annual meeting in Orlando Florida, at the day long Pain and Addiction: Common Threads conference.
I also continue to teach about these methods on a monthly basis as a member of the clinical faculty at the pain fellowship program at UCSF and consult with the Medical Board of California as an expert medical reviewer.
In particular, our protocol utilizing transdermal buprenrophine (Butrans) has created opportunities to better transition patients from more addictive opiates to sublingual buprenorphine and to help more patients who would otherwise not be able to handle this transition. We continue to be one of the few medical offices with experience in this important method. Buprenorphine has unprecedented potential to stabilize difficult pain syndromes, as compared to other more commonly used medications, and is conducive to low and tapering dose strategies.
In the pain field, we are also partnering with other pain clinicians who have expertise in regenerative approaches to joint repair, neuroplasticity concepts, innovative headache treatments, high dose CBD (a non-intoxicating derivative of cannabis), and intravenous ketamine.
Our nurse practitioner, Inna Zelikman, and I will be holding a series of five free lectures for the general public and professional community on chronic pain with a focus on new medications on Thursdays at 5 PM at our office in Mill Valley. The first one will be on December 18 and the following four will be in January on the 8th, 15th, 22nd, and 29th.
In the addiction field, we continue to partner with Shine A Light Recovery Support Systems, ROC Recovery Services for Women, and Executive Home Detox to provide seasoned sober coaching, companionship, and nursing – as a pillar of the program of Recovery Without Walls. We guide patients to Twelve-Step Recovery as well as to secular and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) oriented recovery (SMART and LifeRing Recovery) and Buddhist recovery (Refuge Recovery, Spirit Rock, and San Francisco Zen Center). LifeRing now has a regular meeting at 6:15 PM at our offices on Thursday evenings.
Our familiarity with Suboxone (a form of buprenorphine) for opiate addiction places us at the top tier of practitioners licensed to prescribe this drug, and we have developed individualized protocols, unavailable elsewhere, for getting patients both on and off of Suboxone.
We have also extended the work with the established drug, baclofen (a medication with low abuse potential) to a wider variety of alcohol, drug, and medication dependencies, particularly the challenges posed by benzodiazepines and sleeping pill habits. Also, we have been pioneering the use of transdermal selegiline (EMSAM), an energizing compound, in the mood stabilization of patients in recovery and with chronic pain and as an alternative to the more problematic use of stimulant drugs, such as the amphetamines for attention problems.
To stay up to date in these fields, I maintain current board certifications, recognized by the American Board of Medical Specialties, in both the pain and emergency medicine fields and remain board certified by the American Board of Addiction Medicine. In addition, I retain active medical staff privileges at Marin General Hospital to optimize our patients’ care when acute treatment is needed.
Our nurse practitioner, Inna, has taken a leadership role in the Diversion Program run by the State of California Board of Registered Nursing, which cares for and monitors registered nurses who have become chemically or psychiatrically impaired.
In addition to her role as Director of Clinical Psychology at our office in Mill Valley, Janis Phelps, Ph.D., also continues to teach, as a senior faculty, at the California Institute for Integral Studies’ graduate training programs.
Finally, we have established the Pharmacology Policy Institute, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, to support public policy work in the drug field independent of both government and industry. This is greatly needed in the addiction, pain, and buprenorphine fields. We look forward to providing further information about our developing programs in forthcoming newsletters.
Do not hesitate to call us, or attend a lecture, to obtain guidance in these areas. It is a gift and a privilege to have the knowledge and expertise to help and we want to attempt to pass this on to you. If we are unable to help you directly, we will endeavor to assist you in finding appropriate resources.
With hope for the health of our community.
Howard Kornfeld, M.D.