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Sleep center now in operation in Big Stone

staff report • Nov 13, 2012 at 11:43 AM

BIG STONE GAP — Wellmont Health System on Tuesday unveiled its delivery of sleep medical services in the Wise County and surrounding areas with its installation of a new sleep evaluation center at Lonesome Pine Hospital in Big Stone Gap.

Located between the LPH Birthing Inn and the hospital’s outpatient surgery department, the new sleep center began seeing patients on Nov. 1. Wellmont representatives and community leaders celebrated the opening during a ribbon cutting ceremony on Tuesday.

“We are excited to bring this service to Lonesome Pine Hospital and assist people who might not be getting the quality and duration of sleep they need,” said Lisa Kennedy, the new center’s director. “This new center will deliver high caliber sleep services and great comfort that will meet the needs of residents throughout Southwest Virginia.”

Dr. Leon Bass, a fellowship trained sleep medicine specialist who received specialized training to treat pediatric patients, said sleep evaluation centers play a key role to help improve the quality of life of patients.

“This will be a wonderful addition to the breadth of services already available at (LPH),” Bass said. “We look forward to helping residents of Big Stone Gap and other communities in Southwest Virginia with their sleep concerns so they can feel more refreshed and be assured they are getting the rest they need to avoid other potential health complications.”

The LPH center contains a four-bed diagnostic sleep lab and sleep evaluation clinic. One of the rooms is designed for patients with special needs.

Sleep medicine physicians focus on many potential reasons a person might not sleep well. Many times, sleep and breathing issues are connected and can be treated together.

People with sleep disordered breathing are at risk for other conditions such as headaches, peptic ulcers, acid reflux, high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary artery disease and strokes, Bass said.

“People who are having trouble sleeping should not ignore this aspect of their lives, but rather utilize valuable resources at their disposal that can be beneficial,” Bass said. “The new sleep evaluation center at Lonesome Pine can be a tremendous asset in boosting a patient’s physical and mental health.”

More information is available at www.wellmont.org.

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