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  • Avera and its Orthopedic Partners Introduce Personalized Medicine

Published on December 19, 2013

Avera and its Orthopedic Partners Introduce Personalized Medicine


MITCHELL & SIOUX FALLS (Dec. 19, 2013)– Avera and its orthopedic partners in Sioux Falls and Mitchell, S.D., today announce plans to offer personalized medicine for post-surgical pain management in patients undergoing elective orthopedic surgery.

Personalized medicine is a term which describes the use of genetic analysis to better manage a patient’s disease. In this case, the genetic analysis is a “snapshot” of how the liver metabolizes medication. Pharmacogenomics, an area of personalized medicine, is a novel, targeted approach that helps health care practitioners prescribe the best medication before treatment even begins. “Through personalized medicine, Avera is revolutionizing how we approach health care – and this is just the beginning,” said Dr. Dave Kapaska, Regional President and CEO of Avera McKennan Hospital & University Health Center.

Among common pain medications that are available to post-surgical patients, there are drugs that work well for a given individual, and others that don’t work at all. To date, physicians have relied on a trial-and-error approach. In comparison, personalized medicine harnesses genetic science and technology to understand how each individual metabolizes pain medications.

“We are unlocking the science behind pain control through our ability to select drugs that match each patient’s unique genetic characteristics,” said Dr. Gareth Davies, Scientific Director of the Avera Institute for Human Genetics.

Patients who see orthopedic surgeons at CORE Orthopedics Avera Medical Group and Avera Medical Group Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Mitchell will be offered a simple blood test based on their personal history with pain medications. For tests that are deemed medically necessary, Medicare provides reimbursement; co-pays and deductibles apply. Patients covered by private insurers should check with their insurance carrier to see if their plan provides coverage.

This blood test will be analyzed in Sioux Falls, at the Avera Institute for Human Genetics. Other area health care providers that offer personalized medicine send these tests out of state for analysis. Only Avera has the capability to analyze these tests by local genetics laboratory staff. “Avera is nationally set apart by having a genetics lab that can offer this service locally,” Dr. Davies said.

“Pain is a major concern for patients who have orthopedic surgery. We can’t eliminate pain completely, but we can offer a more targeted approach to pain control for our patients,” said Dr. Brian Kampmann with Avera Medical Group Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Mitchell.

Physicians will receive a one-page report with pharmacogenomics results and individualized consult notes from Avera genetics experts. This will help the physician choose pain medications based on how a person will metabolize a drug.

“Personalized medicine is a tremendous tool for physicians,” said Dr. Erik Peterson, Orthopedic Surgeon with CORE Orthopedics Avera Medical Group. “In addition to better pain management, patients will experience reduced side effects and faster recovery. We are excited to begin offering this cutting-edge technology to our patients – through a simple blood test.”

Avera plans to pilot personalized medicine with orthopedics, and looks to expand to other specialties in the future.

“Pain control for orthopedic surgery is just the beginning in this new and exciting field. Pharmacogenomics can be used in virtually every medical specialty, and shows particular promise in cancer care and behavioral health treatment,” said Krista Bohlen, PharmD, RPh, Research Pharmacist with the Avera Institute for Human Genetics.

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About Avera orthopedic partners in Sioux Falls and Mitchell:

CORE Orthopedics Avera Medical Group is Sioux Falls’ Center of Regional Excellence (CORE) for complete orthopedic care:  Sports medicine including arthroscopic treatment of upper and lower extremity injuries or disorders, total joint replacement, comprehensive spine care, fracture care, treatment of complex foot and ankle disorders and complete hand/wrist care. CORE offers on-site imaging tests, an outpatient surgical center, and the CORE On Demand walk-in orthopedic injury clinic. The CORE team includes Gregory F. Alvine, MD; Jeffrey S. Kalo, DO; Travis Liddell, MD; Scott McPherson, MD; Erik Peterson, MD; Travis Venner, DPM; David Watts, MD; Brett Bastian, PA-C; Angela Jean Majeres, PA-C; Ryan Klenner, PA-C; Tammy Crofutt, CNP;  and Mary Fiedler, CNP.

Avera Medical Group Orthopedics and Sports Medicine Mitchell offers a full range of orthopedic services, including arthroscopic surgery of shoulder and knee; joint replacement of the shoulder, hip and knee; and trauma/fracture care. In the realm of sports medicine, the practice also specializes in the non-operative treatment of musculoskeletal conditions, concussion management, and injury assessment and management.  The medical team is comprised of Brian Kampmann, MD; Chris Krouse, DO; John Swisher, DO, CAQ; Brandon Wegehaupt, PA-C, ATC; Benjamin Abbey, PA-C; Brian Hildebrandt, ATC; and Clayton Gropper, MS, ATC.

About the Avera Institute for Human Genetics:

The Avera Institute for Human Genetics (AIHG), founded in 2007, is a state-of-the-art genetics laboratory, equipped with advanced genotyping and genetic sequencing equipment. The AIHG and Avera Research Institute currently have active protocols for research projects investigating the benefit of pharmacogenomics in treating patients. In addition to conducting Avera-based studies, AIHG is a key partner with Vrije Universiteit in the Netherlands Twins Register, and collaborates with MD Anderson and the Fred and Pamela Buffett Cancer Center.  The AIHG team has had multiple manuscripts published in both national and international journals, furthering its genetics research.