Mid-Columbia patients needing surgery or treatment for back problems and other conditions requiring neurosurgical expertise will be the beneficiaries of a new agreement between Mid-Columbia Surgical Specialists (MCSS), Mid-Columbia Medical Center and The Center: Orthopedic & Neurosurgical Care & Research in Bend.
Through the agreement, Bend neurosurgeon Mark Belza, M.D., F.A.C.S., will be seeing patients locally during regular office hours at MCSS and providing surgical treatment when necessary at MCMC.
"This is a unique opportunity to provide neurosurgical care in a region that typically would not be considered large enough to support a full-time practice," said MCMC vice president Dianne Storby.
Dr. Belza said his presence in The Dalles will help answer an urgent need for a neurosurgical specialist who can serve patients throughout the eastern I-84 corridor.
"There is a real need for this kind of care in communities clear out to Pendleton," he said. "This will save people needing many types of neurosurgical care from having to make a trip all the way into Portland. We are pleased to be providing this level of service to the region."
As a neurosurgeon, Dr. Belza has received extensive education and training in the treatment of conditions that primarily affect the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves.
Patients with back pain, lumbar and cervical disk conditions and compression fractures caused by osteoporosis are among the many individuals who may benefit from neurosurgical care, Dr. Belza said.
The results of neurosurgical treatment can make a dramatic impact in a patient's quality of life, Dr. Belza added. For example, one new treatment to repair broken vertebrae caused by osteoporosis provides almost instantaneous relief for patients who previously had to suffer in pain for months.
Dr. Belza is a graduate of the University of Nevada, Reno, Medical School, and received extensive training in general surgery, neurology and neurosurgery in several settings including Stanford University Medical Center. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Neurosurgery and is certified by the National Board of Medical Examiners.
"Having Dr. Belza available is a real benefit to local patients," says Storby. "The people who benefit most from neurosurgical care often are dealing with great discomfort or pain, and to have to drive to Portland for care is a real hardship for them and their families. Now they get their treatment and spend their recovery time closer to home."
For more information please call The Center in Bend, 541/382-3344 or visit their website, thecenteroregon.com.