Wellmont Opens Sleep Evaluation Center At Lonesome Pine Hospital, Boosting Quality Of Life

Wellmont Health System is creating an efficient delivery of sleep medicine services with the development of a sleep evaluation center at Lonesome Pine Hospital.

The center, located between The Birthing Inn and the outpatient surgery department, began seeing patients Nov. 1. Wellmont representatives joined community leaders to celebrate its opening at a ribbon-cutting ceremony Tuesday, Nov. 13, at the hospital.

“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 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, who is fellowship-trained in sleep medicine and received specialized training to treat pediatric patients, said sleep evaluation centers play a key role in helping improve a person’s quality of life.

“This will be a wonderful addition to the breadth of services already available at Lonesome Pine Hospital,” Dr. 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.”

Lonesome Pine’s sleep evaluation center will contain a four-bed diagnostic sleep lab and a sleep evaluation clinic staffed by board-certified physicians and other caregivers who can treat patients of all ages. One of the rooms is specially designed for patients with special needs.

Sleep medicine physicians focus on the many potential reasons why someone might not be achieving optimal rest. Many times, sleep and breathing issues are connected and can be treated together.

People with sleep-disordered breathing are at risk for developing other conditions, such as headaches, peptic ulcers, acid reflux, high blood pressure, diabetes, coronary artery disease and strokes, Dr. Bass said. Some people have also experienced weight fluctuation and gain, difficulty concentrating and mood disorders.

Insufficient rest can also lead to more work errors and accidents, he 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,” Dr. Bass said. “The new sleep evaluation center at Lonesome Pine can be a tremendous asset in boosting a patient’s physical and mental health.”

The Lonesome Pine facility creates a regional Center of Excellence to bring Southwest Virginia the most comprehensive scope of services to diagnose and treat sleep disorders through the consolidation of labs previously offered at Lee Regional Medical Center and Mountain View Regional Medical Center.

The new center at Lonesome Pine enables Wellmont to effectively ensure Southwest Virginia has a sustainable model of health care. Greg Neal, president of Wellmont’s community hospital division, said this revision ensures Wellmont can deliver superior health care with compassion by maximizing resources.

Neal said specialty-trained technical staff and physicians have been deployed to the Lonesome Pine center.

“They are working hard to grow and offer even more service to patients entrusted to our care,” Neal said. “We are thrilled to develop this new center with excellent capacity that will empower residents with sleep concerns with valuable information that can positively impact their lives.”

By developing this center, Wellmont is investing in the community and positioning it for long-term success.

“It reinforces our commitment to make Wise County a national model how community hospitals not only can survive but also thrive in today’s healthcare landscape,” Neal said

Patients can receive a referral for a sleep evaluation at the Lonesome Pine center from a primary care physician or specialist.

Learn more about sleep evaluations and Wellmont’s sleep services. Information is also available by calling Wellmont Nurse Connection at 1-877-230-NURSE (6877).