A group of physicians specializing in pain management is renovating part of a building on Ridgemont Drive to open a 7,400-square-foot ambulatory surgery center.
Integrated Pain Associates’ outpatient facility at 4351 Ridgemont Drive will have 10 pre-op bays, three surgery rooms and 10 post-op bays. The facility previously was home to Dr. Dan Munton’s Texas Sport and Spine, which IPA bought effective July 1 after Dr. Munton retired.
The Forge Training Facility continues to operate at the north side of the building that originally was home to Circuit City. D1 Sports previously was located in the building.
The surgery center cost is $3 million and is expected to open in July, IPA marketing representative Lydia Bailey said.
Central Texas roots
Dr. Scott Irvine started IPA in Killeen in 2007 with his wife. Since then, the group has grown to nine board-certified pain anesthesiologists serving more than 38,000 patients with practices also in Temple and Waco.
“We do all the most contemporary procedures,” Irvine said. “So, when they come, it’s not just one thing, or one dimensional. It’s multiple dimensions, and I think that is what’s been most exciting for these folks.”
IPA expanded into Abilene in September 2018 with the acquisition of Abilene Spine and Joint operated by Drs. Edward Brandecker and Roberta Kalafut at 1888 Antilley Road.
IPA is moving the Antilley Road surgery center to the new center on Ridgemont Drive, Irvine said.
“In the context of contemporary medicine and meeting all the new criteria associated with surgery centers, it does not pass. It passes now, because it’s grandfathered it, just like so many older things are, but that’s why we’re moving it,” Irvine said.
The new surgery center will be brighter, roomier and more streamlined for the benefit of patients and staff, he said.
The expansion into Abilene has been positive, Irvine said.
“What we’ve found is the people are just spectacular. The people are just wonderful,” Irvine said about the doctors’ expansion into Abilene.
Two IPA physicians are based in Abilene: Dr. Scott Campbell and Dr. Jerry Tarver.
“One of our requirements on these sorts of things is we don’t want to be viewed as sort of sharks coming to town,” Irvine said. “We hire people and put them in your town. They live there. We have two physicians who actually live and go to church in town. They’re part of the city.”
Irvine and other IPA physicians at Central Texas locations rotate through the practice to assist, Irvine said.
“You have to kind of think about it in terms of you would sort of think about a franchise,” Irvine said. “We’re taking a successful patient management model, we keep everybody educated and contemporary and then we say, ‘OK, let’s open this up and you guys can run this as your place.’ And, that’s what’s happening,” Irvine said.
Interventional procedures are used to address pain at the nerves instead of solely using narcotics, including opioid medications. Such minimally invasive procedures as a dorsal collar stimulator or implanted decompression spinal devices can reduce pain by 50 to 70 percent, Irvine said.
“We can then reduce your narcotic dosing by that amount and then reduce the exposure to the risks associated with opioids,” he said.
What else is in the works (or not yet) for Abilene
Following are updates on other commercial projects in the city, based on city permitting information:
► 3550-3558 S. Clack St. – A site plan for a new retail shell for multiple tenants has been submitted to the city for review, said Tim Littlejohn, building official with the city of Abilene. The lot is just north of Cheddar’s.
► 3650 S. Clack St. – The lot where a Burger King recently was razed after sustaining major storm damage has been cleared. Plans have been filed for a new Burger King building.
► Inca Trio Fire Services – A new company building is being built at 1009 Martin St.
► ALDI’s – No word from the company on a timeline for plans announced late last year to locate a store next to Kohl’s. The city also does not have permitting applications on file for the company, Littlejohn said.
► Torchy’s Tacos – The Austin-based regional restaurant and bar has listed on its website three job postings for an Abilene location: assistant manager, kitchen manager and managing partner. The company has not submitted permitting requests with the city, Littlejohn said.
► Panera Bread – Although long-rumored that the restaurant is coming to Abilene, no plans are on file with the city for the business, Littlejohn said.
► Tea2Go is opening a second location at 1152 E.N. 10th St. on Oct. 5.
By Laura Gutschke, Abilene Reporter-News