Sergeant Ashley Thayer, a Yakima native, joined the army in 2007 and served in Iraq and Afghanistan. In 2011, while deployed in Afghanistan, she suffered a spinal cord injury, which resulted in two back surgeries, including a spinal fusion. Her treatment at Madigan Army Medical Center’s new Interdisciplinary Pain Management Center (IPMC) in Tacoma is helping her recovery. Last year, as part of the Army Surgeon General’s campaign to improve pain management for wounded soldiers, Madigan became one of five sites throughout the U.S. and Germany to open an IPMC. In partnership with Puget Sound Veteran Affairs, Bastyr Institute, the University of Washington, and others, the IPMC offers team-based care and treatments including physical and occupational therapy, chiropractic care, health psychology, massage, and more. For Thayer, the IPMC has helped provide a better quality of life. “Even though I still have pain, I feel that I’m able to do more throughout my day than I could have before,” she says.
This article appeared in the August 2012 issue of Seattle Met.