bonsai tree

The bonsai tree represents the Pain Management Philosophy of Denali Healthcare

The Bonsai Tree Represents the Pain Management Philosophy of Denali Healthcare.  Each patient receives a personalized strategy, their medications are meticulously selected and adjusted, and the overall expectations of treatment are shaped to maximize the relief they receive.

About Pain Management the Denali Way?

It is a goal oriented approach that concentrates on results, not on your choices.  We want to ease your suffering, not make you choose between two therapies that are working- each in their own way.  Dr. Bob Townsend  and Dr. Sarah Starr and their staff of nurses, counselors, and alternative medicine healthcare providers work together to relieve suffering, to treat addiction to pain medications, and to improve your quality of life.

Denali Healthcare is firmly planted in the 21st Century, yet in many ways brings back the personal attention long missing from modern medicine.

  1. We have 8 offices and over 10 outreach clinic to serve you in your community.
  2. All offices and outreach clinics are interconnected via our electronic medical record.
  3. Initial pain management and suboxone therapy patients are seen in one of our offices.
  4. Follow up visits and medical marijuana certifications are available at ALL offices and outreach clinics.
  5. Patients can seamlessly be seen at any office with the same integrated medical record.

Pain Management Locations

Cadillac Pain Management

Gaylord Pain Management

Kalamazoo/Portage Pain Management

Marquette Pain Management

Mt Pleasant Pain Management

Muskegon Pain Management

Saginaw Pain Management

Traverse City Pain Management

You can download and print the intake form by clicking the button below. Please print and fill out prior to coming to your appointment.

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What Makes Denali Healthcare So Different

Minimizing Costs to The Patient

At Denali Healthcare we promote cost effective pain medications. While many physicians do not know the cost of the medications they write, we do because someone has to pay for them be that the patient, government programs or private insurance. In many cases that is the patient and we as prescribers have an obligation to be cost effective for the patient.  Our approach is to make our treatments both efficient and affordable, and our office visits are FAR less expensive than going to the ER. As a side bonus, you get to see your doctor, who is familiar with your case, rather than whoever is on duty. The initial visit is $300 which includes your evaluation, follow up visits are $125 and we do random drug screens at an additional cost of $60.


As an independent medical practice, our solid medical judgment is not hampered by the outside interference of a hospital/clinic administrator or insurance company. Our goal is approach your pain with every means available, without interference, and without judging your choices. We believe that patients should never have to choose between any treatments that are working for them.

Our use of traditional medicines in the treatment of chronic pain is rational & conservative.

Our Chronic Pain Strategy Is Better Than This

pain medicines covering table in front of patient

Chronic Pain Medications are Overused

Chronic pain medications are over used…

Our experience with chronic pain patients has shown us that most are over-medicated with short acting narcotics. Too often, a prescription is the way to end the office encounter, and a urine drug screen is used to dismiss rather than treat the patients. At Denali Healthcare, we are goal driven to return you to good function by monitoring your intake of pain medications and creating a schedule that works specifically for you.

Traditional pain medications, long and short acting, have their place in our overall strategy to ease your suffering and improve the quality of your life. At Denali Healthcare, we would rather effectively manage medications for our chronic pain patients than fill your kitchen tables with them.

Our Rational Pain Management Approach…

The Denali Way of Rational Pain Management is to combine baseline pain control with scheduled medication and a flexible response to the peaks of breakthrough pain with ‘as needed’ medication. The lowest effective dose of medication is used for each segment of the strategy.

We use scheduled medications such as a long acting narcotic combined with a Motrin like medication to make the narcotic work better. This is taken on a schedule, every day, to provide a baseline pain control. This baseline pain control is key to overall improvement in your quality of life- it is the cornerstone of ‘rational pain management’.

Ideally, this will reduce a patient’s average pain by about 50% and will be adjusted until a 50% reduction is achieved.

An ‘as needed’ medication is generally a short acting narcotic that is used when a flare of pain occurs. We generally give these pain medications with the direction to take ‘every 6 hours as needed’ with a limited amount given each month.  This patient directed self-medication in response to acute on chronic pain is the flexibility a patient needs to go with the baseline pain control of the scheduled medications. Together they form the concept of rational pain management.  We do not give enough to take this ‘as needed’ medication as often as it ‘can’ be given, we do not expect patients to have to take it that frequently.

If you have a flare, you may take one of your ‘as needed’ medications. You may, if needed, take a second dose 6 hours later, but it does not mean you take 4 tabs a day, every day.

When giving an ‘as needed’ medication you can take every 6 hours, we generally give 30 or 60 to last the month. If that isn’t enough, you don’t have enough baseline pain control with your scheduled medicines, and we will increase those at your next visit rather than give early refills of your short acting ‘as needed’ medications.

Methadone for Pain Management – Denali Healthcare Michigan Dr. Townsend uses methadone for pain management due to low cost, long duration of action and a good side effect profile. Explore the reasoning here.


Classification of Pain

Classification and Causes of Pain

What is Causing My Pain? – Denali Health Care Michigan A brief discussion of the major classifications of pain by Denali Healthcare. Understand the source of the pain to plan treatment. The way you ‘feel’ your pain, the distribution of the pain, and history of disease or injury helps us determine what kind of pain you are having, and how best to treat it.  Call us for an evaluation at 989-339-4464


The Denali Way- a Goal Oriented Approach

Our approach to pain and suffering is designed to return the patient to function and quality of life.

What good is medicating a patient to make them ‘pain free’ when they can no longer stay awake to do the things that make life worth living? Our goal is to bring pain under control to the point the patient can function, to be an active participant in their lives. To do this we employ every tool available, both traditional and non-traditional, with a goal to reduce their baseline pain by 50% and return the patient to function.  Denali Healthcare is a marijuana friendly pain management clinic.

Call 989-339-4464 for an Appointment Today!

Print and fill out our intake forms:


To Learn More:

Writing a Prescription

Denali Healthcare Pain Management

Prescription Drug Abuse Leading Cause of Death – Denali Healthcare Prescription Drug Abuse to be Leading Cause of Accidental Death in 2014- Denali Healthcare Pain Management

All pain and addiction patients are drug tested initially and at random intervals, we run MAPs reports frequently to follow prescription fills, and we work closely with counseling and other professionals to address new coping mechanisms, address triggers, and set patients up to succeed in our programs.

Denali Healthcare Locations

Denali has offices throughout the state.

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