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Sequim gets its own neurologist
by MARK ST.J. COUHIG
Olympic Medical Center has been working hard for years to bring a neurologist to the peninsula, describing it as one of its “urgent” physician needs.
Now, with a big assist from Swedish Medical Center, it has done just that.
Stafford Conway is hard at work at the Olympic Medical Physicians Specialty Clinic in Sequim, 840 N. Fifth Ave., Suite 1500.
Conway notes that he’s a neurologist, not a surgeon. As such he treats diseases of the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord and nerves.
Common nervous system diseases include Parkinson’s disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. He said the demand for those services is growing as 10,000 Americans a day turn 65.
Among younger people, he said, he often treats epilepsy.
He also handles nerve disorders, including sciatica.
Conway said he also expects to see more cases of multiple sclerosis in Sequim than in the past. He explained that the frequency of MS increases “as you move further from the equator.”
Conway said current studies suggest MS may be linked somehow to vitamin D.
Taking in sufficient vitamin D hasn’t been a problem for Conway, at least not to date. He grew up in Arkansas, went to college in Mobile, Ala., then attended medical school on Saint Martin, in the French West Indies. Before moving to Sequim a month ago, Conway was in private practice just north of Dallas.
He’s impressed with Olympic Medical Center, saying the diagnostic equipment, including the MRI and CT scanners are “state of the art.”
He’s also enthusiastic about the new sleep lab soon to be built by OMC.
While Conway works at OMC, he’s also an employee of Swedish Medical Center. “I have two bosses,” he said.
He has credentials for both OMC and Swedish, and is a member of the Swedish Neuroscience Institute.
Conway said he’s hoping to get back into fishing and hunting now that he’s back in rural America.
So far he loves what he sees. The peninsula is “a whole different scale of beautiful,” he said.
This past summer in Texas the mercury rose above 110 degrees 10 days in row, he said. Enough was enough.
Conway and his wife, Wendy, have three little boys, all enrolled in Sequim schools.