St. Mary Medical Center Opens New Pain Center at Hospital in Hobart

Melanie Marksteiner, RN, BSN, clinical nurse leader for the Pain Center at St. Mary Medical Center, conducts a tour of one of the facility’s procedure rooms. The Pain Center is located on 2 East at the hospital in Hobart.

As part of its commitment to improving patients’ quality of life through effective pain management, St. Mary Medical Center of Hobart recently opened its new Pain Center on the second floor of the hospital, 1500 S. Lake Park Avenue. The new unit features exam rooms and procedure suites where patients can undergo assorted outpatient procedures, including epidural injections, nerve blocks and other treatments not requiring anesthesia.

“Our mission at St. Mary Medical Center is to save lives, but also to preserve and enhance the quality of our patients’ day-to-day lives,” said St. Mary Medical Center CEO Janice Ryba. “Chronic or debilitating pain from injury or illness can turn the simplest of activities into daunting challenges. The goal of our Pain Center is to provide our patients with comprehensive, compassionate pain treatment, and to give them the tools and information they need to manage their conditions with minimum disruption to their daily lives.”

The Pain Center is part of the Surgery Department at St. Mary Medical Center. Patients will be cared for by Nikhil Shetty, MD, the fellowship-trained pain-management physician. Shetty recently joined Midwest Interventional Spine Specialists, a practice affiliated with St. Mary Medical Center and the Community Care Network, Inc.

Shetty said pain management is about developing individualized treatment plans for patients that will allow them to function more comfortably and efficiently in their day-to-day lives, preferably without the use of medications.

“My main goal is to help restore the function of my patients while also treating their pain,” said Shetty, who attended medical school at Wayne State University in Detroit and completed his residency and internship at Oakland University’s William Beaumont School of Medicine in Rochester, MI. “My goal is to mitigate somebody’s pain through procedures and to diminish the use of medication. I want to allow them to continue functioning in society.”

Shaun Kondamuri, MD, managing director of Midwest Interventional Spine Specialists, said the current opioid crisis has created a need for the kind of high-quality treatment of chronic pain that patients will receive at the Pain Center.

“At a time when more and more Americans suffer from chronic pain, even more than the number of people suffering from diabetes, cancer, stroke, and heart disease combined, this is a perfect time for St. Mary Medical Center to invest in a state-of-the-art pain center,” Kondamuri said. “The doctors at Midwest Interventional Spine Specialists are excited about our partnership with St. Mary and look forward to educating patients on the risk versus benefits of treatment options and helping them return to normal, active lives. This collaboration offers a professional and holistic approach that is fresh and new and should create positive patient outcomes.”

“Having our newest associate, Dr. Nikhil Shetty, at St. Mary Medical Center on a full-time basis will allow better access to high-quality pain management care,” he added. “It enables us to introduce other forms of therapy as first-line options in the effort to provide safe, effective pain management to the members of this community.”

Director of Surgical Services for St. Mary Medical Center Mia Wolf said the new facility will also offer convenience for many patients.

“The Pain Center is an exceptional facility, and the benefit for our patients is that now we have our examination rooms and our procedure rooms in one location,” Wolf said. “This makes everything very convenient for our patients and for our medical staff. The hospital continues to invest in services to support the well-being of the patients in our community.”

The Pain Center at St. Mary Medical Center is now open for patient appointments and Dr. Shetty is accepting new patients. Call 219-947-6695 to make an appointment.

St. Mary Medical Center is one of three hospitals of Community Healthcare System including Community Hospital in Munster and St. Catherine Hospital in East Chicago. To learn more about the physicians and services of Community Healthcare System or to locate an outpatient care or surgery center near you, visit