May ROSE Award: John Heintzman, M.D.

Doctor helps one patient beat chronic back pain and live life to the fullest

05/30/18  Portland, Ore.


John Heintzman, MD In May, OHSU honored South Waterfront's John Heintzman, M.D., M.P.H., with a ROSE award for taking one patient from extreme back pain to living a full, active, pain-free life - including a full marathon! Dr. Heintzman's nomination came straight from the patient he helped, who wrote:

I have been a patient at OHSU since 2005 and Dr. John Heintzman has been my primary care physician since 2010. During that time he has overseen my pain management program. When I first met Dr. Heintzman I was taking approximately 80mg of methadone a day due to several back surgeries and fusion and was consistently a 6-8 out of 10 on the pain scale. 

Dr. Heintzman worked with me to develop a plan to slowly reduce my intake of methadone while at the same time increasing my physical activity. He closely monitored this with me and always had words of encouragement. Dr. Heintzman's work with me has been truly amazing. 

Four years ago I ran my first half-marathon. The following year I ran a full marathon. Dr. Heintzman was a big supporter of doing both events which I'd never dreamed of when I first met him. 

Now I continue to run and also hike, backpack, lift weights, and garden with little to no pain. I'm now transitioning to an even lower dose of methadone, and hope to be completely off of it by this summer. 

My relationship with Dr. Heintzman and his involvement in my pain management program is one of the primary reasons I continue to come to OHSU. He is compassionate, down to earth, and listens to what I have to say. He takes an active role in my physical and mental health which has seen a vast improvement from when we first met. He is by far the best primary care physician I have ever had and I'm grateful for all his help in getting me to where I am today.

Photo: John Heintzman, M.D., M.P.H.