Ty Thomas, MD
Dr. Thomas grew up in Oklahoma and graduated from Tulane University with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Economy and Philosophy. Dr. Thomas received his medical degree from the University of Oklahoma. After an internship year in internal medicine, he completed a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Alabama Birmingham.
Dr. Thomas tries to make the complexity of pain simple by establishing a diagnosis and identifying the pain generator and amplifier. If those cannot be repaired, he then attempts to find the nerve transmitting the pain signal and stop it using chemo and radiofrequency denervation techniques. This concept can be applied to most painful conditions. For example, chronic knee, hip, or shoulder pain secondary to arthritis can be successfully managed by denervating the sensory nerve supply from the joint.
Dr. Thomas believes pain should be treated and managed using many modalities. Medications, procedures, physical therapy, and psychiatric therapy are modalities he often employs together to return function and quality of life to those in pain. He also recognizes the resources and time required to diagnose, treat, and monitor patients in pain. Dr. Thomas believes painful conditions should be treated in a timely manner, and he sees all new patients as soon as possible for a new patient evaluation.
Chad E. Austin, MD
Dr. Austin graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a Bachelor of Science prior to attending medical school at LSU Health Sciences Center. Upon completing an internship at Baptist Health Systems, he began residency training at the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. Following residency, Dr. Austin pursued additional training in an Interventional Pain Management Fellowship under the direction of Richard M. Rosenthal, who is a pioneer in the use of Pulsed Radiofrequency in pain management.
Dr. Austin's ultimate goal is to improve function and quality of life while reducing pain. He strives to establish an accurate diagnosis and incorporates cutting edge, minimally invasive procedures for targeted pain relief treatment. Dr. Austin performs pain relief management procedures primarily in the spine but also in peripheral nerves, joints, and soft tissues. By incorporating radiofrequency technology, he is able to provide a longer duration of pain relief than many of the other treatments currently available. He also understands the complex multifactorial components that are involved in chronic pain and uses a comprehensive approach to treat the whole patient. Outside of work, Dr. Austin enjoys spending time with his wife, Alicia and their children. He is an avid adventurer and outdoorsman. He spends much of his free time traveling, whitewater kayaking, fishing and snowboarding.
Alexander M. Pisaturo, MD
Dr. Pisaturo grew up in the Northeast in Rhode Island and received his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from the University of Miami, Florida. From there, Dr. Pisaturo received his medical degree from New York Medical College and completed his internship at Greenwich Hospital, a Yale University affiliate. Following internship, Dr. Pisaturo proudly served four years on active duty in the United States Air Force as a commissioned officer and held the rank of Captain. While in the military, he functioned as an Aerospace medical physician for military aircrew and their families. He has been on multiple deployments in which he received training in Wilderness and Disaster medicine. After separating from the military, Dr. Pisaturo completed a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Alabama in Birmingham.
Dr. Pisaturo has an avid interest in musculoskeletal pain and kinesiology of the human body. He views musculoskeletal pain as a combination of physiological, mechanical, and psychological mechanisms. During initial patient evaluations, Dr. Pisaturo strives to assess the body as a whole to identify pain generators and arrive at an accurate diagnosis. He also utilizes electromyography and nerve conduction studies to accurately localize and diagnose neuropathic pain. Dr. Pisaturo understands that patients' pain is multifactorial and thus utilizes a comprehensive treatment approach, which includes injection techniques under ultrasound imaging, physical therapy and wellness, nutrition, as well as medications. In all, Dr. Pisaturo's goal is to give his patients the opportunity to improve their function and quality of life as well as to maintain their health through overall wellness.
Dr. Pisaturo's interests include traveling and experiencing many of the cultures the world has to offer. He also enjoys participating in sports to include baseball, hockey, tennis, and golf. Dr. Pisaturo not only encourages exercise, nutrition and wellness from his patients, but also implements these concepts into his daily life. He maintains an active lifestyle while running with his dog, Luna and playing Frisbee with her as well.
Audra Eason, MD
Dr. Eason is a native of Alabama and is a graduate of the University of Alabama where she received a Bachelor of Science in Chemical Engineering. She completed medical school at the University of South Alabama in Mobile and then completed her internship in Birmingham. After her internship, she attended Virginia Commonwealth University where she completed residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She then completed her fellowship in Interventional Pain Management at VCU.
Dr. Eason treats patients with all types of acute and chronic pain, including neck and low back pain, neuropathic pain, complex regional pain syndrome, migraines and cancer pain. With each patient, Dr. Eason performs a thorough examination to reveal the potential source of the pain. She then forms a comprehensive treatment plan tailored for that individual. Dr. Eason believes in all aspects of Pain Management including physical therapy, medications, and appropriate interventions. She also strives to support the body’s natural ability to heal through improving health with diet, exercise and smoking cessation.
Dr. Eason often utilizes non-surgical interventions to alleviate pain and aid recovery. These interventions include lumbar epidural steroid injections, cervical epidural steroid injections, facet joint injections and medial branch blocks, radiofrequency ablation procedures for the treatment of chronic pain, peripheral joint injections, peripheral nerve blocks, vertebral augmentation procedures such as kyphoplasty, and spinal cord stimulation, among other procedures.
She recognizes that pain can negatively affect quality of life including functional activities of daily living, social life, and emotional well-being. She believes in the role that psychology and psychiatry can play in improving coping mechanism and meditative techniques to improve daily symptoms. Dr. Eason believes that improvement in function and quality of life are the best outcome measures in the treatment of pain.
Dr. Eason holds board certification with American Academy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and in Pain Medicine through the American Board of Anesthesiology. Away from the office, Dr. Eason enjoys spending time with her family and friends.
Arrtie Pisaturo, MD
Dr. Pisaturo is a native of Alabama and graduated from the University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science degree. She continued her education by attending medical school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. After completing an internship in Montgomery, Dr. Pisaturo completed her residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dr. Pisaturo believes in treating each patient with respect, and appreciating his or her individual physical, mental and emotional needs. She uses an integrated treatment approach to pain that includes ultrasound-guided injection techniques, medications, electromyography and nerve conduction studies physical therapy, psychological and behavioral therapy. Dr. Pisaturo similarly recognizes the role nutrition plays in a person’s long-term health. Her goal is to improve a patient’s overall well-being and functionality at home and in the community.
Away from the office, Dr. Pisaturo enjoys traveling, exercising, cooking, gardening, and going to the movies. Most importantly, she enjoys spending time with family, especially her husband, Alex, and her dog, Luna.
Alicia Austin, MD
Dr. Alicia Austin graduated from Louisiana State University with a Bachelors of Science prior to attending medical school at LSU Health Sciences Center. Upon graduation in 2005, she began residency training in psychiatry at the University of Alabama at Birmingham, serving as chief resident in 2008. Her many interests include psychotherapy, mood disorders, anxiety disorders, and substance abuse disorders. Dr. Austin is board-certified.
Katie Guess, CRNP
Katie Guess is our Director of Clinical Operations. She joined our practice in 2011 as our first physician extender. Katie graduated from Auburn University in 2006 with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree and from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2009 with a Master of Science in Nursing degree. Prior to joining our practice, Katie worked in primary care. In addition to seeing patients as a Nurse Practitioner, Katie also served as our Clinic Manager from 2013 to 2015.
Katie has a passion for treating patients who suffer from chronic pain. She has seen thousands of patients benefit from Alabama Pain’s compassionate, comprehensive, multi-modal approach to chronic pain. She plays a vital role in delivering care at Alabama Pain in a variety of ways. As a clinician, she strives to ensure that every patient has the opportunity to live without the burden of chronic pain. As an administrator, she works daily with physicians and staff to optimize the delivery of care for our patients.
Outside of work, Katie enjoys spending time with her husband and their children. Her husband is a resident physician. They are involved at their church and lead a small group Bible study.
Avery Travis, PA-C
Avery grew up in Calhoun, Ga. After high school, she attended Auburn University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Biomedical Science. After graduation, Avery began the Surgical Physician Assistant program at the University of Alabama Birmingham. In 2012 she completed the program, earning her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies. Avery hopes to use her education to help patients overcome their pain. She believes in teamwork and using a multi-treatment approach to pain management. In her free time Avery enjoys spending time with her husband, Dustin, and their two dogs.
Natalie Chism, CRNP
Natalie Chism grew up in Birmingham and attended Samford University earning a bachelors of science in nursing in 2010. After graduating from Samford, she worked at UAB hospital on a neurological and surgical step down unit. In 2013, she received a Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Natalie believes in a holistic and collaborative approach to pain management. She strives to provide individualized, compassionate care to all patients. In her free time, she enjoys being with family and friends and traveling with her husband Zachary.
David Lee, CRNP
David grew up in the surrounding Birmingham area and attended Samford University, earning a Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing in 2008. After graduating David worked as a registered nurse for 5 years in the cardiac intensive care unit at Princeton Hospital in Birmingham. He also worked for 2 years as an instructor for an NCLEX review course. He received a Master’s of Science in Nursing from the University of Alabama in Birmingham in December 2013, and joined Alabama Pain Physicians in June 2014. David believes that each patient’s pain should be treated with a comprehensive and holistic approach, while treating each patient uniquely based on their individual needs. He desires to provide compassionate care that makes each patient’s visit a joyful experience. In his free time, David enjoys spending time with his children, Dawson and Bekah. He also enjoys sports such as football and basketball, outdoor activities, and traveling.
Heather Brewer, CRNP
Heather grew up in Charlotte, NC. After high school, she attended East Carolina University where she received her Bachelor of Science in Health Education & Promotion, concentrating in Community Health. Following graduation she then moved to Birmingham where she completed the accelerated 2nd degree nursing program at Samford University, obtaining her Bachelor of Science in Nursing. While working as a registered nurse she earned her Master of Science in Nursing through Samford's Family Nurse Practitioner program. Heather hopes to use her education to assist patients in conquering their pain. She believes in combining various treatment approaches to personalize care to the individual patient. Outside of work Heather enjoys traveling, being outdoors, and spending time with loved ones (especially her two dogs: Zeus and Remus).
Ashley Vaughan, CRNP
Ashley graduated from The University of Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2010. After graduating from Alabama, she worked at UAB in Birmingham as a Registered Nurse. In 2015, Ashley received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Ashley believes in using a comprehensive approach to pain management. She believes every patient’s treatment plan should be individualized to fit his or her specific needs. Outside of work Ashley enjoys spending time with her husband, son, and 2 dogs.
Mickey Brown, CRNP
Mickey Brown graduated from The University of Alabama with Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham in 2012. Mickey has worked in Emergency Medicine and has been in Pain Management for several years. Mickey believes in using a comprehensive approach to pain management with treatment plans individualized to meet the expectations of each patient to optimize outcomes.
Jessi Barthelemy, CRNP
Jessi Barthelemy grew up near the Birmingham area. Jessi originally graduated from Auburn University with an undergraduate and graduate degree in Exercise Science/Health Promotion. After deciding to pursue nursing, she graduated from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with her Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2011. Jessi worked at Brookwood Medical Center followed by UAB Hospital as a cardiology nurse. While working as a registered nurse, she enrolled in UAB’s Family Nurse Practitioner Program and graduated with her Master of Science in Nursing in August 2016. Jessi desires to provide each patient with compassionate care and she strives to utilize a comprehensive approach in helping patients manage their chronic pain. Outside of work, Jessi enjoys spending time with her family, traveling and spending time outdoors.
Sara Byars, CRNP
Sara Byars graduated from Samford University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2011. After graduating she worked as an RN at Marshall Medical Center North in Guntersville, AL and then at Brookwood Medical Center in Birmingham, AL. Sara received her Master of Science in Nursing from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. Sara believes in a holistic approach in treating her patients. She feels that a customized, comprehensive treatment plan, using multiple modalities is the best way to manage pain. Sara strives to provide the best care possible in order to help improve her patient’s quality of life. Outside of work Sara enjoys spending time with family and friends.