Break free from Chronic Pain today!

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At the Napa Pain Institute, our mission is to inspire hope and contribute to the health and well-being of our community here in the Bay Area by bringing more than two decades of experience in whole-patient care to the management of chronic pain.  Our work is driven by our core value: the needs of our patients come first.

Our Story

The Napa Pain Institute was founded in 1992 by Dr. Eric Grigsby, a national leader in the field of Pain Management who has devoted his life to advancing techniques and treatment methods to alleviate chronic pain. At the Napa Pain Institute, our providers seek a thorough understanding of the origin of patients’ pain issues and offer the latest techniques for the treatment of chronic pain. Through integrated clinical practice, research, and education, our caring, committed team are your partners in whole-patient health care, offering world-class treatment and support for those suffering from a range of debilitating chronic illnesses that result in ongoing pain.

Eric Grigsby, MD, MBA

Eric Grigsby, MD, MBA

Dr. Eric Grigsby enjoys a national reputation for excellence in the field of Pain Management. He has a background as a researcher, teacher and clinician, and brings over 25 years of clinical experience to the Napa Pain Institute. Dr. Grigsby attended elementary and secondary school in his hometown of Knoxville, Tennessee, and received a Bachelors Degree in Biology and Economics from Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island. He formed an interest in Pain Management as a career while working at Boston Children’s Hospital in the Department of Orthopedic Surgery.

After graduating from Boston University Medical School in 1984, Dr. Grigsby trained in General Surgery, Anesthesiology, and Pain Management at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. He was then invited to join the Medical Staff and teach at the Mayo Medical School until moving to California in 1989. The Dean of the University of California at Davis Medical Center then invited Dr. Grigsby to establish their first Pain Management Center, where he served as Medical Director until 1992. Following his post at UC Davis, Dr. Grigsby established his private Pain Management practice in Napa, California.

Today, he and his staff of over 50 professionals consult with patients from throughout Northern California and the western United States, and now Kauai and the Hawaiian Islands. More recently, Dr Grigsby completed his Masters in Business Administration from Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He speaks nationally on topics such as non-operative treatment of spinal disorders, the safe use of medications for treatment of pain, and the legal and regulatory issues relating to proper treatment of patients with chronic illness.

Dr. Melanie D. Johansson, MD, FACEP

Dr. Melanie D. Johansson, MD, FACEP

Dr. Johansson comes to us as a fellowship-trained and board-certified pain management specialist with nearly a decade of experience. She completed her fellowship training at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in Bethesda, MD where she then became the associate program director of the pain medicine fellowship and an assistant professor of military and emergency medicine. She graduated from the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine in Richmond, Virginia, was Pre-medicine at San Diego State University, and received her BSN from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.

Her breadth of experience comes from a full career of serving in the United States Navy where she was the recipient of multiple academic and military service awards including a Meritorious Service Medal, three Navy Commendation Medals, and numerous other individual, unit, and campaign awards. She has multiple published works and is the founding member of a military Pain Medicine Special Interest Group with the America Society of Regional Anesthesia.

In her free time, Dr. Johansson enjoys traveling, is newly married, loves dogs, and enjoys cooking and baking, as well as other creative pursuits.  She has a particular interest in advanced procedural techniques for chronic pain relief and the effects of lifestyle on pain and healing. She looks forward to continuing our mission of providing our patients with the best care, every day.

Gordon Iwasaki, PA

Gordon Iwasaki, PA

Gordon Iwasaki is a physician assistant with over twenty years of experience. He began his career in orthopaedics and industrial medicine. He has been working in pain management over the past seven years.

Mr. Iwasaki was raised in South San Jose and attended UC San Diego for his undergraduate degree. Later, he attended Charles Drew University in Los Angeles for his physician assistant studies and obtained his master’s from University of Nebraska. He has been residing throughout Southern California in Los Angeles, Riverside, and San Diego counties. He returns to Northern California to be closer to his family.

He remains a diehard 49ers and SF Giants fan and enjoys exercising and spending time with his canine companions and listening to music.

Helen Cheung, PA-C

Helen Cheung, PA-C

We welcome Helen Cheung to the Napa Pain Institute as Physician’s Assistant. Helen is a graduate of the Betty Irene Moore School of Nursing at UC Davis, with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She is also certified in BLS and Adult ACLS. Her past education includes a Wisconsin State RN license, which she held until February 2021, and adult ventilator certification until 2020.

Helen has gained extensive experience as a returning student PA at the Jerold Phelps Community Hospital (SoHum Clinic) in Humboldt County, where she performed physical exams, delivered oral presentations, engaged in patient education, and fostered therapeutic relationships with patients under the direct supervision of an MD. She also performed specific procedures such as splinting and wound care, and performed PAP smears and biopsies. Additionally, Helen gained valuable experience at the UCDH Cypress Building – Bariatric Surgery, where she observed and participated in pre- and post-op visits, patient education, morning rounds, and performed surgical scrub and intra-operative assistance.

Helen has also gained experience in urgent care, the emergency department, endocrinology, diabetes & metabolism, Hansen Family Health Center, and pediatric clinics, as well as the CORE Medical Clinic. In all of these settings, she has performed patient assessments, delivered oral presentations, and assisted with medication prescriptions, imaging and lab orders, and documentation. She has also performed various procedures, including wound closure, suture removal, incision and drainage of skin abscess, and pelvic exams. Through her experiences, Helen has developed a passion for providing quality patient care and expanding her clinical competency.

As your treatment at the Napa Pain Institute continues, we may ask you to provide us with more information, or share information with you — find more forms and information on the Patient Resources page.

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