DeKalb Regional Medical Center has welcomed Dr. Darren Gannuch, M.D., a sleep specialist with board certifications with the American Board of Psychiatry & Neurology and the American Board of Sleep Medicine. Among the conditions he treats at the DeKalb Neurology & Sleep Center are sleep apnea, narcolepsy, and restless legs syndrome.
According to the National Institutes of Health, sleep apnea is very common, affecting more than 12 million Americans. This is characterized by repeated episodes of breathing distress during sleep –characterized by either short, shallow breaths or pauses in breathing. Sleep apnea can be caused by an obstruction in the nose, throat, or jaw area.
Gannuch said he has always had an interest in sleep and in 2001 had an opportunity to train in the emerging field of Sleep Medicine. He began practicing sleep medicine in 2001. Then, started his work at DeKalb Regional in October of 2019 and became a full time employee the following year.
“I chose to work full time at DeKalb Regional because the community that I have grown to love needed access to this specialty service. And of course, my desire to move to Fort Payne made the decision super easy,” said Gannuch.
His medical training was through Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans and his residency training was at Ochsner Medical Foundation in Jefferson, Louisiana.
“Since college, I’ve enjoyed the biological sciences. My undergraduate degree was in psychology, and I knew that creating positive circumstances and managing difficulties are keys to living a good life,” said Gannuch. “In my clinical practice, I became increasingly interested in the impact that poor sleep has on people’s lives. Sleep disorders are often unrecognized or untreated. I decided to further my education and practice sleep medicine full time.”
Gannuch treats many common issues on a daily basis.
“There are over 80 diagnosable sleep conditions, but according to Gannuch, the most common ones treated in the clinic are Obstructive Sleep Apnea, Narcolepsy, Insomnia and Circadian Rhythm Sleep Disorders like Delayed Sleep Phase Syndrome.”
Gannuch enjoys his work as a sleep specialist, making a meaningful difference in the lives of his patients.
“My favorite part of my job is the privilege of experiencing each time a patient tells me how much better they feel after beginning treatment. Those who start out resistant to using a CPAP return with stories of life-changing improvement. These success stories make my work especially meaningful,” he said.
His practice philosophy is patient-centered care. His goal is to help people obtain a restful night of sleep, which helps alleviate cardiovascular problems, improves immune functioning, reduces pain, helps mood and cognition and improves the quality of life.
He ensures each and every patient is comfortable coming into his office on their first visit. Gannuch says, having compassionate and caring staff that takes the time to explain each step in the treatment process helps put his patients at ease from check-in to check out.
“I’ve chosen to live and work in Fort Payne in large part because it is a smaller community. Patient care is far more effective when I have the opportunity to understand my patients’ circumstances and easily communicate with other health care providers. I also enjoy the opportunity to make a difference in my community by supporting the local hospital and other physicians,” said Gannuch.
Gannuch and his wife have two adult children. Their daughter is married and working on her Ph.D. in cancer research at UAB and their son is completing his final semester of college in supply chain management.
“We have filled their places in our home with two puppies that now rule the roost,” Gannuch said. His wife also owns and operates Untamed Gallery in downtown Fort Payne.
With rejuvenating sleep an essential component of health, DeKalb Neurology & Sleep Center provides diagnostic sleep studies and follow-up treatment for various sleep disorders.
Their experienced registered sleep technicians, utilizing computerized equipment, perform detailed sleep evaluations and generate comprehensive diagnostic reports in an expedient manner.