Local doctor to serve on national committee

By BOB DARDEN Staff Writer The Greenwood Commonwealth

A Greenwood physician has been selected to serve on a committee of the American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery.

Dr. Sam Sprehe, 56, a board-certified otolaryngologist (head and neck surgeon) and board-certified allergist with Greenwood ENT and Allergy Clinic, is on a committee dealing with allergy immunology and asthma.

People representative of particular specialties are put on committees to “discuss current legislation, politics, the way insurance companies are treating us, anything from training programs to you name it,” he said.

Sprehe said he didn’t campaign for the position but was asked if he would agree to be considered. Because he is “double-boarded,” he is uniquely qualified to serve, he said.

He will travel to Washington, D.C., in September to participate in the association’s next semi-annual meeting. He also will take part in quarterly conference calls and be given “lots of papers to read and review,” he said.

For Sprehe, a native of Oklahoma City who has been in Greenwood since April 2010, dealing with allergies and asthma is a full-time job. He works with Dr. Michael Carter at the clinic.

He said he’s the only board-certified allergist in a 35,000-square-mile area.

“There’s nobody between Memphis and Vicksburg — from I-55 to the Arkansas Delta,” he said.

It also just happens that the Delta is a “hot bed” for allergies and asthma, he said.

Sprehe said he handled 11 cases Tuesday and performed 100 operations in July. In his first year in Greenwood, he performed 1,040 operations.

“I like to be busy,” he said. “I like to take care of the poor. I’m a Catholic, and we know that if you take care of the poor, you’re going to heaven.”

Sprehe earned undergraduate degrees in zoology and microbiology at the University of Oklahoma and graduated from that university’s medical school in 1983. He did two years of general surgery at the University of California at Los Angeles before specializing in otolaryngology at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.

Before coming to Greenwood, Sprehe practiced in North Carolina, Virginia and Amory. Most of his caseload in Greenwood has been Medicaid patients.

Sprehe said he’s happy in Greenwood.

“I wanted to stay busy and be happy. I don’t want to be some journeyman that’s moving around all the time,” he said.

Sprehe’s wife, Pamela, is the head allergy nurse at the clinic. They have three adult children: Phillip, 30; Eric, 28; and Amanda, 25.