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The Top Pain Centers in the USA

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  • The Top Pain Centers in the USA

    (If you're an IC patient struggling with pain care, this list of clinics might prove very helpful. These are the top pain award recipients for 2007!! - Jill )

    American Pain Society Announces Recipients Of Clinical Centers Of Excellence In Pain Management Awards

    The American Pain Society (APS) announced recipients of its first Clinical Centers of Excellence in Pain Management Awards honoring the nation's outstanding pain care centers. Six multidisciplinary pain programs were selected. They are:

    -- NYU Medical Center / Hospital for Joint Diseases, Bellevue Hospital Center, Comprehensive Pain Management Center, New York

    -- The Rosomoff Comprehensive Pain Center, Miami

    -- Brigham and Women's Hospital, Pain Management Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Boston

    -- UCSF Pain Management Center and UCSF PainCARE, Center for Advanced Research and Education, San Francisco

    -- Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Division of Pain Management

    -- James A. Haley Veterans Affairs Hospital, Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program, Tampa

    More than 90 applications were judged by a panel of prominent pain management experts. The program was established by APS to recognize forward-thinking teams of health care professionals who address critical needs in pain management in their communities. Any US-based, multidisciplinary, clinical program that provides direct patient care and focuses primarily on pain management was eligible to apply. The recipients will receive their awards at a ceremony during the APS Annual Scientific Conference in Washington, DC, May 2 - 5.

    "We were very impressed by the quality of the programs submitted for consideration and, as a pain care professional, I'm deeply gratified to see such outstanding outcomes being achieved by multidisciplinary pain care teams nationwide,"s aid APS President Judith Paice, Ph.D., R.N., F.A.A.N., director, cancer pain program, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine.

    "As APS celebrates its 30th anniversary this year, the Clinical Centers of Excellence Awards pay tribute to the organization's ongoing advocacy on behalf of multidisciplinary pain care. Accordingly, these awards honor pain care teams for overcoming difficult challenges every day to deliver optimal and exemplary care for those with chronic-pain disorders, post-surgical pain, trauma-induced pain and pain from cancer and other life-threatening conditions," Paice added.

    A recurring quality of leading pain programs, according to Paice, is their success in helping pain patients enhance their overall functionality and quality of life. "While drugs play an important role in treatment, incorporating cognitive-behavioral and physical therapies and other approaches is the major therapeutic advantage of the multidisciplinary approach for treating the whole person, not just the pain. Our award recipients and other centers are proving every day that integrated, multidisciplinary pain care yields the best long-term outcomes - medically, psychologically and socially," she said.

    Treating Severely Wounded War Vets
    James A. Haley Veterans' Affairs Hospital, Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program, Tampa

    This is the largest and most comprehensive pain center in the VA system, according to Michael Clark, Ph.D., clinical director, chronic pain rehabilitation program. It treats veterans from anywhere in the US and specializes in rehabilitative pain management. To face the challenges of treating wounded veterans from combat in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Haley VA recently implemented chronic pain treatment programs for polytrauma victims often with severe emotional distress.

    "We're treating patients with significant head injuries who are transferred to our Polytrauma Rehabilitation Center (PRC) from military treatment facilities. Many wouldn't have survived their injuries in Vietnam or the Gulf War," said Clark. He added that pain assessment and management is challenging in these patients, given the prevalence of cognitive impairment and multiple complex injuries.

    "These patients often come to us on high doses of opioid analgesics, which can interfere with their involvement in rehabilitation. Therefore, we frequently have to intervene with behavioral pain management modalities, including cognitive-behavioral therapy to reduce medication use and start rehabilitation programs to restore functionality," said Clark. "Most of the PRC patients prefer not taking opioids due to adverse effects, and approximately 55 percent leave totally off opioid pain medications while others leave with substantially reduced dosages." Clark said the average pain reduction during treatment exceeds 50 percent.

    Providing Comprehensive Pain Care 24/7
    NYU Medical Center, Hospital for Joint Diseases, Bellevue Hospital Center, Comprehensive Pain Management Center, New York

    Pain treatment at this center targets both physical and psychosocial function with combinations of medications, physical therapy, cognitive-behavioral therapies and pain interventions. Pain management consultations are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the center's multidisciplinary pain team.

    "We highlight the word comprehensive because our integrated inpatient-outpatient program epitomizes all things comprehensive," said Christopher Gharibo, M.D., assistant professor of anesthesiology. "Our acute and chronic pain management programs are designed to optimize pain control, clinical outcomes and patient satisfaction. This is enhanced by our clinicians' ability to use the vast multi-departmental resources within our institution."

    Standard procedures at NYU Medical Center / Hospital for Joint Diseases call for pain management documentation systems that include pain-outcome tracking, pain education in physician and nurse orientation follow-up programs, hospital-wide pain awareness weeks, institution-specific analgesic pocket cards, continuing medical education and quality improvement programs, and special analgesic pathways for patients with addiction problems and post-operative pain.

    Minimizing Drug Dependence in Pain Care
    The Rosomoff Comprehensive Pain Center, Miami

    The Rosomoff Comprehensive Pain Center (RCPC) was one of the first truly multidisciplinary pain centers, in which all members of an integrated team of health professionals work under one roof. Created in 1974 as part of the University of Miami Department of Neurological Surgery, the RCPC is a premier program of the Miami Jewish Home and Hospital. Co-founded by noted pain clinician, neurosurgeon and researcher Hubert L. Rosomoff, M.D., D.Med.Sc., and Renee Rosomoff, R.N., M.B.A., the center has treated more than over 30,000 individuals since 1974, in addition to evaluating and advising thousands more. "We treat all types of pain sufferers without exclusion," said Dr. Rosomoff, the medical director. "Our main focus is restoring the patients' function and quality of life."

    For years, the RCPC marched in the opposite direction of traditional thinking - no surgery, no opioids. The Rosomoffs believe that narcotics are not effective for chronic, long-term pain management. Patients must agree to be tapered from opioids. Renee Rosomoff, program director, reports that 93 percent of their patients complete treatment no longer taking these medications.

    The RCPC believes that soft tissue abnormalities, which go undiscovered and untreated, are most often the cause of chronic pain. Surgeries are not the answer. The center relies on an aggressive physical medicine/behavioral medicine approach. The multidisciplinary team addresses patients' physical, functional, behavioral, socioeconomic, and medical issues concurrently. Regular follow-up is an important feature. Patients are encouraged to transmit pain diaries for advice and correction, or to send photos of physical issues. "Ours is a vigorous and tough rehabilitation program, for a life-long process," said Renee Rosomoff. "Patients are given the physical and psychological tools to control and prevent their pain from returning."

    Applying High-tech Tools in Pain Management
    Brigham and Women's Hospital, Pain Management Center, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Boston

    Multidisciplinary and multimodal are the best words to describe the Pain Management Centers in the hospital's Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine.

    The staff includes experts from a wide range of medical specialties as well as physical therapists, massage therapists, acupuncturists and dentists. According to Srdjan S. Nedeljkovic, M.D., fellowship program director, the team strives to achieve a unified approach in evaluating pain problems and is committed to using innovative approaches to tailor treatment to patient profiles. Also, staff has developed legislative policies at state and regional levels and models of pain care practice for insurance companies.

    Drawing from the diverse array of practitioners, the center is uniquely positioned to offer a wide variety of interventional and non-interventional pain-management approaches. In addition, a highly competitive educational fellowship program is maintained, with graduates continuing on as leaders in the field of pain medicine. The center is also highly regarded for its successful programs utilizing computer and information technology in the assessment of pain patients, its screening methods to check for addiction risk in opioid-treated patients, and for its patented pain treatment algorithms and back-to-work initiatives.

    Teaching Busy Doctors How to Treat Pain
    UCSF Pain Management Center and UCSF PainCARE, Center for Advanced Research and Education, San Francisco

    Creating and expanding pain management education programs for busy practitioners who don't have time for extended degree programs has been a major achievement of this program, according to PainCARE Director Pamela Pierce Palmer, M.D., Ph.D.

    PMC faculty members develop patient care policies and education programs for UCSF and teach almost everywhere, from community-based grand rounds to international conferences. PainCARE has partnered with the UCSF Medical Center at Mount Zion since 2003 to present Challenges in Managing Pain, a quarterly seminar broadcast in real time to centers throughout northern California, and also launched its Postgraduate Certificate in Pain Management-Online Program in 2004. The only intensive pain management education initiative of its kind in the U.S., the curriculum was created as part of an international pain education program developed with the Universities of Sydney and Edinburgh.

    "We don't want to be the people in the ivory tower," said Palmer. "Our goal is to strengthen knowledge about pain and pain management at the clinical level, as well as to provide top-quality multidisciplinary pain care to our patients." The UCSF Pain Management Center treats more than 10,000 patients a year, of which 70 percent are seen for chronic non-cancer pain.

    Being Creative Improves Pediatric Pain Care
    Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Division of Pain Management

    Traditionally, shots and pills were seen as the main way to treat pain in children. Many treatment models focused on the hurting body part and not the whole patient.

    "We're not afraid to try something new if that's what's right," says Kenneth Goldschneider, M.D., director of the division of pain management, "and we're not restricted by traditional boundaries when it comes to finding out why children hurt and what to do for their pain."

    Cincinnati Children's approaches a child in a holistic way. Division members draw from a wide array of treatment options to fashion individualized treatments for their patients. All patients and their families presenting to the Chronic Pain Clinic receive an initial assessment by the entire interdisciplinary team as well as integrated follow-up. Ongoing communication among the care team is a particular strength of Cincinnati Children's holistic approach. Goldschneider said this is especially important for patients whose developmental trajectory changes as rapidly as it does in children.

    The program has served as a model for hospitals throughout the country seeking to upgrade their pediatric pain management programs. Additionally, team members conduct research on the outcome of chronic pain treatment, looking for patterns and themes that will help practitioners to fashion better treatment plans. The team also is cooperatively working to edit a book on practical pediatric pain management for primary care physicians with Gary Walco, Ph.D. of the Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital in New Jersey.

    Honorable Mention Selections

    The APS judging panel also identified eight centers for honorable mention recognition. They are:

    -- Dept. of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care, Beth Israel Medical Center, NY

    -- UW Health, University of Wisconsin Health Pain Care Services, Madison

    -- Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Adolf Meyer Chronic Pain Treatment Program, Baltimore

    -- University of California Davis, Division of Pain Medicine, Sacramento

    -- University of California San Diego Center for Pain Medicine

    -- The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center Pain Medicine, Houston

    -- Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, Richard Barrett Pain Management Center, Lebanon, NH

    -- Oregon Health & Science University, Pediatric Pain Management Center, Portland

    About the American Pain Society

    Based in Glenview, Ill., the American Pain Society (APS) is a multidisciplinary community that brings together a diverse group of scientists, clinicians and other professionals to increase the knowledge of pain and transform public policy and clinical practice to reduce pain-related suffering.

    APS was founded in 1978 with 510 charter members. From the outset, the group was conceived as a multidisciplinary organization. APS has enjoyed solid growth since its early days and today has approximately 3,200 members. The Board of Directors includes physicians, nurses, psychologists, basic scientists, pharmacists, policy analysts and more.
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  • #2
    I'm glad people are beginning to realize they have to treat the whole person and stop this ridiculous and damaging Cartesian view of body parts as unrelated to the person as a whole.

    I refuse to be drugged to death.