The National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pain Consortium recently awarded 11 health professional schools the designation of Centers of Excellence in Pain Education (CoEPEs), a NIH news release reports. “These new centers will translate current research findings about pain management to fill what have been recognized as gaps in curricula so clinicians in all fields can work with their patients to make better and safer choices about pain treatments,” Francis S. Collins, MD, PhD, NIH director, explains. The CoEPEs were selected by the NIH Pain Consortium following a contract solicitation process and review.

The release adds that the CoEPEs are intended to serve as hubs for the development, evaluation, and distribution of pain management curriculum resources for medical, dental, nursing, and pharmacy schools to enhance and improve how health care professionals are taught about pain and its treatment. 

The schools awarded this distinction include the University of Washington, Seattle Wash; the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pa; Southern Illinois University, Edwardsville, Ill; the University of Rochester, NY, NY; the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque; the Harvard School of Dental Medicine, Boston, Mass; the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Al; the Thomas Jefferson University School of Medicine, Philadelphia; the University of California, San Francisco, the University of Maryland, Baltimore, Md; and the University of Pittsburg, Pa.

Story C. Landis, PhD, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) notes that the NIH Pain Consortium was impressed by the proposals received from academic centers nationwide, all of which centered on the need for a more streamlined approach to the treatment of pain. Landis adds, “We are confident that these 11 centers will lead the way in improving pain education for health care professionals, and ultimately the quality of care for people who suffer from chronic pain.”

According to the release, the NIH supports the full spectrum of pain research from basic understanding of pain mechanisms through the translation of discoveries into treatment and prevention strategies. The NIH Consortium was created to encourage the enhancement of pain research, promoting collaboration among researchers across NIH Institutes and Centers that offer programs and activities addressing pain.

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Source: NIH