Pain center receives national recognition

Sean Mackey

Sean Mackey

The Stanford Pain Management Center has been selected as a 2012 Center of Excellence by the American Pain Society for its successful multidisciplinary approach to relieving the suffering of patients with chronic pain disorders. It is the second time the center has received the award; the first was in 2008.

“This is a prestigious award handed out to only a few multidisciplinary pain centers nationally,” said Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, chief of the Division of Pain Management and associate professor of anesthesia. “A center is only allowed to apply every four years, and to be re-awarded it must show significant and consistent improvement in pain treatment.”

The society established the awards program in 2006 to recognize multidisciplinary teams providing distinguished, comprehensive pain care to serve as examples to other pain management programs.

The vision of the Stanford center aligns with the goals and priorities of the 2011 Institute of Medicine consensus report, “Relieving Pain in America.” Mackey served as an author alongside Dean Philip Pizzo, MD, who chaired the committee that prepared the report. The document offered a blueprint for action for transforming prevention, care, education and research, with the goal of providing relief for people with pain in America.

The Stanford Pain Management Center treats 12,000 patients a year who are seen by a multidisciplinary team of physicians, psychologists, physical therapists and accupuncturists.

The pain-management services include novel medications provided through clinical trials, psychological and behavioral therapies, interventional treatments ranging from trigger-point injections to spinal-cord stimulation and complementary medicine approaches.


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