Cincinnati Children's Is First Pediatric Institution Honored for Excellence in Pain Management

American Pain Society Cites Six Leading Medical Centers for Delivering "Optimal and Exemplary Care" for Patients in Pain

Monday, April 23, 2007

Team honored for Excellence in Pain Management.

Pain Management Team following the awards presentation: (back row, left to right) Susmita Kashikar-Zuck, PhD, Kenneth R. Goldschneider, MD, FAAP, Norbert J. Weidner, MD; (front row, left to right) Debra Wolf, RN, MSN, Anne Lynch, PhD, Lori Ann McKenna, RN, MSN, CPNP.

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center has become the first pediatric medical center in the U.S. selected to receive the American Pain Society's (APS) Clinical Centers of Excellence in Pain Management Award. Cincinnati Children's joins an elite group of leading American medical centers, including Brigham and Women's in Boston, New York University, and the University of California at San Francisco, who will be honored in ceremonies in Washington, DC, on May 4.

"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," according to APS President Judith Paice, PhD, RN, FAAN, of Northwestern University's Feinberg School of Medicine.

"While pain management for children has traditionally focused on injections and oral drugs," said Kenneth Goldschneider, MD, director of the Division of Pain Management at Cincinnati Children's. "We're not afraid to try something new if that's what's right. We go beyond the traditional to find out why children hurt and what to do for their pain. Creativity is one of our greatest strengths."

Cincinnati Children's program has served as a model for hospitals throughout the country seeking to improve their pediatric pain management programs. The clinicians approach each child in a holistic way, using a wide array of treatment options to create an individualized approach for each patient. All patients and their families receive an initial assessment by the entire interdisciplinary team, which includes physicians, nurses, therapists and mental health specialists, and the team stays in communication throughout the child's treatment. This is especially important for pediatric patients, according to Dr. Goldschneider, because they grow and change so quickly that their pain treatment needs to be continuously monitored and adapted if needed.

The Cincinnati Children's team conducts research on the outcome of chronic pain treatment, looking for patterns and themes that will help practitioners to fashion better treatment plans and is currently working cooperatively to edit a book on practical pediatric pain management for primary care physicians with Gary Walco, PhD, of the Joseph M. Sanzari Children's Hospital in New Jersey.

The other five multidisciplinary pain programs honored include:

  • New York University Medical Center Hospital for Joint Diseases
  • Rosomoff Comprehensive Pain Center, Miami
  • Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston
  • UCSF Pain Management Center, San Francisco
  • James A. Haley Veterans Affairs Hospital, Tampa

More than 90 award 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.

"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," said APS President Judith Paice. "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.

One quality that leading pain programs have in common, according to Paice, is their successes 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."

Cincinnati Children's, one of the top five children's hospitals in the nation according to Child magazine, is a 475-bed institution devoted to bringing the world the joy of healthier kids. Cincinnati Children's is dedicated to providing care that is timely, efficient, effective, family-centered, equitable and safe. For its efforts to transform the way health care is provided, Cincinnati Children's received the 2006 American Hospital Association-McKesson Quest for Quality Prize". Cincinnati Children's ranks second nationally among all pediatric centers in research grants from the National Institutes of Health and is a teaching affiliate of the University of Cincinnati College of Medicine. The Cincinnati Children's vision is to be the leader in improving child health.

Contact Information

Amy Caruso, 513-636-5637, amy.caruso@cchmc.org