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HJF nursing specialist wins prestigious Celina Field Cargiver Award

Rockville, Md. (Nov. 06, 2008)Christine M. Rupprecht, MSN, RN, nursing specialist for the Army's Regional Anesthesia & Pain Management Initiative at Walter Reed Army Medical Center, has won the prestigious Celina Field Caregiver Award by the National Pain Foundation (NPF). Ms. Rupprecht is an employee of The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc.

The Celina Field Award recognizes individuals for excellence in caregiving and for their devotion to helping those living with pain. The award, presented twice a year by NPF, honors the late Celina Field, a dance performer and instructor who sustained a serious back injury, the effects of which lead to her eventual death in 2003 at the age of 52. Ms. Field set aside an endowment in her will to help the NPF carry out its mission of empowering those living in pain, as well as the friends and family members who provide care and support.

"The National Pain Foundation is proud to pay tribute to Christine Rupprecht for her groundbreaking achievements in the field of pain management as well as her dedication to, and passion for, providing exemplary care to patients coping with life-altering injuries and the family members who care for them," said Mark Rasmussen, chief executive officer of NPF.

Rupprecht and her colleagues provide pain management for soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan with devastating injuries. She helped rewrite the hospital's policies on pain management through the creation of a Pain Process Improvement Team. Most of Rupprecht's patients have experienced severe limb injuries or amputations.

Rupprecht also created and leads the Pain Management Task Force, which trains hospital staff on the ever-changing issue of pain management. Rupprecht also developed a pain resource nurse program to train "pain champions" who serve as resources to new nurses and other staff.

"Christine has been a key leader within our organization. Pain physicians can make plans but pain nursing makes those plans work for patients and families. Christine is the backbone of our acute pain service; she has been a very positive influence in the lives of many wounded warriors. I depend on her," said Col. Chester Buckenmaier, chief, Army Regional Anesthesia & Pain Management Initiative.

Established in 2003, the Army Regional Anesthesia & Pain Management Initiative seeks to improve the management of pain in military and civilian medicine. The initiative is a collaborative research partnership of the Walter Reed Army Medical Center, Washington D.C.; Conemaugh Health System, Johnstown, Pa.; Telemedicine and Advanced Technologies Research Center at Fort Detrick, Md.; and The Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine, Inc., Rockville, Md.

The educational and procedural programs Rupprecht developed and enacted throughout her career have taught countless providers, administrators, patients and family members about holistic, multidisciplinary approaches to pain and pain management by recognizing pain management as a multimodal and multidisciplinary challenge.

Rupprecht continues to serve as a clinical resource for the Army pain initiative, which has become the model for many civilian pain management programs. Rupprecht, a registered nurse for more than 30 years, is the recipient of the Brian Wilhem Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Military Regional Anesthesia.


Contact: Douglas Schauss
Henry M. Jackson Foundation for the Advancement of Military Medicine

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