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PAINWeek and ASPE to Present Project ECHO, a New Approach to Rural Pain Care Delivery

Montclair, NJ (PRWEB) August 13, 2013

The American Society of Pain Educators (ASPE) today announced an important addition to its educational track, the Pain Educators Forum, at PAINWeek 2013. In a 2-part presentation to be offered Thursday, September 5, Joanna Katzman, MD, MSPH, and George Comerci, Jr, MD, FACP, will detail their innovative approach to delivering patient-focused, multidisciplinary pain management in remotely located clinical practice settings in New Mexico. The Project ECHO Chronic Pain Program, developed under the leadership of Katzman and Comerci at the University of New Mexico Health Sciences Center, is an outgrowth of the Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes Project (Project ECHO®) initiated in 2003 as a telementoring platform to deliver complex medical education to primary care clinicians aiding underserved populations in rural areas and in prisons in New Mexico.

The model used by Project ECHO is distinguished from traditional telemedicine in 4 key respects: using telehealth technology as a platform for telementoring; reducing variation in care by teaching evidence-based practices; offering authentic, live, case-based learning; and tracking data to monitor outcomes. ECHO Pain was developed in late 2008 to address the large number of unintentional drug overdose deaths in New Mexico and to provide access for patients to professionals with pain expertise. Like other Project ECHO clinics, the pain program employs a hub/spoke organization, with traditional and integrative pain specialists forming the hub, while participants from the remote sites form the spokes. Through weekly 2-hour clinic sessions, ECHO Pain enables patients to access world-class specialty care from their local primary care provider.

Replications of the Project ECHO Chronic Pain Program are already underway in other locales and health delivery systems, and this course offering at PAINWeek provides an excellent opportunity for attendees to gain introduction to the methodology.

Commenting on the relevance and need for Project ECHO, Dr. Katzman observed, “Millions of patients may soon flood primary practices as a result of the Affordable Care Act. The healthcare system will experience a substantially greater burden, as there are too few clinicians to meet even current demand of care for chronic pain patients. The ECHO Pain model is a means of implementing the urgent transformation necessary for determining how pain is both taught and approached.”

Debra Weiner, Director of Program Development for PAINWeek noted, “We are excited to be presenting this overview of the Project ECHO Chronic Pain Program as part of the annual Pain Educators Forum. Their focus on providing integrated, multidisciplinary pain management and on the development of local pain champions to disseminate this expertise is in close alignment with our encouragement of the Certified Pain Educator credential for our attendees at PAINWeek.”

About PAINWeek
PAINWeek is the largest US pain conference for frontline practitioners with an interest in pain management. Convening for its 7th year on September 4-7, 2013, in Las Vegas, PAINWeek expects to welcome over 1800 physicians, nurses, pharmacists, and other healthcare professionals for a comprehensive program of course offerings, satellite events, and exhibits. Over 100 hours of continuing medical education activities will be presented. To learn more about the conference, opportunities for participation, and to register for PAINWeek 2013, visit

About the American Society of Pain Educators
The American Society of Pain Educators (ASPE) is dedicated to improving pain management through the education and training of healthcare professionals to become Certified Pain Educators (CPEs). As the only organization focusing on pain educator training, the Society teaches healthcare professionals to serve as resources to educate their clinical peers, as well as patients, families, and caregivers, on ways to relieve pain by the safest means possible. To learn more, visit

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