James N. Burdine In the United States, chronic pain has become a leading cause for disability and prescription medication usage. The complex chemical, physical, and mental aspects of pain make identifying specific causes and effective long-term treatments for pain especially difficult.

At the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy (PAINS) 2nd Annual Meeting, Interim Dean Jim Burdine, Dr.P.H, for the Texas A&M Health Science Center School of Rural Public Health will speak, along with Michael Felix, the PAINS Community Health Network Development Director, on the importance of implementing a public health approach to pain and the need for pain related research.

“Using a public health approach to addressing an emerging national health issue – pain – is a logical and effective mechanism. When we think in terms of population and community approaches rather than only treatment of the individual, we have a much wider array of tools available to us, “ said Dr. Burdine.

With the lack of resources or a clear leader in the development of pain research, healthcare professionals have found it increasingly difficult to properly educate and treat their patients for pain. The PAINS summit will allow healthcare leaders and public health professionals from across the country to come together to find public health solutions to pain and discuss ways to encourage cross-institution coordination between the National Institutes of Health, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and numerous other public health entities.

According to the Institute of Medicine, relieving pain should be a national priority considering the burden of pain in terms of human lives, dollars, and social consequences.

The PAINS meeting will be January 26-28th, 2014, in Washington, DC. Attendees of the event include representatives from Health and Human Services, Institutes of Medicine, the National Institute of Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.


— Rae Lynn Mitchell

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