Carmen R. Green, M.D., joins national committee addressing chronic pain

Date: 
02/16/2012 - 11:45am

NIH names University of Michigan anesthesiologist to new Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee

Written by Shantell Kirkendoll; contact at 734-764-2220 or smkirk@umich.edu.

Ann Arbor - The University of Michigan's Carmen R. Green, M.D., has been named to the new Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee.

More than 100 million Americans suffer from migraines, arthritis and other chronic pain conditions with an annual economic toll of nearly $600 billion in medical bills and lost productivity.

To help address this problem, Congress directed the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, through the Affordable Care Act, to create the committee made up of national experts in pain research and patient care.

Its members, announced Monday by the National Institutes of Health, include biomedical researchers, representatives from nonprofit public advocacy organizations, and representatives of seven federal government organizations.

Green is a professor of anesthesiology, obstetrics and gynecology, and health management and policy at the U-M Medical School and the U-M School of Public Health.

Her research focuses on access to health and pain care, pain assessment, management and outcomes, minority and women's health, clinician decision making and health policy. She also conducts studies on health and pain disparities due to age, race/ethnicity, gender, class and geography.

She is among six non-federal researchers named to the group that includes physicians from Harvard Medical School, the American Cancer Society and Stanford University School of Medicine.

The committee will work to identify critical gaps in basic and clinical research on the symptoms, causes, and treatment of pain and will recommend federal research programs in these areas.

The focus will be to coordinate pain research activities across the federal government with the goals of stimulating pain research collaboration, fully leveraging the government resources dedicated to supporting pain research, and providing an important avenue for public involvement. The committee will explore public-private partnerships to broaden collaborative, cross-cutting research and consider best practices in disseminating information about pain to public and professional audiences.

"Pain is a universal condition, a serious and costly public health issue, and a challenge for family, friends, and health care providers," says Story Landis, Ph.D., director of NIH's National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS) and the committee chair. "This committee will play an important role working with federal agencies spearheading pain research. I am pleased that its membership reflects a great depth and wide range of both scientific expertise and effective public advocacy."

The committee appointees include leading federal officials together with six non-federal scientists, physicians, and other health professionals, as well as six members of the general public who are representatives of leading research, advocacy and service organizations.

After tracking the work of several government agencies that conduct and support pain research, the committee will develop a report on scientific advances in the diagnosis, prevention, and treatment of chronic and acute pain.

The committee is expected to meet at least once a year, with members slated to serve overlapping three-year terms. The first meeting will be held March 27.

NINDS (www.ninds.nih.gov) is the nation's leading funder of research on the brain and nervous system. The NINDS mission is to reduce the burden of neurological disease - a burden borne by every age group, by every segment of society, by people all over the world.

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