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January 14, 2011

Pain Medicine Service Receives Prestigious 2009 Clinical Center of Excellence Award

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The Pain Medicine Service, a division of the Department of Anesthesiology at the University of Virginia Health System, has received the prestigious 2009 Clinical Center of Excellence Award from the American Pain Society (APS) for providing outstanding, exemplary patient care.

Each year, the UVA Pain Service cares for more than 7,000 patients of all ages with acute and chronic pain. Its staff provides pain management for surgical and trauma patients, and provides consultation to primary care teams to help manage complicated pain problems. Outpatient care is offered at the UVA Pain Management Center, which provides a wide range of state of the art treatment.

“Our goal is to provide the highest quality care possible. We focus on minimizing our patients’ pain and restoring their quality of life,” explains Robin Hamill-Ruth, M.D., Associate Professor of Anesthesiology at the UVA School of Medicine and director of the UVA Pain Management Center.

According to Hamill-Ruth, education is a critical component of the UVA Pain Service program. “Education is key to improving pain management in the broadest way possible. We focus on educating patients and their families as well as health care professionals at UVA, in the region, and at the national and international level.”

Founded over 45 years ago, the division of Pain Medicine at UVA has an interdisciplinary staff with expertise in nursing, psychology, anesthesiology, pain management, psychiatry and neurology.

Members of the UVA Pain Service team accepted the Clinical Center of Excellence award at the APS national meeting in San Diego on May 7. Presented annually, the award recognizes pain-care teams that overcome difficult challenges to provide outstanding, exemplary care to patients with chronic pain disorders, acute pain after surgery or trauma and with pain from cancer and other terminal conditions.

“This award is a great honor. It belongs to all of the dedicated members of the division, including doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, and the administrative and clerical staff. I feel privileged to work with this remarkable team,” Hamill-Ruth notes.

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