American Society of Pain Educators Announces Pain Educator of the Year Awards

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The ASPE Pain Educator of the Year awards recognize the contributions of outstanding individuals from medicine, industry, and government in the arena of pain education for primary care practitioners and patients.

The American Society of Pain Educators (ASPE) has announced the winners of the Pain Educator of the Year awards for 2013. The awards will be presented on the opening night of PAINWeek® 2013, Wednesday, September 4, in Las Vegas.

Since 2009 the ASPE has recognized a Pain Educator of the Year in 3 areas, Academic/Government, Clinical, and Industry. The Government award recognizes an exceptional educator in the field of pain management working in the public sector. The Clinical award recognizes an outstanding educator who serves as a community opinion leader in the field of pain management. The Industry award recognizes an educator of excellence in the field of pain management.

This year the ASPE is pleased to commend the following individuals:

Government Pain Educator of the Year: Jennifer L. Gansen, DPT, CPE
Dr. Gansen joined the John H. Bradley VA Outpatient Clinic (Appleton, Wisconsin) in 2008. In developing an evidence-based pilot program for treatment of veterans with persistent pain, she has drawn upon her background in a multidisciplinary intensive pain program, a neurorehabilitation setting as a research PT, and a somatic education program (complementary medicine approach emphasizing the nervous system). Dr. Gansen has presented to local and national VA audiences, including primary care, PM&R, PTs, and patients. Presentations emphasize translation of evidence into practice, PT interventions, and case studies from the pilot treatment program. She has additionally championed a strategic plan initiative for VA PTs to develop a biopsychosocial approach to persistent pain, including an online training program.

Clinical Pain Educator of the Year: Ted W. Jones, PhD, CPE
Dr. Jones is a clinical psychologist in private practice in Knoxville, Tennessee. He is affiliated with the Behavioral Medicine Institute and works exclusively onsite at Pain Consultants of East Tennessee. He has 30 years of clinical experience, including working the last 15 years in the area of chronic pain. In addition to his full-time clinical practice, Dr. Jones has published multiple empirical studies on the topic of opioid risk assessment. He is the President of the Pain Education Institute, a nonprofit professional pain educational enterprise. He is the current President of the Tennessee Pain Society and sits on the Governor’s Chronic Pain Guidelines Task Force.

Industry Pain Educator of the Year: Leah J. LaRue, PharmD, PMP
Dr. LaRue has most recently lead the development of the medical advocacy department at Mallinckrodt Pharmaceuticals. In her current role, she is responsible for developing and implementing a portfolio-wide alliance strategy, serving as the key contact in building and maintaining external relationships, and executing safe use initiatives. One of these is the Collaborating and Acting Responsibly to Ensure Safety (C.A.R.E.S.) Alliance℠, which brings together national medical, patient safety, and anti-drug diversion organizations to focus on responsible prescribing and safe use of opioid pain medications, while helping to ensure that people with pain have access to needed medications.

Through the C.A.R.E.S. Alliance, Dr. LaRue facilitates the creation and distribution of educational materials, hosts summits with key stakeholders, and coordinates grant funding for safe use efforts, such as drug take-back activities and medical education.

Commenting on this year’s award recipients, ASPE Board President Mary Lynn McPherson, PharmD, BCPS, FASPE, CPE, said, “These outstanding educators represent the vision and purpose of the ASPE, and we are pleased to recognize their contributions. Through the Pain Educators Forum and the Certified Pain Educator credential, we seek to populate more primary care practices with knowledgeable resources in pain management, and we applaud our recipients for their commitment to the goals of the ASPE and their dedication to the provision of exemplary pain education.”

The awards will be presented during the Keynote presentation at PAINWeek 2013, and the ASPE will convene its 8th annual Pain Educators Forum at this year’s conference, from September 4-7 in Las Vegas. The conference schedule and additional information is available at

As always, the ASPE will permit qualified candidates to sit for the Certified Pain Educator credential exam during the 4-day conference. For more CPE exam information visit
About the American Society of Pain Educators

The American Society of Pain Educators (ASPE) is a professional organization 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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Debra Weiner
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