PAINWeek and American Society of Pain Educators Recognize Outstanding Pain Practitioners at the 2015 Conference

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Each year, PAINWeek and the American Society of Pain Educators recognize individuals who have demonstrated a commitment to excellence in clinical pain practice and pain education.

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PAINWeek—the largest US pain conference for frontline practitioners—and the American Society of Pain Educators (ASPE) have announced the winners of the awards for 2015’s Pain Practitioner of the Year, Pain Educator of the Year, and Pain and Palliative Care Practitioner of the Year. The awards will be presented during Welcome Reception, Wednesday, September 10, at PAINWeek in Las Vegas.

PAINWeek will recognize the contributions of Kelvin B. Burton, MD, as Practitioner of the Year. Dr. Burton is the founder of Total Care Family Medicine in Douglasville and Temple, both in Georgia. Dr. Burton received his MD from the University of Iowa and completed his family medicine residency at Jacksonville Naval Hospital in Florida. He was honorably discharged as a Lieutenant Commander in 1995 after serving for 8 years, the highlight of which was his involvement in the entire Desert Shield/Desert Storm war. Dr. Burton has practiced primary care medicine in the West Georgia area for 20 years. He began delivering pain care after moonlighting in several emergency rooms and seeing firsthand the great need for chronic pain care management. He firmly believes that the best way to honor patients is through faith, compassion, competency, and understanding, and that the physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being of the patient should be the cornerstone of any medical practice. The Practitioner of the Year award is sponsored by Teva Pharmaceuticals.

“PAINWeek has been instrumental in keeping my practice on the cutting edge of pain management for my patients,” said Dr. Burton. “It has helped me, along with my staff psychologist, to confidently develop an efficient and effective pain management program that elevates the care delivered to our clients suffering with pain. PAINWeek has also been an important vehicle for me to educate my staff providers. It is extremely informative, exposes us to leaders in the field of pain management on a personal level, and stimulates us to practice sound, competent, and logical pain care. It would be difficult to imagine my practice without the influence of PAINWeek!”

The American Society of Pain Educators has named U.S. Pain Foundation Founder and President Paul Gileno as its Pain Educator of the Year. After a work injury left him living with degenerative disc disease, failed back syndrome, and complex regional pain syndrome, Paul Gileno created U.S. Pain Foundation—a grassroots nonprofit organization to connect, inform, empower, and advocate for the pain community. It now has over 65,000 members with representation in every state. He empowers those suffering with pain and helps the general public better understand the toils and trials those with pain endure. Among his contributions to advancing awareness: the pain warrior bracelet initiative; the INvisible Project, a national campaign of photography and stories illustrating the struggles and resilience of those with pain; Act 11-169 legislation, which improved medical care for residents living with chronic pain. Paul is on the PainPathways magazine Advisory Board and sits on numerous steering and advisory committees that focus on patient care and access.

Mr. Gileno said, “As a person with pain and as the founder and president of U.S. Pain it is an honor to be recognized as Pain Educator of the Year. It goes without saying that I have not done this alone and that the US Pain Foundation family have a major role in making this possible. We look forward to making sure people with pain are informed, educated, empowered, and advocated for.”

The recipient of the Pain and Palliative Care Practitioner of the Year award, sponsored by Xpress Laboratories, is Tanya J. Uritsky, PharmD, BCPS. Dr. Uritsky is a Clinical Pharmacy Specialist in Pain Management and Palliative Care at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. For the past 5 years, she has been practicing in the inpatient setting and serves as the Palliative Care Pharmacist on the Palliative Care Service. She also serves as a pain management specialist within the pharmacy department and throughout the hospital, and works in consultation with the inpatient hospice. She serves as a preceptor for pharmacy and medical students and residents, and trainees in other healthcare professions as represented on the Palliative Care Service. She is a lecturer in pharmacology and therapeutics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing. Dr. Uritsky received her Doctor of Pharmacy degree from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. She completed an ASHP-accredited Pharmacy Practice Residency at Union Memorial Hospital and an ASHP-accredited Specialty Residency in Pain and Palliative Care through the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, both Baltimore.

Dr. Uritsky said, “I want to say thank you for the honor of receiving this award. I have a truly stellar group of colleagues, and I appreciate being recognized for my work amongst the outstanding members of this community. “

Commenting on this year’s award recipients, PAINWeek Program Director and ASPE Board member Debra Weiner said, “We bestow these awards in order to recognize excellence and dedication in the practice of pain medicine, and to the preparation of more clinicians in this critical public health arena. We applaud our recipients for their ongoing commitment to these goals, and for their contributions to PAINWeek and to the ASPE.”

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 http://www.paineducators.org.

About PAINWeek

PAINWeek will convene at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, September 8-12, and expects to welcome over 2000 attendees for a comprehensive program of course offerings, satellite events, and exhibits. Over 120 hours of continuing medical education activities will be presented. To learn more and register for PAINWeek 2015, visit http://www.painweek.org.

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