Army Leaders Honored for Efforts to Improve Pain Management

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WASHINGTON—The Army’s efforts to improve acute and chronic pain management in injured troops have been recently honored by the American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM).

pain-award.jpgAAPM presented four leaders from Army medicine with the Academy’s Presidential Commendation for their contributions to pain care and pain medicine. The awardees included Army Surgeon General Lt. Gen. Eric B. Schoomaker, MD; Col. Chester C. Buckenmaier III, MD, chief of the Army Regional Anesthesia & Pain Management Initiative; Col. Kevin Galloway, AN, chief of staff of the Army’s Pain Management Task Force and action officer for the Army’s Comprehensive Pain Management Campaign Plan; and Army Assistant Surgeon General Brig. Gen. Richard W. Thomas, MD.

The military leaders were honored for their efforts to set up and lead the Army Pain Management Task Force. Established in 2009, the task force was asked to provide Army leaders with recommendations for a comprehensive pain management strategy to help patients who are dealing with acute and chronic pain.

The task force conducted 28 site visits at MHS sites, as well as VHA and civilian hospitals, and in May of 2010 issued 109 recommendations on how to improve and standardize pain care. “Improving pain management across the DoD will require a significant reorganization, education and training effort that will be most effective if pursued as a part of a DoD and VHA partnership,” the report stated.

The problem of how to effectively treat pain has garnered increased attention in the military in recent years as a growing number of injured troops are dealing with acute and chronic pain issues.

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