Pain Medicine Service at U.Va. Health System Receives Prestigious Clinical Center of Excellence Award

May 20, 2009 – 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 for providing outstanding, exemplary patient care.

Each year, the U.Va. 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 U.Va. 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," said the center's director, Dr. Robin Hamill-Ruth, associate professor of anesthesiology.

According to Hamill-Ruth, education is a critical component of the U.Va. 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 U.Va., in the region, and at the national and international level."

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

Members of the U.Va. Pain Service team accepted the Clinical Center of Excellence award May 7 at the society's national meeting in San Diego. 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 said.