Stanford Pain Department chair Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, held a key leadership role in developing the NIH Health and Human Services National Pain Strategy. Mackey, who is chief of Stanford's Division of Pain Medicine and Redlich Professor of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Neurosciences and Neurology, served as co-chair of the committee that produced the National Pain Strategy report.
The report outlines a comprehensive plan to improve the assessment and care of people in pain. It aims to better educate health care providers about pain, change reimbursements to pay for what works, break down barriers to reduce disparities in care, collect data to determine what works and spur research to better understand the impact and underlying causes of pain—and how to stop it.
"Achieving the goals outlined in the National Pain Strategy will require us all to work together," said Mackey.
Mackey was awarded the highly prestigious National Institutes of Health Director's Award in recognition of his leadership role on the National Pain Strategy. The NIH Director's Award recognizes superior performance and leadership that has promoted the advancement, understanding or application of scientific principles directly related to fulfilling the mission of the National Institutes of Health. This is the first time a specialist in pain medicine won this distinguished award.
Under Mackey's leadership, researchers at the Stanford Pain Management Center and the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Laboratory have made major advances in the understanding of chronic pain as a disease in its own right, one that fundamentally alters the nervous system. Mackey has overseen efforts to map the specific brain and spinal cord regions that perceive and process pain, which has led to the development of a multidisciplinary treatment model that translates basic science research into innovative therapies to provide more effective, personalized treatments for patients with chronic pain.
The Stanford Pain Management Center, under Mackey's leadership has been designated a Center of Excellence by the American Pain Society, one of only two centers in the United States to receive this honor twice.
View National Pain Strategy report