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Published on May 11, 2009

RIC Center for Pain Management Designated an American Pain Society Center of Excellence

Unique Multidisciplinary Approach Highlighted In First Peer-Reviewed Guidelines for Treatment of Low-Back Pain Published in the Spine Journal

The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago (RIC), the nation’s #1 rehabilitation hospital[1], today announces that the RIC Center for Pain Management (CPM) has been designated a Clinical Center of Excellence by the American Pain Society (APS), recognizing the nation’s outstanding, multidisciplinary pain management programs that help the estimated one out of every three Americans who suffer from chronic pain.

Centers of Excellence - American Pain SocietyRIC's unique program is designated by APS for its multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary approach. This approach includes a care team made up of experts such as physiatrists, pain psychologists, physical and occupational therapists, rehabilitation nurses specializing in pain management, relaxation specialists and vocational counselors who provide customized treatments to decrease the level of pain and empower patients to learn how to manage their pain and regain abilities that allow them to thrive in life.

Multidisciplinary care is gaining credibility with many medical communities. Published in the journal Spine last month, the APS Low Back Pain Guideline Panel issued the first major, peer-reviewed guidelines for the treatment of low-back pain, focusing on the evidence for surgical, injection and multidisciplinary rehabilitation approaches to care. RIC's CPM medical director, Steven Stanos , D.O., one of the authors, believes these guidelines will help improve patient access for treatment of low-back pain and better educate the medical community on more appropriate evidence-based medical approaches to care.

"RIC's multidisciplinary model of care for the treatment of pain focuses on the bio-psycho-social concept, focusing not only on the physical or biologic treatments for pain, but also on psychosocial factors, providing patients new tools to manage their pain and regain their ability to engage and function in life," said Stanos. "The RIC Center for Pain Management is honored to be recognized for helping patients regain abilities and thrive in their lives. Through ongoing clinical research and discovery, RIC aims to advance treatment standards in pain management and restore function for people living with chronic pain conditions."

RIC was one of five programs recognized this year and the first rehabilitation-based hospital to receive this designation. APS established the Center of Excellence award program in 2006 to build awareness about progressive teams of health professionals who address critical needs in pain management within their communities. "Multidisciplinary programs available in the U.S. offering direct patient care in pain management are eligible to apply. RIC's pain management team was honored at a gala during the APS Annual Scientific Conference on May 7 in San Diego.

"The Clinical Centers of Excellence Awards again drew applicants who had remarkable achievements in their pain management practices, providing relief and restoring everyday function to those who lives are burdened with persistent pain," said APS President Charles J. Inturrisi, PhD, professor of pharmacology at New York's Weill Cornell Medical Center. "The quality of the submitted programs was superb and, as a pain-care researcher and teacher, I'm gratified to see such inspiring outcomes from our colleagues in multidisciplinary pain care teams throughout the country."

This is RIC's fourth clinical program nationally recognized for leading standards of clinical care. In addition to pain management, RIC's clinical programs in traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury and stroke are also recognized for their clinical and research models of care.

About the NIDRR Stroke Research and Training Center

In 2008, RIC was awarded its fourth consecutive, five-year designation as the federal stroke research and training center by National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR) Stroke Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) developed to advance rehabilitation care for the nearly six million[2] people living with stroke.

About the NIDRR Midwest Regional Traumatic Brain Injury Model System

In 2008, NIDRR designated RIC's Brain Injury Medicine and Rehabilitation program a Model System of Care, one of 16 facilities in the United States to which this distinction is awarded. The program, then named the Midwest Regional Traumatic Brain Injury Model System, is dedicated to exploring treatments that improve cognition, function and community living for people with TBI.

About the NIDRR Midwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Care System

In 2007, NIDRR designated RIC's Spinal Cord Injury Rehabilitation program the Model System of Care, then named the Midwest Regional Spinal Cord Injury Care System, a collaboration of rehabilitation care provided by RIC and acute care provided by Northwestern Memorial Hospital (NMH). NIDRR's grant will support projects related to the accessibility, delivery, and evaluation of spinal cord injury care and the use of advanced technology to improve long-term health benefits for spinal cord injured patients.

About The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago

RIC is making a difference in the world for people with disabilities. RIC provides world-class care to patients from around the globe for a range of conditions from acute brain and spinal cord injury to chronic arthritis, pain and sports injuries. RIC, founded in 1954, has been designated the "#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America" by U.S. News & World Report every year since 1991 and attributes its leading standard of care in part to its innovative research and discovery, particularly in the areas of bionic medicine, robotics, neural regeneration, pain care and better outcomes. RIC operates its 165-bed, Flagship hospital in downtown Chicago , as well as a network of 30 sites of care located throughout the city and surrounding suburbs that provide additional inpatient care, day rehabilitation and outpatient services. RIC also maintains strategic alliances with leading healthcare providers throughout the state of Illinois and Indiana.


[1] U.S. News & World Report has ranked RIC the “#1 Rehabilitation Hospital in America ” every year since 1991.

[2] American Heart Association: Heart Disease and Stroke Update 2008