Dr. Heiko Spallek leads NIH funded project for the "University of Pittsburgh, Center of Excellence in Pain Education: Pain Challenges in Primary Care"
The National Institutes on Drug Abuse, part of the National Institutes of Health, has awarded the University of Pittsburgh a $907,931 federal contract for the "University of Pittsburgh, Center of Excellence in Pain Education: Pain Challenges in Primary Care.” Twenty-two faculty from five of the health science schools will collaborate to develop interactive virtual cases ranging from opioid misuse following wisdom teeth extraction to widespread pain & fibromyalgia. The expertise of participating faculty includes dental medicine, general internal medicine, geriatric medicine, palliative care, rheumatology, neurology, pain medicine, anesthesiology, psychiatry, pediatrics, education, instructional design, instructional technology, chiropractic, nursing and pharmacy.
The cases will be used for a national curriculum resource addressing the Institute of Medicine’s finding that the health care system is deficient in managing pain stating that “[e]ffective pain management is a moral imperative, a professional responsibility, and the duty of people in the healing professions.” The cases will be deployed using an advanced electronic learning management and a virtual patient platform developed at the University of Pittsburgh (vpSim), which will be then integrated in the curriculum of all Health Science Schools providing a wide range of interprofessional education opportunities. Center Director, Dr. Heiko Spallek, Associate Professor at the School of Dental Medicine, Department of Dental Public Health, will take overall responsibility for the project and will lead the instructional technology aspect, CoEPE Co-Director, Dr. Debra Weiner, Professor of Medicine, Psychiatry, Anesthesiology and Clinical & Translational Science at the School of Medicine, has overall responsibility of the pain management content as a clinical educator, and CoEPE Co-Director for Assessment, Dr. Zsuzsa Horvath, Assistant Professor at the School of Dental Medicine, Department of Dental Public Health, will oversee the instructional soundness of the modules and the comprehensive assessment of the project.