Discussion: Kitty Carlisle Hart, guest lecturer

Rich Amada
Jan. 27, 1999

One of the nation's first learning programs especially for pain patients has been established at the Pain Clinic at University Medical Center.

The Pain Clinic has received a one-year, $35,000 grant from Medtronic to create a patient education program to teach people how to cope with their chronic pain.

Medtronic Neurological is a Minneapolis-based manufacturer of infusion pumps, neurostimulators and other medical technology that provide relief to patients in severe pain.

The patient education program will be managed by Eileen Walker, who joined the UMC Pain Clinic in December. Walker has an extensive background in nursing and education.

Walker will use one-on-one counseling, classroom instruction, videos, and evaluation to meet the needs of individual patients. Walker will accompany patients when they see their pain specialist to help them understand the medical explanations and instructions they receive, encourage realistic expectations, and improve compliance to therapy.

She said that empowering pain patients through education and feedback helps them cope with unremitting pain.

"My main goal is to help pain patients feel that they are no longer victims, that they have some control and responsibility in their healing and health," Walker said.

The UMC Pain Clinic, directed by pain specialist Dr. Bennet Davis, evaluates, treats and manages acute and chronic pain in patients of all ages, including children. The clinic treats cancer pain, post-operative pain, chronic back pain, headaches and facial pain, nerve pain and pelvic and abdominal pain.

The clinic focuses on easing pain, reducing pain-related disability and improving quality of life using a variety of services and therapies.


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