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An estimated one in five Canadians experience chronic pain, yet many studies show that pain is poorly managed despite its prevalence.
Last fall, the Honorable Dr. Eric Hoskins, Minister of Health and Long Term Care, announced that the province would be investing $17 million annually to create or enhance chronic pain clinics across Ontario.
To help people suffering from pain better manage their condition and to streamline and accelerate access to service to specialized care, University Health Network, Women's College Hospital, the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, Sinai Health System and St. Michael's Hospital have partnered to create the Toronto Academic Pain Medicine Institute (TAPMI).
The hub of services for the network is the ambulatory multi-disciplinary centre at Women's College Hospital where the Administrative Director, Laura Pus, and the Medical Director, Dr. Tania Di Renna, will be located.
Healthcare providers at the hub will assess and triage pain patients to one of the spoke sites or to the multidisciplinary team at the hub depending on the care they require. Each spoke site offers distinct specialization in one aspect of pain management care that together make TAPMI a comprehensive chronic pain service. Education and research initiatives will also be led through the TAMPI hub.
The partnership will advance chronic pain management care in Toronto.
The specialized areas of care at each partner site include:
University Health Network
The Chronic Integrated Pain Program (CIPP) will contribute its expertise across anesthesia and physiatry to support patients with chronic musculoskeletal disorders, neuropathic pain as well as unique programming for seniors with cognitive impairment or affective disorders where diagnosis becomes less clear and management more individualized, as well as treatment options for patients after surgery and hospital discharge as they transition back to life outside the hospital.
Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
CAMH's Interprofessional Pain and Addiction Recovery Clinic (IPARC) will contribute its expertise in managing a wide-range of chronic pain conditions in individuals who may have a substance use disorder, aberrant drug related behaviors and /or mental health issues. Drawing on a variety of medical (sub) specialties including neurology, addiction medicine, family medicine, psychiatry and pain medicine; along with occupational therapy, nursing and pharmacy, the program focuses on promoting function and empowering self-management in patients.
Sinai Health System Wasser Pain Management Centre at Mount Sinai Hospital
The Wasser Pain Management Centre will contribute its subspecialty chronic pain programs including management of widespread musculoskeletal pain, and neuropathic pain. The Wasser is also contributing unique programming for craniofacial pain and chronic headache as well as pelvic genital and abdominal pain programs for both men and women. It has an active role in developing non-pharmacological therapies.
St. Michael's Hospital
In addition to contributing services from its existing interventional pain program, St. Michael's Hospital will establish a minimally invasive neuromodulation program for the treatment of chronic intractable pain for patients who have failed to achieve relief with other therapies and interventions. The benefits of neuromodulation include improved functional capability, health related quality of life and reduced demand for health-care resources.
Women's College Hospital
In addition to its expertise in interventional pain management, WCH and TAPMI will look to expand access to interventional techniques for Cancer Pain in Toronto. TAPMI will develop a centralized, coordinated interventional cancer pain management program at WCH for patients with refractory malignant pain with a view of improving quality of life, reducing hospital admissions and length of stay. The TAPMI Hub multi-disciplinary team of health care providers, including physicians, nurses, psychologists, physiotherapists, social workers and pharmacists, will build capacity across the system.