To leverage the best available evidence, clinical expertise, and collaboration to develop and communicate recommendations in support of DoD pain management practice, education, and research.
The unifying force for military pain management excellence and standardization.
Our Goals and Objectives
Coordinate the DoD translation of the evidence-based research information on pain management into actionable and sustainable recommendations that optimize delivery of acute and chronic pain management across the clinical continuum for service personnel and their families; from point of injury to recovery whether on the battlefield or at home; improving readiness of the force while also improving efficiency of care delivery.
Serve as a proactive resource and clinical subject matter expert (SME) for USU, Defense Health Agency (DHA), Uniformed Services, and other DoD agencies via strategic communications through the worldwide web and other media, and through consultation on emerging pain management issues that impact readiness, retention, and health of military personnel and their families, e.g. abuse/overuse/diversion of pain medications, unwarranted variation in pain management practice, policy and education, and other relevant areas.
Conduct, collaborate and coordinate basic, clinical and translational research in the field of pain management through collaboration with Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), Institute for Surgical Research (ISR), Uniformed Service Pain Management Providers, other DoD agencies, VHA, academia and industry that share the common goal of providing multi-disciplinary, multi-modal, pain management focused on improving quality of life and function.
The impact of poorly managed pain on the US general population is estimated by the Institutes of Medicine at $560 billion annually in increased health care expenses, lost income, and lost productivity. The military is not immune to this disease burden. The DoD chartered the Pain Management Task Force in 2009 to review current military pain practice and make recommendations for a comprehensive pain management strategy. The PMTF Report (May 2010) summarized MHS pain management as lacking synchronicity and plagued by unwarranted variation. The Defense and Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management (DVCIPM) has been the sole DoD organization focused entirely on pain management. DVCIPM has evolved from its original structure/focus of an Army team working primarily on the battlefield trauma aspects of pain medicine, to the current tri-service/VHA, multidisciplinary effort working on application of a truly integrative approach to addressing challenges in pain management.
The PMTF Report clearly defined the need for a DoD and VHA central pain management advisory organization to provide the necessary platform for policy development, research, and curriculum development to move pain care within the federal system toward a more patient-centered approach addressing pain over the continuum of care; from the onset of pain (battlefield or home) through DoD health centers to VHA centers and the community (PMTF Report - 4.4.7). More specifically, the PMTF recommended that DVCIPM (then called the Defense & Veterans Pain Management Initiative) provide these advisory and coordinating roles, facilitate tri-service development of pain care clinical standards and pain management education, as well as develop recommendations for pain research priorities (PMTF Recommendations – 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168). In 2013, DVCIPM was realigned under the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Department of Military and Emergency Medicine (MEM) and was later transitioned to the Department of Anesthesiology. DVCIPM reports to the Department Chair for Anesthesiology.
In 2016, DVCIPM was officially designated as the seventh Department of Defense Center of Excellence.
The Pain Management Task Force
The Army Surgeon General, Lieutenant General Eric B. Schoomaker, chartered the Army Pain Management Task Force in August 2009 to make recommendations for a comprehensive pain management strategy that would provide optimal quality of life for soldiers and other patients dealing with pain.
The task force's final report contains 109 recommendations for a holistic, multidisciplinary and multimodal pain management strategy that utilizes state of the art/science modalities and technologies to address acute and chronic pain of soldiers and other patients.
Download the Pain Management Task Force Report.