McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

The disease of chronic pain focus of sessions

Published: November 2 , 2006
Jim Henry, 2005
Jim Henry is the scientific director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care.

The need to treat chronic pain as a disease in itself will be the focus of three events for health care professionals being held in Burlington next week as the second annual Pain Awareness Week is marked across the country.

Sessions for doctors, nurses and pharmacists that will provide a variety of information on dealing with chronic pain have been organized by Dr. James Henry, scientific director, and Kiran Yashpal, researcher, with the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care at McMaster University.

On Wednesday, Nov. 8, an Academic Pain Day featuring pain specialists from Canada and the United States will be held at the Royal Botanical Gardens on Plains Road West from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Speakers from outside Hamilton include:

  • Dr. John Clark, who operates a highly-regarded pain management clinic in Calgary;
  • Dr. Chan Gunn, from British Columbia, who has received the Order of Canada;
  • Dr. Steven Passik, of the Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Centre in New York;
  • Dr. Mark Ware, director of research for the McGill University Health Centre Pain Clinic.

A wide range of topics will be covered during the day including diagnosis and assessment of pain, treatment by psychiatrists, rheumatologists and general practitioners, the use of pharmaceutical and non-drug therapies, and the medical use of cannabis for controlling chronic pain.

The day has been organized in conjunction with the Division of Palliative Care in the Department of Family Medicine, as well as Continuing Health Sciences Education at McMaster. Funding for the event has been provided by several pharmaceutical companies. Registration fee is $85. To register, contact Rose Galano at ext. 22671, or by e-mail at

Evening events on Monday and Tuesday for nurses and pharmacists are also planned as part of Pain Awareness Week.

On Monday, Nov. 6, Mona Sawhney, a nurse practitioner specializing in pain management at North York General Hospital, will give a talk entitled What Is Multimodal Analgesia? The event runs from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at RBG, and includes dinner and a discussion. There is no fee to attend, but advance registration is required. To register, call ext. 27704 or e-mail

On Tuesday evening, Faisal R. Khuwaja, a pharmacist who manages a pharmacy in Milton, will talk about the role of the pharmacist in the management of non-cancer chronic pain. His talk will focus on the use of opioids. The event begins with registration at 5:45, and the talk will be followed by dinner and a workshop. There is no registration fee. To reserve a spot, call 877-698-2386.

The two evening events are sponsored by Purdue Pharma.

Canada’s first Pain Awareness Week was held in 2005, after a Private Member’s bill was passed in Parliament in 2004.

McMaster’s Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care was established two years ago, to conduct leading edge research, develop new therapies and provide the highest quality of care to patients suffering from chronic pain.

Valid XHTML 1.0 Transitional Level Double-A conformance, W3C WAI Web Content Accessibility Guidelines 2.0