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Psychology chair receives national award

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Thursday, April 10, 2008

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Media Contact: Sue Stevens

ARLINGTON - Dr. Robert J. Gatchel, the Nancy P. & John G. Penson Endowed Professor in Clinical Health Psychology and chairman of the Department of Psychology at The University of Texas at Arlington, has received another national honor in recognition of his outstanding work in the area of pain management. The American Pain Society, as a result of its 30 years of leadership in pain management, initiated a Clinical Centers of Excellence in Pain Management Awards Program in order to recognize and reward top-quality clinical care in pain management. The Award will be presented at a May 8 banquet during the annual meeting of the American Pain Society in Tampa.

This year, the Productive Rehabilitation Institute of Dallas for Ergonomics (PRIDE) received this award. Gatchel is PRIDE’S research director. The American Pain Society, in recognizing PRIDE, describes it in the following terms: “As an outpatient program with a population comprising mostly workers’ compensation patients, PRIDE’s revolutionary approach to pain management provides a cost-effective solution for difficult-to-treat patients and an unrivaled 85 to 90 percent return-to-work success rate. PRIDE has a 25-year history of performing “functional restoration,” its own specific variant of chronic pain management that bucks the trend of traditional pain techniques. The program’s goals are increased function, return-to-work, improved quality of life, and reduced dependence on opioids. The interdisciplinary treatment includes physical and occupational therapy, psychological counseling, disability management, and biofeedback with on-site medical direction.

Gatchel supervises pre-dissertation psychology students who compile research from prospectively collected PRIDE patient data. Medical Director Tom G. Mayer, MD, is active in research efforts and works with organizations like AMA and ACOEM to develop treatment and impairment guidelines on pain management issues. PRIDE helps keep pain management and functional restoration in the spotlight by continually generating relevant information on the topic, publishing more than 150 articles in medical journals and multiple books and book chapters over the past 24 years.

PRIDE’s multidisciplinary physician staff includes board-certified specialists in orthopedic surgery, physical medicine and rehabilitation, and psychiatry and pain management. PRIDE’s interdisciplinary treatment team includes nurses, nurse practitioners, physical and occupational therapists, exercise physiologists, psychologists, biofeedback specialists, vocational specialists, and disability case managers.

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