Sean Mackey, MD, PhD, was awarded the highly prestigious National Institutes of Health Director’s Award in recognition of his leadership role on the National Pain Strategy. Dr. Mackey served as Co-Chair of the Oversight Panel for the National Pain Strategy.
“Dr. Mackey’s tireless efforts in developing the National Pain Strategy and his continued support to move it forward have been invaluable,” said Linda Porter, Ph.D. Policy Advisor for Pain for NIH who served as co-chair with Dr. Mackey. “The future success of the strategy is ensured through the commitment and dedication of many participants and especially through Dr. Mackey’s leadership.”
Dr. Mackey is Chief of Stanford Division of Pain and Immediate Past President of American Academy of Pain Medicine, received the award in Washington on Tuesday (November 17).
“I am tremendously honored to accept this award on behalf of the 80 experts who came together with the mission to improve the well-being of those living with pain,” he said. “This award represents a win for everyone who has or will have pain.”
The National Pain Strategy (NPS)—which is expected to be released in final form in early 2016—is something that Dr. Mackey believes can make a different in how pain is treated.
“The NPS represents a comprehensive plan to improve how to: improve our assessment and care for the person in pain, better educate health care providers, change our reimbursements to pay for what works, break down barriers to reduce disparities in care, and collect data to determine what works,” he told the National Pain Report.
Achieving the goals outlined in the NPS will require the many aspects of the pain community to work together, something Dr. Mackey acknowledges.
“We will need to engage the relevant stakeholders with implementation of the strategic goals, establish accountability for progress, and identify and allocate resources to advance the Strategy,” he said.
Dr. Mackey, Dr. Porter and others who helped craft the NPS believe it can be a game changer in pain.
“Our successful implementation of the National Pain Strategy will alleviate the pain and suffering of millions of Americans with acute, chronic and cancer pain. It will also advance President Obama’s call for Precision Medicine in preventing and treating disease, in this case a disease – chronic pain — that affects more Americans than diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. It will transform the education of health care providers about pain that will pay dividends decades into the future by helping them prevent or stop pain. And finally, it will allow for additional research that is desperately needed to better understand the impact and underlying causes of chronic pain and how to stop it,” Mackey wrote.