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Chronic Pain and the Opioid Crisis

The opioid crisis has reached a fever pitch in the past year – the focus in the public sphere is on addiction, but lurking in the background is chronic pain.  Join us for our next event on Thursday, Feb. 22, where we will bring the related problem of chronic pain into the foreground. Our guests will be Heidi Miller, M.D., and Patrice Pye, M.D.  Does the chronic pain “industry” set up false hope for people with chronic pain?  Is a “cure” for chronic pain within reach, or is it a myth?  Which is more profitable, the status quo, or a solution? 

Lecture: 5 p.m. Feb. 22, 2018
Location: Cupples House, 3673 West Pine Blvd, St. Louis, Mo., 63103

About the Speakers:

Heidi Miller, M.D., is a primary care physician and patient advocate who has focused her career on assuring high quality, trauma-informed, integrated, equitable access to health care for our most vulnerable patients. She trained at Yale University and Harvard Medical School, and completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Harvard’s Brigham and Women’s Hospital.  She serves as a primary care doctor at the FQHC, Family Care Health Centers, in St. Louis. Miller is also the medical director for the St. Louis Regional Health Commission, the organization which initiated the Gateway to Better Health Program (serving 20,000 uninsured patients), Alive & Well STL, and a new 2018 initiative to address chronic pain as a key regional public health issue.

Miller also provides ongoing consultation for the St. Louis Integrated Health Network, Missouri Primary Care Association, and Siteman Cancer Center's Breast Cancer Partnership. She was appointed by the Missouri Governor to the Oversight Committee for Medicaid, selected for the Missouri Medical Home Collaborative Steering Committee, invited repeatedly to testify to the Missouri House and Senate Committees on health policies, and recognized by St. Louis Business Journal as one of its 40-under-40 honorees.

Patrice Pye, Ph.D., is a clinical psychologist who has worked in a primary care setting for over 14 years, and currently works as a behavioral health consultant at Family Care Health Center (FCHC). She earned her Master's of Science and doctoral degrees from Saint Louis University. She served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force for over seven years, and has worked at the St. Louis VA Health Care System (HCS) for over seven years. She has worked extensively in the area of interpersonal violence/trauma as well as in the management of chronic pain.

While at the VA, she was awarded two grants in the areas of screening for, identifying, and providing treatment for trauma, and in the management of chronic pain. She developed a manualized treatment for management of chronic pain, which utilizes a cognitive behavioral therapy approach to address patients’ pain experiences. Most recently, she has submitted a grant application to the Missouri Foundation for Health to formalize the management of chronic pain at FCHC to include an interdisciplinary team of providers.

Save the Date

March 8, 2018

A lecture by Gloria Wilder, M.D., president and CEO of CORE HEALTH a community health and wellness design firm specializing in providing outcome focused solutions to the nonprofit sector.
Lecture: 4 p.m. March 8, 2018
Location: TBD
Grand Rounds: 7:30 a.m. March 9, 2018
Location: TBD

April 13, 2018

The Bander Center will schedule our April Signature Event speaker in conjunction with the Conference on Medicine and Religion: Examining the Foundations of Medicine and Religion, April 13-15 at St. Louis Union Station Hotel.
Lecture: 6 p.m. April 13, 2018
Location: TBD


  • Erin Bakanas, M.D., M.A. "Ethics." Session Director, New Housestaff Orientation. SSM Health-Saint Louis University Hospital | June 21, 2016 
  • Erin Bakanas, M.D., M.A. "Professional Decision Making in Medicine." Facilitator, Senior Medical Student Capstone, Saint Louis University School of Medicine | April 27 and 29, 2016 
  • Erin Bakanas, M.D., M.A. "Blessing of the Hands." Facilitator, Ceremony for 3rd year Medical Students, Saint Louis University School of Medicine | April 6, 2016 
  • Erin Bakanas, M.D., M.A. "Who's Buying Lunch?---Physician Interactions with Industry." Facilitator, Primary Care Capstone, Saint Louis University School of Medicine | March 23, 2016
  • Erin Bakanas, M.D., M.A. "How Does Jesuit Identity Inform Health Professional Education in 2015." Panel Participant, Lilly Speaker Series, Saint Louis University School of Medicine | November 17, 2015
  • Erin Bakanas, M.D., M.A. "Death and Dying." Course Co-Director, 2nd year Medical Students, Saint Louis University School of Medicine |August 2015
  • Erin Bakanas, M.D., M.A. "The Purpose and Function of Ethics Committees."  Facilitator, Clinical Pastoral Education (CPE) Students, Saint Louis University Hospital | July 15, 2015
  • Bander Center Casebook Presentations, "Exploring Integrity in Medicine:"
      • Kelly only-A Case Based Approach to Teaching Medical Business Ethics. Annual Health Law Professors Conference; St. Louis, MO | June 2015
      • Rebecca Volpe, Tyler Zahrli. Exploring Integrity in Medicine: A Case Based Approach to Teaching Business Ethics and Professionalism.  International Conference on Clinical Ethics & Consultation; New York, NY | May 2015
      • Erin Bakanas, Rebecca Volpe, Tyler Zahrli. Exploring Integrity in Medicine: A Case Based Approach to Teaching Business Ethics and Professionalism. Academy for Professionalism in Health Care Annual Meeting; Louisville, KY | May 2015
  • Bander Center Publishes Casebook: "Exploring Integrity in Medicine. " Casebook to foster medical business ethics education with medical students and residents | 2014