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Chronic Pain and the Opioid Crisis

Thursday, 22 February, 2018

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. Our next event will bring the related problem of chronic pain into the foreground with guests Dr. Heidi Miller and Dr. Patrice Pye.  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?  Please join us on February 22 at 5 p.m. in the magnificent Cupples House on the Campus of Saint Louis University for our event entitled, “Chronic Pain and the Opioid Crisis.”

Dr. Heidi Miller is a primary care physician and patient advocate who has focused her career on assuring high quality, trauma-informed, integrated, equitable access to healthcare 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. Dr. 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. Dr. 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.

Dr. Patrice Pye 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 Masters of Science and Doctoral degrees from Saint Louis University. She served as an officer in the U.S. Air Force for over 7 years, and has worked at the St. Louis VA Health Care System (HCS) for over 7 years. Dr. Pye 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 2 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, Dr. Pye 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.

This lecture is part of the Bander Center's monthly signature events intended to promote ethical business practices in medical care and research.