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Pain Assessment and Management Initiative recognized with 2021 Robert L. Wears Patient Safety Leadership Award

Published: February 26, 2021
Phyllis L. Hendry, M.D., FAAP, FACEP
Sophia S. Sheikh, M.D.

Multidisciplinary PAMI team at the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville receives national accolade

The Pain Assessment and Management Initiative, or PAMI, at the University of Florida College of Medicine – Jacksonville is the 2021 recipient of the Robert L. Wears Patient Safety Leadership Award for the team category.

The award, given annually by the Quality and Safety Education for Nurses Institute Regional Center at Jacksonville University, recognizes health care professionals and teams who work to advance the field of patient safety, develop and mentor future leaders and demonstrate excellence in leading interprofessional initiatives designed to improve quality and safety education and practice. The PAMI team and three other individuals from around the country are being recognized with this honor during the fourth annual cycle of the award. 

“This is a well-deserved recognition for the PAMI team,” said Thanh Hogan, PharmD, vice president of clinical operations at UF Health Jacksonville. “There are so many safe and successful alternatives to opioids, and the multidisciplinary approach of PAMI gives patients access to treatments and therapies that are otherwise unknown or inaccessible.”

Phyllis Hendry, MD, a professor and associate chair for research in the department of emergency medicine, and Sophia Sheikh, MD, an assistant professor of emergency medicine, established PAMI in 2014 to improve patient safety in the field of pain management. Their department houses the multidisciplinary program, which includes team members from various specialties across the UF Health enterprise and multiple state-level stakeholder organizations.  

The award is named in honor of the late Robert L. Wears, MD, MS, PhD, for his pioneering work in transforming the way investigators approach patient safety research. Wears was an active researcher and a professor of emergency medicine at the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville, where he worked for more than 20 years.

About PAMI

PAMI seeks to advance multimodal, safe pain management in health care systems to improve outcomes and reduce opioid risk. This includes pharmacologic and non-pharmacologic options to promote opioid stewardship and safe transitions of care. PAMI’s efforts comprise provider and patient education, quality improvement and multiple research studies.

Over the past six years, PAMI has expanded to include collaborators in emergency and pain medicine, pediatrics, geriatrics, physical rehabilitation, integrative medicine, pharmacy, information technology, research and trauma. This includes providers and staff from:

  • Jacksonville Aging Studies Center, or JAX-ASCENT
  • UF Center for Data Solutions
  • UF colleges of Pharmacy, Medicine and Nursing
  • UF Health Jacksonville
  • UF Pain Research and Intervention Center of Excellence

PAMI also maintains close partnerships with the Florida Hospital Association, Florida College of Emergency Physicians and the Florida Society of Health-System Pharmacists.

“On behalf of the entire PAMI team, I am honored to receive recognition for our dedication and effort as we continue to make progress in the field of pain patient safety,” Hendry said. “Our initiative has undergone significant growth in the past year with the addition of new projects funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Florida Blue Foundation and the Florida Department of Health.”

PAMI is funded by the Florida Medical Malpractice Joint Underwriting Association and the department of emergency medicine at the UF College of Medicine – Jacksonville.

About QSEN

The Quality and Safety Education for Nurses project was founded to address the challenge of preparing future nurses with the knowledge, skills and attitudes necessary to continuously improve the quality and safety of the health care systems within which they work.

Phyllis L. Hendry, M.D., FAAP, FACEP
Sophia S. Sheikh, M.D.

For more information, please contact:
UF Health Media Relations
904-244-3268