Learn about AAPM Annual Meeting speakers, who are experts in the pain medicine field from around the country, below, and view a full list of the planning committee and faculty disclosures.

Vivianne Tawfik, MD PhD--Stanford University School of Medicine

Vivianne Tawfik, MD PhDStanford University School of Medicine

Dr. Vivianne Tawfik is a physician-scientist practicing clinical pain management in an academic setting and conducting clinically-informed basic science to further understand the mechanisms of chronic pain. Her clinical expertise is in peripheral nerve injury, complex regional pain syndrome and chronic post-surgical pain. Her research uses animal models of these conditions to further understand the neuroimmune contribution to persistent pain.


Basic, Translational, and Clinical Perspectives on Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) (201)

Assistant Professor, Anesthesiology, Preoperative & Pain Medicine
Redwood City, CA
Mark Sullivan, MD PhD--University of Washington

Mark Sullivan, MD PhDUniversity of Washington

Dr. Mark Sullivan received his M.D. and his Ph.D. in Philosophy from Vanderbilt University. After completing an internship in Family Medicine at University of Missouri, he completed a residency in Psychiatry at the University of Washington in 1988. He is now Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences as well as Adjunct Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine and Adjunct Professor of Bioethics and Humanities at the University of Washington. He has served as attending physician in the UW Center for Pain Relief for 30 years, where he is Co-Director of Behavioral Health Services. He has published over 250 peer-reviewed articles. He has a new book from Oxford University Press titled, The Patient as Agent of Health and Health Care.


Unintended Prolonged Opioid Use: An Under-Recognized Segue to Long-Term Use (310)

Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Seattle, WA
Jacob J. Strand, MD--Mayo Clinic

Jacob J. Strand, MDMayo Clinic

Dr. Jacob Strand received his M.D. from the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and subsequently completed his residency training in internal medicine at Brigham and Women's Hospital in Boston, Massachusetts. He remained in Boston for palliative medicine training at the Harvard Palliative Medicine Fellowship Program. Dr. Jacob Strand is Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minnesota and Director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Palliative Medicine. Dr. Strand serves as an Associate Editor for the British Medical Journal: Supportive & Palliative Care and has several active research protocols centered exploring the integration of palliative medicine and anesthesia pain disciplines, management of complex cancer-related pain and barriers to cancer pain management.

B. Todd Sitzman, MD--Advanced Pain Therapy, PLLC

B. Todd Sitzman, MDAdvanced Pain Therapy, PLLC

Dr. Sitzman is medical director of Advanced Pain Therapy, a comprehensive pain clinic located in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. He is an active member of numerous national and international pain societies: - Present, North American Neuromodulation Society (NANS) - Past President, American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM) - Past President, Southern Pain Society - Past President, Mississippi Pain Society - Past President, Mississippi Society of Interventional Pain PhysiciansHe the recipient of the American Academy of Pain Medicine and Southern Pain Society's Distinguished Service Awards. He has authored more than 80 scientific publications including abstracts, manuscripts, and book chapters, and serves on the editorial boards of the journals Pain Medicine and Pain Practice. He is actively involved in patient advocacy and postgraduate medical education, and lectures nationally and internationally on topics related to pain pharmacology and interventional pain therapies. Dr. Sitzman received his medical and master of public health degrees from Tulane University in New Orleans, LA. He completed postgraduate training at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA (internal medicine) and the University of Virginia Health Sciences Center, Charlottesville, VA (anesthesiology and pain medicine). Dr. Sitzman is board certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine.

Vanila M. Singh, MD--Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Vanila M. Singh, MDOffice of the Assistant Secretary for Health – U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS)

Vanila M. Singh, MD, MACM, was named Chief Medical Officer for the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on June 12, 2017.

The Chief Medical Officer serves as the primary medical advisor to the Assistant Secretary for Health on the development and implementation of HHS-wide public health policy recommendations. The Office of the Assistant Secretary for Health includes 11 core public health offices, including the Office of the Surgeon General, 12 advisory committees, and 10 regional offices. Dr. Singh’s portfolio includes issues related to pain medicine, including opioid use and misuse; medical ethics; and public health.

For the past 13 years, Dr. Singh has been a clinical associate professor of anesthesiology, perioperative and pain medicine at Stanford University School of Medicine. Board-certified in both anesthesiology and pain medicine, she specializes in treating patients with complex chronic pain issues. Her practice focuses on regional anesthesia with a specialty in advanced ultrasound- guided procedures for pain management and anesthesia medicine.

She graduated from the University of California at Berkeley with a bachelor of science degree in both molecular and cell biology and economics. She received her medical degree from the George Washington University School of Medicine & Health Sciences. Dr. Singh completed her internal medicine internship at Yale University School of Medicine and her anesthesiology residency and pain medicine fellowship at Cornell-Weill New York Hospital, which included training at Memorial Sloan Kettering and the Hospital for Special Surgery. She received a master’s degree in academic medicine through the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine in 2016.

Dr. Singh has been active in national medical organizations, serving as the Vice Chair of the National Physicians Council on Health Policy; an editorial board member of the Pain Physician Journal for the American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians; and a member of the California Medical Association’s (CMA) House of Delegates. She also served on the CMA’s Council on Ethical, Legal and Judicial Affairs, and more recently, as a member of its Subcommittee on Health Information Technology. Dr. Singh was an invited faculty speaker and member of the Scientific Planning Committee for the 2017 national meeting of the American Society of Regional Anesthesia. She is involved in the Santa Clara County Medical Association as Vice President of Professional Conduct.

Dr. Singh has a background in molecular and cell biology, pain medicine, and regional anesthesia with a forte in advanced ultrasound guided procedures for pain and anesthesia medicine. She is double board-certified. She has served in medical ethics, and continues to serve on scientific editorial boards, committees for the American Society of Regional Anesthesia, American Society of Interventional Pain Physicians, California Medical Association, and the Santa Clara County Medical Association. She has an interest & remains involved in health policy with an additional background in economics. Dr Singh's practice uniquely focuses on regional anesthesia and peri-operative, subacute, and the development of chronic pain, with an emphasis on alternative and traditional medicine approaches. She has interests that include persistent pain following surgical procedures and long term chronic pain issues. Dr. Singh has a background and interest in education for medical students, residents, and fellows. She strongly believes in a compassionate, patient-centered approach to medicine.


General Session III and Award Presentations (104)

Chief Medical Officer
Washington, DC
Byron Schneider, MD--Vanderbilt University Medical Center

Byron Schneider, MDVanderbilt University Medical Center

Dr. Byron Schneider is currently an assistant professor with the department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. Prior to this, he completed his PM&R residency and Interventional Spine Fellowship at Stanford University. Born in Canada before moving to Lexington, Kentucky in 2002, he graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Science and then completed medical school at the University of Kentucky. In addition to multiple research publications and textbook chapters, he has presented at a variety of national meetings the past five years, including for the American Academy of PM&R, Spine Intervention Society, and North American Spine Society. Dr. Schneider currently serves on the Standards Division, Patient Safety Committee, Membership Committee, and Research Division for the Spine Intervention Society and the RIMS committee for NASS.

Judith Scheman, PhD--Cleveland Clinic

Judith Scheman, PhDCleveland Clinic

Dr. Judith Scheman has been the Director of Behavioral Medicine for the Cleveland Clinic Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute since July, 2016. She has been a member of the Cleveland Clinic staff since 1995. Prior to her present position she served as the Director of Psychology, Research and Education and Director of the Chronic Pain Rehabilitation Program in the Center for Neurological Restoration, and held a joint appointment in the Center for Spine Health. In addition, she is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Cleveland Clinic Learner College of Medicine of the Case Western Reserve University and holds an adjunct faculty position at Cleveland State University. Dr. Scheman is a member of the American Pain Society and is the co-founder and co-chair of the Pain Rehabilitation Special Interest Group. She is also a member for the American Academy of Pain Medicine and co-chair of the Pain Psychology task force and co-founder and co-chair of the Pain Psychology Special Interest Group. She received her BS in Psychology from the University of Washington and her M.A. and Ph.D. from Kent State University in Clinical Psychology and Behavioral Medicine.

Paola Sandroni, MD PhD--Mayo Clinic

Paola Sandroni, MD PhDMayo Clinic

Dr. Paola Sandroni obtained her MD degree from the University of Milan, Italy, summa cum laude. She accepted a position to work in Somalia for 1 year on a project sponsored by the European Union before moving to the US, where she worked as research fellow in the autonomic laboratory at Mayo Clinic Rochester for 1 year. She then moved to the University of California Irvine. There she spent 3 years working on neurophysiology of mental processing as well as movement disorders. With this work, she completed her PhD degree in neuroscience. After obtaining her US licensure, she returned to Mayo Clinic to complete her Neurology residency, followed by 1 year fellowship in peripheral nerve disorders and 6 months as Mayo Scholar at UCSF to perfect her pain management skills. Dr. Sandroni joined the Mayo Clinic staff where she is Professor of Neurology, practice chair of neurology, director of the Autonomic laboratory and of the autonomic fellowship. Her expertise is in autonomic, neuromuscular disorders and pain. She is actively involved in research, education as well as clinical practice. Dr. Sandroni is a member of the neuromodulation committee and actively involved in developing new strategies to manage the most refractory pain syndromes. She has published over 100 articles and lectures often both in the national and international arena. Her interest in global medicine brings her yearly to Africa where she is involved in educational projects.

Friedhelm Sandbrink, MD--Washington VAMC

Friedhelm Sandbrink, MDWashington VAMC

Dr. Friedhelm Sandbrink is Director of the pain management program at the Washington VA Medical Center that provides for interdisciplinary pain care for patients with severe chronic pain. He also serves as the Acting National Program Director for Pain Management, Specialty Care Services, in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

Wenchun Qu, MD PhD--Mayo Clinic

Wenchun Qu, MD PhDMayo Clinic

Dr. Wenchun Qu is board certified in Pain Medicine, Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), and Regenerative Medicine. He is a consultant with dual appointment at Department of PM&R and Division of Pain Medicine at Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota. He serves as the He is the director of Regenerative Pain Medicine Practice. His clinical interests are regenerative therapy for degenerative spine and musculoskeletal conditions and regenerative interventional technology - with his research primarily focused on stem cell therapy for spine and musculoskeletal conditions.

Vinay Puttanniah, MD--Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Vinay Puttanniah, MDMemorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center

Dr. Vinay Puttanniah is a board-certified anesthesiologist with additional expertise and training in pain medicine. As a member of both the Anesthesiology Service and the Pain Service in the Department of Anesthesiology and Critical Care Medicine, his clinical work involves delivering anesthesia as well as treating postoperative pain. He also treats cancer pain using medications, nerve blocks, intrathecal drug delivery systems, radiofrequency techniques, and neurolytic blocks. In addition, Dr. Puttanniah regularly supervise and teach clinical fellows.

Ravi Prasad, PhD--Stanford University School of Medicine

Ravi Prasad, PhDStanford University School of Medicine

Ravi Prasad is a pain psychologist whose clinical work focuses primarily on evaluation and treatment of individuals suffering from chronic pain conditions in both the inpatient and outpatient settings. He currently oversees all psychological services offered through the Stanford Pain Division, and is the program director of the Stanford Comprehensive Interdisciplinary Pain Program (SCIPP), one of the few academic inpatient pain programs in the United States -where he developed a Pain Psychology Postdoctoral Fellowship Program that is presently fully accredited by the American Psychological Association. Outside of the arena of pain, Dr. Prasad take an active role in wellness initiatives. He is a member of the Stanford Center for Physician Wellness and Professional Fulfillment and co-director of Peer Support and Resiliency in Medicine (PRIME), the Anesthesia Resident Wellness Program.

Thomas P. Pittelkow, DO MPH--Mayo Clinic College of Medicine

Thomas P. Pittelkow, DO MPHMayo Clinic College of Medicine

Dr. Thomas Pittelkow is an Instructor of Anesthesiology and Perioperative Medicine at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. His clinical interests include the use of advanced therapies for treatment of cancer-pain and the use of ultrasound in medical education. He currently serves as the Associate Program Director of the Pain Medicine Fellowship. Dr. Pagano-Estevez completed his residency and chief training in Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, as well as fellowships in Pain Medicine and Hospice and Palliaitive Medicine at Mayo Clinic.


Web-Based Multimedia Curriculum for Training in Ultrasound-Guided Pain Medicine Procedures (305)

Senior Associate Consultant
Rochester, MN
Jennifer L. Murphy, PhD--Tampa VA

Jennifer L. Murphy, PhDTampa VA

Since the advent of the VA's evidence-based psychotherapy initiative for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Chronic Pain (CBT-CP) in 2012, Dr. Jennifer Murphy has served as subject matter expert in the development of the protocol, lead author of the CBT-CP Therapist Manual, and primary trainer for all dissemination to the field. She served as the Clinical Director of the VA's only inpatient interdiscipliary pain program for more than five years and am the national VA liasion for the development of all CARF pain programs. Dr. Murphy is also the VA's lead pain psychologist, assisting the National Director with all pain efforts so that the psychosocial aspects are integrated fully.

Tobias Moeller Bertram, MD PhD--Desert Clinic Pain Institute

Tobias Moeller Bertram, MD PhDDesert Clinic Pain Institute

As the CMO of Summit Institute, Dr. Moeller-Bertam focuses on delivering patient centered, outcome driven, integrated care for individuals with complex chronic pain.


Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Pain-Based Care (001)

Chief Medical Officer
Rancho Mirage, CA
Neel Mehta, MD--Weill Cornell Medicine

Neel Mehta, MDWeill Cornell Medicine

Dr. Neel Mehta serves as the Medical Director of Weill Cornell Pain Management in New York, NY. He is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Anesthesiology and a Co-Director of the Pain Fellowship. He has a clinical interest in the use of low dose naltrexone, specifically its use in neuropathic pain and the potential as a tool in opioid use reduction.


Neuropathic Pain: Beyond Adjuvants and Opioids: A Look at New and Reemerging Treatments (207)

Medical Director, Pain Medicine
New York, NY
Zachary L. McCormick, MD--University of Utah

Zachary L. McCormick, MDUniversity of Utah

Dr. Zachary McCormick is a board certified specialist in both Pain Medicine and Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation (PM&R) with expertise in the care of spine and musculoskeletal pain. He received his MD at the University of Pennsylvania, completed a PM&R residency at the Northwestern University (The Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago) and a fellowship in Pain Medicine at Northwestern University. Following sub-specialty training, he served as a faculty member at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. McCormick is currently on faculty at the University of Utah and the Director of Clinical Spine Research in the Division of PM&R. An active researcher, Dr. McCormick's work focuses on the clinical outcomes of minimally invasive techniques for the diagnosis and treatment of spine and joint pain, specifically radicular, discogenic, zygaphophyseal joint, sacroiliac joint, and knee joint pain. He has published over 70 peer-reviewed medical journal articles and has received research awards from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the National Institute of Diabetes Digestive & Kidney Diseases, the Spine Intervention Society, the Midwest Pain Society, and the Foundation of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation.


A Pain in the Rear: Diagnosing and Treating Lumbar Spine and Sacroiliac Complex Pain (212)

Interdisciplinary/Multidisciplinary Pain-Based Care (001)

Assistant Professor/ Director of Clinical Spine Research
Salt Lake City, UT
Timothy P. Maus, MD--Mayo Clinic

Timothy P. Maus, MDMayo Clinic

As Co-Chair of the Interventinal Spine Group at Mayo Clinic Rochester, Dr. Timothy Maus is responsible for administrative oversight of all interventional spine pain management procedures at Mayo Clinic Rochester and Mayo Clinic Healthcare System. He is also currently President of the Spine Intervention Society, a multidisciplinary society of >2700 physicians dedicated to promoting the highest standards for the performance of evidence-based procedures involved in the diagnosis and treatment of spine related pain.

Sean Mackey, MD PhD--Stanford University, School of Medicine

Sean Mackey, MD PhDStanford University, School of Medicine

Chronic pain afflicts approximately 100 million people in the US, and associated yearly healthcare costs exceed half a trillion dollars. Under Dr. Sean Mackey's leadership, researchers at the Stanford Pain Management Center and the Stanford Systems Neuroscience and Pain Laboratory (SNAPL) have made major advances in the understanding of chronic pain as a disease in its own right, one that fundamentally alters the nervous system. Dr. Mackey has overseen efforts to map the specific brain and spinal cord regions that perceive and process pain, which has lead to the development of a multidisciplinary treatment model that translates basic science research into innovative therapies to provide more effective, personalized treatments for patients with chronic pain. Under Dr. Mackey's leadership, the Stanford Pain Management Center has been designated a Center of Excellence by the American Pain Society, one of only two centers to receive this honor twice. Dr. Mackey is a past president of the American Academy of Pain Medicine, and in 2012, U.S. News and World Report named him as among the top 1% of pain doctors in the US. In 2011 he was a member of the Institutes of Medicine committee that issued the report on Relieving Pain in America. Dr. Mackey has served as principal investigator and investigator for multiple NIH grants to investigate chronic pain and to investigate novel analgesics for acute and chronic pain. Dr. Mackey has published over 70 articles and book chapters. Dr. Mackey received his BSE and MSE in bioengineering from the University of Pennsylvania and his MD and PhD in electrical engineering from the University of Arizona. In 1994 he completed his anesthesia residency and a fellowship in pain medicine at Stanford. Since 2007, Dr. Mackey has served as Chief of the Division of Pain Medicine and director of the fellowship program in the Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine.

Dr. Sean Mackey is Redlich Professor and Chief of the Stanford Division of Pain Medicine. He uses research tools such as big data, psychophysical, neurobehavioral and neuroimaging tools to investigate chronic pain and opioids. Dr. Mackey is author of over 200 journal articles and book chapters. He is developer of an open-source learning health system-CHOIR (http://choir.stanford.edu)-to transform the care of people with pain, and serve as a platform for research in real-world clinic patients.

Michael S. Leong, MD--Stanford Pain Management Center

Michael S. Leong, MDStanford Pain Management Center

Dr. Michael S. Leong is a specialist in pain medicine with clinical foci on intrathecal analgesia, neuromodulation and advocacy/legislative issues. He received his medical degree from Georgetown University in Washington, DC, and completed his residency in anesthesiology at University of California, Davis and at Stanford University, where he also completed his fellowship in pain medicine. He is board certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology. He has worked in academics, private practice, and in the pharmaceutical industry. Dr. Leong is currently a Clinical Associate Professor of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at Stanford University, the former Clinic Chief of the pain management clinic, and is a native of Vancouver, Canada.


Multidisciplinary Care Model and Contemporary Strategies for Intrathecal Drug Delivery (203)

Clinical Associate Professor
Redwood City, CA
Loralie J. Langman, PhD--Mayo Clinic

Loralie J. Langman, PhDMayo Clinic

Dr. Lorelie Langman completed her PhD in Laboratory Medicine and Pathology at the University of Alberta Canada. She completed her Clinical Chemistry training at the University of Toronto, specializing in Forensic Toxicology and Molecular Genetics. She is certified with the Canadian Academy of Clinical Biochemistry and is the first individual to have achieved Diplomat status with the American Board of Clinical Chemistry in all three disciplines- Clinical Chemistry, Molecular Diagnostics, and Toxicological Chemistry). She is also a Fellow with the American Board of Forensic Toxicology. Dr. Langman is a member of and serves on committees for several professional organizations including: The Society of Forensic Toxicologists, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, the Clinical and Laboratory Standards Institute the Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists, The International Association of Forensic Toxicologists, the American Association for Clinical Chemistry, the Academy of the AACC (formerly NACB) where she is their current President, the International Federation Of Clinical Chemistry And Laboratory Medicine. She is the President of The International Association of Therapeutic Drug Monitoring and Clinical Toxicology. She is currently the Director of the Clinical and Forensic Toxicology Laboratory, Clinical Mass Spectroscopy Laboratory, and a Consultant for the Personal Genomics Laboratory, Mayo Clinic Rochester, MN and Professor of Laboratory Medicine an Pathology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine She has over 60 peer reviewed publications and over 125 abstracts/presentations at National and International meetings. She has authored 20 book chapters and co-authored 5 books.


Urine, Oral Fluid, or Serum? Interpretation of Interactive Case Studies Using Point of Care (POC) and Laboratory-Based Tests (302)

Director, Clinical and Forensic Toxicology Laboratory
Rochester, MN