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WVU receives national award for excellence in military pain medicine

West Virginia University’s Schools of Medicine and Dentistry and the WVU Medicine Center for Integrative Pain Management’s efforts to improve military pain medicine care for soldiers in the field were recognized by a national award for excellence in military pain medicine. This is the first time the award was given to an institution rather than an individual.

Retired Colonel Dr. Chester “Trip” Buckenmaier, III, director of the Defense and Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management, presented the Congressman John P. Murtha Memorial Award for Excellence in the Advancement of Military Pain Medicine at the WVU Medicine Center for Integrative Pain Management Conference held at the Erickson Alumni Center in Morgantown on Sept 20.

“This unique collaboration between WVU and the Uniformed Services University is an example of how multiple entities can share information and work together to develop better methods of treating pain amid a national opioid epidemic,” said William Ramsey, MD, associate vice president for coordination and logistics at WVU Health Sciences.

The partnership between the Uniformed Services University – a health sciences university of the United States federal government that prepares graduates for service as medical professionals, nurses, and physicians – and West Virginia University in the area of integrated pain management resulted in the formation of the WVU Medicine Center for Integrative Pain Management as well as research in the School of Dentistry to explore non-pharmacological therapies in the treatment of pain.

“We are humbled and honored to be a recipient of this award from our colleagues at DVCIPM, and are grateful that we have become a part of the many efforts in addressing pain management and substance use disorder, one of the most important medical issues of our times,” WVU School of Dentistry Dean Anthony Borgia said.

The award was established in 2010 in honor of Congressman John P. Murtha, who was the longest serving member of the U.S. House of Representatives from Pennsylvania. Congressman Murtha was a former marine, patriot, statesman, and advocate with a vision of improving the medical care and pain management of soldiers and was a major force in supporting and advancing the mission of the Defense and Veterans Center for Integrated Pain Management.

DVCIPM is part of the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences and one of seven Department of Defense Centers of Excellence.

“It has been a privilege to collaborate with DVCIPM over the past two years,” said Richard Vaglienti, MD, clinical director of the WVU Medicine Center for Integrative Pain Management. “Receiving the John P. Murtha award is a great honor and encouragement that we are having an impact in pain treatment beyond our state borders and for the men and women who voluntarily serve to protect us.”