Both ‘exemplary’ pain programs focus on improving access to care in medically underserved communities and integrating with primary care

The Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy and Duke Orthopaedic Surgery are announcing the release of two exciting new studies on exemplary integrated pain management programs. These case studies focus on the People’s Community Clinic Integrative Pain Management Program in Austin, Texas, and the University of New Mexico Pain Consultation and Treatment Center in Albuquerque, New Mexico. While each program has unique features, the case studies show that both programs share a focus on person-centered integrative pain care with a strong emphasis on integration with primary care and improving access to care in medically underserved communities.

People’s Community Clinic Integrative Pain Management Program

The People’s Community Clinic Integrative Pain Management Program (PCC IPMP) is a program within a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) based in Austin, Texas. As an FQHC, PCC receives federal funding to provide care in medically underserved areas. The PCC IPMP was established via grant funding in 2018 to expand mental health services and address the opioid epidemic, and the program has grown over time.

The program, and PCC more broadly, equips patients with the necessary skills to manage their pain and advocate for themselves and their care needs. The IPMP care team includes primary care physicians, social workers, yoga therapists, acupuncturists, attorneys, and a nutritionist. Key features of the program include:


  • an approach to care that promotes and supports relational health;
  • a medical-legal partnership through which attorneys assist patients with health-harming legal and social needs;
  • group medical visits in both English and Spanish; and
  • community-based partnerships (e.g., non-profit law firm, yoga therapy providers, school of integrative medicine to help provide integrative services to patients)

University of New Mexico Pain Consultation and Treatment Center

The University of New Mexico Pain Consultation and Treatment Center (UNM Pain Center) is housed within the academic medical center affiliated with the University of New Mexico, which is the only academic medical center in the state. The UNM Pain Center, opened in 2011, has exponentially increased access to pain care in New Mexico, serving over 10,000 patients a year.

The UNM Pain Center provides personalized pain care to patients with a focus on supporting and coordinating with pain care in primary care settings, extending the capacity for pain care across the state through Project ECHO, and coordinating with integrative therapies. The care team includes anesthesiologists; a neurologist and headache specialist; family medicine providers who are myofascial experts; advanced practice providers (APPs), including nurse practitioners and physician assistants; physical therapists (PTs); chiropractors; pharmacists; a licensed counselor (LCPC); psychologists; and an addiction psychiatrist.  Key features of the program include:


  • Connections to primary care providers
  • Care for medically underserved communities
  • Commitment to provider education (e.g., Project ECHO, Pain Medicine Fellowship program)

Four Excellent Examples from a Growing Many

The team at Duke has put together four important and helpful case studies about person-centered, multidisciplinary, multimodal pain care in different areas and settings. In case you missed the first two examples, you can find them here.

West Virginia Medicine Integrative Pain Management

University of Vermont Comprehensive Pain Program

AACIPM aims to collaborate with Duke to build on these case examples to provide more practical resources for multi-stakeholders.

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