Gov. Haslam appoints new Commission on Pain and Addiction Medicine Education

Photo: NJTV News / Youtube
Photo: NJTV News / Youtube(WCTV)
Published: Jan. 24, 2018 at 10:43 PM EST
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Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam announced Wednesday the names of members of the new Tennessee Commission on Pain and Addiction Medicine Education.

The commission, which was established by executive order as part of the

was charged with developing competencies for Tennessee's medical education institutions that would address proper treatment for pain, safe and effective prescribing practices and proper diagnoses and treatment for people who may be abusing or misusing controlled substances.

Haslam said Wednesday that once they were developed, the competencies would be available for adoption by the state's medical schools for training for Tennessee's future doctors, nurses, dentists and other prescribers.

"To be clear, this is not us telling medical and health care practitioner schools what their curriculum will be," Haslam said. "This is a group of professionals from that field who will come together and design what competencies should be developed around evidence-based pain and addiction management."

The competencies developed will include instruction and training in the following areas, at a minimum:

• Effective treatment for acute and chronic pain, including alternatives to opioids to manage pain;

• The potential risks and effects of using opioids to treat pain, including physical dependency and addiction, and effective discontinuation of opioids;

• Proper identification of and treatment for patients demonstrating misuse or abuse of opioids; and

• Utilization of the Controlled Substance Monitoring Database.

The new commission includes 19 members, who were appointed by the governor and include representation from the state's public and private medical schools, the Tennessee Department of Health, professional associations and licensed health care practitioners.

The following members were named to the commission:

• Dr. John E. Blake, III, Medical Director, Specialists in Pain Management

• Dr. Christopher R. Edwards, Chief Medical Officer, Maury Regional Health

• Dr. Cherae M. Farmer-Dixon, Dean, Meharry Medical College School of Dentistry

• Dr. Linda Hill, Professor, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist, University of Tennessee at Chattanooga School of Nursing

• Professor Rex Hobbs, Assistant Dean and Program Director, Physician Assistant Studies, Lincoln Memorial University, DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine

• Dr. April Kapu, Nurse Practitioner and Associate Chief Nursing Officer for Advanced Practice, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

• Dr. Brian A. Kessler, Vice President and Dean, DeBusk College of Osteopathic Medicine, Lincoln Memorial University

• Dr. Veronica T. Mallett, Senior Vice President of Health Affairs and Dean, School of Medicine, Meharry Medical College

• Dr. Robert T. Means, Jr., Dean, Quillen School of Medicine, East Tennessee State University

• Dr. Sarah Melton, Professor, Bill Gatton College of Pharmacy, East Tennessee State University

• Dr. Bonnie Miller, Senior Associate Dean, Health Science Education and Executive Vice President Educational Affairs, Vanderbilt University Medical Center

• Dr. Wendy Nehring, Dean, College of Nursing, East Tennessee State University

• Professor Bret Reeves, Director, Physician Assistant Program, Trevecca Nazarene University

• Dr. David Sain, Director, Tennessee Dental Association Wellness Committee

• Dr. Leslie Shepard, Pharmacist owner, Community Pharmacy Care, Inc.

• Dr. Terry Stevens, Pharmacist, University of Tennessee College of Veterinary Medicine

• Dr. David Stern, Vice Chancellor of Health Affairs for Statewide Initiatives, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

• Dr. Stephanie G. Vanterpool, Director, Comprehensive Pain Services, Assistant Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, University of Tennessee Graduate School of Medicine

• Dr. John Dreyzehner, Commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Health, Chair of Commission

The new commission was tasked with creating a report that would be delivered to Governor Haslam with a due date of July 31, 2018.