Jennie Ching-I Tsao (West Los Angeles), associate professor of pediatrics in the Pediatric Pain Program at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital, has been selected as one of six winners of the 2007–08 Mayday Pain & Society Fellowship.
Established in 2003, the fellowship provides leaders in the pain-management field with the tools and skills to advocate for better treatment for pain. Fellows learn how to better communicate with media and policymakers and to raise the visibility of their issues.
Tsao serves as research director of the UCLA Pediatric Pain Program and oversees several studies funded by the National Institutes of Health. Her research interests include biopsychosocial models of pain, with a focus on the relationship between pain, anxiety and health outcomes, including pain-related functioning and utilization of conventional and alternative medical care. Her expertise also extends to the role of psychological factors — particularly anxiety — in laboratory pain responsivity among children and adolescents.
Tsao has published extensively in respected journals in the fields of psychology, medicine, pain research and health services research, including evidence-based reviews on complimentary alternative medicine approaches for pain and the role of pain in the use of conventional and complementary health services.
The Mayday fellows for 2007–08 come from across the U.S. and Canada and specialize in a wide range of health care disciplines, including emergency medicine, anesthesiology, neurology, psychiatry and pediatrics.
As part of their training, fellows learn how to connect with local and national media, write op-ed pieces, develop relationships with university public affairs and government relations leaders, and talk with state legislators and members of Congress. They also develop skills to advocate and communicate on many of the pain issues they deal with every day, including the undertreatment of pain, pediatric pain, chronic pain, palliative care, the treatment of pain with prescription pain medications and disparities in pain treatment.
Established in 1992 by the estate of Shirley Steinman Katzenbach, the Mayday Fund is dedicated to furthering Katzenbach's commitment to social and medical causes. Her special interest in the treatment of pain forms the core of the fund's mission.
The UCLA Pediatric Pain Program at UCLA Mattel Children's Hospital offers state-of-the-art medicine in combination with the regenerative power of complementary therapies to help treat children suffering from chronic pain. A wide variety of complementary therapies is used, ranging from acupuncture to art therapy. In addition, the Pediatric Pain Program conducts research on integrative therapies and sponsors educational programs for health professionals and the public. For more information, please visit www.mattel.ucla.edu/pedspain/home.php.