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Nora Stern, MS, PT, Director of Know About Pain

“What if a person living with pain got messages from primary care, from an ED nurse, or a discharge planner, that they could manage their pain, that there were many ways to change pain and that medication was only one aspect of pain care? What if we all had the same message? Could we actually prevent chronic and persistent pain and change expectations about opioid prescribing by decreasing threat and faulty beliefs early on?”

This was the vision of Nora Stern in 2010, when she began to spread pain education to the entire care continuum. Nora has over 25 years of experience treating, educating, and leading practice change in pain care. As clinical program manager for pain education at Providence Health and Services, Oregon, Nora brought a new vision to pain care and opioid utilization for both ambulatory and acute care. Nora designed the Providence Pain Toolkit, the first-ever pain education teaching tools for primary care; including videos, classes and written material which created consistent messaging and time-savings. In response to the new standards of The Joint Commission on Pain and Opioid Safety, Nora designed guidelines for local hospital facilities regarding non- pharmacological pain care and scripting, developed educational content for the acute care continuum, trained nursing staff, and restructured the pre-operative Total Joint Patient Education program as part of the Providence Oregon Hospital Pain and Opioid Task Force. Additionally, Nora co-developed the Providence Comprehensive Pain Service, a multi-disciplinary service integrated with primary care medical home. Nora is chair of the Oregon State Pain Management Commission and a primary author of the state training module on pain for Oregon, Oregon Health Authority: OPMC Pain Management Module: Oregon Pain Management Commission, and associated patient education tools. She has served as chair of the Education section of the Tri-County Task Force on Pain and Opioid Safety, and on the Oregon State Task Force on Back Pain Guidelines and on the Chronic Pain Task Force. Nora is known as an inspiring speaker and is able to adapt messaging to be relevant to all disciplines.


Advisory Team:

Brian Saling, DPT, COMPT

Director, CHI Mercy AIM Therapies

  • Administrator

  • Pain educator

  • Physical therapy pain care specialist

Kim Dupree Jones RN, FNP, FAAN

Dean  of Nursing, Linfield College

  • Pain researcher

  • Nursing pain care specialist

Shari Black, RN

Health care consultant, Multnomah County Health Director


  • Strategic planner

  • Innovator


Hans Moller, MD

Orthopedic Surgeon, Providence Health and Services 

  • Innovator in surgical continuum

  • Practicing orthopedic surgeon

  • Medical director and program developer 

  • Board member of International Geriatric Fracture Society

Shandy Welch, FNP

  • Healthcare executive and physician leadership coach- Fresh Eyes LLC

  • 20 years of local and system clinical and programmatic development for a large health care system

  • Program and clinical consultant for Johnson & Johnson

Nadejda Razi-Robertson, PhD, LCSW

  • Behavioral Health Integration pain care specialist,  

        focus on opioid crisis in medical settings

  • Practice facilitation


Laura Heesacker, MSW, LCSW

  • Behavioral Health Innovation Specialist

  • Practice facilitator

  • Consultant, Centers for Disease Control


Andrew Suchocki, MD

  • Medical Director, Clackamas County Oregon

  • Family physician

  • Expertise in system change regarding opioid prescribing,

       substance use disorder and

       Medication Assisted Therapy

Michelle Marikos, Peer Specialist

  • Peer support specialist and instructor

  • Consultant, Centers for Disease Control


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