MAHEC Offers Innovative Online Training on Effective Chronic Pain Treatment

January 29, 2018

Free live webinar series brings chronic pain experts to primary care offices across WNC

January 29, 2018—On February 6, primary care providers will learn how to help their patients manage chronic pain effectively with pharmacological and behavioral health approaches that reduce the risk for opioid misuse and dependency.

This free live webinar series consists of six hour-long weekly sessions beginning on Feb. 6 at 7:00 am.

Project ECHO® for Chronic Pain is being offered by the Mountain Area Health Education Center (MAHEC) to support WNC physicians and their patients struggling with chronic pain, a condition that affects more than
100 million Americans—more than heart disease, cancer and diabetes combined—according to a report from the Institute of Medicine.

“Primary care providers across the region have told us that one of their top concerns is helping patients manage chronic pain,” shares Blake Fagan, MD, a MAHEC family physician and medical director for the Chronic Pain ECHO.

“These virtual classes connect providers with an interdisciplinary team of experts to share safe and effective techniques for addressing chronic pain, which can be a challenging condition to treat,” Fagan explains.

Each class will include a short didactic on topics related to the management of chronic pain and a review of case studies submitted by experts and participants. The series will also address new state regulations for opioids and satisfies North Carolina’s continuing medical education requirements for controlled-substance prescribing.

In addition to Fagan, ECHO faculty include Don Teater, MD, a WNC-based family physician who serves as a consultant for the Centers for Disease Control; Martha Teater, LMFT, LPC, a national expert on behavioral treatment for trauma and chronic pain; Carriedelle Fusco, RN, FNP, who helps run MAHEC’s chronic pain clinic; and Courtenay Wilson, PharmD, associate director for pharmacotherapy at MAHEC’s Family Health Centers.

Project ECHO® is a lifelong learning and guided practice model developed at the University of New Mexico to reduce barriers to specialty care in rural areas. This unique approach brings together a team of medical experts at a learning hub to share information in real-time with geographically dispersed healthcare providers. Participants gain specialized skills through case-based learning and best practice sharing.

MAHEC’s Chronic Pain ECHO will be limited to 25 participants with preference given to rural primary care providers and their invited behavioral health professionals.

This is the third ECHO series launched by MAHEC, one of the few providers of this innovative web-based healthcare training in North Carolina. Additional series planned for spring will focus on complex health conditions and integrating behavioral healthcare in primary care.

For more details and to register for the upcoming Chronic Pain ECHO, visit

For more information about the Project ECHO® learning model and other upcoming webinar series, contact Lourdes Lorenz-Miller, RN, MSN, at 828-257-4758 or