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and its 50-year history in Pain Management


In 1964 Dr. B. Berthold Wolff and Dr. Thomas G. Kantor started an informal New York Pain Group, which met monthly at the NYU Medical Center. About 30 pain clinicians and researchers from the Greater New York Metropolitan area began to meet to discuss various pain-related research projects and clinical topics. Following the formation of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) in 1973, Dr. John J. Bonica recommended to Dr. Wolff that the group be enlarged to include the New England States, with the additional participation of the Middle Atlantic and the Southern States. Dr. Wolff formed the Eastern Pain Association in 1974, which included all states east of the Rockies. In 1975, the Eastern Pain Association (EPA) became one of the first chapters of the IASP



The Annual EPA Scientific Meeting, held in attractive venues in New York City, routinely offers symposia and lectures given by nationally recognized speakers along with posters and exhibits that are designed to appeal to a wide spectrum of specialists and interests. The annual John J. Bonica Award and Lecture is the highlight of the Eastern Pain Association's year. It is the oldest among many awards that recognize John Bonica, MD, who is universally recognized as the father of pain medicine. Dr. Bonica was also among the founding members of the EPA (he served as its first President) and a founding member of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP).


On a biennial basis, the EPA also recognizes Raymond W. Houde, MD, with a Lectureship Award named in honor of another co-founder of the EPA. Dr. Houde was also a former EPA President and a Bonica Award winner in his own right. Dr. Houde may be best known for his pioneering work on developing standards for analgesic assessment in man and for his rigorous evaluation of the comparative potencies and distinguishing properties of opioid analgesics in cancer pain patients.

The EPA Board of Directors established the Raymond W. Houde Memorial Lecture in 2006 to honor Dr. Houde’s life and his many contributions to the field of pain, as well as his deep interest in and devotion to the Eastern Pain Association. He never missed a single meeting in over 25 years.

Although he was born in New Hampshire in 1916, Ray was a true New Yorker through his training first in medical school at New York University, then an internship at Bellevue Hospital, and finally as a Medical Resident at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Hospital for Cancer and Allied Diseases, where he spent the rest of his illustrious career.

Ray was a founding member of the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP), the American Pain Society (APS) and the Eastern Pain Association (EPA). He was President of the EPA from 1978-1979 and one of the few honorary lifetime members of the EPA. Ray was a pioneer in the clinical evaluation of opioid analgesics. In early 1951 Ray, Stanley Wallenstein and Ada Rogers formed the Analgesic Studies Section at Memorial Hospital. Together they formulated the method of assaying analgesics, utilizing the double-blind technique, randomized graded doses as well as other innovations resulting in many publications and the equi-analgesic opioid conversion charts which have become almost ubiquitous in any pain management setting where opioids are used.

In the words of Ada Rogers, “Dr. Raymond Houde was a true humanitarian, a compassionate physician, a meticulous researcher, a titanic teacher and mentor, a pioneer in clinical pharmacology and most of all a faithful friend which is the medicine of life.The field of Clinical Pharmacology and the management of pain is better because of him.” In honor of Ray’s great contributions to the field of pain management in general and the Eastern Pain Association in particular, the EPA is establishing the RaymondW. Houde Memorial Lecture. In 2006, the first recipient was Dr. James Henry, Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Anesthesia and the inaugural scientific director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Pain Research and Care at McMaster University. His lecture is entitled “Pain Can Become a Disease Itself.”

In Memoriam:  B. Berthold Wolfe, Ph.D.

In Memoriam:  Ada Rogers, R.N., the Pain Lady

Marcus Reidenberg MD (deceased March 2020)

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