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Vanderbilt’s New EMPOWER Program
Teera Wilkins talks with Dr. Roy Elam, Associate Professor at Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health on the new EMPOWER Program. This is FREE to Vanderbilt employees and family members covered on the VU insurance who need help with pain management. For more information please call 615-343-7301 or visit the website at Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health.
Teera Wilkins: Welcome to this edition of the Vanderbilt University Health and Wellness Wellcast. I am Teera Wilkins with Occupational Health Clinic. I am interviewing Dr. Roy Elam, an Associate Professor in Internal Medicine on one of Vanderbilt’s new programs called EMPOWER. The kickoff date is April 7, 2014. Let’s start by asking what is the EMPOWER Program and what does EMPOWER stand for?
Dr. Roy Elam: So, EMPOWER stands for just what it implies. This is a program to empower those people who have chronic pain, have been suffering for a long time, and need a new and improved way to manage their care.
Teera Wilkins: Okay, and what is the acronym for EMPOWER?
Dr. Roy Elam: The acronym stands for empowerment, mindfulness, outpatient wellness, education, and rehab.
Teera Wilkins: How did Vanderbilt Center for Integrative Health come up with the vision or the mindset to launch this program?
Dr. Roy Elam: This program is sponsored by the One Hundred Oaks Interventional Pain Center, the Dayani Center, and the Vanderbilt Center for Integrative health, and we have been working as partners for some time. We have realized that there are a lot of patients who we see that need more help than we are able to provide them. So, we have studied the processes for immersion programs and found ideal ones, and we are using them as examples, and the example is we had the Mayo Clinic leader and the Stanford leader come to teach us how to do an immersion program for people with chronic pain.
Teera Wilkins: Is this program for employees or is it also available for the family members as well?
Dr. Roy Elam: This is available to the employees and the family members, and I might point out that this is free. If you go to Mayo Clinic to have a similar program, it is going to cost you $30,000.
Teera Wilkins: Wow!
Dr. Roy Elam: So, this is a real opportunity for people in the Vanderbilt system to get what they need.
Teera Wilkins: How long is this program?
Dr. Roy Elam: This is a 3-week program where patients participate in comprehensive therapy on the Vanderbilt campus everyday from 8 to 4, 8 to 4 for 3 weeks. After those 3 weeks, you will actually have the opportunity to have a health coach contact you once a week.
Teera Wilkins: So, they will provide lodging?
Dr. Roy Elam: Yes, so their lodging will be provided. Food will be provided.
Teera Wilkins: For someone interested in the program, where can I find more information?
Dr. Roy Elam: The best place to find more information is on the website. You also can get information by calling 343-7301. They will let you know how to move along in having an assessment by one of our clinicians.
Teera Wilkins: Thank you Dr. Elam.
Dr. Roy Elam: Thank you.
Teera Wilkins: Thanks for listening. Please feel free to leave us any comments on this Wellcast on the form at the bottom of this page. If you have any story suggestions, please email us at email@example.com or you can use the “Contact Us” page on our website at healthandwellness.vanderbilt.edu.
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