Eastern Pain Association
Eastern Pain Association
Eastern Pain Association

About Eastern Pain Association

A Regional Section of the American Pain Society

History of the Eastern Pain Association

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 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.

Keeping You Informed

The EPA offers local and regional scientific meetings to foster an exchange of clinical and scientific information among multidisciplinary health professionals and researchers interested in the field of pain. In 1979 the EPA established the John J. Bonica Award and Lecture, given annually that honors Dr. Bonica. To date, over twenty awards have been made to distinguished and outstanding recipients such as Patrick D. Wall (1979), Ronald Melzack (1982), B. Berthold Wolff (1991), Tony L. Yaksh (1993), Michael J. Cousins (1995) and many others.

  • John J. Bonica Award

    The annual Dr. John J. Bonica Award and Lecture is the highlight of the Eastern Pain Association's year. EPA members get together to hear a distinguished, nationally and often internationally, recognized pain practitioner and/or researcher deliver a lecture and receive an award that is named after someone many consider to be the father of pain, Dr John J. Bonica.

    Click here to see the list of Bonica Award Recipients.

  • Raymond W. Houde Award

    The EPA Board of Directors established the RaymondW. 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.”

Eastern Pain Association



The Eastern Pain Association is a regional organization of pain specialists including physicians, psychologists, nurses and basic scientists dedicated to promoting clinical care, pain-related research, education and professional practice.