DVCIPM History

The impact of poorly managed pain on the US general population is estimated by the Institutes of Medicine at $560 billion annually in increased health care expenses, lost income, and lost productivity.  The military is not immune to this disease burden. The DoD chartered the Pain Management Task Force in 2009 to review current military pain practice and make recommendations for a comprehensive pain management strategy. The PMTF Report (May 2010) summarized MHS pain management as lacking synchronicity and plagued by unwarranted variation.  The Defense and Veterans Center for Integrative Pain Management (DVCIPM) has been the sole DoD organization focused entirely on pain management. DVCIPM has evolved from its original structure/focus of an Army team working primarily on the battlefield trauma aspects of pain medicine, to the current tri-service/VHA, multidisciplinary effort working on application of a truly integrative approach to addressing challenges in pain management.

The PMTF Report clearly defined the need for a DoD and VHA central pain management advisory organization to provide the necessary platform for policy development, research, and curriculum development to move pain care within the federal system toward a more patient-centered approach addressing pain over the continuum of care; from the onset of pain (battlefield or home) through DoD health centers to VHA centers and the community (PMTF Report - 4.4.7).  More specifically, the PMTF recommended that DVCIPM (then called the Defense & Veterans Pain Management Initiative) provide these advisory and coordinating roles, facilitate tri-service development of pain care clinical standards and pain management education, as well as develop recommendations for pain research priorities (PMTF Recommendations –,  In 2013, DVCIPM was realigned under the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences, School of Medicine, Department of Military and Emergency Medicine (MEM) and was later aligned under the Department of Anesthesiology.

In 2016, DVCIPM was officially designated as the seventh Department of Defense Center of Excellence.

The Pain Management Task Force

The Army Surgeon General, Lieutenant General Eric B. Schoomaker, chartered the Army Pain Management Task Force in August 2009 to make recommendations for a comprehensive pain management strategy that would provide optimal quality of life for soldiers and other patients dealing with pain.  The PMTF included representatives from the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Veterans Health Administration.

The task force's final report contains 109 recommendations for a holistic, multidisciplinary and multimodal pain management strategy that utilizes state of the art/science modalities and technologies to address acute and chronic pain of service members.

Download the Pain Management Task Force Report