Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital named Giovanni Cucchiaro, M.D., as director of the Pain Program in the Department of Anesthesia and professor of anesthesiology and critical care (pending academic review) with the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.
Chronic pain is something that can affect anyone, at any age. Migraines, joint pain, abdominal pain and other types of chronic pain can be disruptive to daily life and deeply affect the emotional and social well-being of patients and their families. Cucchiaro is working with teams across this hospital to enhance the care of patients with chronic pain through the integration of medications with anesthesia techniques and complementary, alternative therapies.
“We are building up this program with two goals in mind: minimize the use of medication, especially opioids, and to get kids back to the things they should be doing such as going to school, practicing sports and spending time with friends,” Cucchiaro explains.
The growing service seeks to treat kids in an outpatient setting with physical and occupational therapy, psychotherapy for patients and families and medical interventions such as steroid injections, nerve blocks and the use of devices commonly used in adults, such as spinal cord stimulators. Children who are inpatient with debilitating, complex pain also will benefit from innovative techniques as a part of a pain rehabilitation program.
With expertise including pediatric anesthesia and pain management, Cucchiaro most recently served as the director of the Pain Service at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and professor of clinical anesthesia at the Keck School of Medicine at the University of Southern California.
“Dr. Cucchiaro brings nearly three decades of training and practice to our institution and will play a key role in providing new and expanded approaches to pain management to the children we treat,” says Mohamed Rehman, M.D., chair of the Department of Anesthesia.
His current research includes evaluating the safety of short- and long-term use of opioids in children, addiction prevention, and use of complementary intervention to assist children with acute and chronic pain.
After earning his medical degree from the University of Milan in Milan, Italy, Cucchiaro completed a residency in general surgery at the University of Milan and was a practicing surgeon. After deciding to change specialties, he did an anesthesia residency at Health Science Center SUNY in Syracuse, New York. Cucchiaro also completed a pediatric anesthesia fellowship at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.