UMSN adjunct faculty wins prestigious research award for work on pediatric pain management

Terri Voepel-LewisUpdate: Dr. Voepel-Lewis joined UMSN as an associate professor in September 2018. 

Terri Voepel-Lewis, Ph.D., RN, a University of Michigan School of Nursing adjunct clinical instructor, has been selected as the 2018 recipient of the Protégé Award from the Friends of the National Institute of Nursing Research (FNINR). The award is given “to an evolving nurse scientist who shows great promise in advancing science.”

Recipients of the award must be within six years of completing their Ph.D. or post-doctoral study. Voepel-Lewis earned her Ph.D. from UMSN in 2013. She also earned her MS from UMSN in 1988.

Voepel-Lewis’ early clinical research explored pain assessment and management in vulnerable children with limited verbal ability. She co-developed the Faces Leg Activity Cry Consolability (FLACC) observational pain assessment measure which has since been used in hundreds of pediatric pain studies and implemented in national guidelines in the United States, Europe and Australia.

More recently, Voepel-Lewis concentrated on opioid safety in home settings. She developed a model to explain how parental and child factors influence pain management decisions. Her intervention, the Scenario-Tailored Opioid Messaging Program (STOMP), is used to improve opioid risk knowledge, shift analgesic [pain-relieving] preferences and enhance decision-making competency.  Voepel-Lewis believes the intervention can be tailored to educate a wide variety of vulnerable patient populations.

Voepel-Lewis’ current research is focused on identifying latent factors that predict unsafe opioid decisions for children and adolescents, as well as risky decisions among older adolescents and emerging adults who self-manage their pain. Voepel-Lewis has expressed hope that her work can influence practice and policy related to making prescribing decisions safer for children and young adults.

Voepel-Lewis will receive the award in October at FNINR’s annual Nightingala celebration in Washington, D.C.