Professor of Emergency Medicine and Pediatrics
College of Medicine-Jacksonville
Although Phyllis Hendry is a pediatric emergency physician, her research includes both children and adults. Within these populations, her work has three areas: safety and education in pain management, post-traumatic outcomes and the patient’s transition from the emergency department to his/her home.
Her major focus, however, is developing nonpharmacological and non-opioid means of treating pain and managing pain in special populations.
“I noted a lack of knowledge among dedicated healthcare providers, such as physicians, nurses and paramedics, in understanding the etiology and assessment of pain and the numerous factors that impact the management of pain, such as past pain experiences, genetics and sleep,” Hendry said. “I was concerned about the patient safety and medication error aspects of analgesic medications that can be used for a variety of indications and by different routes.”
Hendry’s work improving pain management in emergency care settings began before the widespread heightened attention regarding the opioid crisis. Part of this has involved serving as PI for the Pain Assessment and Management Initiative (PAMI) and the Pediatric Emergency Care Safety Initiative (PECSI).
Since its inception, PAMI has grown into a nationally recognized initiative striving to improve pain education and to discover alternatives to opioids. In addition to the program’s website and learning modules, Hendry’s PAMI team developed a comprehensive guide to pain management and dosing, a new pilot course on Nonpharmacologic Pain Management, a Distraction Toolbox and a Pain Discharge Planning Toolkit.
However, Hendry’s research goals contain more than publication potential.
“One of my most important goals is mentoring future pain, pediatric and EMS researchers,” Hendry said. “One of my mentors, Dr. Robert Wears, and a former recipient of this award passed away suddenly last July. This has renewed my commitment to share my experiences and mentorship with the ‘next’ generation.”
Since 2008, Hendry has served as the Assistant Chair for the Department of Emergency Medicine’s research, overseeing support from different industry clinical trials as well as that stemming from federal, private foundation and PCORI funding. Simultaneously, she continues to contribute to her role as a state leader in pediatric EMS and as a pediatric medical director for Trauma One Flight Services.
Over the past five years, Hendry’s funding as a PI has totaled $1.5 million dollars. The industry clinical trials she oversees as site PI have netted the Department of Emergency Medicine an additional $500,000. Consequently, Hendry’s work has been instrumental in supporting the development of departmental research infrastructure and growth.