Dr. Heather Tick has been an active member of the pain field for nearly 30 years. She co-founded and directed one of the first interprofessional pain centers—in Toronto—from 1991 to 2008. She was recruited by the University of Arizona Insurance Plan to design and implement an integrative medicine pain clinic for Medicaid patients. This program successfully redirected patients from surgical, interventional, and drug treatments to integrative nonpharmacologic strategies. In 2012, the University of Washington Department of Anesthesiology & Pain Medicine recruited her. She is the first Gunn-Loke Endowed Professor of Integrative Pain Medicine at UW.
Dr. Tick has a strong history of interprofessional collaboration and education. As an educator, she is working to raise patients’ and practitioners’ awareness of the evidence for nonpharmacologic care, including a focus on health promotion and healthy lifestyle choices. She was a consultant for the Samueli Institute Chronic Pain Breakthrough Collaborative Program, which worked with military, veterans, and civilian pain clinics to enhance their offerings.
She has written extensively on integrative pain medicine topics for academic publications, such as a white paper on nonpharmacologic pain care (nonpharmpaincare.org) and a chapter on integrative pain medicine, co-authored with Lt Gen(ret) Eric Schoomaker, for the textbook co-edited by Richard Carmona (17th Surgeon General) on integrative preventative medicine. She also enjoys writing for the lay public, and she sees them as a key driver of system transformation. Her book Holistic Pain Relief was published in 2013.