CoEPEs logo

The Centers of Excellence in Pain Education (CoEPEs)act as hubs for the development, evaluation, and distribution of pain management curriculum resources for medical, dental, nursing, pharmacy and other schools to enhance and improve how health care professionals are taught about pain and its treatment.

The new CoEPEs were selected by the NIH Pain Consortium after a contract solicitation process and review. The awardees are: 

  • University of Alabama at Birmingham
  • University of California, San Francisco
  • Harvard University
  • University of Connecticut
  • University of Iowa
  • Johns Hopkins University
  • University of Pennsylvania
  • University of Pittsburgh
  • University of Rochester
  • Southern Illinois University Edwardsville
  • University of Washington

Pain Education Interactive Modules

View the CoEPEs Playlist to see some of the work in progress.


Through the case study, you follow Edna, a 70-year-old woman with chronic low back pain. View interactive module   View 508-compliant text version (PDF, 406 KB)

Woman in her 40s, smiling slightly


Follow Beverly, a forty-six year-old woman with chronic burning pain in her mouth. View interactive module View 508-compliant text version (PDF, 341 KB)

Man with long beard

Peter James

Follow Peter James, whose convoy hit an IED in Afghanistan. He is now dealing with PTSD, insomnia, and phantom limb pain. View interactive module   View 508-compliant text version (PDF, 357 KB)

CoEPES - Ava


Ava is a 28-year old woman who is seven months pregnant. She’s in overall good health, but experienced pain in her pelvis over the last month that refuses to go away. She visits her nurse midwife to learn about options to address her pain. View interactive module. View 508-compliant text version (360KB).

Older man with mustache wearing a hospital gown

Mr. Frank

Mr. Frank is a 80-year-old nursing home resident. Recent years have been marked by progressive cognitive decline attributed to Alzheimer's disease. View interactive module.  View 508-compliant text version (PDF, 355 KB)

Morgan picture


Morgan is a 14-year-old girl with worsening headaches. The case covers four months, beginning with entries into her video diary (“vlog” or “video blog”). She explores several approaches to headache management in a series of encounters with health professionals. View interactive module. View 508-compliant text version (782 kb)

CoEPE photo of Eric

Coming soon: Eric

Eric is a 23-year-old man actively using IV heroin who presents with right leg pain and swelling after injecting heroin into the muscle. The case study follows his pain management after a diagnosis of necrotizing fasciitis.

Pain and Opioid Prescribing Risks

Learn more about pain and opioid prescribing risks from these modules created by NIDA/ONDCP

Young woman with long hair


Joelle is a 25-year-old woman who sustained a third-degree ankle sprain in a motor vehicle accident. She was transported to a local hospital emergency department (ED) where she was treated, her ankle was placed in a boot, and she was given crutches.
Middle aged man


Edward is a 52-year-old warehouse employee, injured his back at home getting ready for a move out of state. It is now 2 months later and he is in your office as a new patient.

The Department of Health and Human Services - Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion released an interactive training tool, Pathways to Safer Opioid Use, which teaches health care providers how to communicate the safe use of opioids to manage chronic pain, and implementation strategies for meeting the opioid-related recommendations from the National Action Plan for Adverse Drug Event Prevention (ADE Action Plan).

The goal of this simulation is to demonstrate best practices in safe opioid use and prevent adverse drug events. You will play as four individuals (Pharmacist, Nurse, Primary Care Physician, and Patient), make decisions for them, and see how those decisions play out.