Pain In Child Health Program: Changing the way we care for children in pain


Over the past decade the Pain in Child Health (PICH) research training initiative has transformed Canada into a world-leader in pediatric pain research. PICH has fostered a community of scientists and trainees charged with creating new knowledge to minimize pain and suffering in children around the world.

We are pleased to share with you our 2 minute video that briefly summarizes some of the successes PICH has achieved over the last 10 years. For more on where PICH is heading, please review our PICH+ page. For information on joining PICH as a trainee, please review our Helpful Info page.

Please feel free to contact Dr. Bonnie Stevens ( or any member of the PICH Management Committee to discuss any ideas or future opportunities.

A letter from our Nominated Principal Investigator

Bonnie Stevens

Bonnie Stevens, Nominated Principal Investigator

Dear PICH trainees, faculty and colleagues;

Over the past thirteen years, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), Pain in Child Health (PICH), Strategic Training Initiative in Health Research has been pivotal in advancing pediatric pain research in Canada and many other countries. With additional support from the Mayday Foundation, PICH has grown beyond its initial boundaries and fostered an international community of pain scientists and trainees charged with creating new knowledge to prevent or minimize pain and suffering in children.

As of September 2015, we have engaged a cumulative total of 248 trainees from around the world, 10 Co-Principal Investigators and 20 CoInvestigators from Canada, and 29 Canadian and international Collaborators. These members represent 16 Canadian children’s hospitals, 7 Canadian and 40 international pain centres and multiple universities, Non Governmental Organizations, non-profit funding agencies, philanthropy and industry. Collectively, we believe that the research and training of our PICH network has had a major impacted on the lives of children and families.

Current PICH Funding and Focus

Our current funding sources from CIHR and Mayday come to an end in March 2016. However, moving away from the current funding model will allow us to create innovative ways to engage our full community of stakeholders (from patients to clinicians to researchers to policy makers) who aim to make a better future for children in pain. As we look forward to the next iteration of PICH, we will continue to build on our legacy of research training excellence but are excited to broaden our mandate to strengthen linkages with all types of scientists (e.g. clinical, basic, knowledge translation), clinicians, patients and families, and healthcare decision makers.

Future PICH Funding and Focus

PICH is pleased to announce a new partnership with The Hospital for Sick Children’s (SickKids) Centre for Pain Management, Research and Education (Pain Centre). The Pain Centre is an innovative leading-edge entity that fosters excellence, integrity, innovation and collaboration amongst clinicians, educators and scientists. The Pain Centre strives to enhance children’s pain outcomes; provide opportunities for professional and consumer education as well as collaborative clinical and basic science research initiatives. It has a leadership focused on local, national and international visions for improving the research and practice of pediatric pain. Together, we are currently seeking new funding opportunities and partnerships. Our aim is to continue to strengthen and improve pediatric pain by training and mentoring a new generation of pain researchers and introducing novel training activities.

There will be some changes the leadership of PICH. Dr. Bonnie Stevens will continue as the Director of PICH within her role as Co-Director of the SickKids Pain Centre, with Drs. Jennifer Stinson and Rebecca Pillai Riddell as Co-Leads of PICH and members of the SickKids Pain Centre Executive. Other members of the current PICH Management Committee including Allen Finlay, Ken Craig, Ruth Grunau, Christine Chambers, Celeste Johnston and Carl vonBaeyer will remain as members of a PICH advisory board. We will also be looking to recruit new members to serve on a PICH working committee that will represent the various regions of Canada as well as an international member. This team will oversee continuing and new PICH activities.

Continuing and New PICH Activities

Future PICH training events will build on the strong basis we have established in past years and focus on bridging the gap between research, education and practice. Multiple knowledge users; health care professionals, administrators, trainees, parents and families will be included.

We will continue to:
1. Accept new PICH trainees (please click here to for the application form)
2. Hold monthly or bi-monthly knowledge translation webinars for trainees and colleagues (see the upcoming schedule of presenters and discussants)
3. Sponsor training and mentoring events (See a few new ideas below)

We will develop new:
1. PICH Institutes – these will change from the current format of 3-day national/ international located conferences and meeting to 2-day regionally sponsored events, PICH2GO, that will engage trainees with children and families, health care providers, educators, clinicians, policy makers and others. Our hope is to offer new PICH2GO events that meet the needs of different regions. Please contact us for partnership opportunities. PICH wants to GO to you!
2. Competitive opportunities for Seed funding for Research Projects and Knowledge Translation Projects.
3. Specialized methods and knowledge synthesis workshops linked to existing pain conferences or in partnership with pain schools/ institutes.

Opportunities for Input

Many of our upcoming PICH activities are still taking shape. As we move forward to this new iteration of PICH, we want to hear from our trainees, co-investigators and collaborators to ensure PICH continues to meet your needs. We look forward to discussing all activities with you in further detail in the months to come in a variety of formats including a series of upcoming focus groups in November and an online survey (watch for details). As we look forward, our aim is to employ cutting edge research and training methods, innovative technologies and integrated knowledge translation strategies to mobilize research evidence across the full spectrum of pediatric healthcare delivery. We are committed to achieving our goals and continuing to improve pain in child health outcomes.

Please join us as we celebrate our legacy and embrace the future and let us know how you would like to be involved.

Warm Regards,

Bonnie Stevens, Nominated PI
on behalf of the Management Committee
Pain In Child Health

Trainees, Collaborators and Investigators Members Only