Allied Health Virtual Conference | Developing & Managing an Effective Pain Service [REC] | Allied Health Virtual Conference
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Developing & Managing an Effective Pain Service [REC]


Date Recorded: 3 May, 2018.


‘Developing an effective pain management service’

Effective pain self-management requires a biopsychosocial approach and is therefore best achieved through interprofessional collaboration. Persistent pain impacts many patients with a variety of conditions. When health practitioners use consistent patient assessment measures, case formulation, and self-care education/strategies, delivered via a collaborative service developed within their local network, great health outcomes are achieved!

This conference provides the information and tools to deliver targeted pain management interventions and to implement a model of service delivery adapted to local needs.



  • Pam Garton
  • Rachel Kovacevic
  • Stephen McCrea


Pam Garton;  

Session topic:  ‘Building Pain Self-Management Skills’

Pam Garton is an Occupational Therapist passionate about breaking through barriers that currently prevent every person who experiences pain, from receiving best practice biopsychosocial pain management. Pam believes that this can be delivered by practitioners in a remote location just as effectively as by a city-based multi-disciplinary pain management program.

That’s a bold statement, but she has committed the past 20 years to putting it into practice and to developing tools to support other practitioners doing the same.  Those tools include a biopsychosocial self-report assessment and a self-help skills coaching course tailored to the assessment results, with online training courses to utilize these resources.  Central to the success of the Abilita program are its qualities that build client insight, motivation and engagement.

More recently Pam has supported the conversion of the coaching course into an online self-help program for pain sufferers. In this way, the self-care coaching that practitioners deliver, is reinforced as their patients independently work through the online ‘Control My Pain Project’.

Pam has now seen that the application of these resources is fully optimised, when workshops are delivered by Innovative Rehabilitation to support practitioners implement an interprofessional model adapted to local needs.

Pam is currently completing PhD research at LaTrobe University to evaluate best practice biopsychosocial rehabilitation. An initial article has been published in the Journal Work (2016, vol 53) reporting on the psychometric strength of the Abilita assessment.

Connect with Pam:

Tel 0417 811894

Linked In

Twitter: @AbilitaServices


Stephen McCrea 

Session Topic: ‘Managing the Treatment Environment and Facilitating Engagement ’

Steve’s leadership experience includes a period of work as the Allied Health Director of a large private hospital in Victoria, as well Co-Ordinator of a multidisciplinary Pain Service. He balances his work at Innovative Rehab with an ongoing role as Manager of Rehabilitation within the private hospital system.

Steve established a community-based practice earlier in his career, where he worked with a number of high profile national and international sports people.

With a strong background in clinical education, Steve has developed an appreciation for integrating the practical aspects of clinical work with targeted clinical tools.    He has mentored countless undergraduate students over a number of years – both in Victoria and interstate, helping guide students through the realities of clinical placement while bringing  to life the hands-on therapy experience in a down to earth and human way. He served on the Clinical School Management Committee at Latrobe University for ten years, and is currently involved in student simulation practice at the Australian Catholic University.

Steve is a professional Physiotherapist, with over 20 years’ experience encompassing a broad range of areas within the profession. He is highly sought after for training, consultation and support by therapists from a range of disciplines working with clinically complex rehabilitation patients.

Connect with Steve:

Tel: 0403 362 007


Linked In:

Twitter: @InnovativeAUS



Rachel Kovacevic 

Session Topic: ‘A Change in Paradigm: The shift toward Interprofessional Practice’

Rachel has acquired considerable skill in service development and clinical leadership through a range of senior roles in health, education, corporate and community settings. This has included co-ordination of a multidisciplinary Pain Service at a private rehabilitation hospital.  She is currently involved in facilitating the development of a best practice, multidisciplinary pain management service within the primary health sector in the Northern Territory.

Rachel is an advocate for service delivery models that balance financial sustainability with principles of equity and accessibility.   She often draws on the Abilita suite of assessment and coaching materials to complement workshop training and empower treating teams to implement the principles of pain self-management in standardised, practical way.

She balances work at Innovative Rehab with her role as Clinical Director at a community-based mental health practice; and remains active in preparing reports, and grant and tender applications.

Rachel is regularly called on to present workshops and seminars to allied health professionals, and provides supervision and mentoring to postgraduate students and clinicians.  She is an endorsed Clinical Psychologist, an accredited Rehabilitation Provider and an AHPRA-accredited Supervisor. Her clients appreciate her sense of humor, down to earth approach, and experience in the assessment and treatment of a wide range of mental health concerns.

Connect with Rachel:

Tel: 0412 317 104


Linked In:

Twitter: @InnovativeAUS



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