Meet the Team
Our team of pain experts have different medical, mental health and wellness skills to help you at this unique time. Our team consists of:
- Acute and chronic pain management physicians
- Psychiatrists and addiction medicine specialists
- Nurse practitioners with expertise in pain management
Maria N. Hanna, M.D., M.E.H.P.
I founded the PPP because I saw the need for a better way to help patients with pain who were preparing for and recovering from surgery. As a leader in the field of acute pain management, my vision for the clinic was to bring together experts in their field who were interested in meeting the unique needs of pain patients before, during and after surgical procedures. We take great pride in training residents and other physicians in our proven methods for treating pain in the peri-operative period and in conducting clinical trials to grow the scientific evidence used by the field.
I chose to pursue a career in psychiatry because it is a field of medicine that treats the whole person – the body and the mind. I specialize in chronic pain management because I believe all people benefit from structure, hope and advocacy – and my training in psychiatry allows me to provide these to my patients. Chronic pain is poorly understood, frustrating for patients (and providers), and difficult to treat. Psychiatric comorbidities such as depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress can worsen suffering and contribute to an endless cycle of poor sleep, inactivity, hopelessness, and greater pain. By the time most individuals with chronic pain see a psychiatrist, they have likely seen many providers and tried many different treatments, often without much benefit.
I work with the PPP because we appreciate that everyone’s experience with pain is unique and pain management needs a comprehensive approach that targets both mental and physical health. Patients who are referred to me may be struggling with psychiatric conditions or addiction for years (even decades), or may be experiencing sadness, worry, reduced quality of life, and/or difficulties performing their daily activities (e.g., sleep) for the first-time following surgery. My goal is to use an individualized approach to help patients regain and maintain function, improve their quality of life, and effectively manage their pain by addressing their mental health, enhancing personal ability, teaching healthy behaviors, and instilling hope for a successful recovery. In addition to working in the PPP, I am a provider in the inpatient Pain Treatment Program at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in downtown Baltimore and a clinical researcher at the Behavioral Medicine Research Laboratory at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Campus.
Ronen Shechter, M.D.
Helping, comforting and healing are the main reasons I went into medicine and completed training in Anesthesiology and chronic pain management. We know that good acute pain control improves recovery and prevents short and long-term complications. I am passionate about the PPP and use all my experience, expertise, and empathy to work with patients as part of the PPP team to achieve better pain control, better recovery, and a better future for them.
Kellie Jaremko, M.D., Ph.D.
I went into medicine to help people in pain. I dove into research to learn more about this complex problem. Throughout my doctoral training in neuroscience and the clinical practice of anesthesia, I have witnessed how negatively emotional and physiological stress impact pain management, especially in substance use disorder, chronic pain, and critically ill patients. I stay active in these areas of research and education to cultivate knowledge and continually improve my practice, as well as share this critical information with colleagues, patients, and their families. I believe communication, education, and patient empowerment are crucial to achieving functional recovery with manageable pain after surgery or trauma.
Amy Charvat, M.S., R.N., A.G.-A.C.N.P.
I went into nursing to help people when they need it most. By managing acute pain, I feel like I am helping patients get back to what they enjoy most in life. I delight most in hearing patient success stories and by cheering patients on through each small step that leads to giant leaps. I am also proud of the global difference we are making within our unique clinic through each patient.
Angela Llufrio, M.S.N.
I chose nursing as my career path with the hope that I’d get the opportunity to support patients at their most vulnerable. As a nurse practitioner on the Acute Pain Service, I am able to assist with the recovery of my patients every day. My hope is that through delivering quality care and providing education, I can help ease their anxieties and lessen the stress they feel while they are healing. My role with the PPP allows me to provide that care on a continuum.
We also work with Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R) physicians and incorporate treatment options such as weight loss, physical therapy, yoga, stretching and exercise, acupuncture, etc. that do not require medications. Read about each of these potential options and talk to your PPP provider to see which ones might be right for you.