Leadership

Dr. James Yu

Dr. James Yu

President

Dr. James Yu is the Medical Director of Sydney Spine and Pain with several multi-disciplinary pain centres across Sydney. He is also the director of SSP Rehab and REGAIN multidisciplinary pain management program.

In 2016, he established Australian Medical Research (AMR), a private clinical research facility in Sydney. AMR is working closely with several pharmaceutical and medical device companies to coordinate and conduct high quality clinical studies.

He is an examiner and training unit assessor for the Faculty of Pain Medicine. He has been certified and awarded the Fellowship in Interventional Pain Practice (FIPP) in 2015.

Dr Yu is an executive board member of the Neuromodulation Society of Australia and New Zealand (NSANZ). He has been the organizer and moderator for the NSANZ cadaver workshops for the last 4 years.

He is trained in all areas of pain medicine with clinical expertise in interventional pain procedures including spinal cord stimulation and intrathecal pump implant.

Dr. Nick Christelis

Dr. Nick Christelis

Immediate Past President

Dr Nick Christelis is medical director and co-founder of Pain Specialists Australia, a multidisciplinary pain clinic, that is a tier 1 college accredited pain training unit.

He holds two pain fellowship qualifications: one from Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists (FFPMANZCA), the other, from the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Royal College of Anaesthetists in London, UK (FFPMRCA).

Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, he completed his medical training at the University of Witwatersrand before moving to London where he completed his specialist training in pain medicine and anaesthesia at London’s Imperial School of Anaesthesia. He worked as a pain consultant at The Chelsea & Westminster Hospital before moving to Melbourne, Australia, in 2009 to take up appointments as Consultant in Pain Medicine, Head of Pain Service, and Anaesthetist at The Alfred Hospital.

Nick now practices 100% within the field of pain medicine at Pain Specialists Australia. He is an interventional pain specialist combining a multidisciplinary team approach with advanced pain interventional techniques such as neuromodulation.

He has served on the executive board of the Neuromodulation Society of Australia and New Zealand (NSANZ) since 2015. He is part of the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Interventional Procedures Clinical Care Standard Working Group.

Pain Specialists Australia was founded on the single belief that no one should suffer from pain.

When Nick is not treating pain he is a husband to Georgina, father to Sophia and Alexander and exerciser.

 Megan Hannah

Megan Hannah

Secretary

Megan Hannah completed her general nursing training in 1984 and obtained post graduate qualifications in orthopaedic nursing where she worked for many years before commencing work in a private neuromodulation practice in 1997. She has worked in a number of neuromodulation practices since that time.

She completed her Bachelor of Health Science in Nursing in 2000 and her Graduate Diploma of Science in Medicine (Pain) in 2007. She is a member of the Australian College of Nursing.

Megan was involved in the formation of the Australian Chapter of the International Neuromodulation Society (now NSANZ) and is a founding member of the Australasian Neuromodulation Nurses Special Interest Group.

Megan’s passion is patient and medical education. She aims to raise the profile of nurses working in neuromodulation and facilitate ongoing education for nurses.

Dr  Alan Nazha

Dr Alan Nazha

Treasurer

Dr Alan Nazha is a dual qualified Anaesthetist and Specialist Pain Physician. He completed his anaesthetic training at Royal North Shore Hospital in 2011 and underwent further subspecialty training in Pain Medicine at Royal North Shore Hospital, Concord Hospital and Hunter Pain Clinic. Awarded a merit in pain medicine fellowship examinations he went on further to qualify for Fellowship in Interventional Pain Practice.

Dr Nazha works exclusively in private practice and is the co-founder and director of Sydney Pain Specialists. He has private hospital appointments at The Sydney Adventist Hospital, Norwest Private Hospital, The Northern Beaches Hospital and The Mater Hospital. Dr Nazha has a special interest in the utilisation of Peripheral Nerve Stimulation in the treatment of persistent post-surgical pain, neuropathic pain, CRPS.

Dr. Marc Russo

Dr. Marc Russo

MBBS, DA (UK), FANZCA. FFPMANZCA
Director at Large

Dr Marc Russo is a Fellow of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists and a Fellow of the Faculty of Pain Medicine. He is the Director of the Hunter Pain Specialists, Hamilton Day Surgery, Genesis Research Services and Co-Director of the Innervate Pain Management Program. Hunter Pain Specialists in Newcastle is a Tier 2 training facility for Faculty of Pain Medicine, and we are also a Certified ISO 9001 business.

Dr Russo provides a multidisciplinary approach to pain management. He believes that clinical diligence, early intervention, education and research in the field of pain management are integral to successfully treating patients suffering from chronic persistent non cancer and cancer pain.

Dr. Murray Taverner

Dr. Murray Taverner

Director at Large

Murray Taverner is a specialist anaesthetist and pain medicine physician at Frankston Hospital. He is the director/founder of Frankston Pain Management, a private collaborative multidisciplinary pain clinic.

He is an adjunct senior lecturer Monash University.  He is a foundation member of the Neuromodulation Society of Australia & New Zealand and has served on the Board of Directors as treasurer and is the current secretary. He has been a member of the Spine Intervention Society since 1995 and is a Fellow of Interventional Pain Practice of the World Institute of Pain. He is a member of the Faculty Pain Medicine Board, Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthesia.

He is a tireless patient advocate for a comprehensive holistic pain management and the application of evidence-based therapy in public and private sectors to maximise function whilst minimising pain and suffering.

Murray’s areas of clinical interest include musculoskeletal pain, post-surgical pain, minimising unhelpful medications and interventional pain treatments.

 Rachel Whipp

Rachel Whipp

Director

Rachel is the Nursing Manager at Hunter Pain Specialists in Newcastle, NSW, where her role involves caring for patients with chronic pain, while also managing the daily routines of the nursing team. Prior to working in chronic pain, Rachel has worked across various acute care specialities such as medical, surgical and intensive care units, and also has experience working in General Practice where she ran a successful Women’s Health Clinic. She holds a Graduate Certificate in Critical Care Nursing, Sexual and Reproductive Health and is currently completing her Masters in Nursing Management.

She is the president of the Allied Health & Nursing Neuromodulation Special Interest Group (AHNNSIG), after having served previously as Scientific Chair. Rachel was directly involved in the development of AHNNSIG and is passionate about its mission to support and educate nurses and allied health professionals working within the neuromodulation field.

Rachel has had the privilege of presenting at various conferences and enjoys the opportunity to facilitate education and networking among her peers. She sees her professional affiliations and continuing education as an asset in providing quality nursing care for patients with chronic pain.

Dr. Nathan Taylor

Dr. Nathan Taylor

Director

Dr Taylor is a Pain Medicine Specialist at Northern Pain Centre and Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney.  He developed his skills and interest in Neuromodulation through training under the guidance of Professor Michael Cousins and now invests time in teaching and research in this exciting area of Pain Medicine.

Dr Taylor is committed to providing comprehensive, individually tailored treatments for a range of pain conditions.  He is highly experienced in interventional procedures and is an integral part of the multidisciplinary team at Northern Pain Centre which offers a three week, intensive pain management program as part of their evidence-based approach to patient care.

He is currently the Scientific Convenor for the 2021 NSANZ Annual Scientific Meeting.

Dr. Roger  Tan

Dr. Roger Tan

Director

Dr. Roger Tan is dual qualified as an anaesthetist and pain management physician.  Dr. Tan was the Director of the Acute Pain Services at Fremantle Hospital from 2011-2013.  He was involved with the clinical service planning for Fiona Stanley Hospital and was the Director of Acute Pain Services at Fiona Stanley Hospital from 2013-2016.  Dr. Tan has left the public health system since 2018 and now works in private practice.  He also set up the inpatient Pain Services at St John of God Murdoch Hospital in 2012 after noticing a need for specialist pain management.  He continues to work at St John of God Murdoch Hospital today seeing patients in hospital and also in the outpatient clinic setting.

Dr Michelle O'Brien

Dr Michelle O'Brien

Director and Scientific Coordinator

Dr. O’Brien trained in the specialty of anaesthesia at a number of major hospitals in Brisbane and regional Southeast Queensland and went on to work as a consultant anaesthetist in both public (The Prince Charles Hospital) and private practice.

Dr. O’Brien works exclusively in pain and has a firm commitment to the multidisciplinary approach to pain management – practicing “slow medicine” – taking time to really listen to and connect with patients.

Dr. O’Brien has a keen and ongoing passion for neuromodulation, including radiofrequency neurotomy, pulsed radiofrequency and Spinal Cord Stimulation.

Dr. Mohammed Awad

Dr. Mohammed Awad

Director

Dr Mohammed Awad is a UK and Australian-trained Neurosurgeon. He is a full member of the Royal college of Surgeons of England and The Royal Australasian college of surgeons, and is a leader and global educator in surgeries on brain tumours, complex spinal (robotic) surgery, computer and ultrasound guided surgery and complex pain surgeries amongst many others.

Dr Awad conducted his medical school and Neurosurgery training in the United Kingdom. He trained and gained expertise in some of the leading neurosurgical centres in London and Australia, and deriving experience in a diverse range of areas in brain and spinal surgery. He has been granted Fellowship of the Royal College of Surgeons and the Royal Australasian College of Surgeons.

Dr Awad has completed subspecialty fellowship training in spinal surgery and neuro-oncology. Dr Awad applies the latest state-of-the-art techniques, including minimally invasive surgery and artificial disc replacement, as well as robotic spinal surgery, to the treatment of a range of spinal conditions, including disc prolapse, degenerative spinal disease, tumours, and spinal trauma. He is also a world leader in the removal of brain tumours using high-tech intra-operative techniques to make for safer surgery.

Dr Awad prides himself on providing every patient timely, compassionate and personalised care of the highest standard.

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