Halena M. Gazelka, M.D., is an anesthesiologist with subspecialty training in pain medicine and palliative medicine. Her areas of research include chronic pain and its treatment, acute pain management, and particularly, opioids. Her opioid-related research is focused on prescribing for special populations, understanding opioid prescribing, guidelines for clinicians, tapering opioids, and appropriate opioid prescribing in varied settings and specialties.
- Opioid use in surgical specialties
- Opioid use and prescribing in patients undergoing spine surgery
- Indications and complications of spinal cord stimulation
- Treating acute postoperative pain more effectively and with fewer opioids
- Institutional management of opioid stewardship
Significance to patient care
Dr. Gazelka is an expert on the opioid epidemic, its origins and its potential solutions. Through her work with colleagues on opioid-related topics, she hopes to enhance patient care by offering the right pain management for each patient, whether that treatment includes opioids or not.
- Medical director, Mayo Clinic Public Affairs, 2019-present
- Member, Opioid Epidemic Response Advisory Council, Minnesota Department of Human Services, 2019-present
- Chair, Opioid Advisory Committee, American Academy of Pain Medicine (AAPM), 2017-present
- Chair, Mayo Clinic Opioid Stewardship Program, 2016-present
- Member, Ethics Council, AAPM, 2015-present
- Producer, "The Opioid Fix" documentary series, PBS, 2019
- Invited to testify, HELP Committee hearing on pain management and the opioid crisis, U.S. Senate, 2019
- Member, Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2018-2019