Dinesh Kumbhare named Schroeder Chair in Pain Assessment and Rehabilitation

KITE scientist also named director of Schroeder Pain Assessment and Rehabilitation Centre at Toronto Rehab

A new clinic that provides comprehensive rehabilitative care for people suffering from chronic pain will open at Toronto Rehabilitation Institute (TRI) later this year thanks to a generous gift from a long-time donor to UHN.

The Schroeder Pain Assessment and Rehabilitation Research Centre (SPARC) – which will operate under the KITE Clinics banner – is expected to open its doors at TR-University Centre later this year.

Dr. Dinesh Kumbhare, a scientist with the KITE Research Institute and a professor in the Department of Medicine at the University of Toronto, has been named the Schroeder Chair in Pain Assessment and Rehabilitation at TRI, UHN and director of the new clinic for a five-year term.

“We need to have research that goes from the bench to the bedside,” said Dr. Kumbhare in explaining his desire to lead a clinic with the flexibility to simultaneously conduct research and provide care. 

“The best way to do that is to build a platform that has the ability to provide clinicians the information they need to give patients personalized care and basic scientists access to patients to conduct their research.” 

SPARC will be an interdisciplinary clinical-research platform for the investigation of pain disorders involving research in biomedical engineering, physical medicine and rehabilitation, clinical epidemiology, kinesiology. The clinic is believed to be the first such facility in Canada to provide these opportunities for patients, clinicians and researchers.

“At UHN, we are driven by integrating research into care, and this new centre will do just that,” said Executive Vice President, Science & Research, Dr. Brad Wouters. “With world-class rehabilitation researchers working side-by-side with top-tier clinicians, our team approach to discovery and innovation will foster the development of holistic solutions for those with chronic pain—and bring these approaches to our patients sooner.”

Establishment of the SPARC clinic is being supported financially by a generous donation from philanthropists Walter and Maria Schroeder. The Schroders are long-time supporters of KITE and Toronto Rehab and previously donated $20 million to establish the Walter and Maria Schroeder Institute for Brain Innovation and Recovery.

“Thanks to the continued support from Walter and Maria we are able to open this visionary clinic that will allow our teams to generate new data to support clinical care for patients living with chronic pain,” said Clinical Vice President for TRI Jan Newton.

SPARC will be structured into three streams.

In the first stream, patients will undergo a comprehensive assessment that is used to determine the nature of their chronic pain. This data collected will be used to develop a personalized multimodal treatment plan and will be available to patients, clinicians and researchers.

In the second stream, patients will receive innovative orthobiologic therapies. The effects of these therapies will be evaluated and novel therapies developed.  

The third stream will focus on providing comprehensive pain management services that address the biopsychosocial paradigm. Patients will also have access to physiotherapy, occupational therapy, psychology, social work services, pharmacological management, and more. 

“Our goal is to foster discovery and the creation of knowledge that rapidly translates into practices and policies that improve the lives of patients and families,” said KITE Institute Director Dr. Milos R. Popovic

“By creating spaces like SPARC that promote interdisciplinary collaboration we are able to effectively utilize the breadth of knowledge of our incredible team which brings us closer to achieving our goal.”

Popovic notes that the launch of SPARC would not be possible without the contributions of Newton, Dr. Wouters, TRI Medical Director Dr. Mark Bayley and the entire clinical management staff at TRI.