Hamilton Health Sciences
Intensive Program (Fee For Service)

The Chronic Pain Management Unit is an inter-disciplinary program. An interdisciplinary program is made up of different health care professionals.  These professionals all share the same philosophy regarding the treatment of chronic pain. They work together to teach patients coping strategies to deal with their chronic pain condition. The staff patients will be working with while they attend this program are:


  • Physicians

Dr. Ramesh Zacharias, MD, FRCS(c), DAAPM, CMD
Medical Director, Chronic Pain Management Unit, Chedoke Hospital 
Assistant Clinical Professor (Adjunct), McMaster University, Department of Anesthesia

Dr. Zacharias graduated with his Doctorate in Medicine in 1980 from the University of Western Ontario. He subsequently did a Rotating Internship at St Michael’s Hospital in Toronto. From 1981-1985 he did his Fellowship in General Surgery at the University of Western Ontario. Subsequent to his surgical residency he was the Senior Research Fellow at the University of Washington in the Department of Vascular Surgery from 1985-1987.

His clinical practice was Emergency Medicine from 1981-2005. Since 2005 he has worked in a community based clinic with a focus on Chronic Pain Management.  Dr Zacharias has a special area of interest in Pain Management in Older Persons. He published an article in the Journal of Diagnosis in April 2010 addressing that issue.

He is currently the Medical Director at the Village of Erin Meadows, a 180 bed LTC facility in Mississauga, Ontario. He has developed an inter-disciplinary pain program at the LTC facility involving over 10 different disciplines providing a coordinated approach to managing pain of the residents.  In May 2009 Dr Zacharias received his Diplomate from the American Academy of Pain Management and received the designation of Certified Medical Director (CMD) of Long Term Care facilities from the American Medical Directors Association in December 2009. He is currently the Director of Clinical Services of Schlegel Villages which manages 2500 LTC and Retirement Home beds.

Dr. Zacharias is an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Anesthesia McMaster University. 

In June 2012 he was appointed as a Coroner in the Province of Ontario.

On April 15, 2014 Dr. Zacharias was appointed as the Medical Director of the Michael G. DeGroote Pain Clinic at Hamilton Health Sciences, which is the amalgamation of the interventional Pain Management Centre at the General Hopsital and the Chronic Pain Management Unit at Chedoke Hospital.   


Dr. Sean Curran, Bsc, MD, FRCP(C)
Anesthesiologist, Practicing in Pain Medicine, The Credit Valley Hospital
Chronic Pain Management Unit, Chedoke Hospital
Associate Clinical Professor (Adjunct), McMaster University, Department of Anesthesia

I am excited to be one of the medical personnel at the Chronic Pain Management Unit (CPMU) at Chedoke Hospital. I believe in the biopsychosocial, multidisciplinary approach to chronic pain management, and programs such as the CPMU are essential and unfortunately, few in number.   My training began with my Bachelors of Science in Biology, at the University of Western Ontario (UWO), where I focused on courses in physiology and molecular cellular biology. After receiving my medical degree from UWO, I began residency in anesthesia at McMaster University.   A small part of the training program is in pain medicine, both acute and chronic. I became fascinated with regional anesthesia, also known as nerve blocks, and how medications such as local anesthetics could interrupt nerve signal transmission and thereby relieve pain. During my five years at McMaster I sought to maximize my learning in regional anesthesia and treatment of pain.

I began working as an anesthesiologist at Joseph Brant Memorial Hospital in Burlington, practicing in both anesthesia and pain medicine.   Over the years I realized that pain is a complex experience and chronic pain is rarely relieved with an injection. I sought to learn more about the biopsychosocial approach to pain management and, unfortunately, found there is currently no formal, curriculum based training program in North America. I spent 2010 in Sydney, Australia, studying at the Royal North Shore Hospital (RNSH) with Michael Cousins and his group, under the curriculum of the Faculty of Pain Medicine of the Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists. The RNSH has a pain management program similar to the CPMU at Chedoke.

Upon returning to Canada I sought out multidisciplinary pain management resources and was pleased to find the CPMU and was glad to join their team.  I look forward to working with this unique team of professionals that help patients continue their fulfilling lives in spite of pain.


  • Psychologist      

Eleni G. Hapidou, Ph.D., C.Psych., Psychologist
Diplomate, Canadian Academy of Pain Management (CAPM) Psychologist Eleni Hapidou has dedicated her career to working with individuals who, after injury or accidents, suffer from chronic pain and experience difficulties coping with life. Such difficulties, in addition to physical discomfort and pain, include anxiety, post-traumatic stress, fear and depression, marital and occupational issues, which may prevent individuals (and their families) from participating in their full daily functioning. Dr. Hapidou has been with the interdisciplinary Chronic Pain Management Unit (CPMU) since 1992. Her work involves assessment, consultation, treatment, supervision, teaching, and research. She uses a variety of psychological assessment instruments, for which she has established norms for chronic pain. Together with her students, she has developed and validated instruments that assess goal accomplishment and patient satisfaction with the pain program. Along with colleagues and students, she has also validated the short form of Tampa Scale for Kinesiophobia (TSK-11) for use in chronic pain. Her eclectic therapeutic techniques include stress management and relaxation training, behavior and cognitive therapy, as well as exploration of the dynamics of pain and disability in the context of interpersonal and systemic relationships. She conducts both individual and group therapy, psycho-educational and relaxation / meditation training sessions. She has also used biofeedback for headaches and other pain problems. Following her patients’ ongoing requests, she has recorded relaxation/visualization/meditation CDs for use by patients in the CPMU and others. Currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neurosciences, she has a Ph.D. in Psychology (McMaster University), three Post-docs (University of Western Ontario, University of Waterloo, and Chedoke-McMaster Hospitals) including a clinical psychology internship, certification in Clinical Psychology with the College of Psychologists of Ontario, and Diplomate from the Canadian Academy of Pain Management (CAPM). Dr. Hapidou is also a trained Yoga and Meditation Teacher from the Bihar School of Yoga, India and has been teaching Yoga at the CPMU since 2010. She has received grants from the Arthritis Society and the Ministry of Health to conduct research on chronic pain, has published in diverse areas of pain, has been serving as a reviewer in several pain journals, and has been conducting program evaluation research at the CPMU program ever since its inception. At McMaster University, within the Faculty of Health Sciences, she has been lecturing in the Clinical Behavioral Sciences (CBS) and Bachelor of Health Sciences (BHSc) programs. She previously collaborated in the development and teaching of a new course on Clinical Supervision for the CBS program. She has also developed a new course in Health Psychology in the BHSc program. Within the Faculty of Science, she has been supervising honor’s theses and independent study projects in the Department of Psychology, Neuroscience and Behaviour. As well, she has organized local and national conferences in pain and has presented many papers and posters in local, national and international conferences in pain. In consultation with other CPMU-team health professionals, she helps individuals cope with the sequelae of their injury or accident so that they might continue to lead productive and satisfying lives. She considers the CPMU the “golden standard” of chronic pain management and enjoys her ideal occupation. She is fluent in English and Greek.

 Awards Received



  •   Physiotherapist       

Adria Fransson, BHsc (PT)

Physiotherapy helps individuals with chronic pain understand their pain better by educating them about their bodies including why they have pain, helping them set goals, problem solve and work within their pain tolerance.  Patients are encouraged to find their "exercise baseline", work within their pain tolerance and advised not to go into their pain  by learning how to modify their daily upper or lower body exercises.  We believe that fitness for the whole body including the heart and lungs can help people to feel better and be more effective at managing their pain.

Physiotherapists are responsible for teaching the patients the importance of fitness:  Teaching them the many obstacles that could prevent a person from getting fit and how to cope with these obstacles.  the fitness program consists of gentle stretching and strengthening exercises as well as walking.  Physiotherapists also provide support and education. 

Adria Fransson is a liensed phsyiotherapist with over 10 years of experience in rehabilitation.  She received her Bachelors of Health Science in Physiotherapy from McMaster University.  She has been working in the community in private clinics and home care as well as the hospital setting increasing individuals understanding of their bodies and helping them bridge their care for themselves.  Over the last few years she has developed a personal interest in chronic pain and is enjoying her team role at the Chronic Pain Management Unit.


  •  Pharmacist            

  Anna Rogers, B.Sc.Phm.,RPh., Clinical Pharmacist
Ms. Rogers has had over 15 years of clinical experience working as a pharmacist on various rehabilitation teams at HHSC. She has been with the Chronic Pain Management Unit since 2003. She believes that an important concept in pain management is that each individual is different and will respond differently to situations, treatments, and medications. Medications may play an important role in the management of chronic pain, but they should be used wisely. The use of opioids requires careful management to achieve benefits that outweigh the risks and negative side effects from treatment. Benefit is suggested when there is a significant increase in the person's activities of daily living, when there is a considerable decrease in pain levels, when there is a more positive and promising attitude and when adverse effects are minimal or manageable. Unfortunately, medications alone are seldom sufficient without the additional use of other approaches to treat the patient with chronic pain, emphasizing the importance of the multidisciplinary team. In fact, our team approach in the treatment of chronic pain often lessens the need for medications and other more invasive procedures. “If you are a patient who suffers from chronic pain, you may be on medications, and you should know why you are taking them, how much and how often you need to take them and whether to take the medication before, with, or after meals or at bedtime. Because of the risk of interactions between drugs, some medications should not be generally taken together or should be taken at different times during the day to avoid unwanted reactions. Medications can be confusing, especially if you take them for more than one medical condition”, advises Ms. Rogers. Ms. Rogers meets with the patient on a weekly basis. After discussing each patient with the physician, together they explore various drug options and implement strategies to optimize medication therapy. “We work together along with the patient and sometimes the family to decide on a treatment plan with the goal of less pain, more function and return to everyday activities with the least, manageable, medication side effects possible”.


  • Occupational Therapists 

Greg Luth BHSc. (OT), OT Reg.(Ont.)
Greg graduated with his Bachelor's degree in Occupational Therapy from McMaster University. He has worked at the CPMU since 1995. Prior to joining the Program he worked in out-patient psychiatry at McMaster University Medical Cente and the Psychiatric Rehabilitiation Programme at St. Joseph's Hospital.




Kathleen Gallagher  BA, BRLS, BHSc., OTReg.(Ont.)
Kathleen Gallagher graduated from McMaster University Occupational Therapy Program in 2000.  Prior to this she completed her Bachelor of Recreation and Leisure Studies degree as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Child Studies at Brock University.  Kathleen has been a member of the CPMU Team since 2000.  She has continued to pursue education to enhance her clinical skills by taking courses in the Clinical Behavioural Sciences program at McMaster University.  Kathleen has had involvement in teaching at the McMaster Occupational Therapy School assisting Occupational Therapy students learn more about chronic pain and the treatment of patients living with this condition in hopes to continue to increase awareness of all health care providers with respect to chronic pain.  Kathleen is a member of the Canadian Academy of Pain Management.  





 Administrative Staff





Hamilton Health Sciences • Hamilton, Ontario • 905.521.2100

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