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Therapist Honored by Oregon Physical Therapy Association

Sharna Prasad, physical therapist at Samaritan Lebanon Community Hospital, has been awarded the Oregon Physical Therapy Association’s Regional Excellence award for her work with chronic pain education.

Prasad has worked for Samaritan Health Services for more than 16 years, although she doesn’t consider it work because she truly loves what she does.

“I work to empower patients, to understand the science behind their pain and to help them get off opioid pain medication,” said Prasad of her work with chronic pain education.

Prasad and other physical therapists teach a class called MMAPS – Movement, Mindfulness and Pain Science. She worked on revamping the program two years ago and has seen many successes among participants.

“It is really an all-you-can-learn menu for pain education,” said Prasad of the eight-week course.

Participants of the course practice moving techniques such as yoga, tai chi and dancing. They also learn ways to practice meditation and how their bodies function and feel pain.

“We teach about the emotion and thoughts that are attached to pain and what pain means to each participant,” said Prasad.

The class consists of patients and peer mentors that have successfully gone through the course – some have even chosen to stop using opioids.

“The therapists, peers and the patients all leave with so much hope, energy and joy,” said Prasad.
“I love the creativity the class provides to participants and I’m thankful for the opportunity to make changes in the lives of others.”

Beyond her work with Samaritan, Prasad has received a grant to create a curriculum of five lesson plans for health classes in Corvallis high schools about opioids, pain science and healthy self-care.

She is also the co-founder of Mid-Valley Pain Alliance, a group of health care providers and community members who talk about pain with community groups. She is also co-owner of Paradigm Education, a company that brings nationally and internationally recognized health care professionals to Portland to present continuing education courses.