2014 Jeffrey Lawson Award for Advocacy in Children's Pain Relief
Anna Taddio graduated with a baccalaureate in pharmacy at the University of Toronto in 1989 and performed a hospital residency in pediatric pharmacy at The Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in 1990. In 1991, she started her graduate studies in the area of maternal-fetal toxicology in the department of clinical pharmacology at SickKids. During her tenure as a graduate student, she carried out clinical trials in the area of pain. Her experiences with these studies led her to change her research focus to pain. After completing her master’s degree in drug safety during breastfeeding in 1994, she undertook doctoral studies in the clinical pharmacology of topical anesthetics in infants. She carried out some of the first studies of the safety and efficacy of lidocaine-prilocaine in infants and the long-term effects of unmanaged pain in infants. She completed her doctoral degree in 1997.
In 1998, Taddio accepted a position in the pharmacy department at SickKids as therapeutic drug monitoring coordinator, and she incorporated research about pain into her clinical practice in the neonatal intensive care unit. In 2003, she was the recipient of a New Investigator Award by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and became the first pharmacist in the history of the hospital to be appointed as a scientist in the research institute. During her tenure as a scientist, she was the recipient of the Early Career Award by the Canadian Pain Society (2005), Young Investigator Award by the International Association for the Study of Pain Special Interest Group on Pain in Childhood (2006), and the Piafsky Young Investigator Award by the Canadian Society for Clinical Pharmacology (2006).
In 2007, Taddio accepted a position as associate professor in the Division of Clinical Social and Administrative Pharmacy at the Leslie Dan Faculty of Pharmacy at the University of Toronto. At the University, Taddio added evidence-based practice, including systematic reviews, clinical practice guidelines, and implementation science to her program of research after demonstrating suboptimal uptake of analgesic interventions in clinical practice. She assembled a cross-Canada interdisciplinary team called Help ELiminate Pain in KIDS (HELPinKIDS) in 2008 to focus on studying and promoting uptake of pain management during medical procedures. Led by Taddio, HELPinKIDs made significant progress in mobilizing knowledge into practice in the management of pain during childhood vaccination. Their wide-reaching and comprehensive knowledge translation strategy has created a network of invested stakeholders, increased awareness of the need to provide pain relief, provided evidence-based knowledge synthesis and practice tools, informed immunization policy and education, and demonstrated impact on health service delivery.
Taddio currently holds the positions of full professor at the University of Toronto, senior associate scientist at SickKids, and assistant scientific staff at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto.
The Jeffrey Lawson Award was established in 1996 in memory of Jeffrey Lawson, whose mother, Jill, brought to the attention of professional organizations the practice of performing surgery and other procedures on children without the benefit of analgesia. The award recognizes advocacy efforts to improve management of pain in children.