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Seattle-Denver Center of Innovation (COIN)

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COIN Investigators & Staff

COIN Investigators


Joe Frank, MD, MPH
Title: Associate Director (Denver); Core Investigator
VA Section Chief, Pain Medicine
Director, VA Eastern Colorado Chronic Pain & Wellness Center
Associate Professor, University of Colorado School of Medicine
Location: Denver
University of Colorado webpage
See Dr. Frank's Dimensions profile that includes: publications, grants, datasets, patents and clinical trials


Our research aims to improve access to effective care for Veterans with chronic pain. This involves both expanding access to existing evidence-based treatments and developing new options to expand the chronic pain care toolkit. Across all aspects of our work, we are committed to meaningful Veteran engagement and participation.

I am interested in these issues because they can have such an important impact on Veterans, their lives and their families. As a general internist and researcher in VA, it is a privilege work with and learn from our Veteran patients and to partner to improve care for Veterans with chronic pain.

We are excited about the future of chronic pain care and research. There is no better place than VA to be part of this important work!

The following images visualize Dr. Frank's work. The word cloud is drawn from publication titles. The research collaboration map shows research relationships (click the image to enlarge):

Dr. Frank's publication titles indicate their primary work is care of Veterans
Word cloud from pub titles
Dr. Frank's collaborations are primarily from the University of Colorado
Research collaboration map
The following research fields have been used to summarize Dr. Frank's publications and grants. The categories are based on 38 publications and 3 grants.
Publications Grants
Clinical Research Behavioral and Social Science
Pain Research Clinical Research
Chronic Pain Pain Research
Health Services Chronic Pain
Substance Abuse Health Services
Neurosciences Brain Disorders
Behavioral and Social Science Mental Health
Prevention Cost Effectiveness Research
Prescription Drug Abuse Clinical Trials and Supportive Activities
Brain Disorders Comparative Effectiveness Research

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Grants & Funding

Consortium to Disseminate and Understand Implementation of Opioid Use Disorder Treatment

Role: Co-PI
Opioid use disorder (OUD) is a significant cause of morbidity and mortality among Veterans, for which effective treatment is a major priority of the Veterans Health Administration (VHA). Expanding access to alternatives to opioids for chronic pain management is also a leading priority.
Effective medications for OUD (MOUD) are available, but their uptake is highly variable across VHA.
Our proposal aims to coordinate the efforts of five successful pilot projects (Phase 1) into a consortium to maximize value to VHA and inform future dissemination efforts in improving the uptake of MOUD and alternative therapies for pain in VHA nationally (Phase 2).
The leads of Phase 1 projects will leverage successful partnerships with VISN leadership to combine into an integrated effort that spans six VISNs and 57 sites.
Funder: Veterans Affairs
NIH website

Value-Based Care to Improve the Quadruple Aim for Veterans and Stakeholders

Role: Co-PI with P. Michael Ho PI is Catherine Battaglia
The Quadruple Aim Quality Enhancement Research Initiative (QUERI) aims to improve the care and experience for Veterans, clinician engagement, and reduce the cost of care. We will improve care coordination between Veterans Health Administration (VA) and community settings for Veterans using three evidence-based practices rooted in care coordination models to achieve consistently safe, efficient, and effective care for Veterans who are:
1) referred to home health care after discharge from VA,
2) receiving medication treatment for Opioid Use Disorders in the community, and
3) hospitalized or receiving emergency care in the community and return to VA or VA-assigned community PCP for ongoing care.
Veterans with complex medical and social needs will be case managed by a multidisciplinary team to ensure timely access to care and linkage to resources. The Quadruple Aim QUERI will improve health with optimal patient and clinician experience at a lower cost.
Funder: Veterans Affairs
NIH website

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Recent Publications


Black AC, Edmond SN, Frank JW, Abelleira A, Snow JL, Wesolowicz DM, Becker WC. Pain Care at Home to Amplify Function: Protocol Article. Subst Use Addctn J. 2024 Mar 12:29767342241236032. doi: 10.1177/29767342241236032. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 38469833
Learn more about this publication at Dimensions


Becker WC, Frank JW, Edmond SN, Starrels JL. When harms outweigh benefits of long-term opioid therapy for pain: Need for a new diagnostic entity, research and improved treatments. Addiction. 2023 Sep 27. doi: 10.1111/add.16348. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 37766414
Learn more about this publication at Dimensions

Rogers DG, Frank JW, Wesolowicz DM, Nolan C, Schroeder A, Falker C, Abelleira A, Moore BA, Becker WC, Edmond SN. Video-telecare collaborative pain management during COVID-19: a single-arm feasibility study. BMC Prim Care. 2023 Jun 29;24(1):134. doi: 10.1186/s12875-023-02052-2. PMCID: PMC10308713.
PMID: 37386370
Learn more about this publication at Dimensions


Gordon AJ, Kenny M, Dungan M, Gustavson AM, Taylor Kelley A, Jones AL, Hawkins E, Frank JW, Danner A, Liberto J, Hagedorn H. Are x-waiver trainings enough? Facilitators and barriers to buprenorphine prescribing after x-waiver trainings. Am J Addict. 2022 Feb 3. doi: 10.1111/ajad.13260. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 35118756
Learn more about this publication at Dimensions


Quinlan TAG, Roberts AW, Frank JW, Whittington MD. Health costs of women with chronic overlapping pain conditions by opioid and complementary and integrative health use. Health Serv Res. 2021 Aug 28. doi: 10.1111/1475-6773.13875. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 34453324.


Frank JW, Bohnert ASB, Sandbrink F, McGuire M, Drexler K. Implementation and Policy Recommendations from the VHA State-of-the-Art Conference on Strategies to Improve Opioid Safety. J Gen Intern Med. 2020 Dec;35(Suppl 3):983-987. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06295-y. Epub 2020 Nov 3. PMCID: PMC7609348.
PMID: 33145691.

Frank JW, Carey E, Nolan C, Hale A, Nugent S, Krebs EE. Association Between Opioid Dose Reduction Against Patients' Wishes and Change in Pain Severity. J Gen Intern Med. 2020 Dec;35(Suppl 3):910-917. doi: 10.1007/s11606-020-06294-z. Epub 2020 Nov 3.
PMID: 33145690.

Seal KH, Becker WC, Murphy JL, Purcell N, Denneson LM, Morasco BJ, Martin AM, Reddy K, Iseghem TV, Krebs EE, Painter JM, Hagedorn H, Pyne JM, Hixon J, Maguen S, Neylan TC, Borsari B, DeRonne B, Gibson C, Matthias MS, Frank JW, Krishnaswamy A, Li Y, Bertenthal D, Chan A, Nunez A, McCamish N. Whole Health Options and Pain Education (wHOPE): A Pragmatic Trial Comparing Whole Health Team vs Primary Care Group Education to Promote Nonpharmacological Strategies to Improve Pain, Functioning, and Quality of Life in Veterans-Rationale, Methods, and Implementation. Pain Med. 2020 Dec 12;21(Suppl 2):S91-S99. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnaa366. PMCID: PMC7825011.
PMID: 33313734.

Bastian LA, Cohen SP, Katsovich L, Becker WC, Brummett BR, Burgess DJ, Crunkhorn AE, Denneson LM, Frank JW, Goertz C, Ilfeld B, Kanzler KE, Krishnaswamy A, LaChappelle K, Martino S, Mattocks K, McGeary CA, Reznik TE, Rhon DI, Salsbury SA, Seal KH, Semiatin AM, Shin MH, Simon CB, Teyhen DS, Zamora K, Kerns RD; NIH-DOD-VA Pain Management Collaboratory (Collaboratory member: Zeliadt SB). Stakeholder Engagement in Pragmatic Clinical Trials: Emphasizing Relationships to Improve Pain Management Delivery and Outcomes. Pain Med. 2020 Dec 12;21(Suppl 2):S13-S20. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnaa333. PMCID: PMC7824996.
PMID: 33313726.

Leonard C, Ayele R, Ladebue A, McCreight M, Nolan C, Sandbrink F, Frank JW. Barriers to and Facilitators of Multimodal Chronic Pain Care for Veterans: A National Qualitative Study. Pain Med. 2020 Sep 24:pnaa312. doi: 10.1093/pm/pnaa312. Epub ahead of print.
PMID: 32974662.

Becker WC, Frank JW, Edens EL. Switching From High-Dose, Long-Term Opioids to Buprenorphine: A Case Series. Ann Intern Med. 2020 Jul 7;173(1):70-71. doi: 10.7326/L19-0725. Epub 2020 Apr 7.
PMID: 32252072.

Krebs EE, Clothier B, Nugent S, Jensen AC, Martinson BC, Goldsmith ES, Donaldson MT, Frank JW, Rutks I, Noorbaloochi S. The evaluating prescription opioid changes in veterans (EPOCH) study: Design, survey response, and baseline characteristics. PLoS One. 2020 Apr 22;15(4):e0230751. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0230751. eCollection 2020.
PMID: 32320421.



McCreight MS, Rabin BA, Glasgow RE, Ayele RA, Leonard CA, Gilmartin HM, Frank JW, Hess PL, Burke RE, Battaglia CT. Using the Practical, Robust Implementation and Sustainability Model (PRISM) to qualitatively assess multilevel contextual factors to help plan, implement, evaluate, and disseminate health services programs. Transl Behav Med. 2019 Nov 25;9(6):1002-1011. doi: 10.1093/tbm/ibz085.
PMID: 31170296.

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Media (Video, Podcast, Other)


Webinar: Virtual Chronic Pain Care: Current State & Future Directions

by Joseph Frank, MD, MPH ; Krista Scorsone, PhD, RN, PMHNP-BC
Seminar date: 12/7/2021

Description: The session will provide an overview of virtual chronic pain care resources and an introduction to pain self-management support apps. We will present an update on two pilot studies of virtual pain care interventions and discuss future directions for research and clinical care.

Watch: Virtual Chronic Pain Care: Current State & Future Directions

Find the PDF handout and transcript