Our goal is to unite our community, educate, support research, and awareness for complex regional pain syndrome.
Scientific Advisory Board
Dr. Shahin Sadik is one of the founding physicians of Universal Pain Management. Dr. Sadik graduated with a medical degree at Eastern Virginia Medical School of Medical College of Hampton Roads. He then completed his residency in anesthesiology and fellowship training in pain management at the University of Pennsylvania. Currently, Dr. Sadik works as a pain management physician and Medical Director at Universal Pain Management in California.
Board-certified by the American Board of Anesthesiology with special qualification in pain management and also by the American Board of Pain Medicine, Dr. Sadik has vast experience managing chronic pain. In addition to his duties at Universal Pain Management, Dr. Sadik holds a faculty position at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine as Assistant Professor of Anesthesiology.
Dr. Chopra is a Pain Medicine specialist with a special interest in complex chronic pain conditions. He had his residency in Anesthesia and Critical Care, Fellowship in Pain Medicine – all from Harvard Medical School. Dr. Chopra is currently an Assistant Professor (Clinical) at Brown Medical School and work full time as a Pain Medicine specialist. He has a special interest in chronic complex pain conditions and their associated co-existing conditions in adults and children.
Dr. Jennifer Goldin graduated medical school at Wright State University School of Medicine and is board certified in family medicine. She created our Guide for the Newly Diagnosed with Complex Regional Pain Syndrome and CRPS: Guide for Teachers and Other School Personnel booklets. You may view her article featured on The Mighty here and the booklets she created under our resources page.
Dr. Katinka van der Merwe grew up as the daughter of a successful chiropractor outside of Johannesburg, South Africa. She first started studying to become a Doctor of Chiropractic at The Witwatersrand Technikon in South Africa in 1993. She immigrated to the United States of America in 1994 at the age of 20, and received her Doctor of Chiropractic degree at Parker College of Chiropractic in Dallas, Texas. Upon graduation, she set out to study post graduate techniques and courses that would allow her to treat chronically and acutely ill patients without any hope.
Dr. van der Merwe has dedicated her career to informing and treating patients who live with chronic daily pain, and those having suffered catastrophic neurologic damage, such as Traumatic Brain Injuries, amputation and paralysis, resulting in chronic neurologic pain.
Dr. van der Merwe is the founder and CEO of The Spero Clinic in Fayetteville, Arkansas. She has treated patients from 47 US states and 34 countries to date. She has gained a world- wide reputation for her significant success in treating non-retractable pain syndromes and chronic pain.
Jim Scherer Graduated with his Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Ohio University in 2008. He received his Bachelor of Science in Exercise Physiology and Minor in Psychology. While working on his Bachelor’s degree Jim worked at recreation unlimited, a summer camp for children and adults with physical and developmental disabilities.
He was the sports program leader and climbing tower director. He went on to become a McKenzie Certified practitioner in 2010, a Board Certified Specialist in Orthopedics in 2010, and completed a Fellowship in Movement Science through Washington University in St. Louis in 2013-2014.
Jim has been involved a multidisciplinary chronic pain program for the past 6 years, specializing in CRPS ( Complex Regional Pain Syndrome). He has become more interested in the role of the central nervous system in pain, Graded Motor Imagery and the power of cognitive beliefs in chronic pain.
Jim’s treatment philosophy includes a holistic approach to treating chronic conditions that afflict the athletic population, the disabled population, and everyone in between. Jim’s treatment sessions include techniques such as spinal manipulation and mobilization, soft tissue massages, as well as detailed movement analysis to train individuals to move in a less painful way.
He and his patients discuss fears regarding returning to activities, relaxation strategies, and perform visualization to improve confidence and calm down the nervous system. Jim wants to know who you are as a whole person and what your goals are.
In his spare time, he enjoys outdoor adventures including trail running, backpacking, camping, mountain biking, rock climbing, snowboarding and mountaineering.
Mental Health Advisory Board
Susan Schuster-Bacon is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (# LMFT 12346), as well as a credentialed teacher in both Regular and Special Education. Professionally, Susan likes to integrate her interests in both therapy and education. She began her career working in the Berkeley Unified School District as a Resource Teacher, mainstreaming children with special needs into typical classrooms.Then, she worked at UCLA with inpatient children who were on the Autistic Spectrum. Subsequently, she was an administrator at the Julia Ann Singer Therapeutic School at Vista del Mar Child and Family Services, where she was in charge of the training program for MFT trainees and associates. She also worked at Para los Ninos as the Clinical Supervisor for MFT and MSW trainees and interns, in addition to having a private practice. More recently, she is an adjunct professor at both Antioch and Pepperdine Universities. In 2020 she became the director of ACTS (Antioch Community Therapy Services), which provides no-cost therapy to individuals in California, as well as Practicum training experience for Antioch students who are studying to become Marriage and Family Therapists.
Marisol is the owner of Peaceful Counseling and Therapy. She is a Latinx bilingual (English/Spanish) and bicultural Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Marisol creates a collaborative, warm, and non-judgmental environment where clients feel empowered with tools and at peace with their story. She believes that it is an honor and privilege to join her clients through their healing process. Marisol uses a person-centered and strengths-based approach while helping you navigate through your experiences and feelings. She specializes in helping survivors of trauma and those with chronic illness. Marisol has a special interest in helping clients with medical-related traumas and/or chronic illness-induced trauma. Marisol’s story of resilience in overcoming her adversities and living with multiple chronic illnesses are the driving forces behind her work. She has a passion for destigmatizing mental health, chronic illness, trauma, and disabilities. Marisol practices cultural humility and is committed to inclusivity, anti-racism, and is LGBTQIA+ affirming.
Marisol is a New York City native and relocated to North Carolina in 2017. She earned her Master of Social Work degree from New York University, where she concentrated in integrated health care and evidenced-based modalities. Marisol graduated cum laude from the City University of New York, Herbert H. Lehman College where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in psychology. She has experience providing services in various settings including community outpatient agencies, primary care settings, and private practice. During her spare time, Marisol enjoys practicing mindfulness, playing her singing bowls, creating floral arrangements, and spending time with her husband, 3 dogs (Píto, Snoopy, and Bear), plants and extended family.