Dear Friends,

We are pleased to invite you to attend the 20th Advanced Interventional Pain Conference, August 24-26, 2015 in Budapest. The Conference originated with the desire to bring up to date and new information to a country that simply was not in a position to keep up with the progress of the leading countries of the world. We had information to share that could aid doctors help patients toward a less painful, bright future. We have always invited the best people primarily in the interventional pain treatment area that had contributed and were recognized as experts. When the decision was made to organize such a conference, we realized we needed support to make this happen and also felt that the people who give their time freely to teach at the conference should be treated appropriately.

The speakers invited came and delivered the best possible information to doctors who needed it. It was amazing to see friendship and camaraderie develop, and continue year after year. We could not have done it without our sponsors, and we express gratitude to those who have helped us year in and year out.

Neuromodulation and mechanisms of different treatment modalities, and without exception focus on how to prevent complications, have been prevailing themes for the conference. This year we are adding ultra sound teaching and examination. The concept of safer and better interventional pain management has survived and blossomed. We have immense gratitude for our university, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock, Texas, where we have been for over 30 years. We have worked together and with many others to realize safer and better techniques that literally have affected the lives of millions of people. We have published extensively in journals, books and more recently online which helped grow and develop the field of interventional pain practice. These developments have attracted people with amazing minds and led to the formation of the World Institute of Pain.

The unique aspect of learning and teaching using a combination of didactic lectures and hands-on cadaver workshops started over 30 years ago at TTUHSC. We started organized cadaver teaching of interventional pain techniques. The opportunity to continue in Budapest, where we will celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Budapest Conference and conduct the 29th Fellow of Interventional Pain Practice (FIPP) Examination gives us great satisfaction. Since the first examination in 2001 in Budapest, we have had added additional examination sites in Memphis, Miami, New York City, San Juan, Puerto Rico, and Maastricht, The Netherlands in Europe.

As a result of the contributions by many through the Budapest Conference and the FIPP and CIPS Examinations, there now are 894 Fellows of Interventional Pain Practice with Sections and leaders in 56 countries. The new CIPS (Certified Interventional Pain Sonologist) Examination offered twice in 2015 now has 11 CIPS from six countries.

We are very grateful to the leadership of the World Institute of Pain for embracing and continuing support for the Annual Budapest Conference where not only the international community but also the local Hungarian community is involved in propagating, teaching and learning for the betterment of all involved. New progress is being made in expanding teaching and the examination in multiple languages. This year, for the first time, we offered the examination in Miami in two languages – English and Spanish.

Significant figures involved in the WIP leadership include the current president Kris Vissers and immediate past president Richard Rauck, and the founders, Prithvi Raj, Ricardo Ruiz-Lopez, Serdar Erdine, and our deceased friend David Niv, who made the birth of WIP from a concept to a reality. We are proud of the corporate support for our mission. From the start, and still continuing, is support from Medtronic, St. Jude, Boston Scientific, Ziehm, Cosman and Epimed as well as early support from Radionics and Allergan. More recently we have gained support from new sponsors Stimwave and Nevro who feel they have something bright and new to contribute. Developments through ultra sound companies and the very exciting miniaturization of neuromodulation devices (Stimwave) impact the field. High frequency stimulation has already made an impact, and the research will be visible at Nevro, St. Jude, Medtronic and Boston Scientific as well as new medications and medication delivery devices. Remarkable contributions have come from the field of radiofrequency with modification of the original concepts by giants like Menno Sluijter and other leaders in the field from all over the globe.

The city of Budapest has changed in the 20 years. The people are freer and work harder. The many years of oppression have changed Budapest to a more democratic, lively, beautiful city. The city is proud to welcome all that come to visit, contribute and benefit from the interactions at the Conference. The Budapest Conference could not have been possible without the help of Edit Racz, our local arrangement committee chairman; Sandra Vamos, our organizer and her colleague Bea Golovanova; the office of WIP with our new incoming president, Kris Vissers and staff, Dianne Willard and Mark Tolliver. The incredible Paula Brashear will be one of the most significant and beloved personalities present. She has been a permanent fixture in the life of WIP and our conference. During the 20 years of Budapest Conference, Professor Jim Heavner, DVM, PhD, FIPP (Hon) has left his impact on every part of the conference and to all who have known him. He would prefer I omit this from our letter to you, but he is a significant pillar and contributor to all that we represent for the betterment of our patients, and I thank him as my colleague and co-director.

We shall have again the representative spirit, fostered by the starry-eyed children dance group, the Hungarian dinners where the speakers mix with the participants and the resulting friendships that spread worldwide. I wish to thank all who have helped and will help to make our Conference possible again. See you in Budapest, August 24-26, 2015 and those who come to take the FIPP Examination on August 27. We look forward to seeing you there.

With fond regards to all,

Gabor B. Racz, MD, DABIPP, FIPP
Program Director
Grover E. Murray Professor
Professor and Chairman Emeritus at TTUHSC
Founder and Past President WIP
Member of WIP Executive Board
James E. Heavner, DVM, PhD, FIPP (Hon)
Co-Program Director
Professor Emeritus