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International Hero of Hope Award for University of Warwick pain management expert

· International Pain Foundation announce Dr Harbinder Sandhu of Warwick Clinical Trials Unit as winner of a 2020 Hero of Hope Award, in its Healthcare Provider category

· Awards recognise outstanding commitment to assisting and advocating for people with chronic pain diseases

· Health Psychologist Dr Sandhu researches behavioural change interventions in the management of long term pain

Dr Harbinder Sandhu of Warwick Clinical Trials UnitAn expert in pain management from the University of Warwick has been recognised for her commitment and research in supporting patients with chronic pain diseases with an international award.

The International Pain Foundation (iPain) has announced that Dr Harbinder Sandhu of Warwick Clinical Trials Unit as its 2020 Hero of Hope Award Winner in the category of Healthcare Provider.

Dr Sandhu is a Health Psychologist and Associate Professor from Warwick Medical School, who specialises in behaviour change, health and wellbeing, working towards positive habitual behaviours and breaking addiction. She has also worked with professional athletes in setting and achieving goals.

She combines her clinical role as a Health Psychologist and her academic research in the area of behavioural change interventions in the management of long term pain. She is currently leading the I-WOTCH clinical trial, which aims to develop a support programme to help people to live better with chronic long-term pain and reduce their use of opioids.

The International Pain Foundation presents the Hero of Hope Awards annually. Celebrating their 14-year anniversary, they have two award categories; Patient Advocacy and Healthcare Provider, recognizing exceptional finalists who have demonstrated outstanding commitment to assisting and advocating for people with chronic pain diseases.

Nominations were solicited from the pain community; finalists were then chosen from the nominations by the International Pain Foundation board of directors and iPain Partners and winners were chosen by the public. With over 2000 votes in each category this year’s winners have been chosen.

Dr Harbinder Sandhu, Associate Professor at Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, said: “I have been involved in the pain community for over 11 years and I myself have grown professionally and personally. Making a difference to someone’s life, and helping them achieve a quality of life despite their pain is what gives me joy. Connecting with people globally and working with a community who all have a common goal of advancing our understanding of pain and how we can better help is important. The aim is to keep learning from each other.

“Whether it is seeing patients, teaching healthcare professionals or developing novel applications and new ideas in pain management, I truly believe I do what I do because it fits my purpose and my why. I have been told that I have the ability to help anyone feel at ease, which is a lovely compliment to accept and feel a quality that really helps me in my line of work. I never want to give up on the need and drive to do more to push our understanding of pain forward.”

“It is an absolute honour to receive this award and be amongst other outstanding finalists.”

The award winners will be honoured live at the International Pain Summit on November 14, 2020. The award finalists will be recognized in the event program and iPain Living Magazine Fall 2020 edition. The winners will also receive an award trophy during the live presentation and feature stories in the iPain Living Magazine Winter 2021 edition.

Professor Gavin Perkins, Director of the Warwick Clinical Trials Unit, said: “Congratulations to Dr Sandhu on a fantastic achievement. This award is great recognition of the real-world impact that research from Warwick’s Clinical Trials Unit makes on the lives of patients, and acknowledgement of the esteem that our expertise is held in amongst our medical colleagues worldwide.”

More information on the Heroes of Hope Awards: iPain Heroes of Hope – iPain Foundation 


Notes to editors:

Photographs of Dr Harbinder Sandhu available for media use:

4 August 2020

For further information contact:

Peter Thorley
Media Relations Manager (Warwick Medical School and Department of Physics)


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