Karen A. Cooper, MD
Lead on Pediatric Initiatives, Michigan OPEN Clinical Assistant Professor, Division of Pediatric Otolaryngology, Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery
In her clinical work, Dr. Cooper cares for children with common head and neck problems who often require surgical intervention. Many of these children and their families face surgery without a clear understanding of what their recovery might involve in terms of pain or how to address their pain outside of an opioid prescription. Her work with Michigan OPEN stems from her desire to prepare kids and their families for their postoperative course in a better and safer way, by offering education on methods to control post-operative pain including over-the counter medications and non-medication strategies, explanation of the risks of opioids, and safe storage and disposal options.
Dr. Cooper hopes to help those who care for children following surgery to share a common message about acute postoperative pain, opioid safety and disposal options, and is leading a multidisciplinary work group at Mott Children’s Hospital working towards this goal. Her background is in patient safety and quality improvement, and her research interests are on pain control following surgery and use of prescribed opioids, so prescribing guidelines can be developed for providers based on actual patient use.