About the Center

The Comprehensive Pain Management Center was established by the Department of Anesthesiology to help patients with various stages and types of complex, acute, and chronic pain. These include, but are not limited to:

  • myofacial pain
  • neuropathic pain
  • headache
  • trigeminal neuralgia
  • chronic regional pain syndrome
  • disc herniation
  • post laminectomy syndrome
  • spinal stenosis
  • post herpetic neuralgia



In addition, the Pain Center specializes in the treatment of patients who have cancer, or those who are suffering from post-injury or surgery. Our aim is to minimize symptoms associated with any pain patients are experiencing and to return them to as much functionality as their case allows.

Treatment options may include:

  • oral or transdermal medications
  • transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (T.E.N.S. units)
  • epidural injections
  • fact joint injections
  • nerve blocks
  • radio frequency ablation
  • spinal cord stimulation trials
  • intra-thecal pump trials

We also refer patients for alternative techniques such as acupuncture, chiropractic care, bio-feedback and self-hypnosis.

The Pain Center also functions within University Hospital as a consulting service for acute and chronic pain patients. While registered in the hospital setting, our staff regularly monitors these patients.

Treatment options may involve:

  • the use of PCA pumps
    (patient controlled analgesia)
  • oral medications
  • indwelling catheters
    (such as epidurals)
  • transdermal medications

Once discharged, chronic pain patients frequently continue their follow-up care at the Pain Center on an as needed basis. The benefit of having this option for continual care is that it enables a team approach between the Pain Center and other departments within New Jersey Medical School. Together with the patient, their family, and their other physicians, we can create both short and long-term goals, and work to meet the patient's needs.


Wadih Arap, MD, PhD

Andrew G. Kaufman, M.D.

Professor & Division Chief
Department of Anesthesiology

Diana Finkel, DO

Akwasi Amponsah, M.D.

Assistant Professor

Diana Finkel, DO

Dr. Haijun Zhang

Department of Anesthesiology

Diana Finkel, DO

Chanmonie Kaulesar, DNP, APNc

Nurse Practitioner
Department of Anesthesiology

Joshua Kra, MD

Alesia White

Office Coordinator
Department of Anesthesiology

Dr. Amponsah Biography

Dr. Akwasi Amponsah is a board-certified Interventional Pain Management consultant and anesthesiologist currently practicing in Rutgers- New Jersey Medical School. He is the Director of Neuromodulation and upcoming program director for the interventional pain medicine fellowship program. Formerly the program director at University of Miami’s pain medicine fellowship program, Dr. Amponsah has nearly a decade of experience in treating complex chronic pain syndromes both in the academic as well as private sectors. He specializes in axial spine and nerve pain utilizing advanced interventional pain techniques such as spinal cord stimulation, intrathecal drug delivery systems, kyphoplasty, percutaneous discectomy, minimally invasive spine and joint procedures. His He is an avid soccer player and an active father to a 6yo girl.

Some of the services that he provides:

Headache, Facial and Neck pain treatments (Facial nerve blocks, Botox, trigeminal nerve blocks, TMJ injections)
Cervical facet injections & epidural steroid injections
Stellate Ganglion nerve blocks
Thoracic facets injections & epidural steroid injections
Intercostal nerve blocks
Splanchnic nerve blocks
Lumbar facet injections & epidural steroid injections
Lumbar sympathetic nerve blocks
Spinal Cord Stimulation
DRG stimulation
Intrathecal Drug Delivery (morphine pumps)
Percutaneous Diskectomy
Joint injections

Dr. Zhang Biography

Dr. Zhang is double board-certified in anesthesiology and pain medicine. He completed his Anesthesiology residency in University of Texas McGovern Medical School and fellowship of Pain Management in MD Anderson Cancer Center, the world #1 cancer hospital, in Houston. He then worked as an assistant professor in Columbia University and world-renowned Och Spine Hospital treating patients with complicated spine pathologies. Dr. Zhang specializes in the comprehensive evaluation and treatment of various chronic pain conditions, including non-cancer and cancer-related pain. Using fluoroscopic or ultrasound guidance, Dr. Zhang performs the full spectrum interventional pain procedures including spinal, peripheral nerve, muscle, and joint injections, vertebral augmentation (vertebroplasty and kyphoplasty), and radiofrequency ablations. Dr. Zhang is also specialized in advanced neuromodulation techniques to treat a range of refractory chronic pain conditions. These techniques include spinal cord stimulation, dorsal root ganglion stimulation, peripheral nerve stimulation, and intrathecal pump implantation for drug delivery.

As a physician scientist, Dr. Zhang has done extensive research on the biological mechanisms of chronic pain. He has studied the functional properties of neurons and non-neuronal cells in the peripheral and central nervous systems. Using different animal pain models to mimic common clinic conditions such as nerve injury, disc herniation and chemotherapy-induced neuropathy, Dr. Zhang has found a variety of biomarkers involved in chronic pain. Recently, Dr. Zhang has been collaborating with some world-renowned researchers from prestigious New York State Psychiatric Institute/Columbia University to investigate the therapeutic effect of brain stimulation to refractory chronic pain.  

Dr. Kaufman Awards

Dear Professor Kaufman:

Executive Vice President Prabhas Moghe and I are delighted to inform you that you have been selected to receive a Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching for the academic year 2021-2022. The award carries an honorarium in the amount of $1000.

The award will be presented to you and your fellow honorees at a reception to be held at the President’s Tent located across from Hurtado Heath Center, 11 Bishop Place, College Avenue Campus on Thursday, May 5, 2022, at 2:00 p.m. We would be delighted to have you and your guests join us as we honor you that day. Please RSVP at by April 29, 2022, to let us know whether you will attend and to give us the names of your guests.
We will send a university-wide message in the coming weeks announcing all our faculty award recipients. Rutgers Today is preparing a feature story on our honorees as well.

You have our congratulations and best wishes.


Jonathan Holloway