Halena Gazelka, MD
Dr Halena Gazelka attended medical school at the University of Minnesota, then completed an anesthesiology residency and both pain and palliative medicine fellowships at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN. She practices medical and interventional pain management. Dr Gazelka serves as the Medical Director for Communications for the Mayo Enterprise and currently serves as the Chief Communications Officer. She has chaired the MC Opioid Stewardship Program since its inception in 2016, and is a national expert on the US opioid crisis and responses to it. She also chairs the Mayo Clinic Medication Diversion Subcommittee. Further, Dr Gazelka has served on the Mayo Ethics Subcommittee, teaches in the medical school and serves on multiple committees with national pain organizations, including the American Academy of Pain Medicine, where she is a board member and has chaired the Opioid Committee. She was appointed to the federal HHS Pain Management Task Force in 2018 by the Secretary of Health and Human Services, Mr Alex Azar. She testified on Pain Management and the Opioid Epidemic before the US Senate HELP committee, by invitation of Chair, Mr Lamar Alexander, in February 2019. She and colleagues at the Mayo Clinic teamed up with PBS to produce a documentary series called “The Opioid Fix”, which has won numerous awards for its description of the opioid crisis and our response to it. She has a passion for understanding the opioid epidemic, finding solutions, and educating both the medical community and the lay public about it. She hosts a weekly podcast, Mayo Clinic Q and A. One of her favorite things to do is to inspire students and “learners” — because she remembers what it is like to be in their shoes — wondering how her career would unfold….