Juyoung Park, PhD
Juyoung Park, Associate Professor in the Phyllis and Harvey Sandler School of Social Work, earned a Ph.D. in Social Work from the University of Maryland, Baltimore. As an Associate Investigator at C-P.A.W.W., she works with Dr. Cheryl Krause-Parello (Director) and the C-P.A.W.W. team on research and community engagement projects. While she was working as a clinical social worker, she became interested in older veterans with chronic pain who rely on pain medication, particularly those suffering from side effects associated with pain medications or polypharmacy for multiple comorbidities.
Her earlier research, focused on opioid medication misuse in older veteran and civilian populations, showed that a majority of older veterans relied on opioid medications to reduce depression or somatic symptoms associated with chronic pain and that they had never been introduced to nonpharmacological treatment to manage chronic pain.
She has expanded her research on nonpharmacological pain intervention to veterans. This research laid the groundwork for safe and effective nonpharmacological pain interventions, including yoga, qigong, and animal-assisted interventions for older veterans with chronic pain. In particular, she is interested in examining how animal-assisted interventions effect depressive or somatic symptoms associated with pain through human-animal bond and interaction. She has produced multiple peer-reviewed journal publications and presented at numerous national and international conferences to disseminate her research findings on chronic pain. She has lived in Florida since 2009; her family members live in Texas or South Korea. The picture shows her playing with her friend’s dog, Paulie (a rescue dog). In her spare time, she enjoys watching movies and doing strengthening exercises.