Erin Krebs, MD, MPH
Erin E. Krebs, MD, MPH is a core investigator at the Minneapolis Veterans Affairs (VA) Center for Chronic Disease Outcomes Research and associate professor of medicine at the University of Minnesota. She is a general internist with an active primary care practice and serves as women’s health medical director for the Minneapolis VA Health Care System. She completed medical school and residency at the University of Minnesota, then the Robert Wood Johnson (RWJ) Foundation Clinical Scholars Program at the University of North Carolina, where she also earned her public health degree.
Dr. Krebs’ professional goal is to improve the management of chronic pain in primary care. Her research focuses on chronic pain management and benefits and harms of opioid analgesics. She completed a five-year VA Career Development Award/RWJ Faculty Scholars Award examining the quality and safety of opioid prescribing in primary care. She recently completed the landmark VA-funded SPACE trial, which compared opioid therapy versus non-opioid pain medication therapy over 12 months for chronic back pain or osteoarthritis pain.
Dr. Krebs currently leads the VOICE trial—a nine-site randomized pragmatic trial funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI). VOICE is comparing low-intensity pharmacist telecare management versus higher-intensity integrated pain team management interventions for improving pain and reducing opioid use among VA patients receiving long-term opioid therapy; it will secondarily test effects of offering buprenorphine-naloxone rotation to assist with opioid dose reduction. She is principal investigator on the VA-funded EPOCH cohort study, which has enrolled >9000 patients on long-term opioid therapy to examine patient-reported outcomes of changes in opioid prescribing and other pain management practices. She is co-PI on a NCCIH-funded R01 multi-method prospective observational study to understand development of chronic pain and use of pain management therapies among National Guard Veterans.
Dr. Krebs has contributed to a variety of important national efforts to improve care for patients with chronic pain. She was a member of the Core Expert Group for the CDC Opioid Prescribing Guidelines and the Opioid Guideline Workgroup of the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control Board of Scientific Counselors. She serves as American College of Physicians (ACP) clinical representative to the American Medical Association (AMA) Opioid Task Force. In 2016, she co-chaired the VA State of the Art conference on non-pharmacological management of chronic musculoskeletal pain, which brought diverse experts together to develop recommendations for advancing VA pain clinical services and research.