Joel Eduardo Mata, M.D.
American Board of Anesthesiology, Board Certified
Fellowship in Pain Management, Stanford University
Dr. Joel E. Mata received his primary medical education at Stanford University Medical School. After completing his primary medical school training, he successfully completed his residency in Anesthesiology at Stanford University and was accepted into their pain management fellowship training program. After successfully completing the one-year fellowship he was asked to stay as both a clinician and an educator at Stanford.
Dr. Mata relocated to San Diego in the summer of 2007 where he developed the area's first comprehensive Functional Restoration Program. Under his leadership as Medical Director, the program quickly became known for its success with "difficult to treat" workers compensation patients. The program continues to thrive to this day.
Dr. Mata is committed to treating patients with chronic pain. He complements his clinical role with relationship building, working closely with leaders in the Workers Compensation industry to develop interdisciplinary pain management programs. Dr. Mata has participated in medical humanitarian missions in Haiti for the past three years.
Angela Hsu, PT, DPT
Program Physical Therapist
Angela Hsu is a licensed Physical Therapist and Certified Clinical Instructor. She holds her Bachelors of Science in Biological Science and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Loma Linda University.
Angela comes to the Pain Solutions Center of San Diego after working for 3 years in long term acute care. She has experience with overseeing students and working with a pulmonary rehab team. Her specialties include over-use injuries, post surgical patients, on the job injuries, and sport related injuries, just to name a few.
Angela has an incredible ability to engage with her patients while pushing them to gain function.
Justin LaPilusa, Psy.D.
Clinical Psychology Director
Dr. Justin LaPilusa is the Clinical Psychology Director at Pain Solutions Center of San Diego. He facilitates both individual and group therapy utilizing a combination of theoretical modalities including cognitive behavioral therapy, interpersonal, psychodynamic, acceptance commitment, and existential therapy. Though he treats a wide range of problems and challenges including but not limited to depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, low self-esteem, and amotivational issues, Dr. LaPilusa’s training and experience has mainly been in the areas of trauma and chronic pain. Dr. LaPilusa has been working with chronic pain patients for the past 8 years. He has extensive knowledge of the biopsychosocial model of pain and has conducted research in the area of pain and Workers’ Compensation. He has treated both high and low functioning individuals in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Dr. LaPilusa utilizes a gentle, empathic, yet direct approach, which challenges the patient to examine him or herself honestly. He believes in the value of meaning making and structuring a value-based life to attain the most benefit from coping skills and personal development.
Jeanne Conner, Psy.D., Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist, LMFT #84495
Dr. Conner is a bilingual (English/Spanish) therapist who has experience working with chronic pain in both a group and an individual setting. She is competent in ACT (Acceptance and Commitment Therapy), and she believes that people can learn to accept chronic pain while still living valued, meaningful lives. She works with participants to find their current level of acceptance, clarify their life values, and set goals in order to work toward those values. Dr. Conner has extensive experience working with high risk adolescents, as well as adults seeking treatment in both in-patient and out-patient facilities. She believes in finding individual strengths in every client. Her passion is helping other fulfill their potential as human beings, as they overcome obstacles that may be holding them back. She is committed to helping individuals experiencing chronic pain through ACT interventions, cognitive restructuring, meditation, and mindfulness-based practices.
Luisana Elias is the Program Manager at Pain Solutions Center of San Diego. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science in Business Administration from California Lutheran University (CLU). Her major emphasis was in Marketing with a minor in Spanish. While attending school, she completed an internship with UrbanWorks Entertainment where she helped with the marketing plans for movie titles such as Fat Albert, Hair Show and the execution for the DVD release of The Cosby Show series.
Luisana started her working career at AMN Healthcare Healthcare staffing agency. She was able to climb the corporate ladder from an administrative assistant to an Account Manager in a very short period of time. She quickly learned she enjoyed establishing key relationships with her accounts while being able to help them with their needs. These relationships helped her sales department receive job orders, under competitive times, before any other agency was given the opportunity to fill them. In 2009, she started working for the first Functional Restoration Program in Southern California. It is there that she found her passion for helping others.
At Pain Solutions Center of San Diego, Luisana is able to use both her business organizational skills as well as her ability to connect with its program participants.
Elsa Torres, LMFT
Elsa Torres has a Master’s of Arts in Marital and Family Therapy and is currently licensed by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences, MFT#88013. Mrs. Torres has experience working with youth, adults, couples and families utilizing Brief Strategic Therapy and various interventions from Acceptance and Commitment Therapy. Mrs. Torres has years of experience working with depression, anxiety, bi-polar disorder, low self-esteem, trauma, grief and loss, stress management, adjustment disorders, and parent-child relationships. Mrs. Torres is passionate about assisting her clients overcome challenges by providing an empathic, direct, client-centered approach to finding alternatives and effective solutions to problematic issues. She is committed to helping patients who are experiencing chronic pain; discover, learn and utilize effective strategies through the use of coping skills, mindfulness, flexible thinking and re-creating life stories.