Dear pain warriors,

Happy New Year! Instead of our usual newsletter, we thought we’d look back at our top 10 highlights of 2017. In 2018, we hope to do even more to fight for a better quality of life for all people with pain.

Before sharing some of our successes from this year, we wanted to spotlight one volunteer who went above and beyond these last 12 months: Michele Rice. We are pleased to announce that Michele has been selected as our Joselynn Badman Ambassador of the Year for 2017. You can read more about Michele and her inspirational efforts here.

Michele and all of the volunteers, members, and donors like her are the reason we were able to achieve great things in 2017. Here are some of the things we accomplished together this year:

  1. Published two issues of INvisible Project magazine, highlighting individuals with migraine and headache disease and rheumatoid arthritis and disease and distributing 65,000 copies nationwide.
  2. Offered two support group leader trainings and established five new support groups through Pain Connection (new locations: CA, CT, MA, MI, and NH).
  3. Created a bimonthly webinar series for volunteers and those interested in volunteering. (The next one is Jan. 18; the topic is dealing with insurance issues. Sign up here!)
  4. Developed an online resource, Living with Pain, and relaunched Learn about Your Pain.
  5. Kicked off a collaboration with the pain management and tracking app, Ouchie, and became a sponsor of a film on invisible illness, “Becoming Incurable.”
  6. Raised tens of thousands of dollars for kids with pain through Points for Pain and celebrated when Tyler Cashman, director of pediatric fundraising, was honored for his efforts by the New York Yankees.
  7. Hosted highly successful Pain Awareness Month and KNOWVember campaigns, both with an emphasis on complementary medicine.
  8. Collaborated with addiction groups and pain organizations alike to work toward more balanced opioid reform and developed a resource for individuals facing restrictions.
  9. Stood up for pain patients at the federal level, including presenting the patient perspective at the annual National Institutes of Health (NIH) Pain Consortium Symposium, putting pressure on the NIH to invest in pain research, helping ensure the Centers for Disease Control will collect, analyze, and report data on pain, and submitting letters and testimony on a range of issues.
  10. Took action on state legislation topics from cannabis to step therapy, expanded headache and migraine advocacy efforts, and took a leading role in various coalitions and campaigns, including launching the Don’t Switch Me campaign.

In 2018, we resolve to keep fighting on behalf of the pain community, each and every day. We hope you’ll join us, whether by volunteeringdonating, or participating however you are able. Every little bit helps! Even though we all may be limited by pain in some way, when we work together, we can make a difference.

Wishing you high spirits, low pain, and a wonderful New Year,

Paul Gileno
U.S. Pain Foundation President and Founder