MIDDLETOWN, CONN., May 4, 2020 — A Connecticut-based national nonprofit, U.S. Pain Foundation, has appointed two new members to its Board of Directors: Edward Bilsky, PhD, a professor and researcher from Washington, and Jessica Begley, MFT, a licensed therapist and community leader from Texas. The organization is the leading patient-run group for the 50 million Americans who live with chronic pain.
Edward Bilsky, PhD, is Provost, Chief Academic Officer, and Professor of Biomedical Sciences at Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences. He received a PhD in Pharmacology and Toxicology from the University of Arizona Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy in 1996, with a concentration in opioid pharmacology, pain, and addiction neurobiology. He is an expert in opioid pharmacology and early-stage drug discovery and development, collaborating with scientists around the world and publishing over 85 scientific papers. His work has been recognized by numerous professional societies including receipt of the 2014 Patient Advocacy Award from the American Academy of Pain Medicine and a 2019 Mayday Fellowship. Dr. Bilsky first collaborated with U.S. Pain in 2014 on a variety of projects before coordinating a weekend summit in 2016 for patient advocacy volunteers at the University of New England that drew over 50 participants from across the country.
Jessica Begley, MFT, is a child development specialist who is in the process of earning her PhD in Psychology. She previously taught children with learning disabilities, was a high school counselor, and continues to offer pro bono therapy sessions. She also has an extensive background in fundraising and event planning, stemming from her 15+ years of past experience volunteering for her daughter’s elementary school PTO and her church. Begley became involved with U.S. Pain in 2015 due to her personal experience living with complex regional pain syndrome. Her youngest daughter, Madi, also lives with the condition. She and her family were featured in the first INvisible Project: Kids and Family edition. Begley is a longtime supporter of the organization’s Pediatric Pain Warrior Program.
They join existing members Ellen Lenox Smith, a retired teacher and medical cannabis patient advocate from Rhode Island, Marv Turner, an Emmy award-winning producer and filmmaker out of Wisconsin, and Shawn Dickens, MBA, a government defense contractor from Florida. Dickens has been tapped to serve as Chairman.
The expanded Board also voted to appoint Nicole Hemmenway as permanent CEO; Hemmenway previously served in the role in an interim capacity.
About U.S. Pain Foundation
The mission of the U.S. Pain Foundation is to empower, educate, connect, and advocate for individuals living with chronic illness that causes pain, as well as their caregivers and clinicians. Its programs and services include a national network of support groups, educational resources and events, a pediatric pain program for children and their families, federal advocacy efforts, an awareness magazine called the INvisible Project, and more. The U.S. Pain Foundation is a 501(3)(c) nonprofit organization.