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U.S. Pain is excited to announce a new program, Pediatric Pain Warriors, dedicated to serving kids with pain and their families. The program will consist of additional pediatric editions of the INvisible Project, pediatric-focused educational events like Take Control of Your Pain Days, support groups, weekend retreats, scholarships to attend a summer camp designed for kids with chronic conditions, and online resources.

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U.S. Pain Foundation is teaming up with Coalition For Headache And Migraine Patients (CHAMP) for National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month (MHAM) this June. If interested in taking part, please respond quickly to ensure your efforts are completed in June.

Here are three ways you can get involved:

MHAM Proclamation: Submit a request for a ceremonial proclamation from your state or local representatives. We’ll provide the template, instructions and support. Interested? Send an email to mham@uspainfoundation.org for more details and please include the state in which you live. Thanks to Ambassador Jeannette Rotondi for her work on this project.

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Last month’s webinar for members of the U.S. Pain community, “How to get the most out of massage for chronic pain” has been rescheduled to April 12 at 1 pm EST. The webinar features Rachel Horcher, a licensed massage therapist, movement specialist and yoga instructor.

During her presentation, Horcher will discuss how massage can help with chronic pain, how to find the right massage therapist and best communicate with him or her, and the different types of massages.

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Known by many as the “Disabled Hiker,” U.S. Pain Foundation Pain Ambassador Terry Craig has completed a full-length documentary film titled A Mile in Our Shoes, which tells the story of three hikers with chronic health issues making their way through the Delaware state forest.

“I’ve spent nearly two decades teaching myself and others how to enjoy the outdoors through innovation, adaptation, and sense of community,” Craig explains. “This documentary highlights how nature can offer backpackers with varying diseases a type of healing you can only experience in the great outdoors.”

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A record 540 U.S. Pain members have sent 2,010 letters to their representatives through an online campaign to support the Opioids and STOP Pain Initiative Act. The bill would allocate $5 billion over 5 years toward developing new treatments for both chronic pain and substance use disorders. Pain has traditionally been grossly underfunded relative to its enormous impact.

“This is a very promising piece of pain legislation,” says Cindy Steinberg, national director of Policy and Advocacy. “The persistent underfunding of pain research relative to its burden means that we have very few effective and safe options of treating chronic pain.”

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On March 3 and 4, U.S. Pain Foundation hosted an intensive training for 11 future chronic pain support group leaders in Phoenix, AZ.

The training program was developed by Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, clinical director of Pain Connection, a program of U.S. Pain. By training more group leaders, U.S. Pain hopes to expand its network of support groups. Presently, U.S. Pain and Pain Connection offer support groups in eight states: Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Michigan, Arizona, and California, in addition to three conference call support groups.

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U.S. Pain’s National Director of Policy and Advocacy, Cindy Steinberg, is constantly fighting behind-the-scenes for improvements in pain care. One recent example: last week she and the Academy of Integrative Pain Management issued two joint letters–one to the U.S. Senate Committee on Finance and another to the House Ways and Means Committee–recommending changes in CMS coverage and funding for innovative treatment approaches.

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Patient advocates have been heartened to see more states making progress in allowing access to medical cannabis for chronic conditions like pain. In New Jersey, chronic pain was recently added to the list of qualifying conditions for chronic pain. Meanwhile, in West Virginia, passed a bill to increase the number of licenses available for growers and dispensaries. (Unfortunately, the bill adds restrictions on physicians, which may discourage them from certifying patients.) In Hawaii, lawmakers are looking to establish a medical cannabis insurance reimbursement working group to address the possibility of insurance coverage for medical cannabis.

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On June 2, U.S. Pain Foundation will host its Third Annual Real Hope, Real Heroes Gala at the Hilton Scottsdale Resort & Villa in Scottsdale, AZ. This fundraiser will honor INvisible Project participants from the past year while bringing together the entire pain community and those that support them. All proceeds from the event, which includes a silent auction, benefit U.S. Pain.

“The Real Hope, Real Heroes Gala gives us the opportunity to recognize the bravery, strength, and individuality of each INvisible Project participant,” says Nicole Hemmenway, U.S. Pain vice president and director of the INvisible Project. “The average person might not realize how challenging it is to live with pain, but we get it. We want to celebrate the triumphs of people who get up and try their best each day, despite their physical limitations.” .”

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A part of the nonprofit Global Healthy Living Foundation (GHLF), CreakyJoints recently invited U.S. Pain Foundation to co-host a Twitter chat about patient advocacy.

The chat was part of a monthly series known as #CreakyChats. The questions were posed to Director of State Advocacy and Alliance Development Shaina Smith, who discussed ways to advocate for oneself and shared some personal obstacles she has had to face in the wake of her chronic conditions.

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