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Today, the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force released its much-anticipated draft report with recommendations for improving the lives of millions of individuals with acute and chronic pain. The task force, which was was convened last year, is overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and comprised of 29 members, including Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy for U.S. Pain Foundation.

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MIDDLETOWN, CT Dec. 20, 2018 – The U.S. Pain Foundation (U.S. Pain) is continuing to implement changes to strengthen the organization after requesting the resignation of its former CEO in May. In a statement issued this week on its website and emailed to supporters, the 12 year-old organization reviewed the positive steps it’s made since learning of the financial misdeeds of the former CEO.

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On Friday, December 7, the U.S. Pain Foundation shared a statement regarding the misuse of funds by the former CEO. We are limited in what additional information we can disclose at this time due to the ongoing investigation and the pending 2016 and 2017 Form 990 Information Returns, which we anticipate will be filed by the end of the year. We continue to cooperate with the authorities and are seeking restitution.

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We want to share an update regarding a situation discovered earlier in 2018. As a result of an internal audit, we were dismayed to discover financial irregularities involving the former CEO of U.S. Pain Foundation. The Board of Directors immediately hired an independent attorney and a forensic accountant to investigate. The findings were clear that this individual had misused funds from the U.S. Pain Foundation. The Board concluded that the former CEO repeatedly misled and concealed information from the Board of Directors and staff. The Board demanded and received the former CEO’s immediate resignation.

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Kids with pain have unique obstacles, and they deserve unique support. With this in mind, the 2018 theme for U.S. Pain’s annual KNOWvember campaign was pediatric pain. The month included daily facts on social media and four special webinar events.

Recordings of each event are now available via the links below. You can watch them at any time.

Cannabis and Children: Navigating Parents Through Stigma
Ellen Lenox Smith

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A recording is now available of U.S. Pain Foundation’s Nov. 26 panel discussion, “Chronic pain and the risk of suicide: A staggering crisis and what to do about it.”

The event was prompted by a study published this September in the Annals of Internal Medicine, which found that more than 10 percent of suicide cases in the United States involve chronic pain. Panelists discussed reasons behind this statistic, offer tips for coping with the mental health challenges pain creates, and gave suggestions for how clinicians and caregivers can help.

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Location: North Royalton, OH

Pain warrior role: U.S. Pain ambassador since 2013

Pain conditions: Full body reflex sympathetic dystrophy, migraine, trigeminal neuralgia, fibromyalgia, dysautonomia, chronic fatigue syndrome, thoracic outlet syndrome, dystonia, gastroparesis, diabetes, narcolepsy, myoclonic jerks, deep vein thombosis, and neurovascular dystrophy.

Favorite tips for living with chronic pain: “I start off my support group with some advice to our newbies. I tell them and remind ourselves that we need to grieve for the old you. Most of us, especially those with debilitating injury or illness, those of us whose lives changed dramatically find it very difficult to accept these changes. To ask for help. To NEED help daily and to those who are extremely independent. LET IT GO! The quicker you do, you will have enough energy to find the NEW and IMPROVED YOU!”

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Earlier last month, U.S. Pain Foundation published its 12th edition of the INvisible Project, the pediatric second edition. The issue features the stories and photos of 10 children living with painful conditions ranging from spina bifida to complex regional pain syndrome. It is the fourth and final edition to be published this year. The magazine was released in conjunction with the first-ever pediatric pain retreat, held Nov. 9 through 11.

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Election Day was an exciting night for citizens hoping for legal access to medical cannabis. Both Missouri and Utah joined the list of states with medical cannabis programs, bringing the total of states with medical programs to 33, plus Washington, D.C.

Nine states now have recreational access: Michigan was among the states to approve recreational cannabis as part of the midterm elections, and while a recreational proposal in North Dakota did not pass, medical cannabis remains legal there. Finally, Wisconsin voters in 16 counties approved several advisory measures relating to cannabis, including measures to legalize medical cannabis, but the legislature must decide whether to act.

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