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By Michele Rice

My sisters and I pulled the large round rug our grandma had crocheted for us as close to the TV as we could get away with. It was winter and cold in our family room, but we didn’t notice as we huddled together, fidgeting with excitement waiting for the commercials to end and our movie to start. Yes, this was before there were VCRs, Netflix, and other viewing options, and we were forced to watch commercials. This was also years before a slip and fall would lead to the end of my teaching career and send me on a journey to find a way to live a happy life, despite having severe chronic pain.

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Over the years, we’ve heard many stories from pain warriors who wished their health care providers knew more about chronic pain and ways to manage it. This year, New York lawmakers are taking significant steps to benefit the chronic pain community and better support health care professionals either in training or practicing medicine.

Two bills pain warriors can get excited about

Assembly bill 608 and Assembly bill 9067 (S. 7132) focus on enhancing the state’s current provider education requirements, but in different ways.

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There’s a proposed piece of legislation in Kentucky that would require health plans to cover certain therapies used to treat chronic pain.

As currently written, House Bill 198 would allow pain warriors to have access to receive 20 visits for pain treatments provided by a licensed professional.

Why it matters

Pain care, especially integrative therapy options, are not well-covered by Kentucky health plans, leaving individuals like you with limited options to manage your chronic pain condition.

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U.S. Pain Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2019 Joselynn Badman Ambassador of the Year is Ernie Merritt. Merritt has been an ambassador and advocate for U.S. Pain since 2014, and has been living chronic pain since he was 33 years old. In 2019, Merritt went above and beyond to support pain patients and make sure their voices were heard at both the state and national level.

“It was a difficult choice this year, and we had many qualified nominees,” says Nicole Hemmenway, interim CEO of U.S. Pain Foundation. “But Ernie’s long-time efforts to provide support and raise awareness for fellow chronic pain patients made him a clear choice for the Ambassador of the Year Award. Beyond his dedication to the pain community, Ernie is simply an upstanding individual–his kindness and generosity despite his pain is an inspiration to us all.”

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U.S. Pain Foundation is pleased to announce the newest member of its Board of Directors: Marv Turner.

Turner is the owner of Yellow Dog Productions, a video production company. He has collaborated with U.S. Pain on several projects over the years, particularly through the Pediatric Pain Warrior Program, and was so impressed with the organization’s efforts that he decided he wanted to take a more active role.

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For immediate release

Contact: Emily Lemiska

860-748-1349

emily@uspainfoundation.org

Middletown, Conn. (Feb. 4, 2020)—Ernie Merritt, a resident of Saco and lifelong Mainer, is the 2019 Joselynn Badman Ambassador of the Year for the U.S. Pain Foundation, the leading nonprofit organization for people with chronic pain. The annual award is named for the late Joselynn Badman, an inspirational volunteer who lost her battle with pain in 2015.

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The Pediatric Pain Warrior Program is dedicated to helping kids with pain and their families feel less alone and empowered to take charge of their care. One of the ways it does this is through weekend retreats, the most recent of which was held this fall in Illinois. Approximately 75 kids with pain and their loved ones—more than 200 people total—traveled from all across the country to take part.

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Iowa State Rep. Tom Moore has proposed legislation that would keep individuals with chronic conditions medically stable on their therapies, without disruption from their insurer.

HF 2089 will be heard before the House Human Resources Subcommittee on Wednesday, Feb. 5. It’s up to Iowan pain warriors to show support for medication stability before and following this hearing!

Why it matters

HF 2089 would require health plans to honor the contract they enter into with enrollees, protecting families and individuals from unnecessary and potentially harmful changes to their medication regimen. Supported by U.S. Pain Foundation, HF 2089 would ensure your health plan maintains coverage if your medication continues to be prescribed by your physician for an ongoing condition and has been covered during the current plan year or a previous year.

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