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The Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force is a new, high-level federal think-tank consisting of 28 appointees, including Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy for U.S. Pain Foundation.

Overseen by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the task force has been charged with the following:

Propose updates to pain management best practices

  • Issue recommendations that address gaps or inconsistencies for managing chronic and acute pain
  • Provide the public with an opportunity to comment on any proposed updates and recommendations
  • Develop a strategy for disseminating such proposed updates and recommendations to relevant Federal agencies and general public
  • Provide expert advice and recommendations for pain management and prescribing pain medication

Take Action: Submit Comments from the Patient Perspective

As part of its inaugural meeting on May 30 and 31, the task force is accepting comments in person, via webcast, and online. Written comments can be submitted online through the Federal eRulemaking Portal and are due by May 25.

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City & State: Wasilla, Alaska
Age: 73 years old
Pain Warrior role: Advocate since 2015
What type of health conditions do you live with: Robert was wounded 6 times in Vietnam causing severe chronic pain. He also has rheumatoid arthritis and had surgery for bladder and prostate cancer 3 weeks ago.
What is your favorite tip for others with chronic pain: “I have faith in my Creator”
Fun fact about you: “I am portrayed in a new exhibit at the Newseumby Time-Life photographer John Olson, currently in Washington D.C.”

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With the release of its eighth edition of the INvisible Project on April 15, U.S. Pain is tackling the stigma of medical cannabis. The issue features the raw but often inspiring stories and photos of 10 individuals using cannabis to help manage their chronic health issues.

The INvisible Project was first published in 2010 as a way to create more awareness about the trials and triumphs of people living with pain. Last year, an estimated 65,000 copies were distributed. Patients’ stories are also featured on displays, which are then exhibited at conferences and events across the country.

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Is chronic pain interfering with your confidence, emotional well-being, relationships, career? On May 15, U.S. Pain’s volunteer webinar will feature an exclusive Q&A session with entrepreneur, author, and advocate Jenni Grover about thriving despite the challenges of pain.

Grover is the founder of ChronicBabe.com, a support network, coaching program, and blog, through which she draws on more than 15 years of experience with fibromyalgia and other conditions to teach others how to flourish despite health issues. Since 2005, she has taught thousands of women around the world to take charge of their lives through her website, videos, and speeches. She also recently published a book, “ChronicBabe 101: How to Craft an Incredible Life Beyond Illness,” which she will read a brief excerpt from.

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From left, director of photography and cameraman Larry Deitch, on-site interviewer and cameraman Jason Hedrington, hiker Dawn Craig and film director Terry Craig. Not pictured: panelist and hiker Tracey DImperio Lasslett.

BETHLEHEM, PA, April 28– Terry Craig embraces the nickname “The Disabled Hiker,” but he doesn’t let his chronic pain dictate what he can accomplish. At Saturday’s premiere of his documentary “A Mile In Our Shoes” at Bethlehem’s Northampton Community College, Craig spoke to attendees about some of the lessons he learned during the two years he spent shooting this full-length film.

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Milestone events took place on April 3 and 11 as U.S. Pain Foundation hosted a legislative breakfast and two advocacy days, a first for the organization, which previously has hosted them only in collaboration with allied partners. The focus of both days was bills that enhance patient safety by limiting the practice of forced medication switches, known as nonmedical switching.

The April 3 program was held at the Connecticut State Capitol and featured keynote legislative speakers, a panel discussion with patients impacted by health coverage interruptions, and a summary of legislation proposed this session. Rep. Michelle Cook and Sen. Heather Somers, cosponsors of Senate Bill 379, addressed those in attendance at the breakfast, with Cook revealing her personal experience with nonmedical switching.

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This is an extremely busy time on Capitol Hill for legislation aimed at reducing opioid abuse and addiction. No less than four key committees with jurisdiction over health policy- Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP), Senate Finance, House Energy and Commerce and House Ways and Means are hard at work on comprehensive new opioid legislation with a goal of completing efforts before Memorial Day and then sending legislation to the floor of each chamber in June.

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U.S. Pain is dedicated to providing dozens of programs and services free of charge to the pain community. In order to do that, we rely on grants and charitable donations. One of our primary fundraisers is our annual Real Hope, Real Heroes gala, a night of fun, food, and dancing, which honors people with pain. This year’s event will be held in Scottsdale, AZ, on June 2. Tickets are on sale now.

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National Migraine & Headache Awareness Month (MHAM) this June is rapidly approaching! U.S. Pain is offering three fun, easy ways to get involved and help create awareness:

  1. Requesting a proclamation from your town or state
  2. Requesting a landmark or building in your town or state be lit up in purple
  3. Host a screening of “Out of My Head,” a documentary about headache and migraine disease.

To learn more about all three of these opportunities, check out last month’s news article. Keep in mind that the time to take action is now, as most of these activities require some advance planning.

In addition to the above, Institute for Clinical and Economic Review (ICER), an independent research organization that evaluates the clinical and economic value of treatments and tests, is assessing the new class of calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) inhibitor medicines for migraines. Insurance companies will use ICER’s final report to determine if they will cover these medicines, how much the coinsurance will be, and what types of prior authorization or step therapy will be required.

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Two U.S. Pain Foundation staff members–Cindy Steinberg, national director of Policy and Advocacy, and Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, clinical director of Pain Connection–have been nominated to serve on influential committees within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).

Steinberg was announced May 1 as one of 28 members appointed to the newly established Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force. Steinberg is the only representative selected from a patient organization. The task force, created as part of the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act of 2016, aims to outline best practices and address gaps and inconsistencies in the management of acute and chronic pain.

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