From left, Olivia Begasse De-Dhaem, Massachusetts Representative Jim McGovern, Michelle Tracy, and Cindy Steinberg

On Feb. 10 and 11, representatives from the U.S. Pain Foundation joined the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy in Washington, D.C., to participate in the 13th Annual Headache on the Hill. The event brings together patients, caregivers, and health care providers to speak with their representatives on Capitol Hill.

Through a grant from Amgen and Novartis, U.S. Pain sponsored 15 pain warriors from 10 states to participate in the event, and hosted a dinner for 24 current and past INvisible Project participants and volunteers in attendance.

The entire Headache on the Hill group totaled 173 individuals representing 45 states. Over two days, 225 meetings were held with both members of the Senate and House of Representatives.

This year’s ask of legislators was cosponsorship of the Opioid Workforce Act (H.R. 3414/ S.2892). The bills, identical in the House and the Senate, aim to fund 1,000 new residency training positions in the fields of pain medicine, addiction medicine, in addition to psychiatry, over the next 10 years.

[su_pullquote align=”right”]View a slideshow from Headache on the Hill 2020.[/su_pullquote]

Advocates encouraged representatives to request an amendment to the bills to include funding for headache specialists, of which there are under 600 in the entire country.

“Migraine disease can make you feel helpless and isolated,” says Katie Golden, Migraine Advocacy Liaison for U.S. Pain. “Advocating helped me to take back the power that migraine had stolen from me. In the past four years, I’ve had the privilege to watch other U.S. Pain ambassadors find their voice and watch as their unique stories are making a difference for all who live with headache diseases.”