Golden, left, with Steinberg, at right

U.S. Pain Foundation’s National Director of Policy and Advocacy Cindy Steinberg and California ambassador Katie Golden traveled to Amsterdam for a two-day international patient advocacy forum. Organizations from around the European Union and United States  represented patients with chronic conditions such as multiple sclerosis, Huntington’s Disease, and migraine disease.

The purpose of the forum was to exchange ideas on what are the biggest challenges to patient groups today across countries and disease conditions and to brainstorm about hat can be done to tackle them.

“We had a very fruitful discussion from which several common challenges emerged, such as aging populations with costly comorbid conditions, the necessity of access to health care for all and how to move to more patient-centered health care systems,” says Steinberg. “Strategies proposed for attacking these challenges included prevention of disease progression, a more holistic approach to care, significantly improved health care literacy and patient empowerment.”

Member organizations will continue to think about how to translate these strategies into action for their particular populations and plan to convene again in a year.