In May 2016, the Boards of Directors for Pain Connection-Chronic Pain Outreach Center, Inc. (Pain Connection) and the U.S. Pain Foundation, Inc. announced with great pleasure that they joined their organizations. Both organizations share the same mission to help people with chronic pain and their families. Pain Connection would become the direct service component of the U.S. Pain Foundation. Pain Connection, the corporation, is now dissolved.
Gwenn Herman, LCSW-C, DCSW, Clinical Director and Founder of Pain Connection, sees this as a great opportunity to elevate effective programs to the national level. Ms. Herman, a licensed social worker, will continue to oversee direct services, such as support groups and trainings. She moved to Tucson, Arizona and set up a U.S. Pain Foundation office there.
There are over 50 million Americans (not including children and the military) suffering from chronic pain and who are not receiving adequate treatment. There are many barriers to treatment including lack of effective interventions, untrained health care providers, financial limitations, and stigma. People with pain fall between the cracks of our flawed health care system. Even those lucky enough to have insurance find needed services are not covered under private health insurance, workers’ compensation, or disability insurance.
The U.S. Pain Foundation, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to serving those who live with pain conditions and their care providers. They help individuals find resources and inspiration and are dedicated to empowering caregivers and those with pain, through support groups, advocacy workshops, INvisible Project events, webinars and more.
The beginning of Pain Connection dates back to April 1999 with the start of a single chronic pain support group. This group, started by Gwenn Herman, was due to being in a motor vehicle accident in 1995 that resulted in chronic pain. Ms. Herman felt compelled to reach out to others to provide support and treatment that she had found lacking during her own experience. Pain Connection was incorporated in August 1999 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization and its mission is to empower people with chronic pain to improve their quality of life, decrease their sense of isolation and take a more active role in their treatment. It does this by providing information, psychosocial support, coping skills and training to people with chronic pain, their families and health care providers.
Pain Connection programs that will now be under the auspices of the U.S. Pain Foundation are: support groups, Pain Connection Live Conference Calls, Filling the Gaps in Pain Care (FIG), 8 week program for people with pain and their families, Pain Warriors program and outreach to the Military, Veteran’s and Family Members; Making the Invisible Visible: Chronic Pain Manual for Health Care Providers, Training of Trainers and supervision of mental health professionals, and The National Coalition of Chronic Pain Providers & Professionals (NCCPPP) a network of health providers, professionals, and organizations dedicated to serving the chronic pain community.