A sign created by pain warrior Sherrie Johnson.

Last month, the U.S. Pain Foundation rallied a total of 761 pain warriors nationwide to urge Congress to allocate funding for the Pain Management Best Practices Interagency Task Force report, a federal blueprint for improving pain care. Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Advocacy and Policy, served on the task force that developed the report.

Through U.S. Pain’s action campaign, 738 individuals sent 2,452 emails to Congress, and 71 individuals made 167 calls. Meanwhile, the hashtag #aplanforpain was tweeted out roughly 1,000 times across social media platforms. People from across 49 states and D.C. participated (if you live in South Dakota, or know someone who does, please join the campaign!).

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Throughout June as National Headache and Migraine Awareness Month (MHAM), the U.S. Pain Foundation and fellow patient organizations focused their efforts on educating patients and the public about the realities of life with headache diseases. (And even though it’s July, there are still a few opportunities to learn and take action!)

Launch of the INvisible Project: Migraine & Headache 4th Edition

The month kicked off with multiple launch parties for the newest edition of the INvisible Project, which highlights 10 patients and families coping with varying types of headache diseases ranging from cluster headache to new daily persistent headache. You can download the full PDF of the magazine or order print copies, free of charge, by visiting the INvisible Project website.

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June is Migraine and Headache Awareness Month (#MHAM)! A large percentage of our community lives with migraine and headache diseases, whether as the primary cause of their pain or a comorbidity.

Nationwide, headache and migraine diseases affect 47 million Americans. Despite their huge impact, these conditions are often overlooked and downplayed as “It’s just a headache.”

But we know it is far more than simply head pain. Headache and migraine diseases are complex, debilitating, and symptoms can affect your entire body.

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Thank you. You created the groundswell we needed to start getting Congress to pay attention to the “Pain Management Best Practices” report.

During our Virtual Advocacy campaign, 595 pain warriors sent 1,944 emails to Congress. 60 pain warriors made 144 calls to Congress. And #aplanforpain was tweeted out at least 500 times, reaching thousands of people, including federal legislators.

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We’re dedicating today, June 11, to flooding policymakers with our request that they allocate funding for key recommendations in the “Pain Management Best Practices” report–a roadmap for improving pain care nationwide.

At U.S. Pain Foundation, we believe this report has the power to revolutionize pain care in the United States. But nothing will change for pain warriors unless Congress hears from YOU. Taking action is fast, fun, and incredibly important to improving the lives of the 50 million Americans with chronic pain.

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City and State: Easton, MA

Age: 30

Pain Warrior Role: U.S. Pain advocate since 2011.

Health Conditions: I live with chronic widespread pain due to lupus and chronic pelvic pain due to endometriosis.

Favorite Tip For Those Living With Pain: “Take time every single day to remind yourself that you are a strong, brave, unique, and amazing person, who is always worthy of being treated with respect and dignity.  Also, never let yourself forget that you possess an intrinsic value that exists just from you being you, and having chronic pain can never negate nor diminish this.”

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As part of its “Action Collaborative on Countering the U.S. Opioid Epidemic,” the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) recently hosted a listening session to better understand the experiences of people living with chronic, non-cancer pain, including their experiences interacting with and navigating the health system. NAM also is seeking patients to share their experiences online via this survey.

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Volunteers are the heart and soul of the U.S. Pain Foundation. No matter what your interests are, or what your physical limitations may be, there is an opportunity for you to make a difference. The majority of our volunteer activities can be done from the comfort of home!

Below is a list of examples of ways to get involved, and information on how to get started. If you’d like to get more information on opportunities to act straight to your inbox, sign up as a volunteer here.

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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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Independence redefined

By Elisa Friedlander, LMFT

Recently, during a dinner outing with my wife and another couple, I mentioned my plan to try driving again (it’s been several years since disabling neck pain and other medical problems made driving a thing of the past). One friend responded, “Great! You can finally be independent!” There was no ill-intention in her comment. Still, it felt like an eyelash jabbing my cornea. At the time, I just nodded. My “response” came later that evening when I was alone in my head:

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