U.S. Pain Foundation is pleased to announce that the 2019 Joselynn Badman Ambassador of the Year is Ernie Merritt. Merritt has been an ambassador and advocate for U.S. Pain since 2014, and has been living chronic pain since he was 33 years old. In 2019, Merritt went above and beyond to support pain patients and make sure their voices were heard at both the state and national level.

“It was a difficult choice this year, and we had many qualified nominees,” says Nicole Hemmenway, interim CEO of U.S. Pain Foundation. “But Ernie’s long-time efforts to provide support and raise awareness for fellow chronic pain patients made him a clear choice for the Ambassador of the Year Award. Beyond his dedication to the pain community, Ernie is simply an upstanding individual–his kindness and generosity despite his pain is an inspiration to us all.”

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For immediate release

Contact: Emily Lemiska



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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U.S. Pain Foundation is pleased to announce its 2018 Joselynn Badmann Ambassador of the Year is Dawn Stancliff. Stancliff has been an ambassador and advocate for the U.S. Pain Foundation since 2014 and has lived with chronic pain her entire adult life. In 2018 alone, Stancliff connected with thousands of patients through events she hosted and attended as a U.S. Pain ambassador and advocate.

“This year has been the most rewarding year yet for me with the US Pain Foundation,” says Stancliff. “I feel that everything I speak about to pain patients align with U.S. Pain, as my core values align with those of U.S. Pain. The mission of the U.S. Pain Foundation is truly my life’s mission.”

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U.S. Pain is proud to announce Michele Rice as 2017’s recipient of the Joselynn Badman Ambassador of the Year. This prestigious annual award honors a U.S. Pain volunteer who has gone above and beyond for the pain community. After an open nomination period, one awardee is is selected by a committee comprised of U.S. Pain staff members.

Rice has been a California ambassador since 2014 and was an INvisible Project participant in 2015, when she shared about her struggles with reflex sympathetic disorder. Since becoming an ambassador, she has continuously kept U.S. Pain information and educational materials at her doctor’s office and regularly hosts awareness tables during important campaigns like Pain Awareness Month and Rare Disease Day.

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