Recently, the U.S. Senate released all 12 spending bills for fiscal year 2021. The Labor, Health, and Human Services budget report includes at least 13 sections related to pain management!
This represents a huge step forward in the national commitment to improving pain care in the U.S.
In particular, the Senate has renewed its commitment to investment in pain by continuing to fund the HEAL Initiative at the National Institute of Health for $500 million, with half the funds going to pain research and half to substance use disorder research.
On Sept. 24, the Alliance to Advance Comprehensive Integrative Pain Management (AACIPM) hosted a virtual symposium, “Equity in Access to Comprehensive Integrative Pain Management in Chronic Pain,” in partnership with the U.S. Pain Foundation. Throughout the day, patients, providers, policymakers, and payors shared information and ideas to help bridge the gap between quality pain care and underserved communities.
Created by the U.S. Pain Foundation, MyPainPlan.org is an interactive site that allows users to learn about pain management options and create a personalized list of which treatments they’d like to try. The list can then be saved and/or printed for personal use or to share with a health care provider.
“As pain patients ourselves, we know it can be difficult to find credible information about treatment options all in one place,” says Nicole Hemmenway, CEO of U.S. Pain. “We created this site so that patients feel more empowered about the therapies available for relief. We also wanted to draw attention to the fact that the most effective pain care is individualized, multidisciplinary, and combines various treatment options.”
Your advocacy has made an impact.
Congress has directed the Department of Health and Human Services to disseminate the Pain Management Best Practices Report to providers and create a public awareness campaign about pain via the House Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Committee Report accompanying the FY 2021 Budget Bill!
The report includes language we requested in our official appropriations submissions. (The language, with key sections underlined, is below.) Also included is our request to collect and report data on the prevalence of pain and various pain syndromes annually.
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!).
Pain Connection continues its interactive series, “Building Your Toolbox,” this Tuesday, July 7 at 7:30 pm ET. The meeting will focus on acupressure with Lisa Marie Price. In private practice in Chinese Medicine for 25 years, Lisa Marie Price is a national board-certified acupuncturist (NCCAOM) and received her master’s degree in Acupuncture at the Traditional Acupuncture Institute. For eight years, Price served as faculty and Dean of Students at the Tai Sophia Institute for the Healing Arts, but now devotes herself full-time to her patients. As a founding member of U.S. Pain’s National Coalition for Chronic Pain Providers and Professionals, Price advocates both locally and nationally for improved services and treatment options for chronic pain patients.
Approximately 5,400 individuals and organizations responded to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)’s call for public comment on acute and chronic pain management and whether the CDC should update and expand its 2016 Guideline for Prescribing Opioids for Chronic Pain. Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy, submitted a five-page comment on behalf of the U.S. Pain Foundation, which you can read here.
While most in-person conferences and meetings have been canceled or postponed as a result of the pandemic, U.S. Pain Foundation staff were able to participate in three important virtual events recently.
On June 16, Gwenn Herman, LCSW, DCSW, Clinical Director of Pain Connection, joined a videoconference meeting of the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee (IPRCC), the highest-ranking permanent pain policy committee in the United States. The IPRCC heard from representatives across various federal agencies and programs.
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.
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.