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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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.

IPRCC meeting

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.

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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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On May 26, U.S. Pain Foundation launched its first-ever Virtual Advocacy Training Series for its top pain advocates. Typically, the organization hosts advocacy trainings as in-person weekend summits, but because of the COVID-19 situation, it elected to move the event to an online format.

Thus far, 38 advocates have joined the training sessions, led by Cindy Steinberg, National Director of Policy and Advocacy. Each session includes interactive components, like breakout groups and Q&As.

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On April 17, the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention (CDC) opened an official docket requesting comments from patients living with acute and chronic pain about their perspective on the benefits and harms of opioid use as well as their experiences with nonopioid medications and nonpharmacological treatments for pain. The CDC is also interested in the perspective of caregivers, family members, and health care providers of patients living with pain.

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Have you participated in our email-writing campaign asking policymakers to ensure patients with pain have access to care?

We’re asking that state and federal officials take steps to:

  • ensure telehealth copays cost no more than in-person visits,
  • exempt patients who are high-risk from required in-person appointments,
  • require insurers to cover 90-day supplies of medications

And more.

It takes just a minute to take participate! Simply click the link below, enter your address information, review the template, and hit send. You’re welcome to make edits to the note–it always helps to add a bit of your personal story.

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MIDDLETOWN, CONN., APRIL, 16, 2020 – Without adequate telehealth, individuals with chronic health issues face a difficult choice: receive in-person care and put themselves at risk of COVID-19, or deal with increased symptoms and worsening health. This and other findings are part of a report released today by the U.S. Pain Foundation, the largest nonprofit for the 50 millions Americans who live with chronic pain.

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Congress has been hard at work on emergency supplemental appropriations bills in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic hardships confronting the nation. At the same time, they are continuing to work through the regular appropriations process–examining the President’s budget, holding hearings with agency heads, examining budget and appropriations report requests and writing  and passing appropriations bills for fiscal year 2021.

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From left, Olivia Begasse De-Dhaem, Massachusetts Representative Jim McGovern, Michelle Tracy, and Cindy Steinberg

On Feb. 10 and 11, representatives from the U.S. Pain Foundation joined the Alliance for Headache Disorders Advocacy in Washington, D.C., to participate in the 13th Annual Headache on the Hill. The event brings together patients, caregivers, and health care providers to speak with their representatives on Capitol Hill.

Through a grant from Amgen and Novartis, U.S. Pain sponsored 15 pain warriors from 10 states to participate in the event, and hosted a dinner for 24 current and past INvisible Project participants and volunteers in attendance.

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