On July 10, U.S. Pain Foundation took its INvisible Project: Migraine Edition displays to Sacramento, CA, for an educational event at the state capitol building. The INvisible Project is a print magazine and traveling display that highlights the stories of real pain warriors. By bringing these stories to state capitols, the hope is to educate lawmakers about the challenges of living with chronic pain. Prior to California, the tour visited Providence, RI; more locations will be announced soon.
An increasing number of states offer medical cannabis programs. In most cases, to be eligible, patients must be diagnosed with a specific condition listed by the state. Unfortunately, the list of qualifying conditions can be very limited, meaning a large number of people with chronic pain are left without access.
On July 17, the Hartford Courant published an op-ed by Ellen Lenox Smith–U.S. Pain Foundation board member and Medical Cannabis Co-Director–about Connecticut’s recent refusal to add chronic pain as a qualifying condition for medical cannabis.
You are invited to connect with legislators and fellow pain warriors–and help create awareness around the issue of chronic pain, especially migraine disease–during our July 10 INvisible Project event at the California state house!
The INvisible Project is a print magazine and traveling display that highlights the stories of real people with pain. This year, we’re bringing the displays from our most recent edition on migraine disease to state houses across the country.
Patient and provider groups are celebrating the introduction of the “Safe Step Act,” a federal bill aimed at lessening treatment delays and barriers to the access of prescription therapies. Filed by Representatives Raul Ruiz (D-CA) and Brad Wenstrup (R-OH), HR 2279 would reform the potentially harmful insurer practice known as step therapy, which allows insurers to force patients to try and fail on a series of insurer-preferred medications before offering coverage for the originally prescribed option. This is the second time a bill to limit step therapy has been introduced at the national level.
On Jan. 31, U.S. Pain Foundation’s Advocacy Network will host a free training session for existing advocates and interested volunteers to learn what it means to be a patient advocate.
Attendees will learn about issues impacting Americans with chronic pain and what patient advocacy really means.
Those who register will also learn about:
- How decisions are made at the state and federal level
- Building relationships with lawmakers
- Various ways to advocate
- Why sharing patient stories matter
To register, click here.
Learn more by watching a video here.
U.S. Pain’s Director of State Advocacy and Alliance Development Shaina Smith was among the speakers at the Biotechnology Innovation Organization’s (BIO) Patient and Health Advocacy Summit held Oct. 25 and 26 in Washington, D.C. The annual event brings together patient advocacy organizations, academia, regulators, biotechnology industry, and other stakeholders to discuss timely policy issues and share best practices. This year, attendees were treated to a surprise appearance from U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.
Volunteers who have signed up to join the Advocacy Network joined an invitation-only training webinar to learn about an issue impacting families and individuals across the country: surprise bills.
The presentation was the first of a series of advocacy training webinars scheduled for the upcoming year, according to Director of State Advocacy and Alliance Development, Shaina Smith. “We’re really trying to develop and offer resources that will improve the lives of people with chronic illness through education,” Smith explains. “The more we learn as a community, the greater chance we will have at successfully moving patient-friendly policies forward.”
Policymakers across both aisles have had mixed viewpoints when it comes to cultivating cannabis, not in the literal sense, but as it relates to bills that would permit individuals to access medical cannabis. Several states, however, are expanding or considering expanding their medical cannabis programs, including Illinois, New York, and New Jersey. In addition, some federal institutions have taken steps to improve access: the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), and Congress.
U.S. Pain Foundation’s Director of State Advocacy and Alliance Development Shaina Smith has been appointed to serve on a pain management design group put together by Connecticut’s Office of Health Strategy (OHS).
The Primary Care Modernization initiative is intended to enable primary care providers to expand and diversify their care teams and provide more flexible, non-visit-based methods for patient care, support, and engagement. The design process will result in a proposed program model that details new care delivery capabilities for Connecticut’s primary care practices and payment model options that support those capabilities.