Friday, September 13, 2013

September is Pain Awareness Month – See what this advocate is doing – Part II by Celeste Cooper

Moving Forward, Making a Difference
The Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy PAINS/Project
(from For Pain in Pain at


Advocates are coming together to address the needs of our society, in particular, the needs of approximately 100 million Americans who live in chronic pain. The PAINS Alliance, an initiative of the Center for Practical Bioethics (here)  believes that the only way to realize transformation in the way pain is perceived and treated in America is "to combine the collective power of organizations and those they serve — people living with pain — in a sustained effort to improve the delivery of pain in America." I am pleased to be a participant in this most important, energetic, and patient focused alliance of influential organizations and individuals.

Please see the PAINS Policy Brief to see exactly what we are about and how what we do could affect you. You can find the “Brief” through my website here.

This collective and integrative group has a mission to advocate for and act collectively to actualize the recommendations set forth in the Institute of Medicine (IOM)  report “Relieving Pain in America, A Blue Print for Transforming Prevention,Care, Education and Research. Those who participate believe it is our vision that all Americans living with pain will have access to integrated pain care consistent with their goals and values.

“Continued emotional support is vital to the functioning of a family member 
in pain and to aiding in his or her rehabilitation.”


The Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy website provides information about how PAINS works, is funded, who we are as educators and policymakers, and how we are coming together to affect change. It is clear that it is the patient at the hub of transformation. 

The PAINS website includes resources, such as understanding pain,  finding support,  exploring research,  taking actionabout policymakers, what’s in the news, and much more. I hope you will take a few minutes to  look around and see how people are coming together for you, for me, and the millions of other American’s that may feel lost and without resources.  The later is no longer the case.

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr said it well: 

“Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. 
And so, we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. 
A man can't ride you unless your back is bent.”

You, the patient, can help our endeavor by following the PAINS website,, and share the valuable information there with your legislators, advocates, and fellow survivors of pain. You are the hub, the core, and the axis that makes this wheel turn.

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See if there is a steering committee participant in your area you might contact to support and encourage.

Myra Christopher, Steering Committee Chair, Kathleen M. Foley Chair in Pain, and Palliative Care at the Center for Practical Bioethics (Member of the IOM Pain Committee)
 Daniel B. Carr, MD, FABPM, FFPMANZCA (Hon.), Director, Program in Pain Research, Education and Policy Tufts University
 Janice Chambers, Founder and President National Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain Association
 James Cleary, MD, FAChPM, Associate Professor of Medicine, University of Wisconsin Director, Pain and Policy Studies Group
 Lenore Duensing, Executive Director American Academy of Pain Management
 Katherine Galluzzi, DO, Professor and Chair of the Department of Geriatrics, Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine, American Osteopathic Association
Jim G. Lemons, Ed.D., Founder and Director The Lemons Center for Behavioral Pain Management
 Martha Menard, PhD Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Healthcare
 Chris Pasero, MS, RN-BC, FAAN, Pain Management Educator and Clinical Consultant
 American Association of Critical-Care Nurses
 American Society of Pain Management Nursing
 Richard Payne, MD, John B. Francis Chair in Bioethics-Center for Practical Bioethics
Esther Colliflower Professor of Medicine and Divinity-Duke University, (Member of the IOM Pain Committee)
 Joe Pierle, Executive Director Missouri Primary Care Association
 Orvalene Prewitt, Patient Representative Program Coordinator, Missouri Regional
Arthritis Centers – KC RAC
 William F. Rosenberg, MD, Founder Pain Relief Center, Research Medical Center
 Jason Schwalb, MD, Joint Pain Section, American Academy of Neurological Surgeons
and College of Neurological Surgeons, Department of Neurosurgery – Henry Ford Medical Group
 Jennifer Wagner, Executive Director, Western Pain Society
 Lynn Webster, MD, Medical Director and Founder Lifetree Clinical Research & Pain Clinic
 Lonnie Zeltzer, MD, University of California at Los Angeles, (Member of the IOM Pain Committee)

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All answers and blogs are based on the author's opinions and writing and are not meant to replace medical advice.  

Celeste Cooper is a retired RN, educator, fibromyalgia patient, and lead author of the Broken Body Wounded Spirit: Balancing the See Saw of Chronic Pain devotional series (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD), and Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection (coauthor, Jeff Miller PhD) She is a fibromyalgia expert for Dr. Oz, et al., at, here, and she advocates for all chronic pain patients as a participant in the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy, here. You can read more educational information and about her books on her website,

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