Saturday, September 1, 2018

PAINS Project Moves to Academy of Integrative Pain Management (AIPM)

A mission to transform the way pain is perceived, judged and treated.


I can’t think of a better time than Pain Awareness Month to make the following announcement.

As many of you know, I have had the pleasure of sharing information and participating in the Center for Practical Bioethics initiative, the PAINS Project. I have encouraged you to join me. My participation has allowed me to connect with many wonderful, caring people and organizations that have been an integral part
Myra, Jan Chambers (NFMCPA), and myself
2012 PAINS Conference
of PAINS, Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy, spearheaded by my friend Myra Christopher. Myra has an innate ability to connect people, serve on their behalf, and I think those who know her would agree a stubbornness to accept the status quo. Her service to others is exemplified in her work. Myra has retired, but her vision and her work will continue.

I have also shared a great deal with you from Bob Twillman, Executive Director at the Academy of Integrative Pain Management. That is because we share the same objectives and values that reflect patient centered care. I cannot think of a better organization to take the PAINS Project under their wing. The AIPM has been actively engaged with the Center for Practical Bioethics initiative since the very beginning. Forward we go…


Statements from the Center for Practical Bioethics and the Academy of Integrative Pain Management on the transition of the PAINS Project (Effective August 1, 2018)

John G. Carney, President/CEO of the Center for Practical Bioethics

The leadership that AIPM has exhibited in the complex arena of pain care treatment ensures that the investment the Center has made over the last decade will continue and flourish. The Academy’s commitment to excellence in interdisciplinary, patient-centered and evidence-based care with virtually every stakeholder group provides the confidence the Center needed in transitioning our work as Myra Christopher retires.

Those living with chronic pain rely on strong, respected and accomplished organizations to advance person-centered, integrative models of care by uniting clinicians in the fight against chronic pain. AIPM fits that profile and we are pleased and grateful that AIPM has agreed to honor the mission of the PAINS project and the decade long charitable efforts of the Center in this duty of care to vulnerable patients.

Clay Jackson, President of the Board of the Academy of Integrative Pain Management

At AIPM, we are grateful for the tremendous work that has been accomplished by everyone involved in the PAINS Project, and we feel that important milestones such as the publication of the National Pain Strategy would have been impossible to achieve without their commitment to patient advocacy and sound medical evidence.

As the only professional organization comprising members of every discipline that treats persons with pain, AIPM is uniquely positioned to continue to serve as the central repository of information regarding best practices in integrative pain care, and as a powerful force for advocating for making those treatments available to all patients. 

Please take a few minutes to read “Building Cathedrals: PAINS Transition to the Academy of Integrative Pain Management.” The brief will tell you how and why the PAINS Initiative was established in 2011, give an account on the opioid conundrum, what the Pain Management Best Practices Inter-Agency Task Force is, and more.


With financial support from PAINS, the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC), and the Alliance for Balanced Pain Management, AIPM convened the first Integrative Pain Care Policy Congress in October 2017. This first-of-its-kind meeting brought together more than 75 participants from more than 50 organizations, representing professional societies covering the full scope of licensed and certified healthcare providers, patient advocacy organizations, governmental agencies, private payers, and other important stakeholders. In a monumental task, these disparate parties agreed on a consensus definition of comprehensive integrative pain management, one that closely mirrors a definition previously offered in a PAINS policy brief:

Comprehensive Integrative Pain Management includes biomedical, psychosocial, complementary health, and spiritual care. It is person-centered and focuses on maximizing function and wellness. Care plans are developed through a shared decision-making model that reflects the available evidence regarding optimal clinical practice and the person’s goals and values…

PAINS’ six-year experience with its Citizen/Leaders Advisory Group demonstrates the strength of character, stamina, and ingenuity of chronic pain sufferers and their family caregivers. Those who have advised leaders of the PAINS Project are not only committed to helping themselves but also to helping others who cannot engage in reform efforts because of physical limitations—those who are often isolated, stigmatized and falsely accused of being drug seekers. This perception must change. As recent media is beginning to tell stories of chronic pain sufferers as well as those of people living with opioid use disorders which have dominated media coverage for several years, stereotypes are beginning to be dispelled, and ultimately these narratives will fuel reform efforts…

[comment: I was gifted with the opportunity to be an inaugural participant of the PAINS-KC patient leadership group thanks to the encouragement of Myra Christopher.] 

You will still find the PAINS Project at

Be sure to bookmark the new social media handles.

In healing,

Celeste Cooper, RN / Author, Freelancer, Advocate

Think adversity?-See opportunity!

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