– Hello, Mr. President, Our Country has a Major Crisis of Chronic Pain
Please join me in welcoming guest blogger patient advocates Christin Veasley and Amy Goldstein, who co-facilitate the Consumer Pain Advocacy Task Force! Here’s what they have to say…
The purpose of this blogpost is simple – we need you to be 1 of the 100,000 people that will sign this vital White House Petition by August 12 to get the President to act on the National Pain Strategy!
The National Pain Strategy (NPS) – our nation’s first strategic roadmap to addressing the country’s chronic pain crisis – is very familiar to some and a total enigma to most. Lost in the opioid-focused shuffle of late, the NPS has received very little attention—from the media, lawmakers, and the public. Yet, if funded and implemented, the NPS stands to markedly transform how our country thinks about and treats chronic pain. It will, without a doubt, save thousands of lives and improve quality of life for millions. And yes, it will bring desperately needed education to our healthcare professionals about all available therapies used to manage pain, including non-pharmacological options, as well as promote appropriate reimbursement of those therapies. As so much of the nation’s attention and action is focused on decreasing the use of opioids, it is essential that, in parallel, the NPS receive equal action so that thousands more won’t live and die in pain from lack of proper assessment and care (please pause on the word “care”…we mean it in every sense of the word).
Two years ago, 16 patient and consumer advocacy organizations united to form the Consumer Pain Advocacy Task Force (CPATF), which has one common goal – to promote the implementation of the NPS. One outcome from the CPATF’s efforts is that 72 organizations signed onto a letter sent to Congress in April with the same message that is in this White House Petition. At its heart, the message is simple: Please hold the Office of the Secretary of Health and Human Services accountable for implementing the NPS.
You can rest assured that if we don’t come together on this petition, the NPS may become yet another hard-earned report that collects dust on a shelf. The NPS is the first and only strategic plan of its kind that summarizes many real-life challenges for people with pain, explains why excellent pain care is not widely accessible, and literally maps out how we begin to fix this crisis.
Sign and Share! Let the White House know this is important. Read more about our collective social media efforts and Sign and Share the Petition before August 12, 2016. For background and additional information on the NPS, read more.
Comments here of course are always welcome too!
Christin Veasley and Amy Goldstein co-facilitate the Consumer Pain Advocacy Task Force.
Christin Veasley is the co-founding director of the Chronic Pain Research Alliance, the country’s first
and only advocacy initiative dedicated to advancing a strategic research, translational and industry effort
on co-existing chronic pain disorders. She’s lived with chronic pain since surviving an accident in her teens,
which led her to pursue a science degree, time conducting neuroscience research and to the research
advocacy community. Through involvement in a number of diverse alliances, initiatives, and committees,
her life’s work has focused on advancing rigorous pain research and expediting the translation of scientific
discoveries into meaningful clinical change for people with chronic pain.
Amy Goldstein, MSW, is the director of the State Pain Policy Advocacy Network (SPPAN) for the Academy of Integrative
Pain Management. Ms. Goldstein works daily to coordinate action that will improve state and federal policies that affect pain care.
The SPPAN team tracks hundreds of relevant policies, cultivates alliances among advocacy leaders to promote person-centered care,
and presents scores of letters and testimony every year. Before moving into full-time advocacy work, Ms. Goldstein spent years
as a clinical social worker supporting people living with cancer, multiple sclerosis, kidney disease, HIV/AIDS, and substance use
disorder. Her true passion is advocacy and working to improve the quality of life for people with chronic conditions.