By Ed Coghlan.
“We have talked with many people in the last year who have been telling us the same thing—people in pain and their caregivers were not given a big enough voice in developing pain treatment.”
That’s what gave Cynthia Toussaint the idea to change her annual meeting on pain from one that is focused on women to one that is focused on elevating the voice of the chronic pain patient.
Toussaint is the founder of For Grace—a Los Angeles-based non-profit that concentrates on issues of women in pain. This year’s annual conference is very ambitious—it’s designed to put the voice of the patient back into pain policy.
Their Change Agent Pain Summit: Part One which will be held tomorrow (Friday, September 22, 2017) at the California Endowment’s Center for Healthy Communities in downtown Los Angeles. If you don’t live in Southern California, you can view it online.
“It’s designed to give women and men with chronic pain a voice in improving pain care for themselves and others challenged by daily, persistent chronic pain,” Toussaint said. “Think of it as a big focus group!”
The keynote speaker will be Bob Twillman, Ph.D., Executive Director of the Academy of Integrative Pain Management, who will share the benefits of the National Pain Strategy and integrative medicine.
They will also honor Dr. Susan Samueli, founder of the UC Irvine Center for Integrative Medicine, as she will be this year’s recipient of For Grace’s Patron of Women’s Rights Award.
The National Pain Strategy was released over a year ago, but the actual implementation has been slow to non-existent, critics argue.
Toussaint’s hopeful that putting the patient voice into the process might energize the adoption of the NPS principles in California at least.
The “Part Two” will be held next year as For Grace will gather thought leaders from across the spectrum to talk about implementing patient perspective in pain policy.