By Ed Coghlan.
The nation’s largest pain advocacy organization is changing leadership.
Nicole Hemmenway has been appointed Interim Chief Executive Officer of the U.S. Pain Foundation. She replaces Paul Gileno who resigned at the request of the Board of Directors.
Hemmenway has been a key member of the U.S. Pain Foundation since 2010. Over the years, she has managed many of the organization’s events, cultivated the development of numerous programs and services, and overseen the majority of its communications and education initiatives. She also directs the INvisible Project, an online and print magazine that highlights the courageous stories of people living with pain. In addition, Hemmenway founded Heroes of Healing, an online support group.
Beyond her work with U.S. Pain, Hemmenway has been a leading voice in chronic pain awareness and an advocate for patient rights for many years. Having lived most of her life with complex regional pain syndrome, she overcame what doctors told her was a hopeless situation and was able to thrive. She is a motivational speaker and the author of a memoir, No, It Is NOT In My Head: The Journey of a Chronic Pain Survivor from Wheelchair to Marathon, in which she shares her experiences navigating the medical system.
The organization did not say why Gileno was asked to step down.
Hemmenway told U.S. Pain Foundation members in an email:
“As an organization, we are looking ahead to the future. We remain fully dedicated to continuing to uphold our mission to educate, empower, connect and advocate for people with pain through our wonderful programs and services.
“Some examples of upcoming programs and events include: our Real Hope, Real Heroes gala this weekend; a training program for chronic pain support group leaders in June; our Pain Awareness Month campaign and related activities this September; and our first retreat for pediatric patients this November, to name a few.”