What Now For U.S. Pain Foundation – An Interview with the Interim CEO

What Now For U.S. Pain Foundation - An Interview with the Interim CEO

When the former CEO of the U.S. Pain Foundation, Paul Gileno, was sentenced on Wednesday to a year and one day of imprisonment, we asked the interim CEO, Nicole Hemmenway for an interview to talk about the organization. She has been running the organization since Gileno was fired.

The Foundation has had a black eye…what have you been doing with funders and members to repair this?

As soon as the former CEO’s misappropriation of funds from the U.S. Pain Foundation was discovered, the Board of Directors asked Mr. Gileno to step down and alerted the appropriate legal authorities. The organization cooperated fully in both the initial investigation and resulting criminal prosecution. While Mr. Gileno’s criminal matter was pending, U.S. Pain Foundation sought to account for the missing funds, implemented a robust system of checks and balances and tighter financial controls, appointed a chief financial officer, and new accountant. The organization sought reimbursement for the stolen funds and expects the Court to issue a restitution order in the upcoming weeks.

Throughout the last year and a half, the organization has communicated with its community at each stage of the process by posting updates publicly. While it has taken time to account for the former CEO’s misdeeds and implement new, stronger policies of oversight and controls, the organization has continued serving people with pain through its free programs and services. Over the past year and a half, U.S. Pain Foundation has led more programs, held more events, and provided more support than ever before.

The Foundation has said no one knew what Mr. Gileno was doing. If that’s true what are you doing to improve governance and oversight?

No one presently affiliated with the organization was aware of Mr. Gileno’s misappropriation of funds prior to April 2018, when the Board became aware of the suspected misappropriation and moved swiftly to rectify the situation.

The Board of Directors, which is comprised of people living with pain and their caregivers, recognizes that the organization should have had stronger financial controls in place. Over the past year and half the Board has worked diligently to implement a robust system of checks and balances. These include:

  • Detailed requirements for reimbursement of expenses
  • A two-step approval process for all disbursements
  • The separation of duties and internal controls surrounding all financial transactions, including a review of monthly financial statements, cash flows, program expenditure reports, and the annual budget
  • Appointment of a Chief Financial Officer and new accountant

Will he pay back what was said to be stolen from the Foundation and the people they serve?

This is of utmost importance to the U.S. Pain Foundation. The organization is awaiting a restitution order, which will be imposed by the Court in the coming weeks.

Looking forward to the rest of 2019 and beyond, what should we expect from the U.S. Pain Foundation?

In 2019 and beyond, the U.S Pain Foundation aims to expand its direct services through its support group network, Pain Connection, and help even more children living with pain and their families via the Pediatric Pain Warrior program. As always, the organization is dedicated to increasing awareness about chronic pain as a public health crisis through our Pain Awareness Month efforts and the INvisible Project magazine, which will be celebrating its 10th anniversary in 2020.

In addition, U.S. Pain continues to grow its state and federal advocacy program, with an emphasis on affordable access to multidisciplinary treatment. To do this, we, as an organization, plan to engage and train more pain warriors as patient advocates. Finally, knowledge is power when it comes to pain management. U.S. Pain plans to keep building its library of educational videos, materials, and resources for the pain community. We’d also like to develop and share a standardized set of core educational competencies for people with pain, so that people struggling with chronic pain can find effective care in a timelier manner.

That’s just a sample of what we as an organization are hoping to accomplish. As long as people with pain need us, the U.S. Pain Foundation will be there to serve them. We are so grateful to our community for their continued support as we move forward, stronger than ever.

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Authored by: Ed Coghlan

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Amanda Handy

All I can say is thank you for being there for us.


Nicole Hemmingway, what you all need to do is go to our houses and see how we are living NOW! I am in so much pain …just got cut back again with more cut back coming!!!!! I have no Dr. who cares and no clue what to do! God help us!

Lauren Deluca

I’d like an explanation as to why she is participating in a panel with Gary Mendel from the anti-opioid group Shatterproof.

It seems US Pain has sold us all out & betrayed the public trust.

Article below:


I just needed to scream I think you know why but then again do you?


Stacie Wagner

I find it very difficult to believe anything that you people say. You all have blood on your hands from the fallen chronic pain patients! We are dying because we cannot survive with your 90 mme rule and you are worried about the optics of the general public instead of reversing the CDC prescribing guidelines. You still do not show any care for the screaming agony of my brothers and sisters. Please [edit] spare me your condescending words of care because we all know that you don’t give a [edit] over a rolling Cheerio!
Let me educated you, we need medication and we need you all to stay out of our business. Most of us were productive in our lives and all of you screwed us for profit. You might be able to fool some people but I have seen how much implant pharma is going to make this year. You traded our lives for your pocketbook. I pray that you are judged harshly! I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone but you certainly tempted me with this phoney interview!

Pat Truth

Is the whole truth told. Wasn’t this partially an excess benefit issue, partially mismanaged money by the board and partially taking funds inappropriately. Seems he took full responsibility and in court documents says they were an inadequate board and ran it like a small business. Why is the board playing dumb when the Government investigators have shown it was a combination and that MR Gileno took full responsibility for everything and the Board is still in place. Seems like board is hiding being inadequate if they did their job.

Thomas Wayne Kidd

Judge not that we be not judged is what I intended. This nation has turned away from Jesus Christ and His teachings, replacing them with evolution and it’s taught from kindergarten through College and people just close their hearts and minds to what’s happening around us. Dear friends there’s actually something even more important than our daily chronic pain and that’s preparing our hearts before our Redeemer. The end of all things is at hand but the churches have mostly gone into a spiritual slumber which wicked and evil men and women blaspheme all that is good and right. People complain and ask why, why, but when the truth is presented they close their ears and drift back to sleep. Our national gross sins have brought these things upon us. The law of sowing and reaping cannot be circumvented by saint nor sinner. This is raw truth which people have hidden from for so long that it will take a catastrophic event to actually jar millions out of their spiritual sleep. The gross sins of our country has touched every fiber of the population. I understand that not many want to hear this, but I must sound the alarm and warn of the coming troubles. Many people having no hope have gone to the streets and many have paid with their lives. Those who brought this fake opioid crisis upon us are going to be judged in their life time. “Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth, much more the wicked and sinner.” (Proverbs 11:31). Millions have come to think that if they just ignore what they have pawned off on the sick and dying that nothing will happen. This is a historical fact that when people do their fellowman as has been done to us they will suffer judgment. Modern men and their manmade science has come about because they don’t believe and refuse to obey the Lord’s Holy Commandments. Believing and obeying involves living by rules. So Christ has been replaced by millions in their hearts with evolution and anything that is anti-christian.

Thomas Wayne Kidd

Stephen where does Jesus say “I will Judge?” Here’s what He actually said; “Judge not according to the appearance; but judge righteous judgment. Now it should be evident that for a person to judge righteous judgment, a person must first be a righteous man or woman! (John 7:24). In Matthew chapter 7 which begins with; “Judge not that ye be not judged.” Jesus continues on and instructs us on how to judge others. “By their fruits we will know them.” Fruits /works. If the fruit is rotten the tree /person is rotten. Repentance is the only remedy, to ensure that we Judge not that we might be judged!

What are you doing for these chronic pain sufferers besides writing long articles and taking their comments what are you really doing for any of them a lot of us would like to know

What I don’t understand is how did the rest of the organization’s administrative council not also get criminal charges? All members of the council of a non-profit are accountable to the government for infractions of law, to the order of tens of thousands of dollars apiece in fines, as well as criminal charges. That’s the point of having checks and balances in place. How they went 2 years without submitting the necessary forms, for example.


Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m remember reading that Mr Gileano started US pain and was the president. Maybe that would have been why it was easier for what he was doing to slip through the cracks. What gets me is he was making quite a nice salary and got so greedy. I would have been ecstatic to take home half of what he made.

Rosalind Rivera

There is nothing here addressing this monumental issue. I assume that we, chronic and intractable pain victims can eat some and for many of us, enormous amounts of pamphlets to just barely take the edge of the horrendous and non-stop agony that we are in each and every instant of this rotten and cruel thing that others refer to as life!

I couldn’t believe they didn’t have appropriate checks and balances in place when starting the organization as I’ve understood how such organizations are run for over 30 years given my husband’s financial position in a not for profit organization for over 30 years. At least they’ve learned from their mistakes and others have all well by example.

Granny Ralls

Paul’s year of imprisonment will cost approximately $40K of taxpayers money annually.Frankly, I personally believe that year would be better spent wearing an ankle monitor during a multiple year probation stint & finding ways to repay USPF. Doesn’t Paul have a family? Children? How will they fare w/o him?


Ed ,Our very lives are in the balance. Let us waist no time with this person. It is done and it is human nature. Why don’t.we get back to work and believe he was using the money for good. Please, Jesus said it best. I will judge.