There are over 100 million Americans (this number does not include children and the military) suffering from pain who are not receiving adequate treatment. There are many barriers to treatment including lack of effective interventions, untrained health care providers, financial limitations, and stigma. People with pain fall between the cracks of our flawed health care system. Even those lucky enough to have insurance find needed services are not covered under private health insurance, workers’ compensation, or disability insurance.
The beginning of Pain Connection dates back to April 1999 with the start of a single chronic pain support group. This group, started by Gwenn Herman, was due to her being in a motor vehicle accident in 1995 that resulted in chronic pain. Ms. Herman felt compelled to reach out to others to provide support and treatment that she had found lacking during her own experience.
Since the start of the first support group, and with the help of local media coverage, many more people have become aware of this health care crisis, and the organization has developed groups and programs in Maryland and across the country. Medical professionals are referring their patients to Pain Connection support groups, which are focused on healing and positive change.
Pain Connection-Chronic Pain Outreach Center, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) not for profit human service agency since 1999. Our mission is to empower people with chronic pain to improve their quality of life, decrease their sense of isolation and take a more active role in their treatment. We do this by providing information, psychosocial support, coping skills and training to people with chronic pain, their families and health care providers. Our services include: monthly support groups for people with chronic pain and their families, one-on-one peer support, Pain Connection Live Conference Calls, Filling the Gaps in Pain Care (FIG) an 8 week program designed for people with pain and their families to improve their ability to manage chronic pain more effectively, Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) classes, “Pain Warriors” 8 week program and outreach to people from the Military, Veteran’s and Family Members, speaker series, publication of “Making the Invisible Visible: Chronic Pain Manual for Health Care Providers”, Training of Trainers and supervision of mental health professionals, annual September Pain Awareness Month Symposium, information and referrals, community outreach and education, newsletter and website.
We greatly value and appreciate the contributions provided by Mary French, Dr. Alan Pocinki, Dr. James Houston, Dr. Ann Berger, Kim Thompson, Lisa Marie Price, Lee Blank and Gwenn Herman.
This webinar series would not have been possible without the Healthcare Initiative Foundation, which funded this project. The Healthcare Initiative Foundation (HIF) is a 501(c)(3) private foundation. Their mission is to support organizations that offer solutions for improving the quality and delivery of health care for residents of Montgomery County, Maryland. "We believe that creativity generates solutions. We support both traditional and innovative solutions to health care dilemmas in any form-concepts to test, best practices to implement, efficiencies to execute, equipment to employ and successes to replicate." We thank Crystal Carr Townsend, President, for believing in Pain Connection; Board Members: Robert H. Myers Jr., Chairman; David Kressler, Vice Chair; Benjamin Giuliani, Treasurer; Stephen C. Eastham, Secretary and Deborah Fisher.
About the Webinars:
Pain Connection recognizes that people living with pain may be seen in a variety of health care settings including doctor’s offices, emergency rooms, hospices, day treatment programs, addiction clinics, mental health outpatient clinics, and in private practice. It is vital that health care providers understand how to work with people in pain. We hope these nineteen webinars will help providers reach out to people suffering alone with pain and expand the Pain Connection network to other cities and states in the country.
We have made these webinars specifically for health care providers so they may become more familiar with some of the challenges facing this population and be able to educate and assist their patients. We feel it is vitally important to assist people with chronic pain in accessing their own innate healing ability by becoming focused on internal healing and not just on an external cure.
After viewing these webinars, the provider will be able to:
Primary Care Coalition Providers can access here (enter your login)
The entire webinar series is available for $195. Pain Connection members will receive a $20 rebate on this price. Your purchase allows unlimited viewing and downloading of the 19 videos in this series. To purchase a single video, please contact Pain Connection for pricing and access.
Click the button below to purchase the series. If you are a Pain Connection Member, please indicate to receive your $20 rebate.
Introduction to Chronic Pain:
This section provides an introduction to chronic pain. It defines the terms, reviews the current statistics, and defines the scope of this health care issue. It also provides the viewer with an increased understanding of what it is like to live with pain from the client’s perspective. We hope this will increase empathy for those who live with pain and increase awareness of the magnitude of this health care crisis.
Emotional and Social Aspects of Living with Pain
This section explores the emotional and social aspects of living with pain. We look more closely at the six stages one goes through in reaching acceptance and redefining one’s self. Providing handouts on these stages as well as characteristics of a person in pain can assist clients in identifying where they are in this process.
Holistic Approach to Treatment Planning
This section focuses on a holistic approach to treatment planning that addresses the complexity of chronic pain. The viewer is introduced to the treatment tree developed by Gwenn Herman as a way to frame this complexity. This section also considers co-occurring conditions such as depression, trauma, and sleep issues that are important to consider during assessment and treatment planning. Hopefully, an increased understanding of these complicating factors will allow health practitioners to expand their ideas of treatment for a person with chronic pain. This section also highlights the importance of a multidisciplinary team, maintaining a therapeutic relationship and the client’s role as advocate.
Complementary and Alternative Treatments
This section addresses some of the complementary and alternative treatments. This is still an area of confusion for clients and practitioners. The methods discussed are acupuncture, acupressure, self-massage and gentle movement.