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Pain Connection Named Recipient of Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation Quality of Life Grant

Potomac, January 15 - The Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation (CRPF) announced today that Pain Connection has been awarded $5,000 in a Quality of Life Grant. CRPF awarded more than $350,000 in Quality of Life Grants to 40 organizations nationwide that improve opportunities, access and day-to-day quality of life for families and individuals living with disabilities. The grants, awarded twice yearly, recognize programs that enable people with disabilities to live independent and active lives. The total amount granted to date by CRPF exceeds one million dollars.

"We are truly impressed by the impassioned dedication of the recipient organizations to the individuals which they serve everyday," remarked Dana Reeve, CRPF Director and Chair of the Quality of Life Program Committee. Reeve added, "The disabled community relies on these agencies to fill a myriad of needs, both simple and complex. We are honored to provide much needed funding through the Quality of Life Program."

Pain Connection is honored to have been selected by the Christopher Reeve Paralysis Foundation for this prestigious award. We are extremely grateful for this recognition of our services to the community.

Terrorist Attacks Exacerbate Pain

symbolic image of woman in pain On the front page of The Washington Post on October 11, 2001 was an article titled "Terrorism Tied to Jump in Pain Problems" written by Avram Goldstein. The writer tied together, the national tragedies from New York, Virginia and Pennsylvania and their effects not only on the general population, but also on chronic pain sufferers. Pain clinics across the nation reported being inundated with complaints of worsening pain due to the stresses of this national tragedy.

The initial reaction of patients was to contact their pain doctors for answers of why their pain symptoms had suddenly gone 'out of control' and what could they do about it. All kinds of chronic medical disorders were aggravated by the tension and anxieties. Pain involves emotions and the medical community must understand that it cannot be treated by painkillers alone.

New Victims - New Pain

On September 29, 2001, there was an article written titled, "In N.Y., Untold Stories, Untold Agony" written by Glenda Cooper, about the burn victims who survived in New York. It explored the city's grief over the dead and lost ones. The seriously injured 'the lucky ones', have not received the attention in the news. The injured are in burn units and are receiving treatment.

Once the news has faded in a few months the survivors will have exhausted their treatment and many will need chronic pain treatment. Like the fifty million other sufferers, they will enter the stark reality of the lack of knowledge and resources.

New Treatment Standards Mandated

hourglass image The Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organization (JCAHO) developed standards on assessing and treating pain. These standards were written over a year ago with the intention of giving hospitals, nursing homes and outpatient clinics, that are accredited by the JCAHO, a year to comply. These facilities are faced with training staff that have little or no understanding of treating pain and developing training programs. Education is needed to distinguish between surgical procedures, needs of cancer and chronic pain patients. Pain medication is used to improve the quality of life. There is still a belief and fear of addiction. Patients will be given the standards about their rights to receive the appropriate pain medication and treatment.

Staff are now required to assess a patient's pain several times a day in order to manage treatment appropriately. Rating scales, from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest and 10 the highest, are being given to patients to measure their pain.

Maryland Responds

Delegates Mark Shriver and John Donoghue presented House Bill 863 requiring health care facilities to monitor pain. The bill emphasized that pain be considered as an additional vital sign. Facilities will need to document care, include a bill of rights for patients and require the Secretary of Health and Hygiene to adopt specified regulations.

At the same time in The Senate, Bill 289 sponsored by Senators Hollinger, Blount, Bromwell, Forehand, Hoffman, Kelley, Lawlah, Roesser, Ruben, and Sfikas, proposed a 13 member State Advisory Council on Pain Management. The bill also requires health care facilities to establish policies for monitoring the treatment of pain patients.

Unfortunately both bills did not pass.

Pain Connection worked closely with Delegate Shriver and Senator Roesser in supporting and advocating for rights of chronic pain patients and applauds them for their hard work in this field.

Support Group Dates

November 1, 2001
December 6, 2001
January 3, 2002
February 1, 2002
March 7, 2002
April 4, 2002
May 2, 2002
June 6, 2002
Time:10:30 - Noon,Thursdays
Davis Library, 6400 Democracy Blvd., Bethesda, Maryland


Mission Statement

There are fifty million Americans suffering from chronic pain who are not receiving the treatment they need. Many fall between the cracks in their own private health insurance, workman’s compensation, and disability benefits. Others are helpless because of a lack of insurance.

Pain Connection is a 501(c)(3) not for profit human service agency that provides a monthly support group, information and referrals, community outreach and education. Pain Connection plans to establish an outreach center which will provide counseling, support groups and seminars, 24 hour hotline, information and referrals, library with Internet access, training program, newsletter, case management, advocacy, and transportation for people suffering from chronic pain. These services will improve the quality of life, offer a chance for rehabilitation, decrease the sense of isolation this population experiences and enable the chronic pain sufferer to take control of his/her condition and treatment and maintain independence.

Pain Connection's Wish List

  • Premises for our center that will be handicapped accessible.
  • Website specialist to help build
  • Fundraisers
  • Film Maker to edit existing taped interviews of support group members and families

Designated Founders of Pain Connection

for Contributions of $100 or more

  • Elizabeth Mead
  • Li Duo
  • Dr. Victor Siegel
  • Jon Greenberg & Ellen Weiss
  • Alyssa Kinnery
  • Sharon and Allan Waxman

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