Updates on Pain Connection
Since the publication of our first newsletter we have received overwhelming responses from the community. There has been an increase in phone calls from sufferers, family members, concerned friends, medical practitioners and mental health professionals. The size of the monthly support group has tripled. Families and friends are e-mailing information about Pain Connection to their loved ones. Medical practices are relaying information to their patients. Local newspapers are writing about us. Requests for weekly support groups, counseling, information and referrals and training are growing. Our response is that as soon as we receive funding, those programs will be implemented. Awareness of chronic pain is soaring. We at Pain Connection know that we have only touched the tip of the ice berg.
Our other accomplishments have been hiring a part time assistant to make outreach phone calls to our members. The calls have been warmly received and appreciated. People unable to make the meetings do call to keep in touch. It seems a great comfort for many to know that the group exists, that they are not alone and that someone understands what they are going through.
Our website: painconnection.org has been transformed. The website provides information about Pain Connection, the support group, our newsletter, chronic pain issues, resources and donation information. There are plans to develop a moderated discussion group for those sufferers who are unable to attend meetings. Please take a look at the website, we are very proud of it.
We have a new telephone number which is listed in the telephone book under Health and Social Services.
All of these developments have increased our status in the community by educating the public about chronic pain.
These new additional programs have in turn generated more requests for Pain Connection to establish a center to provide the other services stated in our Mission Statement. Please help us reach our next goals.
Maryland Legislation 2002 on Pain Management
Two new bills House Bill 277 and House Bill 423 were combined and passed in the Maryland Assembly. HB 277 was introduced by Delegates Mark Shriver and John Donoghue. House Bill 423 was introduced by Delegates Pipkin, Shriver, Donoghue and twenty-one other delegates. The new bill will develop a thirteen member State Advisory Council on Pain Management. This council would establish requirements for health care facilities to monitor pain in both adults and children, provide medical and alternative therapies, develop educational programs for providers, and consult with other professionals who deal with pain sufferers. Included in the Patient's Bill of Rights is "the right to expect and receive appropriate assessment, management and treatment of pain as an integral component of the patient's care." This new act will take effect on October 1, 2002.
It is most disappointing that none of the major and local newspapers have seem fit to mention this particular new law. What is a major accomplishment for pain patients and a major new duty for medical providers is still invisible to the community. We must all work to ensure that people are aware of such important new developments.
In this Issue . . .
PAIN CONNECTION-CHRONIC PAIN OUTREACH CENTER INC.
© 2002 Pain Connection-Chronic Pain Outreach Center, Inc. All Rights Reserved.