February 2020 Newsletter
From our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith
The International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) recently created a new Presidential Task Force called the Global Alliance of Pain Patient Advocates (GAPPA). GAPPA was announced during the 2018 IASP World Congress on Pain. Its purpose is to help IASP better integrate the voices of people with lived experience of pain into research and its translation into new treatment interventions. Members of patient advocacy groups from Canada, the US, Pakistan, Poland, the United Kingdom and Finland participated in a number of meetings and discussions over the course of the 2018 World Congress. You can find more information about GAPPA’s early work here .

Since its inception in 2018, GAPPA has gained momentum and is currently working on a number of priorities , including recommending a process to include patient voices into IASP programs and its annual World Congress on Pain. I encourage you to follow along with the conversation and progress by reading these articles on the RELIEF website .

I’d like to acknowledge the involvement of a few people in GAPPA who have contributed to Pain BC’s work over the years. Keith Meldrum, former Vice chair of Pain BC’s Board of Directors, has been involved with GAPPA since the early stages and actively shares his lived experience through his Facebook page, A Path Forward , and on Twitter ( @keith_meldrum ). Joletta Belton ( @mycuppajo ) from the US hosts a fantastic blog called MyCuppaJo and has participated as a guest on Pain BC’s Pain Waves podcast to share her story with pain and how patient advocacy has helped her find meaning in life again. Pete Moore ( @paintoolkit2 ) from the UK was involved in the original GAPPA meeting; he runs a great pain self-management website, Pain Toolkit and has provided a critical lived experience perspective to Pain BC’s education programs.

Advocates like Keith, Joletta and Pete are providing much-needed leadership in determining how we can improve systems and processes to work better for the people they intend to serve. I look forward to sharing additional updates as GAPPA improves on how the voices of people with lived experience are incorporated into pain research and beyond. Stay tuned!
Pain BC programs, resources and updates
Pain BC's programs and initiatives are funded, in whole or in part, by the Government of British Columbia.
Our supports for people with pain
Access our free pain self-management resources, including evidence-based articles, assessment tools, and an anonymous discussion forum .
Connect with a trained volunteer to talk about your pain, get help with finding a new physician, find information on community resources, and much more.
Join an in-person group and build a community of support while learning about pain, pain management and coping strategies.
Receive one-on-one phone support and mentorship from a coach who will help you learn about self-management, regaining function and improving your well-being.
Why I give: Monthly donor Sarah Sandusky

Sarah Sandusky is a Pain BC board member who first found out about the organization while providing a job reference for a former colleague. While she didn’t know about Pain BC at the time, Sarah was no stranger to the devastating effects chronic pain can have on a person’s quality of life, having lived with pain for nearly a decade.

“Pain can be debilitating even if you can’t see it," Sarah says. "1 in 5 Canadian adults suffer from chronic pain but there are so many different components that it looks and feels different to everyone. At its worst, I couldn’t even lift my own child, but I appeared perfectly normal.”

In addition to providing leadership and expertise on Pain BC’s board, Sarah is a monthly donor. Her lived experience with chronic pain is the driving force behind why she gives. “After a 7-car pile up that caused my injuries, I thought I had to navigate pain all by myself,” she says. “It was challenging, exhausting, frustrating and overwhelming.” 
Dr. Judy Dercksen shares her experience participating in the BC ECHO for Chronic Pain

Dr. Judy Dercksen works as a general practitioner in Quesnel, BC. With a population of less than 30,000 people in the city and surrounding areas, Quesnel doesn’t have many of the specialized health services available in big cities.

Quesnel has no pain clinic, few mental health supports and, according to Dr. Dercksen, more than its fair share of people with pain, trauma and mental health challenges.

Which is why Dr. Dercksen turned to the  BC ECHO for Chronic Pain  for support to best serve her patients with chronic pain. Delivered by Pain BC with funding from SharedCare, ECHO is a free virtual learning community comprised of specialists and community health care providers who use instructive and case-based learning to build skills and confidence in providing care for complex pain cases. Through Pain BC’s ECHO, health care providers can get the help and support they need to provide immediate care to patients with complex pain in underserved areas, such as rural and remote communities.

“My experience with it has been very positive,” Dr. Dercksen says. “I love the ability to connect via video to get input from specialists on my most challenging cases.”
New episode of our Pain Waves podcast

How the Canadian Pain Task Force is identifying and addressing barriers to pain care across Canada

In this special episode of the Pain Waves podcast, we share a recent episode from the Pain Talk podcast . Hosted by Dr. Maureen Allen, a palliative and emergency care physician in Nova Scotia, Pain Talk brings together experts who study and support individuals living with persistent pain.

In this two-part episode, Dr. Allen speaks to Canadian Pain Task Force co-chairs, Maria Hudspith and Dr. Fiona Campbell, to learn more about what the Task Force is doing to identify and address the barriers that prevent Canadians with persistent pain from receiving the care and treatment they need. Maria and Fiona also highlight specific insights that were uncovered in the Task Force’s first report, which was delivered to Health Canada in June of 2019.
Pain Support and Wellness Groups: Become a volunteer facilitator!

Pain BC's Pain Support and Wellness Groups  offer an opportunity for people living with persistent pain to meet regularly and build a community of support while learning about pain, pain management and coping strategies. Each 2-hour session allows participants to share their experiences, discuss self-management skills and take part in gentle movement exercises as a group.

We're currently looking for volunteer facilitators to co-lead/facilitate in-person groups in Chilliwack, Fort St. John, Quesnel and Salmon Arm.

As a volunteer, you will receive thorough training and educational materials from Pain BC, as well as ongoing support from Pain BC staff to facilitate the group in your community. Read the full role description or find out more about how to apply via the link below.
Join the Pain BC team: Support Services Lead

Pain BC's Support Services team is currently hiring for the position of Support Services Lead . The Support Services Lead is responsible for providing on-going management of the Pain Support and Wellness Groups and Coaching for Health programs with support from the rest of the Support Services team.

If you are a counsellor or a clinical social worker who wants to make a difference in the lives of people with pain, check out the posting below for more information. The posting will remain open until filled. Please share the posting with anyone in your network who may be interested.
Upcoming Pain BC and partner workshops, webinars and courses
Pain BC workshop: Chronic Pain Management for Registered Massage Therapists
This workshop provides RMTs with an opportunity to learn how modifications of traditional massage therapy practices can increase success and improve outcomes for people in pain.

 March 8, 2020 in Nanaimo: Register now
May 31, 2020 in Surrey: Register now
September 27, 2020 in Kelowna: Register now
October 18, 2020 in Vancouver: Register now
Pain BC workshop: Chronic Pain Management for Chiropractors
This workshop is for chiropractors or students of chiropractic interested in developing or enhancing their clinical skills in the assessment and treatment of people living with complex and chronic pain.

Sep 26-27, 2020 in Kelowna : Register now
BC ECHO for Chronic Pain
This new and free virtual learning community brings together specialists and community health care providers from around the province to learn together from complex pain cases.

Upcoming sessions:

Session 7: Sleep disorders and pain
  • Date and time: March 17, 2020 from 6-8pm PST
  • Presenters: Karen Ng, pharmacist and Dr. May Caprio, psychologist

Session 8: Complex Regional Pain Syndrome
  • Date and time: April 21, 2020 from 6-8pm PST
  • Presenter: Dr. Najam Mian, pain specialist and Roly Fletcher, physiotherapist

Each two-hour session includes a real, anonymous patient case discussion, which can be submitted by any attending health care provider. To submit a case, please email [email protected] .

Gentle Movement and Relaxation course
This free, online course will equip physiotherapists and other therapeutic movement professionals with practical knowledge and teaching resources to lead their own movement and relaxation programs for people living with chronic pain.

The Gentle Movement and Relaxation course is currently available to BC health care providers only.

Pain Foundations
This online course is designed to address the challenges faced by health care providers of all disciplines when assessing and treating people living with chronic pain. The course is free for health care providers in BC; a pricing structure for other geographical locations is coming soon.

Other programs, opportunities and resources
Gentle Movement and Relaxation classes for people with pain in Surrey and Vancouver

Solaj Laser & Wellness Clinic: Surrey
Solaj Laser & Wellness Clinic is hosting free, monthly seminars on gentle movement and relaxation for people living with chronic pain. The seminars are facilitated by two health care providers who have completed Pain BC's Gentle Movement and Relaxation Course . Seminars will be held on the second Wednesday of each month at 3:15pm beginning January 8, 2020. The seminars are free to attend and anyone interested can reserve their spot by emailing [email protected] or calling 604 385 3358.

Britannia Community Centre: Vancouver
A registered massage therapist who has taken Pain BC's Gentle Movement and Relaxation Course is holding a 5-week class series on gentle movement and relaxation for people living with chronic pain at the Britannia Community Centre. Classes will be held on Tuesdays from 5:00-6:30pm from April 7 until May 5. The cost to attend is $50 for all 5 classes or $30 for seniors and anyone with low income. To register, please contact Britannia Community Centre at 604-718-5800 or for questions, email [email protected] .
Free IASP webinar: Pain prevention through the lived experience lens
March 26, 2020 at 12:00pm PST

As part of the 2020 Global Year for the Prevention of Pain, the International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP) is hosting a free webinar on "Pain prevention through the lived experience lens" on March 26, 2020 at 12:00pm PST. Presenters include:

  • Katherine Dib, Patient Engagement Coordinator at Solutions for Kids in Pain (SKIP) (Canada)
  • Michael Falcon, Michael Falcon, OTD, OTR/L, MHA, BS, Occupational Therapist, Consultant (United States)
  • Keith Meldrum, A Path Forward (Canada)
  • Mary Wing, Grad/Dip Chronic Condition Management. Patient Educator/Advocate, Adelaide Pain Support Network (Australia)

Register for free at the link below!
Patient engagement opportunity: College of Pharmacists Volunteer Committees
Applications accepted until February 28, 2020

The   College of Pharmacists of BC  is looking for volunteers to join a number of their public committees, which support the College in ensuring pharmacists have the knowledge and skills to provide safe and effective care to the public. There are several committees to choose from and a full list can be found on their website. Applications will be accepted until February 28, 2020.
Neil Squire Society offers free computer tutoring to people with disabilities

The Neil Squire Society 's Distance Computer Comfort Program offers free tutoring to people living with disabilities who would like to learn how to use a computer, laptop, tablet, smartphone, or assistive technology. The tutoring program is offered online and is available to all Canadians living with a disability.

The program is also currently looking for volunteers to help facilitate online computer tutoring. Find out more about the program and volunteering opportunity at the link below.
Study: Investigating falls among people with chronic pain

If you are an adult living with chronic pain and have experienced a fall in the past year, a research team at  Queen's University  would like to learn more about your experience through this short survey.
Study: Immersive Multimedia Experiences for Cancer Patients with Chronic Pain

The  UBC School of Nursing  and SFU  School of Interactive Arts + Technology  are looking for people with cancer who also experience chronic pain to test the use of immersive multimedia experiences as a form of pain management. Research participants will be able to complete the study from their home and will be provided with an honorarium for their time. More information on the study, including eligibility, can be accessed here . To apply, please contact Crystal Sun, Project Manager at [email protected] .
In the news
Pain in persons who are marginalized by social conditions
This recent journal article by the UVic School of Social Work, UBC Psychology, UBC Nursing and Pain BC explores chronic pain among people who are marginalized by social conditions including culture, race, indigeneity, gender and more.
Neuromodulation for cancer and chronic non-cancer pain
The Government of BC recently shared recommendations for improving access to neuromodulation as a treatment option for chronic pain, citing that the recommendations are aligned with a developing provincial chronic pain strategy .
BC government announces changes to ICBC
ICBC recently announced major changes to its insurance model. The new system will increase medical and rehabilitation benefits and reduce premiums, but will reduce - and in most cases eliminate - customers' ability to sue for damages.
Chronic pain has changed me as a parent but i'm trying to rebuild my life
A patient advocate talks about the impacts of chronic pain on parenting and how she's learned to rebuild her life as a parent while managing an illness
Changes to the Employment and Assistant Act and the Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act
Disability Alliance BC highlights a number of positive changes made to the "Employment and Assistance Act" and the "Employment and Assistance for Persons with Disabilities Act" as of January 1, 2020.
FMRAC publishes new Framework for Opioid Prescribing
The Federation of Medical Regulatory Authorities of Canada (FMRAC) recently published a revised Framework for Opioid Prescribing, addressing some of the pre-existing concerns around the language used to guide physicians on prescribing opioids to people with chronic pain.
The challenge - and heartbreak -
of parenting a child with chronic pain
The author of this article shares the
difficulties of being a parent to a child living with chronic pain.
Accessibility through legislation
The Government of BC held province-wide public consultations on the development of proposed accessibility legislation between September and November last year. Anyone interested can now read the summary report for its findings.
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