October 2021 Pain BC Newsletter
From our Executive Director, Maria Hudspith
This year has been a particularly difficult one for people with pain, yet one that has offered a glimmer of hope, too. The COVID-19 pandemic has reduced access to care and support for people with pain, and has deepened the overdose crisis, which has strong ties to unmanaged pain.

It’s also a year that brought the release of Health Canada’s Action Plan for Pain in Canada, recommendations for targeted actions necessary to improve outcomes for the nearly eight million Canadians living with chronic pain and to reduce its impact on families, communities, and society.

In support of the Action Plan’s recommendations, Pain BC has partnered with more than 40 organizations across Canada and internationally on the #PrioritizePain campaign. This national awareness and advocacy campaign aims to amplify the recommendations in the Action Plan and to advocate for their implementation.

November 7-13, 2021 is National Pain Awareness Week (NPAW) and we will once again work with these partners and people with pain across Canada to highlight the significance and impacts of pain and to call for national action.

Beyond our partners, hundreds of like-minded organizations and individuals have participated in these campaigns to date, expanding the discussion to their broader networks. This has included people living with pain, caregivers, health care providers, and researchers.

I hope you will join us by using the social media tools on www.paincanada.ca during National Pain Awareness Week to add your voice to the conversation and call on Canada to #PrioritizePain.
Pain BC programs, resources and updates
The following programs and initiatives are funded, in whole or in part, by the Province of British Columbia: Coaching for Health, chronic pain management workshops for health care providers, Gentle Movement and Relaxation course, Live Plan Be, Making Sense of Pain, Pain BC's monthly webinars for health care providers, Pain Foundations, Pain Support and Wellness Groups, Pain Support Line and the Pain Waves podcast.
Dr. Bill McDonald: Saying thank you to an incredible pain advocate
Announcing the Bill McDonald Lecture Series Fund

Dr. Bill McDonald has positively impacted the treatment and care of people living with pain in BC and across Canada. Throughout his 40-year medical career, he worked closely with people living with pain, helping improve care and outcomes for them as well as influencing care for future patients. Although Dr. McDonald retired in 2015, he remains active in his role of advocating for people living with pain.

In 1990, he initiated the first Acute Pain Service in Western Canada at St. Paul’s Hospital. As the medical community’s understanding of pain evolved, Dr. McDonald worked to implement this knowledge – he went on to found St. Paul’s Hospital Nerve Block Clinic, including the Neuromodulation program, in 1992.

He co-authored eight published papers throughout his career, sharing new revelations in research with students and peers. He has delivered over fifty presentations, the majority on pain research, to medical communities across Canada.

In 2005, Dr. McDonald established the Interprovincial Pain Rounds, an educational program delivered by video link between pain clinics in BC. He continued to coordinate the video pain rounds for many years, only recently handing over the reins to his colleague, Dr. Vishal Varshney.

Dr. McDonald continued his pain advocacy work outside of his medical career, establishing the Northwest Pain Foundation (NWPF) in 2007 and serving as the Chair of the Board to this day. Through a generous gift from the NWPF, Pain BC has developed an innovative online pain self-management program, launching in early 2022.

To honour Dr. McDonald’s impact on people who live with pain, pain research and care, several of his colleagues – at St. Paul’s Hospital and through the NWPF – are establishing a fund in his name at Pain BC. This fund will provide an annual award for a nationally and internationally acclaimed pain expert to provide a lecture, helping pass on new advancements in pain medicine to a new generation of health care providers. If you wish to contribute, visit our donate page and designate your gift to the Bill McDonald Lecture Series Fund.

Pain BC is honoured to participate in recognizing Dr. Bill McDonald’s incredible contributions to pain care, education and research. Thank you, Dr. McDonald!
Pain Waves logo
Masculinity and pain
New Pain Waves podcast episode

In our latest episode of the Pain Waves Podcast, our new host, Leah Smith, joins Dwayne Patmore, a patient advocate, veteran, and man who lives with chronic pain. He shares his personal experiences and talks about the social challenges men often experience when seeking support for pain or accessing health care, and his hope for the future of the Canadian health care system.
Help us improve the Pain Support Line

Have you heard of our Pain Support Line but never used it? As part of our program-improvement process, we are looking for people with pain to take part in a 15-minute, virtual interview about the program. If you’re an adult (18+) BC resident with pain who is aware of the Pain Support Line (for example, you have seen an ad for the service or had it recommended by a friend or health provider) but have never contacted the Pain Support Line, we’re interested in hearing from you.

Participants will be paid a $25 honorarium.
Opportunities to join the Pain BC team

We're currently looking for several individuals to join our growing team. Please read below for the available positions. If you or anyone you know may be interested, we encourage you to apply or share.

BCAMN Mentors

As part of the BC Adaptive Mentorship Network, we're looking for health care provider Mentors to aid primary care providers (Mentees) in improving their clinical expertise in providing care for patients living with chronic pain, substance use, and mental health conditions.
Clinical Counsellor

We're looking for a full-time counsellor or social worker to lead the delivery of Pain BC's Coaching for Health program in a safe, consultative, trauma-informed, and evidence-based manner. This includes supporting our volunteer coaches by responding to ad-hoc requests, running debrief sessions, and monitoring the quality of coaching being provided.
Director, Support Services

We're looking for a permanent full-time Director of Support Services who can aid the growth and impact of all of Pain BC's Support Services programs, including the Pain Support Line, Coaching for Health and Pain Support and Wellness Groups programs.
Education Programs Coordinator

We're looking for a full-time Education Programs Coordinator to add value to education programs through activities that bring efficiency within the portfolio for projects and day-to-day activities, as well as support seamless execution at educational events sponsored by Pain BC or its partners.
Instructional Designer

We're looking for a full-time, temporary Instructional Designer who can help design Pain BC’s educational programs for health care providers, people living with pain, and our volunteer community.
Support Worker

We're looking for a full-time, temporary Support Worker who can deliver services pertaining to Pain BC’s Pain Support Line program. This includes responding to Pain Support Line calls and written requests, identifying and documenting helpful resources, and providing administrative support to program staff.
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 Pain Support Line staff to talk about your pain, find information on community resources, learn about pain and self-management, and much more.
Join an online 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.
Gentle Movement @ Home: Guided movement and relaxation for pain during COVID-19 (and beyond)

Gentle Movement @ Home online sessions provide guided movement and relaxation designed to help people with persistent pain learn to feel safe to move again. Topics include breath awareness and regulation, body tension regulation, and movement and relaxation techniques in both seated and standing positions.

The full collection of Gentle Movement @ Home videos are available to view for free via our YouTube channel.
Upcoming Pain BC and partner workshops, webinars and courses for health care providers
Pain Foundations for Allied Health Providers
Pain Foundations for Allied Health Providers is an online course designed for allied health care providers to improve their understanding of chronic pain and how to address the challenges of pain assessment and treatment. This practical, compact course allows learners to develop clinically relevant approaches to chronic pain management and develop a strong grounding in pain science to support further exploration. The course is free for health care providers in BC and offered at a modest cost for providers outside of BC.

Pain Foundations for Primary Care Providers
This practical, compact course allows physicians and nurse practitioners to develop clinically relevant approaches to chronic pain management, including non-pharmacological treatments and prescribing best practices. Learners will develop a strong grounding in pain science to support further exploration. The course is free for primary care providers in BC and offered at a modest cost for physicians and nurse practitioners outside of BC.

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.

Other programs, opportunities and resources
Transitioning from pediatric to adult rheumatology care
October 28, 2021 at 4:00PM PST

Cassie and Friends Society has launched a new virtual education seminar series to help families impacted by pediatric rheumatic diseases learn how to navigate life with a chronic condition. All of the past webinars are available as recordings. The next live session, in collaboration with the JIA Transition Clinic at Women’s College Hospital in Toronto, is 'Transitioning from Pediatric to Adult Rheumatology Care.'
Annual conference: Conquering the Hurt
November 2, 2021

The annual Conquering the Hurt Conference is organized by the Pain Centre at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids) in partnership with Pain in Child Health, Solutions for Kids in Pain and the SickKids Garron Family Cancer Centre. Join health care professionals, researchers, policy makers, and patients and families to discuss pediatric pain care across the world, cancer and pain, patient-centred care, and health equity. Register by October 31, 2021.
Hacking Pain: A Skunkworks Project
In-person event on November 26-27, 2021

Providence Health Care Research Institute is hosting its first-ever Hacking Pain event on November 26 and 27, 2021 to tackle some of the challenges faced by people with lived experience and the community when dealing with pain. People from a diverse range of backgrounds, including people with pain, caregivers and health care providers, are invited to attend and work together to come up with solutions for challenges related to pain. Register to participate or submit a pain-related problem.
Research and engagement opportunities
Drug Coverage Review: Emgality and Imvexxy
BC Government calls for input for PharmaCare coverage for genital pain drugs

PharmaCare, BC's publicly funded program that helps cover the cost of some prescription medications, is asking for input and reviews on Imvexxy, a medication for postmenopausal dyspareunia (genital pain associated with intercourse). Those with postmenopausal dyspareunia, as well as eligible caregivers and representatives for related patient groups are encouraged to review the medication's effectiveness. Visit the BC government's 'Your Voice' webpage to learn more. The deadline to complete the Imvexxy survey is by midnight November 22, 2021.
Trans and Gender-Diverse Youth Chronic Pain Study
New study seeks to improve understanding of pain in gender-diverse teens

BC Children's Hospital and UBC are looking to understand the perspectives and experiences of gender-diverse youth who live with chronic pain. If you identify as a gender different than the one you were assigned at birth, live with chronic/recurrent pain (pain lasting longer than three months), are between the ages of 13 and 18 and live in BC, BC Children's Hospital and UBC encourage you to apply. The study will take about an hour, involving a short questionnaire and an interview with a researcher. Participants can skip any questions they don't want to answer, their privacy will be protected, and an honorarium will be offered to those who take part. If you or someone you know might be interested in participating in this study, please have them contact mn.wharton@bcchr.ca or 604-875-2000 x6922 to learn more.
Surgical Prehabilitation Study
New UBC study offers surgical patients a program to help prepare for surgery

CHANGEpain and UBC are launching a 20-week program to help physically prepare surgical patients in advance of their surgeries. Covered by MSP and funded by the UBC Department of Anesthesiology, the study will evaluate factors impacting patients' surgical help. To apply, ask your physician to fax your referral to 604-566-9102 and make sure they write 'UBC-Study' on the referral. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to Dr. Emmanuel Abreu at eabreau@changepain.ca, or call 604-566-9101 ext. 109.
UBC Vision Lab study with wearable body sensors

The UBC Vision Lab is looking for people with chronic back pain or fibromyalgia to participate in a study that uses a wearable body sensor to look at how nervous system activity is related to emotional and physical well-being. Eligible participants must be at least 18 years of age, fluent in English and not have heart disease. Anyone interested can email Veronica Dudarev at studypain@psych.ubc.ca.
In the news
Invisible Disabilities Week raises awareness for those with hidden conditions
Pain advocate Eileen Davidson speaks to Gloria Macarenko on CBC’s On the Coast program, raising awareness of invisible disabilities.
How acceptance can transform our relationship with chronic illness
The author of this article shares how practicing acceptance has improved her relationship with her body and chronic illness.
Two scientists win medicine Nobel for showing how we react to heat, touch
Their discoveries into how the human body perceives temperature and touch could lead to new ways of treating pain.
Talking to your partner about sex when you live with chronic pain
Relationship counsellor Kari Rusnak shares communication tips for couples struggling with chronic pain interfering with physical intimacy.
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