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June: Awareness Observations

Migraine Awareness
PTSD Awareness
Scoliosis Awareness
Scleroderma Awareness
It Hurts Like Hell: I Live with Pain And Have a Good Life Anyway

Written by our Co-director of Medicial Marijuana, Ellen Lenox Smith, has written a powerful, inspiring book that shows life with chronic pain and the ups and downs that come with it. It is an authentic, powerful, and honest look into the life of woman who has continued to life despite her pain. 

To purchase the book, please go to Amazon. com.

Our "Unsung Hero" Cindy Steinberg 

U.S. Pain's National Director of Policy and Advocacy, Cindy Steinberg, was awarded the "Unsung Hero" award by GrUenthal USA. The award is given each year to an individual who has made significant contributions to advance the social awareness of pain and suffering, and has initiated policy changes that have improved the lives of  individuals with chronic pain. The nominees' work was judged on five criteria: importance, effectiveness, innovation, scope of inclusiveness and dedication. Congratulations Cindy, it is much deserved!
Amazon will donate a portion of your total purchases to the U.S. Pain Foundation. 

Shop Amazon Smile today! 

June 7, 2016
Summer Is Here!
June 2016
Dear Members and Fellow Pain Warriors,
We have had many exciting announcements to share with you over the past month, including the release of our co-director of Medical Marijuana, Ellen Lenox Smith's, book, and the our Director of National Advocacy, Cindy Steinberg, receiving the Unsung Hero Award. We couldn't be more proud of our U.S. Pain Team working for you out in the community and being acknowledged for their hard work. 

The past month, the U.S. Pain Foundation has also been busy with advocacy efforts across the country, with several of the U.S. Pain Team testifying at different hearings. We are also continuing to prepare for September's Pain Awareness as it nears. 
Thank you for helping us continue our mission to improve the lives of those living with pain by validating chronic medical conditions and educating others. You are all pain warriors, and the U.S. Pain Foundation is here to help. 
Wishing you all a low-pain and high-spirits day,
Paul Gileno
            Founder & President, U.S. Pain Foundation
 The U.S. Pain Foundation is Proud to Announce Our Partnership with The Mighty

We're thrilled to announce a new partnership that will bring USPF's resources in front of  The Mighty's wide-reaching readership. USPF will now have a  growing home page on The Mighty and appear on many stories on the site.

The Mighty is a story-based health community focused on improving the lives of people facing disease, disorder, mental illness and disability. More than half of Americans are facing serious health conditions or medical issues. They want more than information. They want to be inspired. The Mighty publishes real stories about real people facing real challenges. 

We're dedicated to helping  people with pain in their lives. With this partnership, we'll be able to help even more people.

We encourage you to  submit a story to The Mighty and make your voice heard.

If you are a member, volunteer, ambassador, advocate, or team member of the U.S. Pain Foundation, and want our logo and information on the bottom of your story, please submit it to Michaela O'Connor at  michaela@uspainfoundation.org or make sure you make a note of your affiliation with the USPF when submitting your story to The Mighty. We look forward to your stories! 
Travel Tips by Jenni Prokopy
aka ChronicBabe and the Rest of The U.S. Pain Team

With Summer here, now is the perfect time to catch up on some of the best travel tips for those traveling with chronic pain. The ChronicBabe and the rest of the U.S. Pain Foundation team traveled to New York recently and shared some of their best travel tips! We wanted to share them with you as summer is here, and vacations are on the horizon. Please watch the video to catch up on our travel tips, we hope they will help you on your travel endeavors this summer. The link for the video is below.   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ym2LIsPNp6s
Advocacy Efforts

Across the nation, lawmakers have been faced with difficult decisions as many states are closed or closing its legislative session. Pain Ambassador Advocates have actively emailed, called and testified on behalf of several bills which would impact the pain community. We thank them for their strength and courage in sharing their pain journey before the legislature. Together, we are making incredible strides for pain warriors.
North Carolina-- We are pleased to have learned that Representative David Lewis recently introduced  HB 1048 , Reduces Barriers to Improve NC Health & Safety. If turned into law, this bill will do a few things:
*Specifically prohibits step therapy/fail first in the prescribing of abuse-deterrent opioids. 
Abuse-Deterrent Opioids are a new type of medication, an innovative technology that removes the ability to misuse and abuse; you cannot crush, snort or otherwise manipulate the fomularies to achieve a "high".
*For all treatments, HB 1048 establishes limits and exemptions for step therapy and fail-first protocols. 
U.S. Pain's Position:   Support
 This bill establishes a transparent process for health care providers to request exceptions, while also requiring insurers to exempt patients from step therapy if their physician determines that the insurer-required drug is not in the patient's best interest. 
U.S. Pain would like to come out of the gates strong to ensure that this bill has the best chance at passing for your family, loved ones, friends and you. By taking one simple step, you are working to ensure quality access to treatment for pain patients in North Carolina! Please email the chairmen of the House Insurance Committee and ask that they SUPPORT HB 1048:
Dana Bumgardner: Dana.Bumgardner@ncleg.net
Mitchell Setzer: Mitchell.Setzer@ncleg.net
*CC Shaina@uspainfoundation.org when emailing so that we may file your efforts as part of our Advocacy Incentives Program
Talking points can be provided upon request. 
Tennessee-Across the country, health plan providers are increasingly making abrupt changes to their policies that pressure patients to switch from the medications keeping them stable. These cover changes are anything that makes it difficult to afford a crucial medication-whether eliminating coverage of the drug entirely or switching the drug to a more expensive tier or category.
Forcing a switch in medications for financial reasons rather than medical ones is unfair and unsafe. We believe this practice, sometimes known as non-medical switching, needs reform.  That's why we're collaborating with 14 other organizations in Tennessee to share a survey from the Global Healthy Living Foundation about how health insurance changes affect treatment. By providing lawmakers with data and stories about patients' experiences with non-medical switching, we can help them make more educated decisions on the issue.
We encourage those who reside in Tennessee to take the survey and share it with others. In addition to helping improve patient care, when you complete the survey, you'll be entered into a raffle for one of three $100 gift cards!
CLICK HERE TO TAKE OUR SURVEY: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/uspain
New Jersey-Members of the Assembly Health and Senior Services Committee held a hearing recently to vote on A1833. This bill mandates coverage for opioid analgesics with abuse-deterrent properties. The bill requires health insurers to provide coverage on the insurer's formulary, drug list, or other lists of similar construct, for at least one prescribed abuse-deterrent opioid analgesic drug product per opioid analgesic active ingredient, subject to various provisions.
Executive Director Casey Cashman provided testimony, in addition to U.S. Pain Foundation submitting a letter to members and the Chairman, Herbert Conaway. The bill has been released from committee and will continue moving within the Assembly.

Pictured: Executive Director Casey Cashman with New Jersey Assemblyman Erik Peterson.

Ohio-House Bill 505 was favorably reported out of the House with a vote of 93-0! Now it will go to the Senate. We thank those Ambassadors and Advocates who urged their House members to support this legislation.

About this Bill: HB 505 is Titled Biological products-regulate/pharmacist substitution. It amends various sectionsof the Revised Code regarding the regulation of biological products and the substitution of interchangeable biological products when dispensed by a pharmacist.
U.S. Pain's Position: Support
The organization recently submitted a letter to the Chair of the House Health and Aging Committee, noting the organization supports the legislation as it includes prescriber communication. Although there are cost benefits that may occur from biosimilars, substituting a biosimilar or an interchangeable biological product without informing the prescriber could be detrimental to patient safety. That is why U.S. Pain supports HB 505.
Missouri-In a vote of 146-5, the House Truly Agreed and finally passed House Bill 2029. It is now awaiting the Governor's signature. U.S. Pain thanks those who took the time to reach out to various lawmakers during this session, explaining the reasons as to why this bill is so important to the pain community. HB 2029 would provide a more transparent process for physicians to override step therapy protocol, an insurer practice that requires patients to fail on a series of treatment before being granted access to their originally prescribed medication. With your efforts, we were able to bring the bill all the way to the Governor's desk for his consideration. Your voice matters.
Illinois-We are pleased to have learned that HB 3549 passed unanimously out of the House!

About this Bill: Under HB 3549, an exception process would allow a patient to receive the best option available to seek some relief from their chronic pain; physicians have the option of submitting evidence of failure or intolerance of alternative options, not originally prescribed.
Pain Ambassadors and Advocates have been extremely active with our grassroots efforts to ensure lawmakers understood the provisions within the bill and its benefits to the pain community of Illinois, if passed. 
Thank You 

With the help of you, our amazing members and ambassadors, we came in First Place in the World Autoimmune Arthritis Disease Virtual Race this year! We hope you enjoyed participating in all of the events that took place and in being part of U.S. Pain Foundation's Team. We are so lucky to have you all. Congratulations to each and every one of you, we look forward to participating with you again next year! 
U.S. Pain Foundation | uspainfoundation@gmail.com | http://www.uspainfoundation.org
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