Relieving Pain in America: How you can help to improve care


NFMCPA podcast to feature Myra Christopher, Director of Pain Action Alliance Initiative: A National Strategy (PAAINS)

The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association will be hosting its next live podcast on Friday, December 9, 2011 at 9:00 am PST/12:00 pm EST online at

Host Jan Chambers, president and founder of the NFMCPA, will be chatting with special guest, Myra Christopher, Director of Pain Action Alliance Initiative: A National Strategy (PAAINS) and the Kathleen M.Foley Chair for the Center for Practical Bioethics.

The IOM Report was published in June of 2011, like so many before it.  What makes this Report distinctive?  Why are organizations and stake holders working collaboratively to advance this Report?  How is it interrelated to the Affordable Healthcare Act?  Why does this particular IOM Report matter to every person in America?

Christopher will be discussing her role as a member of the Pain Study Committee at the Institutes of Medicine focused on the under treatment of pain which produced the IOM report, “Relieving Pain in American: A Blueprint for Transformation in Prevention, Care, Education and Research.” The historic report was submitted to Congress this past summer.

Chambers is also the Co-Director for the Pain Care Forum IOM Task Force.

Christopher will talk about some of her personal insights on why the IOM Report on “Relieving Pain in America” was created and how the committee created this report.  She will also discuss her reflections about working with the Committee and what can be accomplished with this valuable IOM Report.

“Guiding patients to advocate for themselves and the fibromyalgia community both on local and national levels is one of the top priorities of the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association for 2012,” said Jan Chambers, “So, I’m looking forward to this important discussion with Myra to help our community learn how we can be the most effective at helping advance the expectations of our policy and decision makers to act responsively to the IOM Report.”

Myra Christopher is the principal investigator on the Pain Action Alliance Initiative: A National Strategy (PAAINS), which will assess capacity and readiness across the country to develop a coordinated plan to improve care for the more than 100 million Americans who struggle with chronic pain.

Christopher consults with the Centers for Disease Control to promote pain and palliative care as a public health issue and to provide education for directors of public health and aging services at the state level.  On behalf of the Center for Practical Bioethics, she participated in founding the Coalition to Transform Advanced Illness in Washington, DC and serves on its incorporating board.

Christopher was President and CEO of the Center for Practical Bioethics since its inception in 1985 until November 2011. Christopher served as the national program officer of the Robert Woods Johnson Foundation’s National Program Office for State-based Initiatives to Improve End-of Life Care which was housed at the Center. In 2011, she was named the Kathleen M. Foley Chair in Pain and Palliative Care at the Center.Senator John Danforth sought her assistance in drafting and introducing the Patient Self-Determination Act which became law in 1990. She consulted with the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations on patients’ rights and organizational ethics standards and developed Beyond Compliance, resource materials and a seminar for the Joint Commission that was presented across the country.

Christopher served as a public outreach advisor to Bill Moyers on for his PBS documentary, “On Our Own Terms,” worked with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to present the first national conference on palliative care in nursing homes, directed Community State Partnerships to Improve End-of-Life Care, an $11.25m grant award program, collaborated with the National Association of Attorneys General to establish palliative care as a consumer protection issue, edited State Initiatives to Improve End-of-Life Care, and collaborated with the RAND Institute to develop a report to congress on advance care planning in 2009.

These roles have allowed Christopher to continue her lifelong mission to improve care for seriously ill people and their families.

The NFMCPA podcast may be heard online at or call in to listen by dialing (646) 200-0646

RECORDING: If you miss the show, a recording will be archived right after the show for future listening. Visit: