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DHS news release

August 31, 2004

Contact: Jim Sellers (503) 945-5738

Program contact: Carol Misrack (503) 945-7009


Chronic-pain patients invited to free Oct. 9 workshop in Albany

A free community workshop designed to help chronic-pain patients work more effectively with their physicians will be held on Saturday, Oct. 9, at Linn-Benton Community College, 6500 Pacific Blvd. S.W., Albany.

Registration deadline for the workshop – "Pain Management: Partnering with Your Health Care Professional" – will be Sept. 24 (recently extended to October 6th). Interested persons may call (541) 917-4840. The workshop will run from 8:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and include lunch.

"We want to teach people how to come to their doctor's office with all their homework done," says Carol Misrack, R.N., pain management coordinator in the Oregon Department of Human Services. "Pain is the No. 1 reason people seek medical services, and people should understand what their doctors need to know to help them."

Speaking at the conference will be:

  • State Sen. Joan Dukes of Astoria, who sponsored the state pain-management legislation that established the DHS office and a state Pain Management Commission.
  • Pamela Bennett, a Connecticut registered nurse and senior director for advocacy at Stamford-based Purdue Pharma, which specializes in pain-management research.
  • Mary Ann Wallace, M.D., a Corvallis physician specializing in integrative medicine. Her topic will be, "The Mind and Body Working Together to Promote Wellness."
  • Namita Gandhi, MBA, a Corvallis clinical exercise physiologist who has a Washington State University master's degree in kinesiology, the study of muscles' relation to movement and pain. She operates a clinic and developed a therapeutic movement program for chronic pain.

Misrack says the free workshop, which can accommodate up to 300 people, is being paid for by donated private funds.

She says chronic pain is an under-treated condition owing to factors such as it being so little understood by the medical community, patients often not knowing what physicians need to know to help, fears about addiction from some pain-control medications and high prescription-drug costs.

"Chronic pain will cease being a public nightmare only when we accept treating chronic pain as we treat other chronic medical conditions," Misrack says.