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A Message from the Coordinator
There Is No Cure, But There Is Hope
Denise Taray

OPMC Coordinator’s Message: There Is No Cure, But There Is Hope

It has been four months since I have taken on the role as the coordinator to the Oregon Pain Management Commission. In those four months, several members have come to the end of their service terms, most of them having volunteered eight years or more.


Highlighted during the most recent Oregon Pain Management Commission (OPMC) meeting was a brief history of what the commission has accomplished in the last 12 years. The commission is credited with several actions since they were established in 2002.

  • Elimination of required 2nd opinion in Intractable Pain Act, 2003
  • Creation of suggested pain management curricula for health care education, 2003
  • Statutory requirement that regulatory boards promote multidisciplinary pain treatment, 2003
  • Requirement of 7 hours mandatory continuing education of all health care professionals, including 1 hour created online by the pain commission, 2004
  •  Board of Medical Examiners revised Position Statement on Pain, 2004
  •  Board of Nursing Position Statement on Pain Management, 2005
  •  Board of Pharmacy Position Statement on Pain Management, 2006
  • Joint statement of 21 boards and professional organizations on pain management, 2007
  •  Removal of “Intractable” from Intractable Pain Act, 2007
  •  Removal of requirement for material risk notice when prescribing opioids, 2007
  •  OPMC oversight of health professional schools curricula on pain management, 2007
  • Creation of controlled drug prescription electronic monitoring program, 2009
  • Survey of Chronic Pain, 2011

 The OPMC welcomes three (3) new members to the commission in pursuit of fulfilling its mission of improving pain management in the State of Oregon. Member biographies  


According to the Oregon Prescription Drug Monitoring Annual Report 2012, twenty percent of Oregonians (about 760,000 people) live with chronic pain. Amidst the national public health crisis of opioid abuse, addiction and unintentional overdose deaths the National Survey on Drug Use and Health from SAMSHA reports that Oregon is first in the nation for non-medical use of prescription pain relievers in 2010-2011 with 6.4% of those aged 12 or older compared to the 4.6% nationally. While those statistics should cause alarm and has prompted changes in prescribing standards of opioid medications, they should not create a barrier to the appropriate use of prescription medications in the treatment of pain.


I recently attended the Oregon Complex Care Collaborative at which there were presentations and round table discussions about pain management strategies and how to decrease risks associated with opioid use in communities across the state. It was reassuring that, as the recommendations are being made to reduce the number and dose of opioid prescriptions, there are alternatives to pharmaceuticals beginning to emerge as treatment options. Coordinated Care Organizations are tapping into resources such as the Back to Health Program, Living Well Program, Mid-Valley Pain Clinic, and provider education of self-management approaches for individuals and clinics.  The Evans Health Lab’s Whiteboard Med School published Best Advice for People Taking Opioid Medication on March 1, 2013 on YouTube. The video is only 11 minutes in length and provides a wealth of information to those on, or about to start taking opioid medications for the treatment of chronic non-cancer pain. The video will be posted to the Oregon Pain Management Commission’s website as a direct link but can also be found from here at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Na2m7lx-hU .


The American Chronic Pain Association has declared the month of September as Pain Awareness Month. This is a time when various organizations work to raise public awareness of pain and pain management issues. For ideas of how you can help promote Pain Awareness Month see the ACPA website.


Coming up September 16th  AllCare Health Plan, Jackson Care Connect, and Jackson County Health & Human Services will be sponsoring a community forum to discuss Chronic Pain called Moving Through Chronic Pain: A lCommunity Response   (link not active 9/11/2015)

Please let me know what other events addressing Pain Awareness that you may be aware of in your areas. Email information to PMC.Info@state.or.us

Kind Regards,

Denise Taray, RN
Pain Management Coordinator
Oregon Pain Management Commission

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