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American Pain Foundation’s Pain and Creativity Center

The American Pain Foundation and HealthCentral have created an online exhibit to highlight the importance of creativity activities in coping with chronic pain. The exhibit includes poetry, prose, digital photos, artwork and crafts, and inspirational videos. Everyone who has made a submission has included a paragraph describing how their art represents their pain experience.

Although the deadline has passed for submitting entries for mention at this month’s American Pain Foundation’s anniversary celebration, the exhibit is ongoing. You may add your contribution on the APF Pain and Creativity Center.

Whether you’re interested in looking at others’ work or submitting your own, recognizing the importance of creativity in health is inspiring.

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Call for Nominations: American Pain Foundation’s Patient Advocate Award & the REAL Hot 100

The American Pain Foundation is seeking nominations for it’s first patient advocate award. The award will recognize a patient who has “risen above their personal pain experiences in order to help and advocate for others.” I can think of tons of people who qualify. If you have someone in mind, please nominate them. Submissions are due on September 20, 2007.

The REAL Hot 100 is also requesting nominations for its annual awards. The award recognizes women for successes well beyond looking good. It’s an excellent project to call attention to all the amazing women who make the world a better place. ChronicBabe editrix Jenni was one of last year’s winners. Nominations are due October 15, 2007.

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Chat Online With a Pain Expert on Tuesday

The American Pain Foundation is hosting an online chat with a pain expert on Tuesday, January 31. Preventing and managing side effects is the topic that will be discussed. You must register to participate, but there is no charge.

The announcement doesn’t appear to be on the website, so here is the text from the e-mail sent by APF.

New Expert Speaker for Online Chat!

Tuesday January 31st at 8:00 pm EST, Candace Coggins, M.S., M.A., CARN, NP, will dialogue online, focusing on the topic: Preventing or Managing Side Effects for People with Pain.

Candace Coggins is a Nurse Practitioner with certification in Pain Management Nursing (RN, C) and also Addictions Nursing (CARN). She is currently serving as President of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing, and sits on the Board of Directors for the New York State Pain Initiative. Ms. Coggins has more than thirteen years of experience in pain management and palliative care including inpatient, ambulatory and home-based care. She has more than ten years of VA service, and is currently the Coordinator of Pain Management at the Veteran Affairs New York Harbor Healthcare System in New York City. Her commitment to the VA is deeply rooted, having grown up in a military family. She went into Nursing as a result of experiences serving in Vietnam (1968-69), and her sister served as a flight nurse in Desert Storm.

Candace says, “Achieving the best quality of life despite pain involves appropriate and timely care. Too often patients and their families suffer enormously as they seek to be believed , understood and helped. Gaining access to care means not only treating the problem of pain but also anticipating, pre-empting and managing side-effects related to medications, activities, disease progression or interventional treatments. Learning a few management strategies and sharing pointers for negotiating the healthcare system can make the difference between adequate versus optimal care.”