National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association Hosting Leaders Against Pain™ National Training Event For New & Veteran Support Group Leaders and Patient Advocates in DC

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Leaders will help address the rising costs of chronic pain in America ($635 Billion) as shared in a recent study by Johns Hopkins University. Applications are required and due by October 3. Scholarships are available.

There are hundreds if not thousands of patient advocates who are working behind the scenes everyday with physicians and policymakers to create a better way of life for people who share their disease.

Do you know that patient advocates are needed and utilized by Congress, the FDA, leading research institutions and more? Patient advocates play a critical role in bringing attention to diseases, and how diseases are managed and researched. Celebrity advocates include Michael J. Fox for Parkinson’s and Lance Armstrong for Cancer. There are hundreds if not thousands more who are working behind the scenes everyday with physicians and policymakers to create a better way of life for people who share their disease. September is Chronic Pain Awareness Month and the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association (NFMCPA) is seeking applications for the 5th Leader’s Against Pain™ (LAP) training program.

The program is for both veterans and newcomers to patient advocacy. The highly interactive LAP teaches skills for leading an effective support group and advocating on behalf of people with FM and overlapping conditions. Course presenters include NFMCPA officers and longtime health advocate and President and CEO of Healthy Motivation, Amye Leong. Ms Leong received the President’s Service Award, America’s highest honor for community service in 2001 from President G.W. Bush.

Much like diabetes and heart disease, people with fibromyalgia, overlapping conditions, or chronic pain need to make lifestyle changes to manage their health. This empowering knowledge can lead to people requiring less medication, experiencing fewer symptoms, and improving their quality of life (BlogTalkRadio, NFMCPA, 01/13/2012). In addition, becoming an educated health consumer reduces the individual’s health care expenditures and results in fewer visits to the doctor and emergency room (US Department of Health and Human Services). Health economists from Johns Hopkins University writing in the Journal of Pain ( recently reported the annual cost of chronic pain is as high as $635 billion a year, which is more than the yearly costs for cancer, heart disease and diabetes. Persons with moderate pain had health care expenditures $4,516 higher than someone with no pain, and individuals with severe pain had costs $3,210 higher than those with moderate pain.

“It is vital that people with fibromyalgia become better educated on how to manage their health and know where to find the best resources for treatment and understanding,” says NFMCPA President Jan Favero Chambers. “Leaders Against Pain™ trains advocates to work in local communities to provide this information, raise general awareness in the community and work within policymaking circles to have an impact on the costs and quality of life for people with fibromyalgia and overlapping chronic pain conditions. I am a Leaders Against Pain™ graduate, and the program gave me the start I needed for a successful career in advocacy.” said Ms. Chambers, an LAP presenter and also the Institute of Medicine (IOM) Pain Report Task Force Director for the Pain Care Forum in Washington, D.C.

Leaders Against Pain™ trains veteran and beginner FM support group leaders and advocates in media, advocacy, and leadership. Upon completion of the training program, participants will become members of the Leaders Against Pain Coalition™. The Coalition is the advocacy arm of the NFMCPA that provides its members with opportunities in continuing education and networking.

For application requirements and more information, visit the NFMCPA at Applicants may also contact the NFMCPA by email at: All submissions to NFMCPA’s 2012 LAP Scholarships must be received by Wednesday, October 3, 2012, at 11:59 pm ET. Leaders Against Pain™ 2012 is sponsored by Purdue Pharma L.P., the Fibromyalgia Association of Michigan, the Utah Fibromyalgia Association, and Health E U Coaching.

The National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association was founded in 2010 by Jan Favero Chambers, who was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in 2006. The mission of the National Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain Association is to unite the patient and healthcare community to work for a cure and improve the quality of life for people with chronic pain from fibromyalgia and overlapping conditions by having a united voice and active role in healthcare, advocacy and research.

Check out the NFMCPA’s website and September issue of the NFMCPA’s free online magazine, Fibromyalgia & Chronic Pain LIFE, for ideas and tools to raise pain awareness in your community to honor National Pain Awareness Month.

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Sharon Waldrop
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