Group reaches out to those in pain

Pain society's meeting includes event for public

By Marissa Harshman, Columbian health reporter



If you go

■ Who: Pain patients, caregivers and family members.

■ What: “Partnerships in Pain Care: Changing Paradigms.”

■ When: 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 30.

■ Where: Red Lion Jantzen Beach, 909 N. Hayden Island Drive, Portland.

■ More information: The event is free, but registration is required at Western Pain Society, where you also can see an event schedule.

Clinicians and researchers will come together this month to educate and empower people living with pain in the Vancouver-Portland area.

The Western Pain Society will hold its annual conference for clinicians in Jantzen Beach later this month. The final day of the conference, Sept. 30, will be aimed at pain patients and their caregivers and family members, said Jennifer Wagner, executive director of the pain society and director of clinical research at Pain Research of Oregon.

"You can only do what you know," Wagner said. "This is our chance to offer education for the public."

The public event will include seminars about patient and pain management advocacy, medication management, self-managing pain and stress, therapeutic movement and lower back pain.

"The theme is self-care, to inspire and motivate pain patients to take care of themselves," Wagner said.

The daylong event is free, whether attending one seminar or all three, but registration is required. Event organizers will also provide lunch.

The pain society has for many years offered patient events during its annual conference. This year, because the conference is taking place right across the Columbia River, Clark County pain patients can take advantage of the event, Wagner said.

Earlier this year, a handful of providers launched the Pain Society of Washington -- Vancouver Chapter, the first and only group of its kind in Washington state. The pain society is a professional group for clinicians in any health specialty, including family practitioners, interventional pain specialists, chiropractors, acupuncturists, psychologists and physical therapists, among others.

The Pain Society of Washington falls under the umbrella of the Western Pain Society, which represents 13 Western states. The local group is modeled after the Pain Society of Oregon, which has chapters in Eugene, Portland and, most recently, Bend.

The addition of the local group prompted Western Pain Society officials to hold the annual conference in Jantzen Beach. Local clinicians and members of the Vancouver chapter are assisting with the free patient event.

The first two days of the three-day conference will be focused on clinicians.

During the first day, the Western Pain Society will kick off its national campaign promoting the rational use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, commonly referred to as NSAIDs.

The conference will also include numerous seminars on a range of topics, including interventional pain medicine, opioids and ethics in pain management. The event will feature two nationally known pain researchers, Frank Porreca and Linda Watkins.

Marissa Harshman: 360-735-4546;;;