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Chronic Pain Expert To Speak In Kansas City Tonight

Judy Foreman, a nationally recognized expert on chronic pain and its effect on the nation’s health care system, will speak at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday at Community Christian Church, 4601 Main St., Kansas City, Mo.

Foreman, a Boston-based science writer and a nationally syndicated health columnist, is the author of the book “A Nation in Pain,” an in-depth look at how pain is perceived – and misperceived - and treated in the United States.

“Judy Foreman is a brilliant writer,” saysMyra Christopher, Kathleen M. Foley Chair in Pain & Palliative Care at the Center for Practical Bioethics in Kansas City. “And ‘A Nation in Pain’ is the definitive piece on this issue.”

The Center for Practical Bioethics is co-sponsoring Foreman’s appearance with Saint Luke’s Health System and Community Christian Church.

Foreman also appeared on the KCUR 89.3 FM news program “Up to Date” at 11 a.m. Tuesday.

Her appearance coincides with the formal launching of a regional initiative, Relieving Pain in Kansas City, which is affiliated with the PainAction Alliance to Implement a National Strategy (PAINS).

“At least 100 million Americans are known to be living with chronic pain,” Christopher says. “I say ‘at least’ because we did not have access to data on veterans, people living in nursing homes and children. But, still, 100 million people - that’s one third of the population. It's more than the number of people who are living with cancer, diabetes or heart disease."

Chronic pain, she says, also is the No. 1 reason that people seek medical care.

“And yet the average physician in the U.S. has had eight hours of coursework on chronic pain,” Christopher says. “Meanwhile, the average veterinarian receives 87 hours of training.”

For those attending the forum, hardback copies of “A Nation in Pain,” priced at $30 retail, will be available for $10.

Dave Ranney is senior writer/editor with KHI News Service, an editorially independent reporting program of the Kansas Health Institute. 


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