What Family Caregivers Should Know About Treatments for Chronic Pain

September 15, 2014
Hosted by Dr. Gordon Atherley

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Guest Information

Episode Description

Penney Cowan is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of the American Chronic Pain Association, www.theacpa.org. Dr. Donna Kalauokalani currently practices Pain Management in Folsom, California and serves as President of the Board of the Association. They explain the Association’s mission and services. They identify the common causes of chronic pain and the challenges it creates for individuals living with it, for physicians treating it with medications, and for the Association itself in raising awareness among the health care community, policy makers, and the public of concerns about treatments for chronic pain. They discuss the Association’s position on the challenges associated with painkiller medications in the care of chronic pain. They say what more they would like to see done, and by whom, to promote safer and better care for individuals living with chronic pain, and share their messages for family caregivers.

Family Caregivers Unite!

Family Caregivers Unite!

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Family caregivers are the people who provide care to partners, parents, children, brothers, sisters, cousins, friends, neighbors and even co-workers. They are the people who provide care when everyone else has gone home. They are the people who organize the functioning of the home for the person with special needs, and for the family as a whole. They are the coordinators of care, the managers of appointments, the preventers of loneliness, and the makers of decisions even to the point of Power of Attorney. And they are so often people who themselves are burdened with their own health challenges and who may be in only marginally better health than the persons to whom they are providing family caregiving.

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Dr. Gordon Atherley

Dr. Gordon Atherley

Dr Gordon Atherley holds the British equivalent of the Canadian PhD and MD degrees, and LLD, Honoris Causa, from Canada’s Simon Fraser University. His awards include Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, UK. His medical specialties are occupational medicine and public health.
As first President and Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety, the Canadian equivalent of the US National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health, he led the creation of Canada’s electronic information service in occupational health and safety, now used in more than 40 countries.
In academia, he held senior, tenured, full-time positions, including departmental chair, in university faculties of physics, engineering, and medicine. He is the author of a textbook and numerous articles and publications.

Since retiring from medical practice, he’s built up Greyhead Associates, which critically researches the safety, effectiveness and fairness of health services for persons with special needs.
Through Virtual Care International, a company of which he’s President, he’s involved in providing sensible technology to family caregivers to help them with their responsibilities, workloads, and concerns.
Now an activist, he urges family caregivers to unite because, more and more, it’s not just their families who depend on them, it’s also the healthcare system as a whole, as it struggles to meet more and more needs of more and more people.

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