The Pain Society of Oregon’s board of directors voted to close the organization effective December 31, 2016. We have not made this decision lightly, and recognize that the closure of the Society will be a great loss to pain management professionals in our state. However, due to significant changes in the political climate surrounding our work and the current funding outlook, we are unable to identify a realistic and sustainable path to continue operations while keeping membership dues and monthly meeting and conference fees reasonable.
The Pain Society of Oregon was founded in 1998 by forward-thinking leaders in our field as a unique resource to medical professionals caring for people with chronic pain. By providing multidisciplinary monthly meeting presentations and conferences, the PSO filled a gap in education focused specifically on pain management while simultaneously building a supportive peer community throughout the state, at one time boasting active chapters in Eugene, Portland and Central Oregon.
Equally as important, the PSO brought much-needed industry and public attention to pain as a serious medical condition. The organization played an integral role in the creation of the Oregon Pain Commission and it is because of the society’s strong advocacy that mandatory pain education is now a requirement for healthcare providers in Oregon. The Society has also been a voice for patients, advocating on their behalf at both the state and national level, while also offering opportunities for education and community-building through patient conferences and special events such as Drug Take Back Days, art therapy and the Garden Project.
We would like to acknowledge and extend a special thank you to Executive Director Jennifer Wagner for her 18 years of leadership and stewardship of the Pain Society of Oregon.
Our impact has been great, and while the PSO will no longer officially exist to advance the standard of care for people in pain in Oregon, we as individual practitioners must continue in our pursuit of this mission. We encourage you to remain active: take opportunities to speak about your field and educate your colleagues about the unique issues facing pain patients and providers; weigh in on healthcare policy in Oregon; support your peers and push yourself to connect with providers in other disciplines; and cultivate a compassionate, patient-focused practice.
While we are sad to lose the uniquely Oregon community we have built, we are pleased to announce that the leadership of the Western Pain Society has agreed to recognize all Pain Society of Oregon members as WPS members for the entirety of 2017. PSO members who joined or renewed after August 1, 2016 will be refunded on a prorated basis.
The WPS will also maintain, and then assimilate, some of the PSO’s web resources, including the member directory. Members will receive further communications regarding accessing the WPS site in the coming months.
Thank you for your support through the years and for your commitment to excellence in pain care in Oregon. Jennifer and members of the board of directors will be available at the November meetings to answer questions or reminisce for those who would like to stay after.
Forrest Kublick, Psy.D.
Board President, Pain Society of Oregon