Pains Project

“Addressing the enormous burden of pain will require a cultural transformation….
Effective pain management is a moral imperative, a professional responsibility, and the duty of people in the healing professions.”

National Academy of Medicine
(formerly Institute of Medicine, Relieving Pain in America, 2011) 

Pain Program

The PAINS Project was a program of the Center for Practical Bioethics from 2011, following the publication of the National Academy of Medicine’s (NAM) Relieving Pain in America report until August 1, 2018, when the project transitioned to the Academy of Integrative Pain Management (AIPM). AIPM has been an essential partner to the PAINS Project since its inception. The Center for Practical Bioethics welcomed the transition expressing its belief that the timing was right for change. AIPM has agreed to continue to provide the materials produced during the CPB tenure at no cost to the public.  


With the 2011 publication of the Relieving Pain in America report, Americans learned, for the first time, how extensive and problematic the issue of pain was. The report described the state of pain care in America, providing a blueprint for transforming the prevention, care, education, and research of pain in the US. The report called for transforming how pain is perceived, judged and treated. No implementation authority accompanied the release of the report and, as a result, the Center for Practical Bioethics stepped forward to spearhead efforts to advance its recommendations. The Center convened interested parties assessing their readiness to coalesce around a shared belief that by working together, they could achieve the cultural transformation outlined in the Report.

That conversation led to evaluating key elements of successful social reform campaigns, and from that, the Pain Action Alliance to Implement a National Strategy (PAINS) was born. PAINS is an alliance of leaders: persons living with pain, patient advocacy organizations, professional societies, policy groups, payers, and the private sector striving together toward a common vision and mission. In the midst of tremendous changes transpiring in healthcare, PAINS has worked to integrate bio-psychosocial pain care into efforts to create patient-centered medical homes and accountable care organizations. PAINS reached out to other national coalitions and alliances involved in healthcare reform encouraging them to integrate improved pain care and mutual support.

Statements from the Center for Practical Bioethics and the Academy of Integrative Pain Management on the transition of the PAINS Project (Effective August 1, 2018)

John G. Carney, President/CEO of the Center for Practical Bioethics

"The leadership that AIPM has exhibited in the complex arena of pain care treatment ensures that the investment the Center has made over the last decade will continue and flourish. The Academy’s commitment to excellence in interdisciplinary, patient-centered and evidence-based care with virtually every stakeholder group provides the confidence the Center needed in transitioning our work as Myra Christopher retires.

Those living with chronic pain rely on strong, respected and accomplished organizations to advance person-centered, integrative models of care by uniting clinicians in the fight against chronic pain. AIPM fits that profile and we are pleased and grateful that AIPM has agreed to honor the mission of the PAINS project and the decade long charitable efforts of the Center in this duty of care to vulnerable patients."

Clay Jackson, President of the Board of the Academy of Integrative Pain Management

"At AIPM, we are grateful for the tremendous work that has been accomplished by everyone involved in the PAINS Project, and we feel that important milestones such as the publication of the National Pain Strategy would have been impossible to achieve without their commitment to patient advocacy and sound medical evidence.

As the only professional organization comprising members of every discipline that treats persons with pain, AIPM is uniquely positioned to continue to serve as the central repository of information regarding best practices in integrative pain care, and as a powerful force for advocating for making those treatments available to all patients."

Pains Project

Giving voice to those who live with pain

PAINS-KC is recognized as one of the premier citizen leader advocacy groups in the country.

PAINS-KC offers a strong patient voice to help inform research and the development of patient-centered pain policy and educational programming and to help raise awareness of chronic pain in the KC metro area.

What does PAINS-KC do?

PAINS-KC Citizen Leaders participate in educational programs for healthcare professionals and those in training as well as the public. We also interact with policymakers, researchers, academic institutions and the media on a regular basis.

Public Engagement

  • Increase awareness and educate members of the Kansas City community about chronic pain as a disease via a public education/health literacy campaign
  • Participate in efforts to improve clinical treatment models for chronic pain
  • Advocate for access to comprehensive integrative pain management in the KC metro area, including alternative treatments such as acupuncture, massage therapy, yoga, physical therapy, and physical exercise, behavioral health, etc.
  • Create an infrastructure to support the emotional needs of those living with chronic pain and their families

When and where does PAINS-KC we meet?

PAINS-KC meets the first Wednesday of each month at 5:00 pm at the KU CRC at 4350 Shawnee Mission Parkway in Fairway, Kansas. We enjoy dinner together and work to advance a “cultural transformation in the way pain is perceived, judged and treated.”

Our Goals

  1. Advocate for complete implementation of the National Pain Strategy
  2. Educate and engage the media, public and policymakers about chronic pain
  3. Promote patient-centered comprehensive pain management

We Know …

Allowing people to suffer with unmanaged pain is immoral, unethical and can lead to permanent disability, depression and even suicide.

“Living with chronic pain is sort of like screaming and nothing coming out. You feel alone. My work with PAINS-KC has given me a voice. I am heard and I don’t have to scream. I am heard.”

PAINS-KC Citizen Leader

Want more information?

Contact Cindy Leyland at 816.979.1357 or

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