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News Release - July 17, 2006


Mayday Fund Extends Fellowship through 2009

NEW YORK CITY (July 14, 2006) - The Mayday Fund today announces the selection of six experts in pain management to be Fellows under The Mayday Pain & Society Fellowship. The new Fellows hail from across the United States and specialize in a wide range of health care disciplines including anesthesiology, palliative care, pediatrics, nursing and social work.

Established in 2003, the Fellowship provides leaders in the pain management field with tools and skills to advocate on behalf of better treatment for pain. Fellows learn how to better communicate to media and policymakers and raise visibility for their issues. To date, the program has supported 12 Fellows. The Mayday Fund will fund the Fellowship through 2009, allowing for two more generations of Fellows.

"We are beginning to see the successes of the Pain & Society Fellowship, and believe it is an imperative to fund it through 2009," said Christina Spellman, Executive Director, The Mayday Fund. "Fellows are working on their own and together to interact with the media, to work with politicians, and to talk to their colleagues about the need for change in pain treatment and management. We recognize that change takes time, and we want to support more leaders through the Fellowship to make it happen."

The three-year Fellowship was established by The Mayday Fund to provide new leaders in the pain management field with tools that will enable them to reach the broader public.

The six Fellows for 2006-07 are: Terry A. Altilio, L.C.S.W., Coordinator of Social Work, the Department of Pain Medicine & Palliative Care, Beth Israel Medical Center, NYC; Paul M. Arnstein, R.N., Ph. D., Department Chair, Community Health and Psychiatric/Mental Health Nursing, and Associate Professor at the William F. Connell School of Nursing, Boston College; James Patrick Murphy, M.D., Medical Director, Murphy Pain Center, and Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Anesthesiology, the University of Louisville School of Medicine; Louisville Shirley Otis-Green, L.C.S.W., M.S.W., Senior Research Specialist, Department of Nursing Research & Education, City of Hope National Medical Center, Duarte, Ca., Steven D. Passik, Ph. D., Associate Attending Psychologist, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center; and; Steven J. Weisman, M.D., Jane B. Pettit Chair in Pain Management, Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin; and Professor of Anesthesiology and Pediatrics, the Medical College of Wisconsin.

In a sign of the program's success, this year Mayday received the most applications it ever has.

"The caliber of candidates this year was outstanding," said Russell Portenoy, M.D., Chairman of the Mayday Fellowship Advisory Committee, and Chairman of the Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at Beth Israel Medical Center. "The twelve Fellows who have been through the program to date are emerging as leaders in pain management," he said. "They bring new energy and focus to pain issues that need so much attention. We know the six new Fellows will expand the effort."

As part of their training, the new Fellows will attend an intensive four-day workshop in Washington, D.C. in October 2006, and work closely with Burness Communications, a public relations firm that works solely with non-profit organizations. Fellows will learn how to connect with local and national media, write opinion editorials, develop relationships with university public affairs and government relations leaders, and talk with state legislators and Members of Congress. By improving their communications skills, the candidates will be poised to move the field forward by educating and working with the media, policymakers, advocates, and health and business leaders.

The Fellows will develop skills to advocate and communicate on many of the pain issues they deal with everyday including the under-treatment of pain, pediatric pain, chronic pain, palliative care, the treatment of pain with prescription pain medications, and disparities in pain treatment.

Applications will be accepted for the fourth year (2007-2008) of the Mayday Fellowship in early 2007. Six more applicants will be chosen. For more information visit

"For the second year in a row there was an exceptional candidate pool, and we were really delighted to see so much enthusiasm for the program from some of the best and brightest in the pain management field," said Russell Portenoy, M.D., Chairman of the Mayday Fellowship Advisory Committee, and Chairman of the Department of Pain Medicine and Palliative Care at Beth Israel Medical Center. "We hope this program will begin to build a community of pain experts who can bring accurate information to the public and policymakers."

Established in 1992, the Mayday Fund is dedicated to further Shirley Steinman Katzenbach’s commitment to social and medical causes. Her special interest in the treatment of pain forms the core of the Fund’s mission. Over the last ten years, Mayday has supported many different projects, among them, surveys of public attitudes to pain and its treatment, role model and documentation programs, assistance to public and professional advocacy groups, and clinical and academic research.

On the Advisory Committee for the Mayday Pain & Society Fellowship are Chair Russell K. Portenoy, M.D.; James Campbell, M.D., Professor of Neurosurgery and Vice Chairman of the Department at Johns Hopkins Hospital; Scott Fishman, M.D., Professor of Anesthesiology and Director, Division of Pain Medicine at the University of California, Davis; Kathleen M. Foley, M.D., Chief of the Pain Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center; David E. Joranson, MSSW, Senior Scientist and Director of the Pain and Policy Studies Group at the University of Wisconsin Medical School; Patrick John McGrath, Ph.D., Professor of Psychology, Psychiatry and Pediatrics, Dalhousie University Medical School; Richard Payne, M.D., Director, Duke Institute on Care at the End of Life, Duke University; and Joan Teno, M.D., M.S., Professor of Community Health and Medicine, and Associate Director of the Center for Gerontology and Health Care Research at the Brown Medical School.