Loading Events

The Politics of Pain: From Hippocrates to Chuck Grassley Teleconference

Date & Time

March 29, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 11:30 am

Event Location

Event Details

March 29th, 2018

Myra J. Christopher, LHD (hon)
Kathleen M. Foley Chair in Pain and Palliative Care with the Center for Practical Bioethics

Myra was President and CEO of the Center from its inception in 1985 through December 2011. From 1998-2003, she served as the national program officer of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation’s National Program Office for State-Based Initiatives to Improve End-of -Life Care, an $11.5 million grant award program housed at the Center. These roles have allowed her to continue her lifelong mission to improve care for seriously ill people and their families.

Because of her involvement with the first “right-to-die” case to be heard by the U.S. Supreme Court (Cruzan v. Director, Missouri Depart of Health), Senator John Danforth (R.MO) sought her assistance in drafting and introducing the Patient Self-Determination Act, which became law in 1990. Myra consulted with the Joint Commission on the Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations on patients’ rights and organizational ethics standards and developed Beyond Compliance, resource materials and a seminar for the Joint Commission that was presented across the country.

She served as a public outreach advisor to Bill Moyers on for his PBS documentary, On Our Own Terms, worked with the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid to present the first national conference on palliative care in nursing homes, directed Community State Partnerships to Improve End-of-Life Care, collaborated with the National Association of Attorneys General to establish palliative care as a consumer protection issue, edited State Initiatives to Improve End-of-Life Care, and collaborated with the RAND Institute to develop a report to Congress on advance care planning.

Since the late 1990’s, Myra has expanded the scope of her work to include the under-treatment of chronic pain. She speaks and writes about both pain and palliative care. She was a reviewer on the Institute of Medicine (IOM) 2014 report, Dying in America. She is currently the principal investigator on the Pain Action Initiative: A National Strategy and serves as Director of PAINS, a program of the Center whose mission is to improve care for the more than 100 million Americans who struggle with chronic pain.

From 2010-11, she served as a member of the IOM’s Pain Study Committee. The committee submitted its report, Relieving Pain in America: A Blueprint for Transformation in Prevention, Care, Education and Research, to Congress in June 2011. In 2012, HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius appointed her to the Interagency Pain Research Coordinating Committee at the National Institutes of Health, where she has served on the Oversight Committee for HHS’ National Pain Strategy Report, published in March 2016. She has consulted with many organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services, AARP and others to promote pain and palliative care as public health issues.

On behalf of the Center, she participated in founding the Coalition to Transform Advanced Illness (CTAC) in Washington, DC and served on its incorporating board. She is currently on the board of the Coalition for Physician Accountability. She has served on many advisory and boards of directors locally and nationally, including the American Association of Critical-Care Nurses, the Duke University Institute for Care at the End of Life, the Federation of State Medical Boards, the American Bar Association Commission on Law and Aging, the University of Kansas School of Nursing, and the American Academy of Family Physicians Foundation.

Myra has received many awards for her work to improve care for those suffering from advanced illness and chronic pain. In October 2017, at its national conference in Kansas City, the American Society for Bioethics + Humanities presented her with the Lifetime Achievement Award in Bioethics, in recognition of her role in changing bioethics from a purely academic endeavor to one focused on providing services and resources to real patients, families, providers and policymakers facing real-life healthcare issues and crises in real time.

Other awards she has received include The American Academy of Pain Medicine’s Patient Advocacy Award, the American Academy of Pain Management’s “Head Heart” Award, the American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Care President’s Award, the W.F. Yates Medallion for Distinguished Service/William Jewell College, the American Academy of Critical Care Nursing’s Pioneering Spirit Award, the Marian Gray Secundy SANKOFA Award for work to improve palliative and end-of-life care for African Americans, the National Association of Attorneys General President’s Award, the Outstanding Alumni Achievement Award from the College of Arts and Sciences at the University of Missouri Kansas City (UMKC), the Honorary Alumnus of the Year Kansas University School of Nursing, and Nonprofit Professional of the Year from Nonprofit Connect.

In December 2011, she received an Honorary Doctorate from National University Health Sciences in Chicago, and in March 2015 was inducted into the inaugural class of the Starr Women’s Hall of Fame at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.

After nearly 35 years working to improve care at the end of life and , more recently, for those who live with chronic pain, Myra Christopher will make the case for replacing politics with a multidisciplinary public health approach to solving today’s healthcare issues, using the treatment of chronic pain as a paradigmatic example. Christopher was the Center’s founding executive director from 1984 through 2011 and currently holds the Kathleen M. Foley Chair for Pain and Palliative Care at the Center.

Learning Outcomes:
Each participant will be able to:

  • Be familiarized with the National Pain Strategy, the CDC Guideline for Opioid Prescribing for Chronic Pain and other pain policy
  • Describe political barriers to implementing comprehensive chronic pain care.
  • Use a public health approach to both chronic pain and opioid addiction.

The price for this Teleconference is $80.00 for members and $100.00 for non-members.
A late fee of $20.00 will apply after March 9, 2018.
Please use your Federal Medicare ID for your membership number.
No refunds but substitutions are welcome.
There will be a $10 fee for Nurses or Social Worker CE’s.
Please use your Federal Medicare Number for your membership ID number.
Registrants will receive the website link and call in information after registering.
Price is based on the use of one line per hospice.  For additional lines contact the MHPCA office or register as a separate registration.
This is an intermediate level course.
This teleconference will be recorded. If you are not able to attend on the day of the teleconference please register like you are attending and MHPCA will send you the recording.

This program provides 1.5 MO Nursing Contact Hours. This program provides 1.5 Social Worker Hours. All Social Workers must complete a post test and return to MHPCA via fax (573-635-0659) or email to crystal@missourihospice.org to receive SW CE hours. Participants from Missouri interested in credit hours should indicate on the sign in sheet from each hospice their desire to receive credit hours.  There will be an additional $10.00 per person for contact hours.  Please make checks payable to MHPCA (P.O. Box 105318, Jefferson City, MO 65110) with a copy of your sign in sheet to receive credit for participants.  All participants wanting CE credits must sign the sign in/sign out sheet, fill out an evaluation, complete a post test (Social Worker’s only) and return to MHPCA at the end of the Live Interactive Teleconference via fax (573-635-0659) or email to crystal@missourihospice.org. The certificate will be generated and sent to the contact on the sign in/out sheet via email with in 5 business days. If you have any questions or concerns please contact crystal at crystal@missourihospice.org.


Missouri Hospice & Palliative Care Association is an approved provider of continuing nursing education by the Midwest Multistate Division, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Centers Commission on Accreditation.  

“Missouri Hospice and Palliative Care Association, #1359, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org, through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Missouri Hospice and Palliative Care Association maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 2/28/2017 – 2/28/2020. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits.
Social workers participating in this course will receive __1.5__ continuing education clock hours.”