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About the Program

Established by The Mayday Fund 2004, the Mayday Pain & Society Fellowship: A Media and Policy Initiative trains physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, scientists, and legal scholars in the pain management community to more effectively communicate their work and raise awareness of and improve the treatment of acute and chronic pain. By encouraging pain experts to go beyond their own professional pursuits, the Mayday Fund hopes to increase dialogue about how to better reduce human suffering through a range of treatments, and ultimately have real impact on the lives of people in pain. The Fellowship is set to run through 2015.

The Mayday Fund, a New York City-based foundation dedicated to alleviating the incidence, degree, and consequence of human physical pain, is interested in providing new leaders in the field with tools that will enable them to reach the broader public.  The foundation established the Fellowship to train six leaders a year, providing them with intensive training and five months of coaching in media, policy and leadership.
After communications and leadership training in Washington D.C., the Fellows will be well-equipped to facilitate discussion and network with the media, policymakers, advocates, and health and business leaders. The Fellows in the program also will have the opportunity to work one-on-one with communications professionals to develop a communications strategy for a goal they identify for themselves. 
Fellows attend a four-day training session held in Washington, D.C., and commit 10 percent of their time over a five-month period to the Fellowship. Following completion of the session, each Fellow will work closely with a communications firm for five months to develop develop and begin to execute their strategic communications plan.  Possible goals include:

  • Advancing the pain management field in your institution
  • Educating patients and the public about treatment for acute and chronic pain
  • Educating the public about alternative treatments to pain medications
  • Developing improved pain management curriculum or trainings
  • Educating policymakers about the need for improved pain management

Examples of tools for reaching goals could include:

  • Writing opinion editorials
  • Connecting with local and national media
  • Meeting with or testifying before Members of Congress or state legislators
  • Inviting media, policymakers or regulators to your institution
  • Establishing a public relations committee within a professional society
  • Establishing a fellowship or lectureship on pain in your institution

Fellowship Advisory Committee

Chair: Russell K. Portenoy, M.D., Chief Medical Officer, Metropolitan Jewish Health System (MJHS) Hospice and Palliative Care, Director, MJHS Institute for Innovation in Palliative Care, and Professor of Neurology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

James N. Campbell, Executive-in-Residence at InterWest Partners, CEO of Arcion Therapeutics, Inc., and Professor of Neurosurgery Johns Hopkins University.

Scott M. Fishman, M.D., Professor and Chief, Division of Pain Medicine in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, University of California, Davis.

Kathleen M. Foley, M.D., Medical Director of the International Palliative Care Initiative of the Public Health Program, Open Society Institute and Attending Neurologist in the Department of Neurology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center.

Carmen R. Green, M.D., Professor of Anesthesiology, Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Health Management & Policy at the University of Michigan.

Lonnie Zeltzer, M.D., Director of Pediatric Pain Program and Distinguished Professor of Pediatrics, Anesthesiology, Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Sandra H. Johnson, J.D., Interim Dean, Saint Louis University School of Law

Patrick John McGrath, Ph.D., Vice President of Research at IWK Health Centre and Canada Research Chair and Professor of Psychology, Pediatrics and Psychiatry, Dalhousie University.

The Mayday Fund
Christina Spellman, Executive Director, The Mayday Fund

Communications Team and Program Administrators
Burness Communications