Putting the Pieces Together conference

November 7 - November 10, 2022
Online

A conference for and by people with pain

Eight million people in Canada live with chronic pain, a condition that can affect every aspect of a person’s life including physical and mental health, work, play, and relationships. But that’s not the whole story: we’re also eight million friends, partners, innovators, advocates, organizers, and co-conspirators who are mobilizing a national community to realize a common goal — a dramatically improved system of care and support for people with pain. Please join us to become part of this community at the first annual Putting the Pieces Together conference.

Why are we Putting the Pieces Together?

The conference name, Putting the Pieces Together, is inspired by Kintsugi, the Japanese art of repairing broken pottery with gold.  We see ourselves like the re-imagined artworks - no longer in our original form but, instead, taking on a new beauty and strength, reinforced by our many connections. 

Monday November 7, 2022

Conference opening with members of the steering committee
Time: 1:00PM-2:00PM ET
Event Link:

Members of the conference steering committee welcome attendees and take part in a panel discussion on their vision of using the Putting the Pieces Together conference to build community, take action and to re-imagine what it means to live with pain.

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Speakers
Desmond Williams

Desmond Williams is a community healer and TRE  (Tension, Stress & Trauma Release Exercise) practitioner, stand-up comedian and writer whose work is grounded in the culture, music, dancing, laughter and storytelling of his upbringing with the traditions of the Nlaka’pamux First Nations and St. Vincent & the Grenadines. 

 

Desmond’s work explores healing practices for People of the Global Majority, and how to foster the care and support needed to explore the depth of living this existence safely and effectively with others.

Alex Haagaard

Alex Haagaard is a design researcher and founding member of The Disabled List, a design advocacy collective. They get paid to design systems, processes and products that meaningfully incorporate disabled knowledge, and they advocate to make those systems less extractive of the knowledge of disabled people. In their painfully limited free time they are working on a manuscript that develops a critical theory of disability that addresses the distinct experiences of invisibly disabled people, that is, those of us whose social experience of disability is primarily grounded in being told we're not sick or disabled at all.

Jennifer Daly-Cyr

Jennifer has a background in marketing and strategic planning in higher education. Since a sudden onset of severe abdominal pain in 2014, she has been on a journey of learning to live with persistent pain and adapting to the dramatic changes this has brought to her daily life. She shares her lived experience perspective as a patient partner/advisor with a number of national pain research initiatives and projects, including with the Chronic Pain Network and the Canadian Pain Society.  She believes wholeheartedly in the importance of patient-oriented research and the engagement of people with lived pain experience in pain in research initiatives for improved access to health care and support for people living with pain.

Therese Lane

Therese has lived with pain and arthritis since her mid-teens. She is currently a steering committee member with the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance and is actively involved with CreakyJoints, a support and advocacy organization for people living with arthritis and rheumatic disease. Therese is a patient partner with a number of research projects and initiatives, including the CIHR’s SPOR-funded Chronic Pain Network. She is also a patient partner for Partnership for Engagement of People in Chronic Pain Research (PEPR), a research initiative aimed at improving engagement of people with pain from equity-seeking communities. She is a member of the Canadian Pain Society’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She is passionate about improving access to pain care for those who face additional barriers to care, including people living in poverty, women, and those most impacted by social injustices. Her own history of addiction and mental health challenges have made her all too aware of the stigma, judgment, and barriers faced by those attempting to access appropriate treatment for pain.

Jennifer (Jenny) Lorca

Jenny is a Spoonie, Pain BC patient partner, advocate, & volunteer, Somatic Therapist with the Centre for Mindfulness-Based Somatic Therapy®, End of Life Doula, holistic health practitioner, counselling student, and former hospice nurse and theatre artist. Jenny’s own lived experience with complex chronic disease has given her a greater depth of understanding of the multiple dimensions of pain, stress, trauma, chronic and life-limiting illness, and of healing. She is dedicated to walking alongside individuals and families on their health and wellness continuum.

Last year Jenny partnered with Pain BC to provide the lens of lived experience to their co-presentation:  A Pandemic Pivot: Adapting Pain BC's Supported Self-Management Programs for People Living With Pain for International Association for the Study of Pain (IASP)'s education resource:  Elevating Healthcare Professionals and Available Resources -- The Latest on COVID-19 and Pain (September 9, 2021).

Monday November 7, 2022

Gentle movement session
Time: 2:00PM-2:30PM ET
Event Link:

Internationally renowned physiotherapist Neil Pearson guides attendees through a movement session designed specifically for people with persistent pain.

Text Link
Speakers
Neil Pearson
PT, MSC (RHBS) BA-BPHE, C-IAYT, ERYT500

Neil Pearson is a physical therapist, yoga therapist, author, researcher, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, faculty in three IAYT-accredited yoga therapy programs, board member for International Association of Yoga Therapists and pain care advocate. He conducts research into the effects of yoga on veterans with chronic pain and people with knee osteoarthritis. Neil is the recipient of awards honouring his work in pain care, patient education and physiotherapy by Queen’s University, the Canadian Pain Society and both provincial and national physiotherapy associations, including the Canadian 2021 Medal of Distinction. Neil is a consultant to partners in Canadian Veterans Rehabilitation Services, and to Lifemark’s 300+ clinics in Canada. Neil is a past board member for Pain BC, Canada’s premier non-profit transforming the way pain is understood and treated. He co-authored – Yoga and Science in Pain Care 2019, authored the patient education ebook, Understand Pain Live Well Again in 2008, and is lead contributor to many free patient resources offered by Pain BC.

Monday November 7, 2022

Workshop: Describing your pain to clinicians
Time: 3:00PM-4:00PM ET
Event Link:

Learn to describe your pain to clinicians more clearly and meaningfully to support more effective collaboration and treatment planning.

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Speakers
Alex Haagaard

Alex Haagaard is a design researcher and founding member of The Disabled List, a design advocacy collective. They get paid to design systems, processes and products that meaningfully incorporate disabled knowledge, and they advocate to make those systems less extractive of the knowledge of disabled people. In their painfully limited free time they are working on a manuscript that develops a critical theory of disability that addresses the distinct experiences of invisibly disabled people, that is, those of us whose social experience of disability is primarily grounded in being told we're not sick or disabled at all.

Tuesday November 8, 2022

A conversation about chronic pain and equity
Time: 2:00PM-3:00PM ET
Event Link:
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Speakers
Lise Dassieu
PhD

Lise Dassieu, PhD is a health sociologist and qualitative researcher in the fields of chronic pain and substance use. She is currently a researcher at the Canadian Centre on Substance Use and Addiction. She previously worked as a senior postdoctoral researcher at the University of Montreal Hospital Research Centre and as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Sherbrooke. She completed her PhD in sociology at the University of Toulouse, France. Lise Dassieu has 12 years of experience leading interdisciplinary research to examine the social dimensions of chronic pain and opioid use. She is committed to working in partnership with people with lived experience, and to improving health care access and equity for those most impacted by social injustice. Lise  has published her work in major peer-reviewed journals and received the Ronald Melzack Canadian Journal of Pain 2021 Paper of the Year Award for her work on the stigma experienced by people living with chronic pain during the opioid overdose epidemic.

Therese Lane

Therese has lived with pain and arthritis since her mid-teens. She is currently a steering committee member with the Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance and is actively involved with CreakyJoints, a support and advocacy organization for people living with arthritis and rheumatic disease. Therese is a patient partner with a number of research projects and initiatives, including the CIHR’s SPOR-funded Chronic Pain Network. She is also a patient partner for Partnership for Engagement of People in Chronic Pain Research (PEPR), a research initiative aimed at improving engagement of people with pain from equity-seeking communities. She is a member of the Canadian Pain Society’s Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee. She is passionate about improving access to pain care for those who face additional barriers to care, including people living in poverty, women, and those most impacted by social injustices. Her own history of addiction and mental health challenges have made her all too aware of the stigma, judgment, and barriers faced by those attempting to access appropriate treatment for pain.

Tuesday November 8, 2022

Gentle movement session
Time: 3:00PM-3:30PM ET
Event Link:

Internationally renowned physiotherapist Neil Pearson guides attendees through a movement session designed specifically for people with persistent pain.

Text Link
Speakers
Neil Pearson
PT, MSC (RHBS) BA-BPHE, C-IAYT, ERYT500

Neil Pearson is a physical therapist, yoga therapist, author, researcher, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, faculty in three IAYT-accredited yoga therapy programs, board member for International Association of Yoga Therapists and pain care advocate. He conducts research into the effects of yoga on veterans with chronic pain and people with knee osteoarthritis. Neil is the recipient of awards honouring his work in pain care, patient education and physiotherapy by Queen’s University, the Canadian Pain Society and both provincial and national physiotherapy associations, including the Canadian 2021 Medal of Distinction. Neil is a consultant to partners in Canadian Veterans Rehabilitation Services, and to Lifemark’s 300+ clinics in Canada. Neil is a past board member for Pain BC, Canada’s premier non-profit transforming the way pain is understood and treated. He co-authored – Yoga and Science in Pain Care 2019, authored the patient education ebook, Understand Pain Live Well Again in 2008, and is lead contributor to many free patient resources offered by Pain BC.

Tuesday November 8, 2022

Painfully Funny: Standup comedy from comedians with pain
Time: 4:00PM-5:00PM ET
Event Link:
Text Link
Speakers
Desmond Williams

Desmond Williams is a community healer and TRE  (Tension, Stress & Trauma Release Exercise) practitioner, stand-up comedian and writer whose work is grounded in the culture, music, dancing, laughter and storytelling of his upbringing with the traditions of the Nlaka’pamux First Nations and St. Vincent & the Grenadines. 

 

Desmond’s work explores healing practices for People of the Global Majority, and how to foster the care and support needed to explore the depth of living this existence safely and effectively with others.

Megan Milton
Jenny Russell

Jenny Russell is a divorced, queer, hearing impaired comedian and epileptic who can be seen on stages all over Vancouver. Raised on theatre and burlesque, but finding a home in standup, Jenny uses all of the experiences in her life to craft funny out of sometimes heavy things.

Wednesday November 9, 2022

Be The Butterfly, Building Authentic Disability & Chronic Illness Communities
Time: 1:00PM-2:00PM ET
Event Link:

Dawn M. Gibson, founder of the Spoonie Chat Twitter Community, presents on building inclusive spaces for patients to find friendship, support, and empowerment.

Text Link
Speakers
Dawn M. Gibson

Dawn is a writer, health advocate, and family caregiver. She is a regular columnist with Health Union and has been featured on WebMD. She often represents her communities through media availability, patient engagement work, and her Twitter presence. She had a prominent place in Eric Boodman's recent Edward R. Murrow Award-winning article, How medicine erased Black women from a ‘white man’s disease’. Dawn joined the founding board of the National Pain Advocacy Center in 2021 where she also leads its Community Council. She founded the Spoonie Chat Twitter Community in 2013 as an inclusive space for patients to find friendship, support, and empowerment. Over the years, Spoonie Chat has become a community touchstone, bringing patients together no matter what diagnosis they have or phase of life they're in. Dawn lives in Michigan with her family and a cadre of hand-raised butterflies.

Wednesday November 9, 2022

Gentle movement session
Time: 2:00PM-2:30PM ET
Event Link:

Internationally renowned physiotherapist Neil Pearson guides attendees through a movement session designed specifically for people with persistent pain.

Text Link
Speakers
Neil Pearson
PT, MSC (RHBS) BA-BPHE, C-IAYT, ERYT500

Neil Pearson is a physical therapist, yoga therapist, author, researcher, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, faculty in three IAYT-accredited yoga therapy programs, board member for International Association of Yoga Therapists and pain care advocate. He conducts research into the effects of yoga on veterans with chronic pain and people with knee osteoarthritis. Neil is the recipient of awards honouring his work in pain care, patient education and physiotherapy by Queen’s University, the Canadian Pain Society and both provincial and national physiotherapy associations, including the Canadian 2021 Medal of Distinction. Neil is a consultant to partners in Canadian Veterans Rehabilitation Services, and to Lifemark’s 300+ clinics in Canada. Neil is a past board member for Pain BC, Canada’s premier non-profit transforming the way pain is understood and treated. He co-authored – Yoga and Science in Pain Care 2019, authored the patient education ebook, Understand Pain Live Well Again in 2008, and is lead contributor to many free patient resources offered by Pain BC.

Wednesday November 9, 2022

Understanding pain as an intersectional disability justice Issue: Integrating the chronic illness and disability communities
Time: 3:00PM-4:00PM ET
Event Link:

This panel, a fireside chat among four participants with lived experience of pain, will discuss efforts to integrate the chronic illness and disability rights and justice communities in the US. Kate Nicholson, Executive Director of the National Pain Advocacy Center and a career disability rights attorney, will moderate. She will be joined by Ola Ojewumi, a Black disability activist who focuses on the intersection of race, gender, and disability; Charis Hill, a queer transgender disabled chronic disease advocate; and Lindsay Baran, a policy expert and disability and chronic illness advocate, and the former policy director of the National Council on Independent Living, the largest grassroots disability rights organization in the US.

Text Link
Speakers
Kate Nicholson
JD

Kate Nicholson is founder and Executive Director of the National Pain Advocacy Centre. She is a civil rights attorney and a nationally-recognized expert on the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). She served in the U.S. Department of Justice for 18 years where she litigated and managed cases, coordinated federal disability policy, and drafted the current ADA regulations. Kate developed intractable pain after a surgical injury left her unable to sit or stand and severely limited in walking for nearly two decades. 

Lindsay Baran
MS

Lindsay Baran, MS is a Research Director at NORC at the University of Chicago in the Health Care Evaluation Department. Her work focuses on health equity, stakeholder engagement, disability accessibility, and program evaluation. Prior to NORC, Lindsay worked for over 15 years in disability policy, advocacy, research, and service provision, most recently as the Policy Director at the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL), a national grassroots disability rights organization. At NCIL, Lindsay worked with policymakers, partner organizations, and stakeholders across the country to coordinate and implement NCIL's legislative and advocacy activities, and she started and co-chaired NCIL’s Chronic Pain/ Opioids Task Force along with NPAC’s Kate Nicholson.

Lindsay has Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, multiple related chronic conditions, and has lived with chronic pain for most of her life. She has strong knowledge of disability and chronic pain policy, and she is deeply committed to cross-disability and cross-movement efforts. Outside of her professional roles, she has organized and facilitated chronic pain peer support groups in-person and online in Chicago and Washington, DC.

Ola Ojewumi

Ola Ojewumi is an activist, writer, speaker, and non-profit founder. She is also a double organ transplant (heart and kidney) and cancer survivor. As a result of her health issues, Ola became a wheelchair user who lives with chronic pain. As an advocate, she has advised the Obama Administration on policies to advance the lives of people living with disabilities in the United States, and has held internships in the White House, with Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi, the Democratic National Committee, and Congressmen Albert R. Wynn’s Congressional Office.

Charis Hill

Charis Hill is an award-winning queer disabled chronic disease advocate, writer, speaker, and model living with Axial Spondyloarthritis (formerly Ankylosing Spondilitis), autism, major depressive disorder, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Charis' story has been featured in dozens of publications and media outlets including Arthritis Today magazine, Mother Jones, CNBC, the Associated Press, and in the documentary film Becoming Incurable. Charis has also been instrumental in creating spondyloarthritis disease treatment guidelines; designing and conducting patient-centred rheumatological research; forming international criteria for disease treatment outcomes; and creating research guidelines. They are involved in national/international advocacy, and are the co-founder of #HighRiskCovid19.

Thursday November 10, 2022

What are we doing about pain in Canada?
Time: 2:00PM-3:00PM ET
Event Link:

Former Canadian Pain Task Force members Maria Hudspith and Linda Wilhelm are joined by Jean-Francois Leroux and Jennifer Novak of Health Canada, Pain Canada National Advisory Committee Member Keith Meldrum, and pain advocate Jennifer Daly-Cyr to discuss Pain Canada and the federal government's commitments to helping to implement the actions called for in An Action Plan for Pain in Canada.

Text Link
Speakers
Jean-François Leroux

Jean-François is the Manager of the Chronic Pain Policy Team within the Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch at Health Canada. In his role, Jean-François oversees the coordination of the federal response to the Canadian Pain Task Force recommendations. Prior to joining the Team in October 2021, Jean-François held many policy positions within the federal government, including in the Department of Finance Canada, Health Canada and the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

Maria Hudspith

Maria Hudspith is the Executive Director of Pain BC, the sponsor organization supporting the Pain Canada action network. Her work has involved mobilizing communities, engaging patients in organizational decision making, and advancing progressive agendas through policy change and program development. She is one of 15 Principal Investigators in the CIHR-funded Chronic Pain Network, the first national pain research network in Canada, and is the co-lead for patient engagement in the Network. She was also the co-chair of Health Canada’s Canadian Pain Task Force, which delivered its final report, An Action Plan for Pain in Canada, in 2021.

Keith Meldrum

Keith has lived with persistent neuropathic pain for over 35 years following a near-fatal car accident. After years of health care system dismissiveness and stigmatization, Keith began to focus on pain advocacy. Over the last ten years, his advocacy work involved being a founding member of the International Association for the Study of Pain’s Global Alliance of Partners for Pain Advocacy, past Vice-Chair for Pain BC, international pain education conference presenter, university guest lecturer, and is an active and published researcher. Keith maintains a Facebook blog, A Path Forward, where he writes about his experiences.

Linda Wilhelm

Linda Wilhelm has been living with rheumatoid arthritis for more than thirty five years, many of which she spent unresponsive to medication, resulting in irreversible joint damage and daily chronic pain.  on a daily basis and throughout her recovery from fourteen major joint reconstructive surgeries. Linda is a founding member of The Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance, a national, volunteer, patient driven organization that has worked to improve the lives for people living with arthritis since 2002. She is a patient partner on a number of National research networks and a former member of The Canadian Pain Taskforce.

Jennifer Daly-Cyr

Jennifer has a background in marketing and strategic planning in higher education. Since a sudden onset of severe abdominal pain in 2014, she has been on a journey of learning to live with persistent pain and adapting to the dramatic changes this has brought to her daily life. She shares her lived experience perspective as a patient partner/advisor with a number of national pain research initiatives and projects, including with the Chronic Pain Network and the Canadian Pain Society.  She believes wholeheartedly in the importance of patient-oriented research and the engagement of people with lived pain experience in pain in research initiatives for improved access to health care and support for people living with pain.

Thursday November 10, 2022

Gentle movement session
Time: 3:00PM-3:30PM ET
Event Link:

Internationally renowned physiotherapist Neil Pearson guides attendees through a movement session designed specifically for people with persistent pain.

Text Link
Speakers
Neil Pearson
PT, MSC (RHBS) BA-BPHE, C-IAYT, ERYT500

Neil Pearson is a physical therapist, yoga therapist, author, researcher, Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia, faculty in three IAYT-accredited yoga therapy programs, board member for International Association of Yoga Therapists and pain care advocate. He conducts research into the effects of yoga on veterans with chronic pain and people with knee osteoarthritis. Neil is the recipient of awards honouring his work in pain care, patient education and physiotherapy by Queen’s University, the Canadian Pain Society and both provincial and national physiotherapy associations, including the Canadian 2021 Medal of Distinction. Neil is a consultant to partners in Canadian Veterans Rehabilitation Services, and to Lifemark’s 300+ clinics in Canada. Neil is a past board member for Pain BC, Canada’s premier non-profit transforming the way pain is understood and treated. He co-authored – Yoga and Science in Pain Care 2019, authored the patient education ebook, Understand Pain Live Well Again in 2008, and is lead contributor to many free patient resources offered by Pain BC.

Thursday November 10, 2022

In conversation with the Sickboy podcast
Time: 4:00PM-5:00PM ET
Event Link:

The hosts of the Sickboy podcast interview a panel of people living with pain live at the conference. 

Text Link
Speakers
Jeremie Saunders

Jeremie Saunders is co-host of Sickboy, a podcast that takes a funny and insightful approach to taking on the stigma of living with a chronic disease. He is a multi-award-winning professional actor and yoga instructor who happens to live with a genetic lung disease called Cystic Fibrosis.

Taylor MacGillivary

Taylor MacGillivary is co-host of Sickboy, a podcast that takes a funny and insightful approach to taking on the stigma of living with a chronic disease.

Our Sponsors

Without the help from our sponsors, this event wouldn't be possible.