INTERVIEW WITH MICKE BROWN, RN – QUESTION #2

Dr. Lynn Webster [Dr. Webster]: Hello, this is Dr. Lynn Webster. Thank you for listening to this Pain Topics series of interviews on LynnWebsterMD.com. Today I am joined by Micke Brown, the Corporate Secretary & Steering Committee Chair of ThePainCommunity.org. Micke has joined me before. She is a registered nurse registered nurse with experience in clinical advisement, communications, consumer and health care professional education, advocacy and business management. Thank you, Micke, for joining me today.

My question for you is, ‘who do you think needs to be most educated about the needs of people in pain?’

Micke Brown [Micke]: Well, I really do think there needs to be a mass awareness of the public at large. From the average citizen to those stakeholders that are key decision makers. They need to understand what pain does to a person, how it alters their life and why it’s important that we pay attention to this because if you look at the statistics, one in three or one in four people will live with pain in their life at one time or another. So, I mean if you don’t have pain now, you probably will, and I don’t know how you feel but I really want to have very good care when I have that to face me. I mean, as a young child, I hated to get shots. I remember getting polio shots. I’ll date myself and how horrified I was with just having a little bit of a brief incident of pain, much less having to live with pain daily. So I think it’s really important for the public understand pain, understand that pain has a variety of ways that needs to be treated. It’s not just one single modality. As I teach nurses, you need to get all the ingredients and build on that recipe that works for that person, and it could be different from person to person. We certainly don’t have the healthcare system that wants to even reimburse for some of the modalities that would probably be more effective for the long term rather than the short term. So that means we also have to better educate all healthcare professionals. I think that we’ve done a pretty good job in some sense on preaching to the choir, those of us who are in the pain field have been having many years of education and trying to keep up with that on an ongoing education but I don’t see that coming from other colleagues who don’t dedicate their specialty to the treatment of pain. I am very, very concerned about the media. I think that, you know, I’ve learned over the years that they don’t necessarily tell the full story. It’s whatever is considered sexy or whatever they consider is going to drive numbers of readers by alarming folks rather than really paying attention to what’s going on to the average person who is trying to live a quality life. Even though we’ve tried to do a good job on reaching out and trying to explain the other side of the story, it seems like we’re constantly being pitted against those that have problems with substance use disorder or the misuse of prescription drugs. That often makes me sad because together, I think that was can figure out how to better care for people with pain, whether they have substance use disorders or not, or a mental health disorder or not, but if we’re fighting against one another, we won’t work together for a common cause.

Dr. Webster: Thank you, Micke, and thanks again for listening to this Pain Topics interview on LynnWebsterMD.com. Please check back soon for additional questions for Micke.

If you aren’t already, please follow me on Twitter @LynnRWebsterMD. Also, stay tuned to my blog for more information about my upcoming book and documentary titled The Painful Truth, to be released this fall. Have a great day!


Micke A. Brown, BSN, RN

Ms. Brown is a nationally known pain management nurse and experienced patient advocate. In March 2013, she was invited to join a team at the University of Maryland, School of Pharmacy as the program director to coordinate the grant activities related to a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), entitled “Controlled Dangerous Substance (CDS) Emergency Preparedness Plan”. This grant was issued by the Maryland Department of Health & Mental Hygiene (DHMH) to cover the period of March 15, 2013 through March 14, 2018. Mary Lynn McPherson PharmD, Professor and Vice Chair of the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science and Kathryn L. Walker, Pharm.D., Assistant Professor serve as the principal investigators (PI); together this team works closely with the Maryland Behavioral Health Administration (BHA), expert advisers from the medical fields of pain management, substance use and mental health disorders along with local health departments and affected communities who experience an abrupt loss of a CDS prescriber.

Brown also serves as the Corporate Secretary of the Board of Directors and Team Coordinator for The Pain Community (TPC), a non-profit, consumer-focused pain organization based out of Alamo, California. Using her experience and commitment to quality pain care, she is working with other TPC volunteers to develop this national nonprofit organization whose mission is to build and strengthen an active, diverse and energized community of people affected by pain by providing a foundation of support where education, wellness information and advocacy are promoted. She is the former Director of Communications & Consumer Education for American Pain Foundation (APF) and Past President of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN).

Micke Brown is a registered pain management nurse, who received her bachelor of science in nursing degree from the University of Florida, Gainesville, along with advanced credentials in acute pain management from Schumpert Medical Center, Shreveport, Louisiana. Ms. Brown has more than 35 years experience in nursing, with 20 years in the specialty of pain management. Her career as a pain management nurse and pain advocate has included caring for and educating individuals and their families living with pain, training health care professionals about pain management and speaking out for those affected by pain in the media, during legislative hearings and with other decision makers about issues that impede access to quality pain care.

Her contributions to the American Pain Foundation (APF) were extensive. Ms. Brown helped develop and guide communications as well as educational services that provided key information for APF members and the general public while also serving as the clinical advisor to APF staff and volunteers. Micke’s advocacy work included working closely with the FDA safe use initiative on patient-provider agreements, presenting to a variety of professional and consumer audiences, (e.g. serving on a panel with the DEA, lecturing with representatives from the DOD and the VA alongside injured veterans at national meetings, co-presented with pain advocates living with pain), collaborating with staff from the National Institutes of Health (NNCAM) in the development of safe use education for complementary-alternative medicines and leading stakeholder meetings on breakthrough cancer pain.

Micke has contributed to the medical literature as co-author for the chapter on social, political and ethical forces that impact pain management nursing practice published in the 2010 edition of ASPMN Core Curriculum, a chapter about navigating pain care for the older adult for Gloth’s 2011 edition Handbook of Pain Relief in Older Adults, An Evidence-Based Approach and another that covers educating patients and caregivers about pain management for the clinician in Moore’s 2012 Handbook of Pain and Palliative Care.

Ms. Brown has volunteered on several non-profit boards: the Maryland Pain Initiative (MPI), Hospice of Washington County (Maryland), and was elected as the 2003-2004 president of the American Society for Pain Management Nursing (ASPMN), a professional organization dedicated to promoting the advancement of optimal nursing care for people affected by pain. In 2006, she was honored with Richard S. Weiner Pain Education Fund Advocacy for People with Pain Award from the American Academy of Pain Management which is given to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to assisting and advocating for people with pain.

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