• Fibromyalgia Task Force Honored at NYS Senate and Assembly


    Sue Shipe

    Fibromyalgia Task Force Honored at NYS Senate and Assembly

    Advocates joined legislators for passage of Fibromyalgia Awareness Week Resolution

    Albany, NY — On Tuesday, May 7th, the Fibromyalgia Task Force gathered at the New York State Capitol for the passage of a resolution commemorating Fibromyalgia Awareness Week (May 5 – 12). The resolution was introduced by Assembly Member Michaelle Solages and Senator Betty Little and passed in both chambers.

    The Fibromyalgia Task Force was developed by the International Institute For Human Empowerment, under the leadership of Sue Shipe, Ph.D., in order to address inequities in the diagnosis and treatment of Fibromyalgia patients due to lack of adequate education of physicians regarding this illness. This year, the legislature honored Beth Yoxthimer, Physical Therapist, founder of the Integrative Pain Program at St. Peter’s Hospital, for providing innovative and outstanding pain management services for over 20 years for patients living with chronic pain, including Fibromyalgia.

    The Fibromyalgia Task Force of the International Institute For Human Empowerment was represented by Dr. Sue Shipe, Shipe, Founder and Chair, and Fibromyalgia Patient; Dr. Phil Albrecht, Medical Researcher in Pain and Fibromyalgia at Intidyn; Mr. Brian Hart, Member; and Ms. Lisa Houck, Social Security Disability non-attorney representative; Megan Blasig, volunteer; and Michelle McCarthy, volunteer.

    More information about Fibromyalgia:
    An estimated 10 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with Fibromyalgia. While women make up the majority of Fibromyalgia patients, it also occurs in children and men. Sadly, a new future focus is Pediatric Fibromyalgia.

    The average time to diagnosis is 5 years. During this approximately 5-year period, patients often face discrimination:

    • Not believed regarding their symptoms
    • Told that it’s all in their heads
    • Loss of their jobs and insurance
    • Loss of spouse or significant other
    • Loss of home
    • Lack of appropriate medical treatment
    • Fear for futures
    • Fear of having children, or not being able to care for their children

    The optimal approach to treating Fibromyalgia is a Team approach including traditional and complementary therapies. Many of the complementary therapies are not covered by insurance, thereby inaccessible to patients. Medical Marijuana, found to be effective for many Fibromyalgia patients, is not covered by insurance.
    The Fibromyalgia Task Force will work to:

    1. Continue to disseminate their Fibromyalgia Report (They have already given out approximately 6,500 free copies).
    2. Create Fibromyalgia Continuing Education Materials for Physicians
    3. Create an Integrative Center for Fibromyalgia and Chronic Pain

    The Fibromyalgia Task Force with Senator Little
    The Fibromyalgia Task Force with Senator Little
    The Fibromyalgia Task Force with Assembly Member Solages
    The Fibromyalgia Task Force with Assembly Member Solages
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