From the Chairman of the Board
Here is a sketch of what The Facial Pain Association is doing. Our staff responds to 25 to 30 calls from patients per week, we assist 35 regional support groups, we hold telephone-based meetings for support group leaders and young patients, and we will hold conferences during 2013 in Richmond and San Diego. Our book Striking Back remains in demand. On the Internet, FPA runs the Facial Pain Network with over 2,200 members and the Network has links to Facebook and Twitter. Our website is receiving over 1,000,000 visits per year. You are receiving the TNA News Wire and the FPA Quarterly by mail or electronically to keep you up to date with news and perspective. Regarding research, our Patient Registry has data on 2,700 patients and FPA Facial Pain Research Foundation is funding early-stage projects that researchers expect to yield major advances in pain treatment.
We will not rest. Coming months will bring new focus to our efforts to educate front-line healthcare professionals in diagnosing neuropathic facial pain disease. Facial pain disease is rare; the annual incidence of classic trigeminal neuralgia averages approximately 4.3 per 100,000 people and very little data exist on the incidence of other neuropathic facial pain diseases. The healthcare professionals who many of you visited first about that excruciating pain may have received little training in these diseases and many of those professionals see only a few cases in a career – that makes fast and accurate diagnosis a challenge. We have heard from too many patients who spent years in pain, and who paid for costly and ineffective procedures, until their disease was correctly diagnosed. FPA is giving extra attention to helping professionals to speed correct diagnosis so that patients have a minimum of unproductive procedures and can proceed to make well-informed treatment decisions as fast as possible. Our staff, physicians and dentists on our Medical Advisory Board, and key members of our Board of Directors are working to improve initial education, continuing education and general awareness of the symptoms of neuropathic facial pain diseases among those healthcare professionals who patients visit first. Stay tuned, this is just one of the initiatives in our plans.
Jeffrey Bodington, Chairman of the Board
TNA – The Facial Pain Association