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A little too late?

September 29, 2009 - Steve Murch
One of the things that government heads – mayor, governor, president, etc. – do is make proclamations that designate a particular day, week, month or year for awareness (or remembrance). One of the nice things about the proclamations is they draw attention to an illness or honor those who have done great service to their communities.

Well, today is Sept. 29 and a press release JUST rolled in stating Gov. Jennifer Granholm officially recognized September as National Pair Awareness Month, as such “the Michigan Department of Community Health is distributing a booklet on prescribing opioid medications to the approximately 33,500 physicians and residents, 3,000 physician’s assistants, 5,500 advance practice nurses, 6,500 dentists, and 9,500 pharmacists who are currently licensed and practicing in Michigan.”

“The distribution of this booklet sends a strong message from the Michigan Department of Community Health that appropriate, safe, and effective pain management is an important part of providing good patient care,” Dr. Greg Holzman, chief medical executive of the Michigan Department of Community Health said.  “At the same time, when opioids are identified as appropriate for the treatment of pain, health professionals have a responsibility to manage and reduce the risks associated with opioid prescribing.” 

Now, I think it's a great idea to draw attention to pain and proper pain management and treatment. However, don't you think that proclaiming a month as something would have been better served at the beginning of the month as opposed to the penultimate day of the month? It makes it tough to do much, especially given that October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month and that gets a ton of exposure. Pain awareness is going to take a back seat, likely a back seat in three or four cars behind the lead car, to breast cancer awareness.

It's too bad because drawing awareness to illness is important to millions of Americans and a full month of awareness would have been helpful.


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