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  • Canadian Pain Task Force: Present and Future; Quest for a National Pain Strategy

Canadian Pain Task Force: Present and Future; Quest for a National Pain Strategy

  • 18 Nov 2020
  • 3:00 PM - 4:30 PM
  • Webinar


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Canadian Pain Task Force: Present and Future - Quest for a National Pain Strategy

The Canadian Pain Task Force is an external advisory body that is helping the Government of Canada better understand and address the needs of the 7 million Canadians living with chronic pain. In Phase I of its mandate, the Task Force assessed how chronic pain is currently addressed in Canada. Their first report – Chronic Pain in Canada: Laying a Foundation for Action – highlighted gaps in access to timely and appropriate multi-modal care, chronic pain surveillance and health system quality monitoring, awareness, education and training for individuals and health care professionals, and research and related infrastructure. The Task Force recently completed Phase II of their work involving extensive in-person and online consultations between July 2019 and August 2020 with nearly 2000 people who either live with and/or have an interest in chronic pain across Canada. The objectives were to identify best practices and strategies to better understand, prevent, and manage chronic pain. This webinar will discuss the findings from the first two phases of the Canadian Pain Task Force, highlighting in particular the soon to be published second report summarizing what was heard through the consultation process. The webinar will also include discussion of broader government actions relevant for pain at the Federal, Provincial, and Territorial levels, and the final phase of the Task Force’s mandate as it continues to increase awareness of chronic pain and to build relationships and networks for change across the country.

DATE Wednesday, November 18, 2020

TIME Newfoundland: 4:30 - 6:00 pm  |  Atlantic: 4:00 - 5:30 pm  |  Eastern: 3:00 - 4:30 pm  Mountain: 1:00 - 2:30 pm  |  Pacific: 12:00 - 1:30 pm

All speakers consented to session being recorded in our planning meeting.


Fiona Campbell, BSc MD FRCA

Dr. Campbell holds the rank of Professor in the Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine at the University of Toronto, and is Medical Director of the Chronic Pain Program in the Department of Anesthesia & Pain Medicine at the Hospital for Sick Children (SickKids). As Co-Director of the SickKids Pain Centre Fiona is one of the SKIP Hub co-leads (Solutions for Kids in Pain – kidsinpain.ca), and is involved in developing strategic initiatives to improve pain outcomes for children. Fiona helped spearhead the SickKids successful application for ChildKind certification in 2014 – the first Canadian Children’s hospital to achieve this status; she is now a member of the ChildKind Certification Committee. Her research interests include: knowledge translation on pain in children and factors influencing the transition from acute to chronic pain. Dr Campbell co-chaired the International Guideline Development Group for Pain in Children with Cancer, and has co-created globally accessible self-management pain apps, interactive pain educational modules, and a pain education website for children and families. She is a Mayday Fellow.

As the inaugural co-chair of the provincial Ontario Chronic Pain Network (Pediatric section) in partnership with Ontario Health, Dr Campbell has helped build capacity in the community by increasing access to pediatric chronic pain clinics, reducing disparities in care, standardizing model of care, and fostering research and education.

Having been appointed by the Federal Minister of Health in 2019 to be Co-chair of the Canadian Pain Task Force, Fiona is an advocate for the implementation of a Canadian National Pain Strategy. 


Maria Hudspith

Maria is the Executive Director of Pain BC, a registered charity that works to enhance the lives of all people who live with pain through empowerment, care, education and innovation.

In 2019, she was appointed co-chair of the Canadian Pain Task Force, mandated by the federal government to advise on an improved approach to pain care, education, research and data in Canada. She is one of the co-Principal Investigators for the CIHR-funded Chronic Pain Network and co-leads the Network’s Patient Engagement initiatives.

Maria has led various community development, organizational change and capacity building initiatives in the health and non-profit sectors over the last 25 years, working in a number of fields at the nexus of equity, social movements and health justice.


Andrew Taylor

Andrew Taylor is currently Acting Director of the Canadian Pain Task Force Secretariat, which is a part of the Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch at Health Canada. The Task Force has a three year mandate to provide advice to Health Canada regarding evidence and best practices for the prevention and management of chronic pain. Prior to this role, Andrew led horizon scanning and foresight activities for the Health Canada’s Health Products and Food Branch.

Prior to government, Andrew focused extensively on knowledge synthesis and translation as well as stakeholder engagement across a wide range of health policy topics, serving in several positions at institutions such as the Canadian Institutes for Health Research, Council of Canadian Academies, Canadian Institute for Health Information, Canadian Healthcare Association, Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, and AIDS Committee of Toronto.

Jaris Swidrovich, BSP, PharmD, PhD(c)

Dr. Jaris Swidrovich is an Assistant Professor in the College of Pharmacy and Nutrition at the University of Saskatchewan. He is a Two Spirit Saulteaux First Nations and Ukrainian man and pharmacist from Yellow Quill First Nation. Dr. Swidrovich is the first self-identified First Nations Doctor of Pharmacy in Canada and the first and only self-identified Indigenous faculty member across all ten faculties of pharmacy in Canada.

He received a Bachelor of Science in Pharmacy (BSP) from the University of Saskatchewan, a Doctor of Pharmacy (PharmD) from the University of Toronto, and is currently a PhD Candidate in Education at the University of Saskatchewan. His areas of research and practice include HIV/AIDS, pain, substance use disorders, 2SLGBTQ+ health, Indigenous health, social determinants of health, pharmacy practice, and pharmacy / health professions education.


Linda Wilhelm

Linda Wilhelm is the President of The Canadian Arthritis Patient Alliance, a national, volunteer, patient driven organization that has worked to improve the lives of people living with arthritis since 2002. She is co-chair of the Steering Committee for the Chronic Pain Strategy for Patient Oriented Research (SPOR) Network, as well as a member of the networks patient advisory committee. She is also a member of The Evidence Alliance (SPOR) Network. Linda has participated in past Health Canada expert advisory panels and numerous conferences concerning treatment access and drug safety issues. She is a former member of both the Expert Advisory Committee for Vigilance of Health Products and the Drug Safety and Effectiveness Network's steering committee and a current member of The National Pain Taskforce.

Ms. Wilhelm has been an active advocate for treatment access and quality of care for all patients both regionally and nationally for over twenty years and is a past board chair for the New Brunswick Division of the Arthritis Society. Ms. Wilhelm has been living with Rheumatoid Arthritis for over thirty five years, many of those years unresponsive to the medications used to treat the disease which resulted in significant and irreversible damage to most of the joints in her body leaving her to manage chronic pain on a daily basis and throughout her recovery from fourteen major joint reconstructive surgeries.

Ms. Wilhelm is a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Golden and Diamond Medals of honour and the 2015 Arthritis Alliance of Canada Qualman/Davies Patient and Consumer Leadership Award.



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